Wake Ed

Wake County schools to discuss Read To Achieve, AP results

Teacher Jeff Maynard, center, teaches a reading lesson to his 3rd grade class at Brier Creek Elementary School in Raleigh, NC on March 13, 2014. The students work in "reading camps" to prepare for end-of-grade tests to comply with with the Read to Achieve law.
Teacher Jeff Maynard, center, teaches a reading lesson to his 3rd grade class at Brier Creek Elementary School in Raleigh, NC on March 13, 2014. The students work in "reading camps" to prepare for end-of-grade tests to comply with with the Read to Achieve law. cseward@newsobserver.com

The Wake County school board’s student achievement committee will discuss Monday Advanced Placement results, Read to Achieve reading camps and the Canvas learning management system.

The first item on the meeting agenda is a presentation on Wake’s 2013-14 Advanced Placement results. The results show Wake’s AP exam scores remain well above national and state averages. Wake’s AP participation is also above the national average.

But the presentation doesn’t include the 2014-15 school year, when AP participation likely shot up across North Carolina after the state picked up the costs for students to take the exams. A sharp increase in students taking exams will likely result in a drop in the passing rate.

Staff will also present info on fees for Read to Achieve camps. The reading camps, taken by most students over the summer, are free for third-grade students who didn’t pass the end-of-grade reading test.

But the General Assembly also opened the reading camps to students who are reading at grade level. School districts can charge fees to those students who attend the camps.

The final agenda item is a presentation on the Canvas learning management system that will eventually replace the Blackboard system used by teachers. The state Department of Public Instruction signed a contract in April with Instructure, the maker of Canvas, for a negotiated statewide price for districts to use the system.

What might alarm opponents of Common Core is that Instructure integrated Canvas with Pearson’s PowerSchool system, which the state’s school districts use to track and manage student information.

“The two-way integration between the systems also allows for schools to easily provide a Canvas account using the information they already have stored in PowerSchool,” Instructure says in a press release. “This new feature eliminates the struggle educators have when trying to make student information systems and learning management systems work together.”

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