Schools Win Attention for Student Gains

Raleigh, NC

The academic gains North Carolina schools achieved last year are in the spotlight as communities across the state commend their schools and educators with presentations of award certificates from State Superintendent Mark Johnson.

Johnson launched the recognition effort in 2017 to underscore the significance of progress schools make from year to year. For the second year, he issued certificates to all public schools that either met or exceeded their goals for academic growth.

In all last year, 677 schools, including 46 charter schools, surpassed their goal for student gains and 1,165 other schools, including 69 charters, met their goals.

“Academic growth is an important indicator – it’s where we expect students to go within a school year,” Johnson said. “If students at a school meet growth, then those schools have done what North Carolina has asked of them. If they exceed that growth, then they have done even more than the state expects. We want to celebrate them.”

Academic growth is an indication of the progress that students in the school made over the past year. The standard is roughly equivalent to a year’s worth of growth for a year of instruction. Growth is reported for each school as Exceeded Growth Expectations, Met Growth Expectations, or Did Not Meet Growth Expectations as measured by EVAAS, a statistical tool North Carolina uses to measure student growth when common assessments are administered.

Johnson has made a conscious effort to better highlight growth – recognizing that schools that do an excellent job growing students academically should be congratulated.

Many local school leaders also highlight the importance of the “growth” factor by framing and presenting the growth award certificates from the state superintendent during meetings of their school boards or principals. Schools and districts also publicize their gains on their websites with a digital seal provided by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

In Wilson County, for example, Superintendent Lane Mills shared his district’s progress via social media and the school system’s website and through an automated phone call to all families. The district also printed banners for schools that earned a performance grade of A or B schools or that met or exceeded growth. Mills also sent gift baskets filled with chips to the schools with great performance. The chips – all 600 bags – were donated by a local restaurant.

*** Please note: Growth performance for all schools that met or exceeded their goals for 2017-18 can be found here, grouped by local school district. (Clicking the link will download an Excel file.) Charter schools are included at the end of the list. The spreadsheet can be filtered using the down arrows at the top of each column.


About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

This press release is related to: