County leader questions CMS report on test scores - | WBTV Charlotte

County leader questions CMS report on test scores


One Mecklenburg County Commissioner is questioning the recent report of test scores released by Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) District. 

Vilma Leake believes the school district gave inaccurate information when presenting the progress of Pre-K-8 schools throughout the district. The politician’s concern is CMS used Grade Level Proficiency scores instead of College and Career Ready Scores to show progress and higher scores.

Leake, who is a former school board member, says it is required when districts show a year to year comparison, districts should use College and Career test scores. CMS used the Grade Level Proficiency scores to show progress for several years.

"It's unacceptable for a superintendent to pretend there is something when it's not to the weakest of people in our district," Leake said. "And as their spokesperson - I want an apology."

The problem is for example when you look at Grade Level Proficiency at Ashley Park Pre-K-8, it had a 12% jump in Math for the 2015-2016 school year. This year, 34% of students are making the grade in Math.

But if you look at that same school - same year and look at the College and Career Ready scores, it's a different picture. It shows only an 8% point jump.

The results are only 22.9% of students are considered college and career ready.  

Leake believes using the College and Career scores show the true picture of what's happening inside the classrooms and better informs parents if their children’s school is making the grade.

"It makes a lot of difference," Leake said. "It means you are ready for college or deficient in ABC's and arithmetic."

CMS believes there is nothing wrong with the numbers.

"We stand by those numbers and that report." CMS Chief Accountability Officer Dr. Frank Barnes said.

Barnes helped put the report together. He tells WBTV he explained to board members how the numbers should be interpreted. He says he wanted to give board members a snapshot by using Grade Proficient Scores not College and Career Ready Scores. 

"I think overall we are seeing progress and gains in these particular schools," Barnes said. "And I would say varying from school to school you would see upward mobility."

Leake is still concerned and says she is not alone in her belief.

"I have talked to several school board members who have said she was wrong and her information was wrong," Leake said.

WBTV reached out to state education leaders to see if districts should use College and Career Ready scores when comparing year to year scores. No one has returned the call. WBTV also reached out to board members and is still waiting for a response.

Barnes tells WBTV he respects Leake and would like to sit down and talk to her so they both can be on the same page when talking about test scores.

The school board is supposed to continue its conversation about the progress of the district's Pre-K-8 schools possibly later in March.

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