Progress And Academic Growth Continues In Johnston County Schools

Johnston County School LogoNorth Carolina’s 2014-2015 school performance grades were released by the State Board of Education on Wednesday. 

Johnston County Schools’ four-year graduation rate is 88.7 percent, the highest ever, surpassing the state graduation rate by 3.3 percent, and Johnston County Schools has 81 percent of schools earning grades of C or better compared to state wide percentage of 72.2 percent.

As required by state legislation, the School Performance Grades are based 80 percent on the school’s achievement score and 20 percent on students’ academic growth with the final letter score based on a 15-point scale.

Johnston County Schools had 17 schools that met expected growth and 15 schools that exceeded growth expectations for the 2014-2015 school year. Johnston County Middle College, South Campus Middle, and South Campus High were not included in the growth status report because they do not meet the minimum number of students required to be in the growth model.

  • 78 percent of Johnston County Schools met or exceeded academic growth goals;
  • 77.2 percent of elementary schools met or exceeded academic growth goals (0.5 percent below the state);
  • 85 percent of middle schools met or exceeded academic growth goals (16 percent above the state); and
  • 82 percent of high schools met or exceeded academic growth goals (13.6 percent above the state).

In 2014-2015, Johnston County Schools’ student grade-level proficiency or above in reading (grades 3-8) was 59.43 percent, 3.1 above the state average; 52.6 percent in mathematics (grades 3-8), 0.4 above the state average; and 70.9 percent in science, 2.1 above the state average.

The grade-level proficiency or better reflects students who were at Achievement Levels 3, 4 and 5 on end-of-grade tests. Level 3 Achievement is considered grade level proficient. Levels 4 and 5 reflect performance that is considered on track to be college and career ready by high school graduation.

On the three high school end-of-course tests,

  • 56.6 percent of Biology students scored at Achievement Levels 3, 4 or 5 (3 percent above the state);
  • 62.7 percent of English II of students were grade-level proficient or better (3.1 above the state); and
  • 63.7 percent of Math I students were grade-level proficient (3.9 percent above the state).

Elementary and middle schools’ Achievement score portion of the School Performance Grades are based only on test scores. These include end-of-grade reading and mathematics tests at the 3-8 grade levels; an end-of-grade science test at grades 5 and 8, and if applicable, end-of-course tests in Math I and Biology.

High schools have more accountability measures included in their School Performance Grade calculations than elementary and middle schools have. High schools also are evaluated based on the percentage of 11th graders who meet the UNC System minimum admission requirement of a composite score of 17 on The ACT college readiness exam. In 2014-15, 62 percent of JCS juniors met the minimum 17 score (2.3 percent above state). Other high school measurements include ACT WorkKeys (percentage of graduates who are Career and Technical Education concentrators who earn a Silver Certificate or higher) and the percentage of students passing Math III. In 2014-15, 76.9 (4.7 above state) percent of qualifying students met the WorkKeys benchmark and more than 95 percent of students passed Math III.

“We are not satisfied with the results as they are; however, we are happy with the percentage of our schools that have met and exceeded growth,” said Dr. Ed Croom, Superintendent of Johnston County Schools. “We have continued to see increase in reading and math scores … The Board of Education, administrators and teachers are committed to improving scores and continuing to provide exceptional educational opportunities for every child.”