Durham schools release preliminary ABC scores

Staff writerJuly 21, 2010 

— About 86 percent of Durham schools reported increases in their ABC scores, but only 25 percent made Adequate Yearly Progress, according to preliminary results released this morning by Durham Public Schools.

Twenty DPS schools were already on a watch list for not reaching all of their AYP goals for at least the past two years. Only five of those schools made AYP for 2009-10.

Overall, only nine elementary, two middle and one high school made AYP. Durham School of the Arts, which had middle and high school students, also made AYP. Middle College High School's AYP status isn't available yet.

School officials stressed the increases in state test scores during a morning press conference at Lakewood Elementary, which made AYP and had the greatest improvement of all elementary schools.

Reading scores show that 55 percent of DPS students in grades 3-8 are proficient, a 2 percent gain from last year. Math scores for the same grades show a 68.6 percent proficiency, a 2.3 percent increase.

High school End of Course scores show double-digit gains in seven out of eight subjects, showing an overall 67.6 percent proficiency. Algebra 2 scores increased by nearly 22 percent.

Fifth grade science scores increased 11 percent, demonstrating an overall 60 percent proficiency. Eighth grade science scores increased by nearly 5 percent, showing an overall 59 percent proficiency.

“We’re proud of the progress that has been made but it is our expectation to have as many students as possible proficient,” said Lewis Ferebee, the district's chief of staff. “We want many of our schools to fall into 80 percent, 90 percent proficiency. While we’re proud of the progress we’ve made, we want to take the correct steps in supporting our schools and monitoring our schools to get them to this level.”

Among other results: - Scores increased at 69 percent of elementary schools (20 out of 29). Four of them increased their scores by at least 10 points (C.C. Spaulding, Fayetteville Street, Lakewood and Merrick-Moore).

- Eight schools who were under 50 percent last year now have over half of their students passing state tests, including Fayetteville Street Elementary and Hillside High School.

- Eight schools have at least 80 percent of its students passing state tests (Easley, Hillandale, Mangum and Pearsontown elementary schools, Durham School of the Arts, J.D. Clement Early College, City of Medicine and Middle College high schools.

- Composite scores increased at all 11 high schools.

White students remain the most proficient in End of Course tests (89.9 percent), followed by Asian (86.2), American Indian (83.3), multi-racial (78.2), African-American (58.2) and Hispanic (58.1).

The preliminary results include retest scores for End of Grade and End of Course tests. Chemistry and physics End of Course tests and the eighth grade computer skills test were eliminated by the state.

The official results, including how many schools met their growth goals for 2009-10, will be released by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction on August 5. Those results will then determine which schools fall under the district's accelerated progress plan to improve its low-performing schools.

stan.chambers@newsobserver.com or 919-932-2025

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