School Performance Grade – calculated by weighting and combining two other scores: achievement and growth. Achievement counts 80 percent of the total grade. Growth counts 20 percent.
Achievement – primarily test scores. In elementary and middle school, these includes math and language arts end-of-grade tests in grades three through eight. Science is tested in grades five and eight. In high school, this includes English 2 (10th grade), Biology, and Math 1. High school achievement scores also include ACT scores (percentage of students at or above 17, the entry score for UNC system schools , 4-year cohort graduation rates, percentages of students taking advanced math courses, and CTE students’ performance on ACT WorkKeys assessments. (CTE = Career and Technical Education)
Growth – EVAAS makes predictions about how much academic progress students should make in a year based on past achievement test scores. This measure reveals how students performed as a whole at the school. They exceeded, met, or did not meet growth predictions. In general, the expectation is that a student should grow one year with one year’s worth of instruction.
Schools are designated as one of the following:
- High Growth/Low Achievement: A school may have met or exceeded their growth targets and still have a low achievement score. This is common in schools with high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students and students with limited English proficiency. These schools work with numerous students who typically are not at grade level and help them achieve more than one year’s growth in one year’s time. Because students may start well below grade level, it takes many successive years of this kind of growth to reach grade level.
- Lynn Road Elementary is a great model of this designation. For the 2014-15 year, Lynn Road exceeded their growth targets and posted a growth score of 85.3. It was the only elementary school in the district to exceed growth targets. The overall achievement score was 56. However, this school grew by double-digits in math and reading achievement.
- Low Growth/High Achievement: A school may not have met or exceeded their growth target and still have a high achievement score. This is common in schools with very low concentrations of economically disadvantaged students and students with limited English proficiency.
- Highcroft Elementary is a good model of this designation. For the 2014-15 year, Highcroft did not meet its growth targets and posted a growth score of 55.1. Its overall achievement score was 91 – quite high.
- High Growth / High Achievement: These schools have both met or exceeded growth AND demonstrate high levels of achievement as demonstrated via testing. High growth and high achievement is a significant accomplishment for a school.
Consider this example: imagine the career of Usain Bolt, track and field superstar. If you place his run times on a graph over time, you will see his greatest improvements at the start of his career. As he approaches his fastest times, his improvement rate slows. The better he gets, the harder it is to get even better. Likewise, the higher that student achievement scores get, the harder it gets to push growth levels even higher.
- Green Hope High is a good model of this school. For the 2014-15 year, Green Hope exceeded its growth targets and posted a growth score of 87.3. Their overall achievement score was 91 – quite high.
- Low Growth / Low Achievement: These schools did not meet expected growth and are not demonstrating achievement. Like High Growth / Low Achievement schools, these schools have high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students and students with limited English proficiency. They work with a majority of students who typically are not at grade level and strive to make one year’s growth in one year’s time. Because students may start well below grade level, and have limited English proficiency, it takes many years of effort to help students make one year’s growth in one year’s time.
- Hodge Road Elementary is an example of this type of school. Hodge Road has approximately 40 percent of students of limited English proficiency. Almost 80 percent of are economically disadvantaged. Hodge Road did not meet its growth targets and posted a growth score of 61. Their overall achievement score was 31.