RALEIGH — Three schools in the Public Schools of Robeson County schools received an “A” or “B” school performance grade for the 2015-2016 school year, according to a report released last week by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
The report also shows that Robeson County students graduate from high school at a slightly higher rate than their peers across the state.
Early College High School, based at Robeson Community College, received an “A” and Tanglewood Elementary School and East Robeson Primary, both in Lumberton, received a “B.” Last year, Early College was also the only school in Robeson County to receive an “A.” West Lumberton Elementary and East Robeson Primary each received a “B.”
The school performance grade is a cumulative grade that encompasses a school’s math and reading test scores while also assessing how much a school has grown and if it met expectations established for it before the school year began. According to the report, although most Robeson schools received a “D,” 29 of the county’s 42 schools met or exceeded growth expectations. DPI releases the grades, along with graduates rates, annually.
Overall, Robeson County’s results have changed little from last year.
Seven of the county schools — Purnell Swett High School, West Lumberton Elementary School, St. Pauls High School, Red Springs High School, Piney Grove Elementary School, Rowland Norment Elementary School and Green Grove Elementary School — received a “C.” Last year, eight schools received a “C.”
Twenty-two schools received a “D,” and nine schools, the same number as last year, received an “F.”
Robeson County did see a 1.2 percent increase in the number of students who pass their End of Grade or End of Course tests.
Robeson County’s graduation rate rose to 85.9 percent from 85 percent in 2014 and remains slightly higher than the state average of 85.8 percent.
“We are always happy to see improvement in student achievement. Even so, we continue to work to reach our goal to increase test scores across the school district,” schools Superintendent Tommy Lowry said in a statement.
North Carolina public schools in general fared better during the 2015-2016 school year than they had in the previous year, according to the report. Nearly a third of North Carolina’s 2,459 traditional public and charter schools achieved A’s and B’s for the year, while the proportion of schools receiving D’s and F’s fell to less than a quarter of all schools. Specific charter school grades were not included in the report.
Middle and elementary schools in Robeson County scored an average of 43.8 percent on the reading End of Grade test, and an average of 44.7 percent on the math test.
According to a report from the Department of Public Instruction, the Public Schools of Robeson County’s proficiency rate is far below the state average.
About 35.1 percent of Robeson County students were proficient in math, 39.7 percent were proficient in biology and 37.9 percent were proficient in English. Statewide, proficiency in math was 60.5 percent while 55.5 percent of the state were proficient in biology and 58 percent were proficient in English.
The state saw a slight increase in its scores, a growth state superintendent June Atkinson welcomed.
“Many schools face significant challenges in terms of critical resources and student needs, but these results show that hard-working educators are making a difference and that students are making gains in their learning,” she said.
Gabrielle Isaac can be reached at 910-816-1989.