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Area education gets high grade Saturday,August 9th 2008

All but five of Onslow County's 33 schools met their expected growth standards in the 2007-08 school year, according to the state ABCs of Public Education report.

Of those 28 schools, 15 met high growth standards.

Carolina Forest Elementary School, Jacksonville High School, Northside High School, Silverdale Elementary School and Southwest High School did not meet their expected growth standards, according to the report.

"As a system, we're always extremely proud when our students show strong academic progress. Our teachers and administrators are to be commended for the work that is done on a daily basis to address student achievement. It is exciting to see the type of growth that our system continues to achieve," Assistant Superintendent Lesley Eason said.

This year, for the first time in three years, Clyde Erwin Elementary School was not listed as a priority school. Priority schools are those in which less than 60 percent of the students scored at or above grade level, but are not classified as low performing.

"Just like the other schools in our system, Clyde Erwin students and staff work diligently to achieve excellence in education," Eason said.

Growth is determined by the prior year's end-of-grade test scores for grades three through eight. The prior year's scores for end-of-course tests determine high school growth.

Schools will not receive distinction status until November because of a delay in reading scores for grades three through eight.

There is a difference between Adequate Yearly Progress goals mandated by No Child Left Behind legislation and the state's ABC standards of accountability, school officials say.

"The key difference is that AYP as outlined in No Child Left Behind is an all or nothing system. A school or system can achieve 96 percent of its subgroup goals and still be considered to not make adequate yearly progress. When looking at all the data that is shared through the ABC state accountability program and AYP, it is imperative that we continue to consider not only these summative assessments but also formative assessments and individual student academic successes," Eason said.

According to the 2007-08 AYP report, only 36.4 percent of Onslow County Schools' 33 schools met Adequate Yearly Progress goals.

Onslow County Schools works to get students ready for the ABCs on a one-on-one basis, Eason said.

"Onslow County prepares for the ABCs one student at a time on an individual basis. Different students have different needs; that is the key reason it is so exciting to see considerable growth. It is important to remember that growth is not only measured for schools but for individual child," Eason said.

Despite their excitement about the growth, Onslow County Schools is planning for a better year in 2008-09.

"While we continue to celebrate student achievement successes and growth at all of our schools and within our system, as a district, we will continue to implement strategies and best practices that will move us forward as we address 21st century learning for all students," Eason said.

Contact Jacksonville/Onslow County reporter Amanda Hickey at or 910-219-8463. Visit to comment on this report
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