An apples to apples comparison of school academic performance

By Bill Nolte | Aug 24, 2011

When traditional high schools in the state are ranked by academic
growth, performance composite, and size, Tuscola High School is fifth
in the region and out performed fifty-seven percent of similar schools
in the state.  Pisgah is second in the region and out performed
eighty-five percent of similar schools in the state.  Both schools are
considered “schools of Distinction” by the state.

North Carolina’s average Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) score is
1485.  The Haywood County Schools’ average score is 1541.  That puts
Haywood County Schools’ average SAT score thirty-two points above the
national average (1509) and fifty-six points above the North Carolina
average.  Pisgah High School’s average score was eleven points above
the state average.  Tuscola High School’s average score was
eighty-four points above the state average.

The North Carolina four-year cohort graduation rate is just under
seventy-eight percent.  The Pisgah High School graduation rate is
eighty-five percent.  The Tuscola High School graduation rate is over
eighty-seven percent.
There are thirty-four early college high schools in the state that
include grades nine through thirteen.  When these schools are ranked
by academic growth and performance composite, Haywood Early College is
first in the region and sixth in the state.  With a performance
composite over ninety percent, Haywood Early College is considered a
“school of excellence.”

There are seventy-three alternative schools in the state that include
high school grades (9-12).  Most of these schools include other grade
levels (K-12, 6-12, etc).  When these schools are ranked using high
academic growth and performance composite, Central Haywood High School
is seventh in the state among all alternative schools ending in grade
twelve.  However, when ranking only ninth through twelfth grade
alternative high schools, Central Haywood is first in the state.

There are four hundred sixteen traditional middle schools (grades 6-8)
in the state.  Waynesville Middle School had a performance composite
of nearly eighty percent (79.9%).  The school also made academic
growth.  This is ten percent higher than the state average.  Bethel
Middle School had a performance composite over eighty percent (80.5%).
This is twelve percent higher than the state average.  Canton Middle
school had a performance composite of eighty-two percent (82.5%).  The
school also made high academic growth, was named a “school of
distinction” and performed twenty-nine percent higher than the state
average.

Haywood County Schools has nine elementary schools with Kindergarten
through fifth grade.  All of these schools are also Title I schools
which means they have a significant percentage of economically
disadvantaged students.  There are eight hundred sixteen schools like
this in the state (K-5, Title I schools).  Every Haywood County
elementary school performed significantly above the state average.

Meadowbrook Elementary School ranked in the top six percent in the
state with high academic growth, federal AYP achievement and a
performance composite over eighty-five percent.  Clyde Elementary
School ranked in the top two percent in the state with high academic
growth, federal AYP achievement and a performance composite over
ninety percent.  Bethel Elementary School ranked in the top two
percent in the state with high academic growth, federal AYP
achievement and a performance composite over ninety-one percent.
Bethel Elementary School was also first in the state for schools with
over five hundred students.  Riverbend Elementary School ranked in the
top one percent in the state with high academic growth, federal AYP
achievement and a performance composite over ninety-seven percent.
Riverbend Elementary School ranked second in the state.  It is
appropriate to note that the first (1st) place school had a free and
reduced lunch percentage that was less than half Haywood County
Schools.

To put this in perspective, five of our sixteen schools (nearly one
third of our schools) are in the top six percent when compared to
similar schools in the state.  Here’s the best news, all of our
schools perform measurably better than most of the schools in the
state.  Results for all schools are posted online at
www.ncpublicschools.org.  There is also a “custom search” capability
that allows one to download data into an easy to sort spreadsheet
format.

Visit Nolte's Blog at http://teacher.haywood.k12.nc.us/nolte for
newspaper columns, radio programs and press releases.

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