Today is the day when state leaders will report out how well North Carolina public schools did in the 2013-14 school year.
The 2013-14 statewide, district and individual school test results and graduation rates will be released around 10:30 a.m. at the State Board of Education meeting. One of the things to watch is how local and state leaders will deal with the fact that a lot of the expected gains are due to the change in how the state reports out passing rates.
In March, the State Board of Education lowered the scores needed to pass the state exams.
The state added a Level 5 to what had been a Level 1 to 4 system. The result is that the score needed to achieve a Level 3 to pass is lower than what it was last year. Level 4 now equals last year’s Level 3 and Level 5 equals last year’s Level 4.
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State education leaders justified the change on the grounds that the new Level 3 would come within one standard error of measure for what Level 3 was last year.
But the change came at the same time that the stakes for the passing rates were raised.
The state will use the percentage who scored Levels 3-5 to help develop the new A-F school grading system mandated by the General Assembly. Each school will receive a letter grade on Feb. 5. Legislators made sure to delay the release until after this fall’s election.
The lower passing requirement was also used to help determine which third-grade students met the Read To Achieve reading requirement.