About the same number of Durham Public Schools students performed at grade level compared to the previous year, according to 2015-16 End-of-Grade and End-of-Course test results released Thursday.
Results indicate that 44.9 percent of students were proficient or passed the state tests in reading, math and science, compared to 44 percent in 2014-15.
About 78.6 percent of white students passed the tests, compared to 37.1 percent of Hispanic students and 34.8 percent of black students.
“We have an achievement gap in our schools that has been stubbornly persistent,” Superintendent Bert L’Homme said. “Eliminating the gap will require a community-wide effort – our schools can’t do it alone – but as a district we have to do more.”
DPS’s passing rate compares to 58.3 percent across the state, 67.9 percent in Wake, 62.2 percent in Orange and 76.6 in Chapel-Hill Carrboro.
Students held steady in reading (3rd-8th grades), improved slightly in math (3rd-8th grades) and in science (5th and 8th grades). Students improved in biology and Math 1, but declined in English 2.
Four-year graduation improved from 80 percent to 82.1 percent. The statewide graduation rate was 85.8 percent.
“We took some important steps forward last year in academic achievement,” L’Homme said. “I’m proud of all of our teachers, principals, and staff who come in to our schools every day committed to academic excellence for every child. But we will not be satisfied until we’re making giant leaps ahead. Our question this school year is how we can not only maintain our progress, but accelerate it.”
In general, schools are graded on a 15-point scale with a score of 85 to 100 an A. Schools can earn an A-plus if they don’t have a significant achievement gap.
In Durham, three public schools received an A+ (J.D. Clement Early College High, City of Medicine Academy and Mangum Elementary). One received an A (Middle College High), and three received a B (Durham School of the Arts, Little River Elementary and Morehead Montessori.) Twenty-one received a C, 12 received a D and 10 received an F.
The traditional public schools that received the lowest scores – C.C. Spaulding Elementary (28), Neal Middle (30) and Eastway Elementary (34) – have free or reduced-lunch populations of 81.66 percent to 100 percent.
High schools with significant increases in their graduation rate include Jordan High School, which rose 6.6 percentage points to 86.2 and Durham’s Performance Learning Center, which rose 12.3 percentage points to to 77.2.
Of the 15 charter schools listed in Durham, Research Triangle High School was the only that received an A. Voyager Academy received a B. Four other charter schools received Cs (Central Park School for Children, Kestrel Heights School, Maureen Joy Charter School, Research Triangle Charter Academy), eight received Ds (Carter Community Charter School, Inc., Excelsior Classical Academy CFA, Global Scholars Academy, KIPP Durham College Preparatory, NC Virtual Academy, North Carolina Connections Academy, Reaching All Minds Academy, and The Institute for the Development of Young Leaders). Healthy Start Academy received an F.
For more information about DPS scores go to www.dpi.state.nc.us/accountability/reporting/.