• Diana Matthews

City schools post one of the largest gains in state


The N.C. Department of Public Instruction released on Thursday the official statewide report of 2017 end-of-grade proficiency testing.

Edgewood Elementary School was in the top 10 percent of all schools in North Carolina in terms of growth in test scores. The district ranked in the top 25 out of 115 districts for reading and math in grades 3 through 8.

According to the report, Whiteville City Schools demonstrated a 6.6 percent rise in overall grade level proficiency during the 2016-2017 school year.

“In my review of all public school districts across North Carolina, I believe this is one of the largest gains in the state,” said Kenny Garland, Superintendent of the city school system.

The report, released annually by the N.C. State Board of Education, noted a gain statewide of 0.9 percent in grade level proficiency from 58.3 percent in 2015-2016 to 59.2 percent in 2016-2017.

WCS showed a gain of 6.6 percent from 55.3 percent to 61.9 percent during the same time span, jumping from below average to above.

College and Career Readiness as measured by end-of-grade testing also increased 3.4 percent to 49.4 percent, slightly exceeding the state average of 49.2 percent.

Local students also graduated at a 3.5 percent higher rate than in the previous year. The North Carolina state average graduation rate was 86.5 percent, while the Whiteville district’s rate was 88.6 percent. Whiteville High School posted a graduation rate of 91.7 percent.

Central Middle School also exceeded expected growth, with 66.9 percent of students reaching grade level proficiency on the 2017 tests.

At WHS, students outperformed state averages in English II and biology.

Also released Thursday were statewide results on the ACT exam, a key indicator of the potential success in four-year colleges and universities. Whiteville High School’s graduating class of 2017 posted an average overall composite score of 18.4, up from 17.8 in 2016.

Garland commended students, parents, teachers and staff at all the city schools for their hard work reflected in these statistics.

Although end-of-grade testing is not performed below third grade, Garland recognized that “The foundation provided at Whiteville Primary School was an integral part of the success attained across the district in all schools.”Garland said that the N.C. Public Schools Report Card will be available for all stakeholders to review later this year.

The school board will meet at the central office building Monday, Sept. 11, at 6:30 unless weather forces a postponement to Tuesday evening.

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