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Sun Valley Elementary School's Heightened Expectations and Rigor

Pictured from Ms. Patinka's 4th grade class on the front page from left to right are Rachel Coleman and Alexandra Martino. Pictured from on second page from left to right are Kaitlyn Legan-Herman and Isaac Matos.

 It is no secret that North Carolina has adopted the National Common Core and Essential Standards as our new Standard Course of Study. On Thursday, November 7, 2013, the North Carolina State Board of Education also approved the READY Accountability Model to assess student performance in an effort to more accurately paint a picture of student performance. These forms of assessments are more rigorous than the ones used by schools in the past, and as a result, administrators and teachers across Union County are anticipating lower student scores.

North Carolina State Superintendent June Atkinson, in a recent e-mail to Union County administrators, wants all parents in our county to remain positive. She also encourages each of us to focus on the following three main points:

  1. The importance of raising standards: We want our children to not only succeed at the next grade level or high school course, but graduate from high school career and college ready.
  2. Last year was a transitional year. The 2012-13 accountability results will not affect students’ grades or current placement nor will there be any school accountability labels or designations.
  3. Positive messages from your results: It is very important to not lose sight of academic growth trends. We anticipate that while student proficiency rates have dropped, there will be a high percentage of schools making or exceeding growth goals. Student academic growth is an important factor in demonstrating the hard work of teachers. You also may want to mention how your school is supporting student success.

Atkinson went on to suggest that when North Carolina has adjusted expectations that “…student proficiency levels [decrease] and proficiency levels have been raised and that student performance has rebounded in subsequent years. In addition, North Carolina is not alone. States that have adopted the Common Core State Standards and assessments also have seen similar results.”

Sun Valley Elementary Principal Dr. Terri Cooper said, “Parents give us their best. It’s important for our students to be ready, academically, socially, and emotionally. Our obligation is to continue to challenge our students so that they will be better prepared for middle school which will continue to have a positive impact on our students' high school academic success and any future college or job opportunities that may come their way.”

If parents would like more information, a background brief on the READY Accountability model, in addition to other information, is available on the Department of Public Instruction’s website, www.ncpublicschools.org, under Highlights. In addition, parents are also encouraged to watch the NC Department of Public Instruction READY Animation video at: http://youtu.be/HCNYt5_K6CU. Doing so will help each parent better understand why the state is raising its standards.

Written by: Kevin Vickers
Posted: Dec 12, 2013 by Kevin Vickers

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