Did you know Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is one of the largest school districts in the country and has received widespread acclaim and recognition as one of America’s best? Here are highlights of student achievement and successes:
The district won the 2011 Broad Prize for Urban Education given by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The annual prize is the largest education prize in the country. As the winner, CMS received $550,000 in college scholarships for the class of 2012.
The Broad Foundation recognized CMS for demonstrating strong academic gains and improvement while narrowing achievement gaps between income and ethnic groups.
How CMS stands out among the 75 largest urban school districts in America:
Narrowed ethnic achievement gaps. In recent years, CMS has narrowed achievement gaps between African-American and white students in reading and math at all school levels (elementary, middle and high school). From 2007 to 2010, achievement gaps between African-American and white students decreased by 11 percentage points in high school reading. In addition, CMS narrowed achievement gaps between Hispanic and white students in math at all school levels, and in middle and high school reading.
In recent years, the pace of improvement at which CMS narrowed achievement gaps between African-American and white students was among the fastest third of North Carolina districts in elementary and high school reading and math. In addition, the pace at which CMS narrowed achievement gaps between Hispanic and white students was among the fastest third of North Carolina districts in math at all school levels and in middle and high school reading.
Boosted percentage of low-income students performing at high levels. In recent years, CMS increased the percentage of low-income students who performed at the highest achievement level (Level IV) in middle and high school reading and math faster than other North Carolina districts. Between 2007 and 2010, the percentage of low-income students performing at the highest achievement level increased an average of six percentage points per year in high school math compared with an average of two percentage points per year for other North Carolina districts.
Demonstrated strong college-readiness levels. In 2010, 62 percent of CMS African-American seniors participated in the SAT exam. This marked the highest SAT participation rate for African-American seniors among all 75 large urban school districts eligible for the Broad Prize.
Fourth-graders in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools outperformed their peers in all other urban districts in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often called the nation’s report card. CMS fourth-graders also ranked in the top three in reading. CMS eighth-graders were ranked first in reading and in the top three for math.
Piedmont IB Middle was named a 2011 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The school was one of eight schools in North Carolina and 304 nationwide to receive the distinction in 2011. Piedmont IB received the award for overall academic excellence and for success in closing achievement gaps.
The class of 2011 earned $63 million on college scholarships. Sixteen high schools earned at least $1 million or more and five earned more than $4 million.
Nearly 5,240 students, or 68.5 percent of eligible students, took the SAT, up from 5,008 in 2010. The statewide participation rate is 67 percent. In 2011, the CMS average SAT score was 1482 compared to the state average SAT score of 1475.
The number of CMS middle schools making high growth and expected growth increased in 2011.
In elementary schools, 41 schools made expected growth, up from 36 a year ago.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was among six urban districts chosen to receive a Wallace Foundation grant to develop a pipeline of school leadership and measure its effect on student achievement.
The grant will help CMS build a larger pool of prospective principals. CMS will receive $7.5 million, $2 million in the 2011-2012 school year and the
balance over the remaining four years.
The Magnet Schools of America gave Cotswold Elementary School’s International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program magnet program the 2011 MSA Special Recognition Award for Elementary School of Excellence. The award recognizes one of the two top magnet elementary schools in the nation.
CMS Child Nutrition Services earned two HealthierUS Challenge Bronze Awards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The awards recognized the district for making changes to the school nutrition environment in order to improve the quality of the foods served, providing students with nutrition education, and providing students with opportunities for physical activity.
In 2011, 21 CMS students were selected to attend the Governor's School of North Carolina. The high school juniors and seniors are among 600 North Carolina students selected to study dance, science, English, drama and more. The Governor's School is the nation's oldest statewide summer residential program for academically gifted high school students.
For the 2010-2011 school year, nearly 300 CMS teachers received National Board certification. CMS ranks second among North Carolina school districts in newly certified teachers.
The significant energy savings realized by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools helped the district in a 2011 competition sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CMS was the only North Carolina school district taking part. Five CMS schools earned a total cost savings of $103,935.28, reduced energy use by 60 percent and decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 388.28 metric tons between August 2010 and August 2011.
Dee Gardner, principal at Piedmont IB Middle School, received the Terrl H. Bell award for outstanding leadership from the U.S. Department of Education. Gardner was one of seven principals nationally recognized for fostering successful teaching and learning and helping students to meet high standards.