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Chatham County Schools students’ proficiency levels exceed state average

PITTSBORO — The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has released testing data results for school districts for the 2020-21 school year, with the data showing Chatham County Schools performing above the state average in multiple categories.

“The results speak to how we pulled together resources to support our students during an incredibly challenging school year,” said Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson. “The data reflect the dedication of our staff and the perseverance of our students. Having our students excel during the pandemic would not have been possible without the dedication of our district and school-based staff, and the support of multiple community partners who helped learning continue, whether it was remote or in-person.”

In a typical school year, these assessments are designed to be taken at the same time, during face-to-face instruction, and after a full year of classroom instruction. The results represent one of the most challenging years in public education. Students in Chatham participated in remote instruction, hybrid instruction, and in-person instruction throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Despite these challenges, Chatham outperforms the state in virtually every grade level and subject. Specifically, Chatham had the following areas of success:

  • Chatham outperformed the state in reading for all grades in both grade-level proficiency and college- and career-readiness.
  • Math exceeded the state proficiency in every grade with the exception of eighth grade. Many eighth-graders, however, were taking high school level math, so their proficiency rates did not appear in this category.
  • High school outperformed the state average in English II and Math I
  • The district’s four-year graduation rate outperformed the state at 87.8 percent. Graduation subgroup data also fared well, specifically among African-American students who achieved a 94.4 percent graduation rate.
  • Chatham County Schools’ long-standing history of ACT success was not interrupted by the pandemic. Chatham’s composite outperformed the state in every ACT area and had high success in subgroup subtests as well.

The student achievement data for the 2020-21 school year is based on analysis of all end-of- grade (EOG) and end-of-course (EOC) tests, which are aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in English Language Arts (Reading) and Mathematics and the Essential Standards in Science for all public schools in North Carolina. The data provide the percentage of students who scored at Level 3 and above (grade level proficiency — GLP), at Level 4 and above (college- and career-readiness — CCR) and at each academic achievement level. Under the federal waiver issued, schools and the state were not held to the requirement that at least 95 percent of students participate in the assessments.

The U.S. Department of Education has waived accountability requirements to North Carolina and other states in consideration of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the N.C. General Assembly and the governor have waived state accountability rules, including the calculation and reporting of A-F school performance grades and growth analyses. For those reasons, the accountability reporting may look different from past years.

In terms of state-wide performance, the percentages of students meeting Level 3 and above (grade level performance) or Level 4 and above (college and career ready) in 2020–21 were lower in all content areas and grades/courses than in the 2018–19 school year.  Students were not tested during the 2019-2020 school year.

While Chatham did see higher proficiency than the overall state results, there were declines in some areas.  The pandemic was challenging for our students, parents, and educators.  Specific areas of focus for the new school year will be:

  • 8th-grade science
  • 9-12 Biology
  • 9-12 Math 3
  • Proficiency levels for academically and intellectually gifted students, although the highest in the district in many areas, fell below the state in some grades.

“We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our staff, students and families during such a challenging school year,” said Dr. Amanda Moran, the assistant superintendent for academic services and instructional support. “Despite the many hurdles, our students showed resilience as a result of focused instruction and a variety of district and community support. During this school year, we will continue to seek opportunities to accelerate instruction and provide students with appropriate interventions where necessary.”

Chatham results can be found at the following link: https://www.chatham.k12.nc.us/Page/20912

The full North Carolina Department of Public Instruction information can be found at: https://rb.gy/gcs0ng

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Contact: Nancy Wykle
nwykle@chatham.k12.nc.us
919-548-3586