Fewer Raleigh schools met state growth standards for academic improvement last school year, according to results of statewide testing.
About 59 percent of traditional public schools in Raleigh met or exceeded growth during the 2014-15 school year. That compares to about 84 percent the previous year.
Overall in Wake County, the state’s largest school system, 61 percent of schools met or exceeded growth. That’s down from 82 percent the previous year.
The new results are an effort to assess schools on two big measures – how students perform on certain tests and the rates at which students learn from year to year. They do not show overall gains in either test results or student growth.
The testing and growth results are used to generate A-F letter grades for schools that were released for the first time early this year. This is the second time the grades have been assigned.
The scores from student testing account for 80 percent of each school’s letter grade, and the measured growth of students makes up 20 percent of the school grade.
Schools are graded on a 15-point scale, so a score of 85 and above is an A, for example. For the first time, schools can earn an A-plus if they don’t have significant achievement or graduation gaps between student groups.
The state reports scores on end-of-grade reading and math tests for third through eighth grades. It reports scores on end-of-grade science tests for fifth and eighth grades.
High school students take the national ACT and ACT WorkKeys as well as state end-of-course tests in biology, Math I and English II.
Overall, 56.6 percent of students passed statewide exams in reading, math and science. That is about the same as the 56.3 percent who passed those exams in the prior school year.
Performance on some reading tests slipped slightly.
In the most recent year, 59 percent of third-grade students in North Carolina passed their state reading test. Last year, 60.2 percent of third graders passed.
The percentage of Wake students who passed state exams went up slightly from 66.6 percent to 66.7 percent.
Among Raleigh schools, those that traditionally perform well saw mostly stagnant scores.
Sycamore Creek Elementary, where students scored the highest on tests among Raleigh schools, saw a similar score to last year. So did Leesville Road High School, the city’s highest-performing high school when it comes to testing and other measures.
Some schools that have a higher population of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch saw decreases in scores.
Wiley Elementary saw its proficiency rate fall by 7 percentage points. Twenty-eight percent of Wiley students get subsidized lunch, compared to the Wake County average of about 35 percent.
As for letter grades, no Raleigh school received lower than a D.
Most elementary and middle schools earned a C. Brassfield and Sycamore Creek elementary schools both received A-plus grades. No middle school got an A.
All but two Raleigh high schools earned a B. Leesville Road High got an A-plus, and Southeast Raleigh High School earned a C.
Highest-performing elementary schools
The following Raleigh elementary schools had the highest percentage of students who tested at grade level:
▪ Sycamore Creek (86.1 percent)
▪ Brassfield (85.6 percent)
▪ Pleasant Union (81.2 percent)
▪ Underwood (81 percent)
▪ Oak Grove (80.5 percent)
Lowest-performing elementary schools
The following Raleigh elementary schools had the lowest percentage of students who tested at grade level:
▪ Barwell Road (39.4 percent)
▪ Bugg (40.2 percent)
▪ Wilburn (41.1 percent)
▪ Walnut Creek (45.8 percent)
▪ Fox Road (45.9 percent)
Highest-performing middle schools
The following Raleigh middle schools had the highest percentage of students who tested at grade level:
▪ Martin (72.9 percent)
▪ Leesville Road (70.9 percent)
▪ Wakefield (69.3 percent)
▪ Ligon (68 percent)
▪ Carnage (66.9 percent)
Lowest-performing middle schools
The following Raleigh middle schools had the lowest percentage of students who tested at grade level:
▪ Carroll (43.1 percent)
▪ East Millbrook (46.1 percent)
▪ Centennial Campus (51.8 percent)
▪ Moore Square Museum Magnet (52.9 percent)
▪ Dillard Drive (58.1 percent)
Highest-performing high schools
The following Raleigh high schools had the highest percentage of students who passed end-of-course tests:
▪ Leesville Road (75.5 percent)
▪ Enloe (68.6 percent)
▪ Millbrook (66.5 percent)
▪ Wakefield (64.1 percent)
▪ Broughton (59.8 percent)
Wake Forest and Rolesville
Among Wake Forest schools, Jones Dairy scored the highest, with 84.2 percent of students testing at grade level.
Wake Forest Middle earned the lowest score among the town’s schools, with a proficiency rate of 59.5 percent.
At Rolesville Elementary, 72.6 percent of students tested at grade level.
Leesville Road High posted the highest graduation rate among Raleigh high schools, with 91.7 percent.
No high school in Raleigh saw a graduation rate below 80 percent.
Wake County’s overall graduation rate ticked up to 86.1 percent in the 2014-15 school year. That’s an increase of 3.2 percentage points from the previous year.
The state’s high school graduation rate continued to rise, reaching 85.4 percent. It was at 68.1 percent when the numbers were first reported in 2007.
The majority of local charter schools received an A or B letter grade.
Hope Charter Leadership Academy and Torchlight Academy, both in Raleigh, received Fs.
Dynamic Charter School in Raleigh, which the state shut down earlier this year, also received an F.
PreEminent Charter in Raleigh received a D.
Staff writers T. Keung Hui and Lynn Bonner contributed.