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UCPS continues to dominate state in test scores

Garrett Powell, 6, a second-grader in Stephanie Kincaid’s class at Shiloh Elementary School, appears to be in deep concentration during a recent class assignment. Shiloh Elementary is one of 21 UCPS schools to be designated an Honor School of Excellence, according to the 2009-10 ABCs of Public Education released today by the NC Department of Public Instruction

Union County Public Schools continues to be a shining star in the public schools of North Carolina, as evidenced by today’s release of ABC test scores, which shows that 10.5 percent of the state’s top-ranking schools are in Union County.

Test scores show that 42 of the 50 UCPS schools that were involved in state testing increased the percentage of students performing at or above grade level from the previous year.

Twenty-one of the 50 schools or 42 percent were designated Honor Schools of Excellence, the highest designation possible. This means that at least 90 percent of their students scored at or above grade level (Achievement Level III), met or exceeded the expected growth and made Adequate Yearly Progress.

UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis said he is extremely proud of the high performance of the school system. “It is a privilege to be the superintendent for a school district that has earned the reputation of being one of the top academically performing districts in the state.”

“These test scores are a testament to the dedication, work ethic and desire for success by all those who work with and for children,” said Dr. Mary Ellis, Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Programs. “I salute our students, teachers and teacher assistants, parents, school personnel and administrators who work hard every day with student success as the focus. While I am very happy with our results, there is still room for improvement, and we’re already hard at work to create more student success in 2010-2011.”

Results show that 200 of the 2,490 public schools in North Caroline schools, or 8 percent, of schools are designated as Honor Schools of Excellence. In Union County, almost half of the 50 schools (42 percent) tested reach this top designation.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, with four times the UCPS student enrollment, had 24 schools (out of 171 tested) or 14 percent that received this highest designation.

Another 13 UCPS schools or 26 percent attained the designation of Schools of Distinction by having at least 80 percent of students scoring at or above grade level and made at least expected growth. In Union County, 68 percent of UCPS schools made either Honor Schools of Excellence or Schools of Distinction. On a state level, only 36.8 percent of the 2,490 schools made both distinctions.

UCPS testing director, Carolyn White said every UCPS student was given remediation during the year, with the goal that every child would make growth. “We didn’t want to leave anyone behind and I think that made a tremendous difference,” she said.

To accomplish this goal, White said that educators looked through every child’s data, including past test scores and what areas needed improvement, and made individual growth plans for every child. “There was just a renewed sense of everyone wanting to do better. We wanted every student to succeed. We wanted every student to grow.”

She said this also resulted in the system’s Title One schools making growth, in spite of the fact that they have more subgroups to reach growth than other UCPS schools. “We have such dedicated teachers and administrators in our schools,” she said.

Davis said when the ABCs testing program was first established in 1996 until the 2008-09 school year, student performance was tied to incentive pay for employees. “I have learned that without a doubt student performance is indeed an intrinsic value of our teachers and school administrators.”

“Due to our weakened economy, the incentive pay went away year before last. For the past two years, our test scores have been higher than ever,” he said. “This says volumes to me as to the caliber of teachers and administrators we have that step up even higher when the going gets rough. It is an honor to work with people who achieve more in spite of the economic pressures and who prove time and again that the real reason they are in their jobs is to educate children and not for the pay.”

Click here for more information on ABCs and AYP results.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Aug 05, 2010 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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