Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools saw overall results on state
tests stay essentially flat, with advances in college- and career-ready
science scores, and declines in elementary and middle school literacy
scores for the 2018-2019 year. Nearly three-fourths (71.7 percent) of
the district’s schools met or exceeded growth expectations, compared to
75.6 percent a year earlier.
The state introduced new math scales and a new end-of-course test in
Math 3. Changes in the math calculation for 2018-2019 made accurate
year-over-year comparisons impossible. The state also changed the way it
determines which students count as English Learners (EL), whose scores
are counted in test results.
For CMS, the percentage of students testing at or above grade-level
proficiency declined 0.7 points in reading for grades three through
eight and increased 0.8 points in science for grades five and eight. The
district outperformed the state on Math 3-8, Science 5 and 8, Math 1,
Math 3 and Biology.
“CMS is committed to giving each and every student the best education
possible,” said CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston. “We are not where
we want to be, but we have a high-quality curriculum and high
expectations for all students. With our strategic plan in place and the
curriculum changes implemented this year, we are focused on helping all
students achieve and further our equity goals.”
The district is working with two new curriculum partners, EL
Education for English language arts (ELA) and Open Up Resources for
math. The curriculum is being adopted in kindergarten and grades one,
two, three and six for ELA and grade eight for math. The limited release
will allow the district to provide targeted professional learning and
support before the curriculum is expanded to other grade levels and
College- and career-readiness (CCR) rates measure the percentage of
students who scored a 4 or a 5 on the state tests (5 is the highest
score possible). In reading grades three through eight, all racial
subgroups except Asian students showed a decrease in CCR rates since
2017-2018. In English II, all racial subgroups except white students
showed an increase in CCR rates since 2017-2018. The largest increases
were 4.7 percentage points for Asian students, 3 points for black
students and 2.3 points for Hispanic students. Economically
disadvantaged students increased by 1.6 points and students with
disabilities increased by 0.8 points. White students’ scores declined by
1.2 points, and EL students’ scores are not comparable to last year’s
scores due to a change in the subgroup definition.
By contrast, CCR rates stayed steady or increased in all subgroups in
science for grades five and eight, with the largest gains recorded by
Asian and white students. “Our community and Board of Education are
focused on the college- and career-readiness of our students,” said Dr.
Frank Barnes, the district’s chief equity officer. “We continue to make
progress as we work to narrow the gaps in all subgroups.” Economically
disadvantaged students showed a gain of 2 points, black students 1.8
points and students with disabilities 1 point. Scores for Hispanic
students were unchanged from last year.
The district’s graduation rate also increased slightly, from 85.4
percent to 85.5 percent. Asian students increased by 2.2 points and had
the highest graduation rate across student subgroups. Hispanic students
increased by 0.5 points and black students by 0.3 points. White students
have historically had the highest graduation rates, but this year their
graduation rate declined by 0.7 points.
Nearly 72 percent (71.7 percent) of schools met or exceeded growth
expectations, and 73 percent received a school performance grade of A, B
or C. CMS had 17 A schools, 53 B schools, 55 C schools, 39 D schools
and 7 F schools. Two-thirds of schools (65 percent) maintained their
school performance grades from 2017-2018, and 31 schools (19 percent)
improved from last year.