CMS outperforms state averages for high-performing schools
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had a larger percentage of schools earning a B or higher on the state’s new School Performance Grades system than the statewide average. The letter grades were included in the North Carolina School Report Cards for the 2013-2014 year, made public Feb. 5.

Under the new system, schools are graded A-F. Grades are calculated almost entirely on each school’s proficiency scores (80 percent of the grade), with 20 percent of the grade based on academic growth at each school. All public schools, including charter schools, receive a grade.

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, 41.4 percent of the district’s schools were graded A or B, compared to 29.4 percent for the state overall. The district had 70.1 percent of its schools receiving a grade of C or higher, compared to 70.8 for the state.  High schools are graded using additional indicators of college and career readiness; 24 of 25 CMS high schools earned a C or better for a total of 96 percent, compared to 88.8 percent statewide. Sixty-four percent of CMS high schools were graded A or B, compared to 47.7 percent for the state.

“Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is working to prepare every student for a successful future and the new letter grades do not change our commitment to that goal,” said CMS Superintendent Ann Clark.

In CMS, 17 schools, or 10.8 percent, received an A grade. Forty-eight schools, or 30.6 percent, received a B; 45 schools, or 28.7 percent, received a C; 36 schools, or 22.9 percent, received a D, and 11 schools, or seven percent, received an F.

Statewide, 5.4 percent of schools received an A, 24 percent received a B, 41.4 percent received a C, 23.1 percent received a D and 6 percent received an F.

“Although we are pleased that more than 40 percent of our schools received an A or a B grade, we continue to feel a sense of urgency about improving our struggling schools,” Clark said. “We dedicate additional resources and support to these schools and we’ll continue to do that. We are providing the extra support schools need to become successful, such as Project Leadership and Investment For Transformation (L.I.F.T.) and the Beacon Initiative. We are providing personalized learning opportunities so that every student can grow.”

Clark said that the district is working on other strategies to improve teaching and learning district-wide, including technology initiatives to give all students access to digital learning. CMS has also partnered with the public library and other organizations to focus on literacy and having all children reading on grade level at the beginning of fourth grade. She said that the district’s strategic plan, which sets six broad goals, will continue to serve as the CMS guide to improving teaching and learning.

“Our Strategic Plan 2018: For a Better Tomorrow identifies the key areas of focus for our district,” she said. “We remain committed to academic achievement as our top goal, and the other five goals support that goal as our core business.”

 “We certainly support the state’s effort to give parents an easily understandable letter grade to evaluate school performance and hold ourselves accountable for improving the school grades of each school in the district,” she said. “The school performance grade is one data point utilized to evaluate the performance of our schools on an annual basis.”

To see the report cards for all schools, including each school’s performance grade, click here.