The Forsyth County school system continues to lead the state in Criterion-Referenced Competency Test results.
Statewide comparisons were released last week for the test, which measures third- through eighth-graders in math, science, English/language arts, reading and social studies.
Superintendent Buster Evans said he “could not be any more pleased with our success.”
“In a number of grade level areas Forsyth County Schools ranks if not first in the state, then among the top scores for all 180 districts,” Evans said. “This is the type of performance that our teachers and administrators strive to achieve.
“Our personnel, students and parents should be ecstatic once again at these levels of excellence.”
While scores varied between grade level and subject, Forsyth topped the state average across the board.
The lowest percentage of students meeting and exceeding standards in any area was still above 92 percent, said Cindy Salloum, the system’s chief accountability officer and director of legal services.
This year’s results will be the first used in the College and Career Ready Performance Index, a new accountability method replacing the Adequate Yearly Progress guidelines.
As under AYP, the test results will serve as a measuring tool for student progress, Salloum said.
The new system, however, goes beyond test scores.
“It’s a broader look at a school,” Salloum said. “It’s going to be everything from content mastery to post-high school readiness, graduation rate, elementary attendance. So it’s going to be a real broad look at schools.”
Under AYP, the goal was for 100 percent of students to meet or exceed standards, but the new system will instead aim for improvement.
Forsyth County Schools Assessment Director Beth Kieffer said the College and Career Ready Performance Index will follow the progress of students as they grow through the system, instead of comparing this year’s students to last year’s.
“It compares students in their peer group as well as the school,” Kieffer said. “We want to look at the individual students.”
It’s also going to look at rigor, including the number of advanced placement tests given, which is likely where Forsyth’s schools will excel.
“That’s a good thing because we really push the rigor and the upper-level classes and languages and things like that, which we’ll earn points for,” Kieffer said.
But for students and schools, the competition is on to constantly improve.
“Once these schools and these grade levels and these teachers see that they may not have had an above average exceeding score, they’ll be working on those subject areas diligently to make sure that happens next year,” Salloum said.
While the school system’s scores are all within the 90 percent range, Evans said “we can always find areas for improvement.”
“These scores reflect the highest level of professional effort given during an era where we have had to make continued fiscal efficiency decisions that frankly we would prefer not to be making,” he said. “Again, I am thrilled and express deep gratitude to our educators who once again demonstrated that the work of the district is helping students achieve at higher levels.”