BEAUFORT – A state report released Wednesday shows that 6.3% of third-grade students in Carteret County public schools failed to meet state promotion standards in reading for the 2020-21 school year, 39% not having reached their skills.
Statewide, 31% of third-graders did not meet promotion standards, with 56.3% failing to achieve proficiency.
The Read to Achieve report, released at the State Board of Education meeting in Raleigh, shows that 60.8% of third-graders in the county demonstrated reading skills by the end of the school year, up from 43, 7% statewide.
Retention rates are higher in 2020-2021 than before the pandemic. In 2018-19, the county’s retention rate for third-graders was less than 5%. Statewide, the retention rate for third-graders was 17.7%. The state did not test or hold students in 2019-2020 due to the pandemic.
Successful students must either repeat the third year or be placed in a fourth year accelerated class or a third fourth year bridging class. Students are held until they reach reading standards.
Among the 2020-21 county scores, Superintendent Dr Rob Jackson acknowledged that there was work to be done to catch up with students on what was lost during the pandemic, when in-person teaching was limited during certain periods and that other students were learning virtually.
âOur teachers, principals and support staff work hard to meet the individual learning needs of our students,â he said Thursday. âWe were pleasantly surprised by the success of some students over the past year with all the challenges and saddened by how other students fell behind. “
Dr Jackson said the school system hired additional staff this year to meet learning needs.
âThese curriculum stakeholders work individually with students and with small groups to target specific learning goals that students have not yet mastered,â he said. âTeachers are working harder than ever to plan and deliver high quality learning opportunities to students to ensure that every moment is maximized. “
The state’s Read to Achieve program was created in 2012 in an attempt to get more students to master reading by the end of grade three.
Dr Jackson said there was a lot to do, but he was happy with the way the county continues to overtake many districts in the state.
âThe tremendous success of our students compared to their peers across the state can be attributed to a number of factors. First and foremost, our dedicated teachers are absolutely committed to meeting the individual needs of each of our students. Their passion for helping children reach the highest levels is clearly demonstrated in the success of our students. “
He also highlighted a new reading program, Into Reading, rolled out to all elementary schools in 2020-2021.
âFor the 2020-2021 school year, credit must also be given to parents, grandparents and others who mobilized to support learning during blended learning when students were learning at home. Finally, I am also convinced that being one of the first districts in the state to get our students back to school safely has contributed to student success because we know our students learn best when they are in. class with our wonderful teachers, âhe continued.
In addition to traditional public schools, the report contains results for charter schools. For Tiller School, a Kindergarten to Grade 5 charter school in Beaufort, 80% achieved reading proficiency in Grade 3, and less than 5% failed to meet promotion standards.
Of third-grade students in county public schools who failed to meet their skills in 2020-2021, many attended a summer reading camp and were retested. Of those who retested, 6.3% were retained for failing to achieve skills at the end of camp.
Other third-year students were exempted from compulsory retention for various reasons or took and passed an alternative assessment.
The Read to Achieve report also revealed the reading comprehension skills of first and second graders. Among the county’s first graders, 65.3% demonstrated reading comprehension at the grade level, with 72.5% of the county’s second graders showing reading skills. This compares to 38.5% of first graders and 43.1% of sophomores statewide who achieve adequate reading comprehension.
The Read to Achieve report reflects the results of the county and state year-end and end-of-course exams for 2020-2021, released in September. This report showed that 61.1% of Carteret County students in Grades 3 to 12 achieved proficient, or Level III, results on the EOG and EOC tests. This compares to 45.4% of students statewide.
No EOG or EOC test data was reported in 2019-2020, so the fastest comparison of performance on state tests was in 2018-2019, when 72.7% of the county’s students had obtained competent test results. Statewide, 58.8% of students achieved proficient results in 2018-19.
While the results for EOG and EOC counties were lower than in previous years due to COVID-19 affecting schools, a report released in September shows that Carteret County ranked third in North Carolina on testing. State in 2020-21, with Union County ranked first and Chapel Hill- Carrboro ranked second.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; send an email to [email protected]; or follow us on Twitter @cherylccnt.