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Here Are Charlotte Area's Best, Worst Schools, According To State Grades


Just over 200 of North Carolina's 2,500 public schools earned A's from the state this year, and about half as many received an F.

The state's school performance grades were released today, based on test scores and other data from the past school year. 

Schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg — as well as charter schools around the state — were more likely than state averages to land at the top and the bottom of the list. 

For instance, 8% of all North Carolina schools got A's, compared with 10% in CMS and 11% of charter schools. But about 26% of CMS and charter schools got D's and F's, compared with 22% of all schools.

The A-to-F grades, launched in 2013, are designed to hold educators and elected officials accountable for the quality of education provided at each public school. But they  say as much about the skills children arrive with as the work teachers do.

In Mecklenburg, for instance, A's went to majority white neighborhood schools serving relatively affluent areas, especially in the southern part of the county. Magnet, charter and college-based schools that cater to strong students also got top grades. The "A" list includes 17 from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and three charter schools.

The low-performing label landed on the high-poverty schools that serve disadvantaged students, most of them black or Hispanic. D and F schools are labeled low-performing unless they exceeded state targets for student growth.

In Mecklenburg alone, 42 CMS schools and seven charter schools are on the low-performing list. Two online charter schools that serve students across the state, North Carolina Cyber Academy and NC Virtual Academy, are also rated low-performing.

A handful of high-poverty schools in Charlotte — Byers School, Martin Luther King Middle, Thomasboro Academy and Villa Heights Elementary — avoided that label because their students made strong gains. But with more than half their students falling short of grade-level scores, they got D grades.

Here's a regional list of A and low-performing schools, including charters. A full report is available at www.ncpublicschools.org, and an explanation of the data is posted here.


District schools graded A:
• Ardrey Kell High
• Bailey Middle
• Bain Elementary
• Cato Middle College High
• Community House Middle
• Polo Ridge Elementary
• Harper Middle College High
• Hawk Ridge Elementary
• Jay M. Robinson Middle
• Levine Middle College High
• McKee Road Elementary
• Piedmont Middle
• Providence Spring Elementary
• Providence High
• South Charlotte Middle
• Charlotte Engineering Early College High
• Irwin Academic Center

Charter schools graded A:
• Lake Norman Charter
• Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy
• Community School of Davidson

Low-performing district schools:
• Albemarle Road Middle
• Allenbrook Elementary
• Bruns Avenue Elementary
• Charlotte East Language Academy
• J.M. Alexander Middle
• Ashley Park PreK-8 School
• Cochrane Collegiate Academy
• David Cox Road Elementary
• Military and Global Leadership Academy
• Devonshire Elementary
• Druid Hills Academy
• Marie G. Davis K-8 School
• Eastway Middle
• Greenway Park Elementary
• Harding High
• Hidden Valley Elementary
• Highland Renaissance Academy
• Hornets Nest Elementary
• Croft Community Elementary
• Joseph Grier Academy
• James Martin Middle
• Montclaire Elementary
• River Oaks Academy
• Nations Ford Elementary
• Newell Elementary
• J.H. Gunn Elementary
• Oakdale Elementary
• Performance Learning Center
• Ranson Middle
• Reid Park Academy
• Renaissance West STEAM Academy
• Sedgefield Middle, Starmount Elementary
• Statesville Road Elementary
• Sterling Elementary
• Tuckaseegee Elementary
• University Park Creative Arts
• West Charlotte High
• Westerly Hills Academy
• Wilson STEM Academy
• Winterfield Elementary
• Vance High

Low-performing charter schools:
• Charlotte Choice Charter
• Charlotte Learning Academy
• KIPP Charlotte
• Invest Collegiate Transform
• Veritas Community School
• Movement Charter School
• Uproar Leadership Academy


District schools graded A:
• Cox Mill High
• Cox Mill Elementary
• Harris Road Middle
• W.R. Odell Primary
• W.R. Odell Elementary
• Hickory Ridge Middle
• Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High

Low-performing district schools:
• Concord Middle
• Royal Oaks Elementary
• Rocky River Elementary
• Winecoff Elementary
• G.W. Carver Elementary
• Kannapolis Middle
• Woodrow Wilson Elementary

Low-performing charter schools:
• Cabarrus Charter Academy
• ACE Academy
• Concord Lake STEAM Academy


District schools graded A:
• Challenger Early College High
• Discovery High

Low-performing district schools:
• North Newton Elementary


District schools graded A:
• Gaston Early College High School
• Highland School of Technology

Low-performing district schools:
• Bessemer City Central Elementary
• Bessemer City High
• Brookside Elementary
• Edward Sadler Jr. Elementary
• Grier Middle
• Lingerfeldt Elementary
• Pleasant Ridge Elementary
• Sherwood Elementary
• H.H. Beam Elementary
• Woodhill Elementary
• York Chester Middle


District schools graded A:
• Agriculture and Science Early College High
• Central Elementary
• Collaborative College for Technology
• Mount Mourne School
• Northview School
• Crossroads Arts Sciences Early College High
• Rocky River Elementary

Charter schools graded A:
• Pine Lake Prep

Low-performing district schools:
• Cloverleaf Elementary
• Statesville High
• Troutman Middle
• N.B. Mills Elementary
• Statesville Middle

Low-performing charter schools:
• Success Institute
• Iredell Charter Academy


District schools graded A:
• Rock Springs Elementary

Low-performing district schools:
• Battleground Elementary


District schools graded A:
• Antioch Elementary
• Rea View Elementary
• New Town Elementary
• Cuthbertson Middle
• Cuthbertson High
• Kensington Elementary
• Marvin Elementary
• Sandy Ridge Elementary
• Central Academy of Technology and Arts
• Union County Early College
• Unionville Elementary
• Weddington Elementary
• Weddington High
• Weddington Middle
• Wesley Chapel Elementary
• Marvin Ridge Middle
• Marvin Ridge High

Low-performing district schools:
• East Union Middle
• Monroe Middle
• Wingate Elementary

Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.