Thursday school districts across the state of North Carolina revealed how students did on those all important End of Grade (EOG) and End of Course (EOC) tests. The standardized test changed this year to reflect the Common Core Curriculum.
These tests give insight to how well students retained what they learned all year long. The tests became more challenging. Subjects tested were Reading, Math, Science, and English. In some subjects Charlotte Mecklenburg school (CMS) district saw a 30 point drop.
Math scores show students in 3rd - 8th grade are now 46.4% proficient - Reading 45.5% on grade level. Also 48.2% of high school students are on grade level. Educators claim the tests changed to make students more college and career ready.
"There is going to be some pain," CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. "As we adopt this, but it's the right thing to do."
Teachers admit this has forced them to teach students a different way.
"In the past they can tell us the answer," CMS teacher Melissa Long said. "And that was the end of it, Now the focus is on why is that the answer. How do you know that is the answer. Where can you prove to me that is the answer."
CMS administrators prepared for a dip in test scores. They say you can't compare these test scores to last year's test scores. It's a different test. CMS will now take the results and figure out ways to improve test scores. Administrators say teachers can't improve the scores by teaching to the test.
"You're not able to teach to the test," Beverly Woods ES Principal Caroline Horne said. "We know we have to teach kids to infer, to build stamina with reading, to look at more than one way to solve a problem - to get them to be more outside the box in their thinking."
Another concern is the achievement gap between black and white students. CMS was closing the achievement gap but now it has gotten wider. In Math 74.2% of white students are proficient - Black students only 23.6%. In Biology, 73.5% of white students are on grade level, Black students 29.6%. In English, 77.5% of white students are proficient, Black students 39%. The superintendent says a strategy must be made to get more minorities proficient.
"We need to give them more at school," Morrison said. "More time, more focus, great teachers, more access to technology."
Individual schools will get their results in about 30 days and will start to figure out a way to get more students to pass the test.
To see a slide presentation highlighting district test results, click here.
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