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High School Graduation Rate Highest in County History

posted Sep 3, 2015, 5:03 AM by Greg Shull
Cleveland County’s high school four-year cohort graduation rate is at an all-time high of 86.6 percent, nearly a full percentage point above the state’s average of 85.4 percent.

North Carolina’s second annual school performance grades show 72.2 percent of traditional public schools earned grades of C or better, and 70.4 percent of public charter schools received grades of C or better. Nearly 89% of schools in Cleveland County earned grades of C or better.

“I am extremely proud of our students, staff and community for the continued improvement in graduation rate,” said Dr. Stephen Fisher, Superintendent of Cleveland County Schools.

Fisher adds, “The graduation rate for Cleveland County Schools continues to climb. The CCS Board of Education and administrative staff commend the emphasis place on graduation in our schools. The work, however, is not complete. We not only want our students graduating from high school, but we want to make sure they are prepared for their post-secondary opportunities and careers.”

As required by state legislation, the School Performance Grades are based 80 percent on the school's achievement score and 20 percent on students' academic growth. The only exception to this is if a school meets expected growth but inclusion of the school's growth reduces the school's performance score and grade. In that case, a school may choose to use the School Achievement Score only to determine the performance score and grade.

Of the 28 schools in the Cleveland County Schools measured last school year, 71 percent “Met” or “Exceeded” growth as reported by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Although this is the second year of School Performance Grades, Cleveland County Schools has had school-based accountability since 1996. The end-of-grade tests have been given to elementary and middle school students since 1993. These scores reflect the third year of the READY accountability model with its strong focus on career and college readiness and high standards.