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Local schools pass state with higher standards

school crossing

from the Asheville Citizen-Times:

ASHEVILLE -- Schools across the state have been anxiously awaiting a bad report card today, though local schools have had a better showing than most across North Carolina.

The state officially released each district's performance scores from tests taken during the 2012-13 school year today, with the expectation that higher standards would mean significantly lower scores across the board.

Nearly 72 percent of schools in Buncombe County earned higher performance composites than the state average, and 79 percent of Buncombe schools either met or exceeded growth projections established by the state.

Buncombe County Schools as a system exceeded the individual state performance averages for reading by 8 percent, math by 7 percent and science with 5 percent higher scores.

At the high school level, Buncombe schools exceeded state averages in math I by 5 percent, and English II by 2 percent, but fell a percentage point below in Biology.

One hundred percent of Asheville City Schools met or exceeded academic growth expectations in the 2012-13 school year compared to 71 percent of North Carolina public schools, according to the first READY Accountability report presented today to the State Board of Education. As expected, test scores dropped significantly in the first year of more rigorous standards.

Although Asheville City's scores also declined from the previous year, district students outpaced the state in all six testing components.

Adopted in throughout North Carolina in 2010, the Common Core State Standards is a state-led effort to establish a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics.

"Students are now expected to master more difficult material earlier in their school career," interim superintendent Bobbie Short said on Wednesday. "Consequently, we expected lower scores. But we are pleased with how well our students performed in this first year of a much more rigorous curriculum and standards. That's a tribute to our teachers, administrators and parents."



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