Johnston County Public Schools had 82 percent of schools earning grades of C or better in the state’s A-F grading system, 5 percent over the state average, according to data released by the State Board of Education.
“I am very proud that we’re above the state in most subjects and most grade levels,” said Dr. Ross Renfrow, Superintendent. “Not only will we continue our efforts to raise proficiency, but we will continue to address the areas needing improvement. The graduation rate is truly remarkable and shows that our efforts are working.”
“I caution everyone from focusing on only one measurement to determine the success of our students and our system. I encourage our communities to visit our schools for the total experience of seeing the amazing teaching and learning that is occurring across this district.”
School grades are based primarily on overall proficiency rates on the state’s standardized end-of-grade test/end-of-course assessments, and to a lesser extent, the growth students make during the year, irrespective of performance level. Eighty percent of the grade is for the percentage of tests earning a score considered grade-level proficient; twenty percent is for growth, measured by a statistical model that compares each student’s predicted test score, based on past performance, against his or her actual result.
Elementary and middle schools’ performance grades are based only on test scores in reading and math (grades 3-8) and in science (grades 5 and 8). High school grades are based on results from end-of-course exams in English II and Math I in addition to Biology and include other performance indicators as well. The other indicators are the percentage of 11th graders meeting the UNC System’s minimum admission requirement of a composite score of 17 on the ACT college readiness exam, the cohort graduation rate, the percentage of students taking and passing Math III and the percentage of graduates who are Career and Technical Education concentrators who earn a Silver Certificate or higher on the ACT WorkKeys assessment. Growth is included in school performance grade determination unless the school meets growth and the inclusion of the school’s growth reduces the performance score and grade.
32 percent of the schools in Johnston County achieved As and Bs, up from the previous year and 60 percent of the JCPS high schools earned a grade of B or better which is above the state at 56.5 percent.
In terms of growth achieved by JCPS schools this past year, 64 percent met or expected growth. 78 percent of elementary schools met or exceeded growth and 71 percent of elementary and middle schools met or exceeded growth. Elementary and middle schools’ performance grades are based on test scores alone, while high school grades are based on test results, graduation rates, and indicators of students’ readiness for college or a career.
In terms of achievement, JCPS is above the state in EOG Reading (Grades 3-8), EOG Math (Grades 3-8), EOG Science (Grades 5 & 8), Math I, and Biology.
The four-year high school cohort graduation rate for JCPS, which factors into the letter grades for high schools, continued its upward trend, going up 2.1 percent to 92.2 which is above the state average of 86.5 percent. The five-year graduation rate is also up for Johnston County Public Schools by 1.2 percent, resulting in 91.8 percent which is above the state average of 87.5 percent.
Other indicators of College and Career Readiness include the ACT and ACT WorkKeys Assessments. The 11th grade administration of the ACT resulted in 61.2 percent of Johnston County students obtaining a composite score of 17 or higher which is higher than the state at 58.8 percent. The state average was 73.3 percent for WorkKeys and Johnston County students scored 80.7 percent.