All public schools in North Carolina receive a letter grade, A-F, for each academic year. Durham schools are no exception and did not fare well this time around on this particular metric. Obviously there is only so much you can tell from a single letter grade, but for parents trying to choose a school for their child, the test score data used to compile the letter grades can be one more piece of information they use in their decision. The letter grades are based on two factors: student performance on state tests, and student growth. Test performance makes up 80% of the grade, while growth makes up 20%. Here are the scores for the 2014-2015 school year, released today.
The one thing few will argue about is that the letter grades basically tell you how many of the students at a given school live in poverty. This isn’t really news. In other words, the letter grades say less about the quality of teachers and the quality of instruction than they do about the challenges faced by the student body. My wife taught high school at a low-performing school in Charlotte, NC and would tell you how many excellent teachers she worked with whose dedication and talent is hardly captured by a letter grade. Regardless of how you think the schools’ grades should be used, if you are moving to Durham, or anywhere in North Carolina, you may find this information useful. I know that if we were trying to select a public school for our kids, we would be hungry for every piece of information possible as we made our decision. Hopefully the letter grades are useful to some, and that the legislature considers how it could better assess and improve struggling schools.
About the author: My name is Matt Minor and I’m a real estate agent with Hunter Rowe Real Estate in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I’d love to help you buy or sell a home in the Triangle. Give me a call at 919-450-5999, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Carrboro, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Mebane, Morrisville, Sanford, Smithfield or Wake Forest.