Wake Ed

Wake County releases school progress reports

The Wake County school system posted online Thursday reports for every individual school that school officials say will provide parents with more information than the state’s new round of A through F performance grades.

The new School Progress Reports will “provide parents with an easy way to review student achievement, academic growth and other key indicators of academic success for each school in the district.” Information on the report includes the percentage of students at grade level, the academic growth of students during the course of the year, data about the faculty, and teachers’ views about the school climate and leadership.

“All of the information is compared to state and school district averages so parents can understand where a school stands on any measure,” according to Wake. “The reports were developed to provide parents with an alternative to the state’s practice of assigning a single grade of A through F as a measure of academic success.”

The reports are similar to the North Carolina School Report Cards issued annually by the state. The report card website won’t be updated with the new 2014-15 test data until October.

Advocates say the state’s single letter grade provides parents with a quick way to determine how their child’s school is doing. But many school officials have been critical of the practice, particularly arguing that a single low grade such as a D or F doesn’t provide a fair assessment of how a school is doing.

“It’s a little disingenuous, I think, to share with parents a single grade,” Wake Superintendent Jim Merrill told reporters on Wednesday. “We wouldn’t expect to get a single grade at the end of a year on a student’s work all year long.

“To do the same for schools, it’s a strategy that doesn’t do a lot for us. We take a much bigger view of how results are occurring in our schools, and that’s what we share.”

Click http://www.wcpss.net/schoolreportcards to view the reports for each Wake school.

Wake’s reports don’t list the grade assigned by the state. Go to http://www.newsobserver.com/news/databases/article32939301.html for a N&O database that does list the state’s grade for every school.