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Most NC Schools Get Bs and Cs; Graduation Rate Up

North Carolina public schools received their letter grades Wednesday and they stayed relatively flat. 

Across the state, about two-thirds of schools received Bs and Cs. Six percent received As or A-pluses.

Within CMS, a higher percentage of schools got As, about 12 percent, but just like the state, nearly a third got Ds and Fs. 

The state also broke out scores for charter schools across the state.  These are schools that have more flexibility, but are still supported by taxes.  A higher percentage of these schools, 13 percent, received As, but nearly the same percentage failed. 

Like last year, nearly all schools receiving Ds and Fs have a high number of low-income students.  Though some did get an A.

Critics of the letter grades say they shortchange schools where students start behind, but work hard to catch up since the letter grades are largely based on standardized test scores. Only 20 percent of the grade takes into account the growth in these scores. 

This is the second year the state has issued the grades.  Lawmakers wanted an easy way for parents to understand how their child’s school is doing, and felt labels like “School of Distinction” or “Priority School” weren’t doing the job. 

The state also released graduation rates for last year.  The states rose slightly to 85.4 percent.  But only about half of high school students have scores on math, English, and science tests that show they’re on track for college and careers after graduation.  CMS’s graduation rate jumped three points to 88 percent.