More than two dozen public schools in the Triangle area received North Carolina’s top grade for student achievement Wednesday when the state released its 2018 school letter grades.
Statewide, 185 traditional public schools and charter schools earned the state’s A rating, which goes to schools that have high test scores and graduation rates. Of that group, 26 schools were in Wake, Durham and Orange counties.
At the other end of the scale, 10 Triangle schools were among 92 schools statewide that received an F grade.
North Carolina has been using the A-F school grading system since the 2013-14 school year. It was adopted by the Republican-led state legislature, with supporters saying the grades provide an easy way for parents and the community to see how individual schools are doing academically.
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But critics, including many school officials, argue that the letter grades unfairly stigmatize schools for factors that may be beyond their schools. Those with high percentages of low-income students tend to get lower letter grades than schools with affluent enrollments.
For instance, the schools with A grades in the Wake County school system are mainly in western Cary and northern Wake and have relatively few low-income students.
The state rates schools on a 100-point scale, with most of the grade coming from the percentage of students who pass exams. Year-to-year progress contributes to 20 percent of that rating, allowing some credit for schools that help their students make gains even if they fall short of grade level. Graduation rates also factor into high school scores, generally keeping them out of the F zone.
Schools with a score of 85 or higher earn an A. An F means the total performance score fell below 40.
Go to https://bit.ly/2wGEwP6 for a Charlotte Observer/News & Observer searchable database of results for every North Carolina public school. Results are also available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/reporting/ on the state’s website.
Here are the top- and bottom-rated schools in the region.