Macon Superintendent Announces State School Report Card Data

At the last meeting of the Macon County Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin presented a brief overview of the Macon County school district’s performance on the recently released state school report cards.

North Carolina introduced school performance grades in 2013 with the first report card released in 2014. To evaluate schools’ performance, the state compares schools’ growth expectations from year to year and gives each school a “report card” grade.

Highlands School exceeded growth expectations while six schools in the district, Cartoogechaye Elementary, Franklin High School, Iotla Valley Elementary, Macon Early College, Macon Middle School and Nantahala School, all met their growth expectations. Four schools in the district, East Franklin Elementary, Mountain View Intermediate, South Macon Elementary and Union Academy did not meet growth expectations.

Five schools in the district earned “B’s” for academic achievement in the 2016-2017 school year. For the third consecutive year, Highlands School, along with Nantahala School and Macon Early College maintained their “B” score. Franklin High School and Macon Middle School both improved a letter grade, earning “B’s” for their academic achievement scores.

“Highlands School for the second consecutive year exceeded growth expectations,” said Baldwin. “This is the third year in a row Highlands School scored a “B” and has at least meet or exceeded growth. Highlands School has done an exceptional job and has a strong tradition of doing well academically.”

“We are also proud of Macon Middle School for achieving a level B score,” added Baldwin. “MMS is among only 23 percent of middle schools in the state to score an “A” or “B.” Their proficiency scores were exceptional, and more importantly their growth index was 6.14 which put them in the top 95 percent of schools in the state in terms of growth.”

The district’s remaining six schools all earned “C” grades, which meant several scores went down a letter grade. Schools earning a “C” included all elementary schools, Cartoogechaye Elementary, South Macon Elementary, East Franklin Elementary and Iotla Valley Elementary, as well as Mountain View Intermediate and Union Academy.

“The highest percentage of public elementary schools in the state scored a level C,” said Baldwin. “It is very difficult to score a higher grade at the elementary level because you are only looking at two test scores, a reading and math test.”

North Carolina uses a system called the Education Value Added Assessment System (EVAAS) to calculate a school’s grade on a 10-point performance grade scale. Using end-of-year testing and end-of-year grades, EVAAS measures the school’s academic achievements and individual student growth. The test and achievement results are converted into a 100-point system, which is used to calculate the school’s grade. Eighty percent of the school’s grade is the achievement score and 20 percent is based on growth with grades — A: 85-100 points; B: 70-84 points; C: 55-69 points; D: 40-54 points; F: Less than 40 points.

In addition to tracking individual schools’ academic growth, the report follows each school’s graduation rate. Macon County averaged a graduation rate of 92 percent, with three schools, Highlands High School, Macon Early College and Franklin High School each showing graduation rates above 95 percent. While Nantahala School did not have enough students to be counted, Union Academy’s graduation rate was 55.3 percent.

Individual concentrations were also graded on the report. One Macon County School received the lone “A” grade, with Nantahala receiving an “A” in math. Highlands scored “B’s” in both math and reading. Nantahala scored a “B” in reading, with South Macon scoring a “B” in math. All other schools in the district received “C’s” for both math and reading.

There are 117 school districts in North Carolina with Macon County being the 71st largest in terms of enrollment. The district ranked 38th in terms of overall end of course or end of grade testing compared to 46th last year. Macon County was strongest on the district level in 7th grade, ranking 18th of 117 overall, with particularly strong scores in 7th grade math earning a 9th place rank.

For more information on Macon County Schools visits the NC School Report Cards website at http://www.ncpublic