CMS Board member, Interim Superintendent weigh in on upcoming release of 2021-22 end-of-year test scores

School districts across the state will examine district-wide student academic performance
School districts across the state will examine district-wide student academic performance beginning Thursday.
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 7:14 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is releasing the 2021-2022 end-of-year test results on Thursday, September 1.

School districts across the state will examine district-wide student academic performance in several categories including End of Grade (EOG) scores, 4-year cohort graduation rates, ACT scores, college, and career readiness rates, and more.

Last year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools held a press conference discussing the scores in CMS and proposed initiatives to support students. Those action steps included:

  • Using as much as $50 million of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to provide additional teaching and support for students in CMS’ 42 lowest-performing schools
  • Ensuring all schools have adequate social and emotional learning support staff to help students as they process the effects of disrupted education and other impacts of the pandemic; this includes having school-based mental health centers at 130 CMS schools
  • Focusing additional staff on support for students and families for whom English is not the first language; this includes 34 bilingual advocates and five full-time translators at schools where such needs are greatest
  • A dedicated effort to combat chronic absenteeism, with expansion of programs at three high schools with acute need
  • A continuous improvement approach to teaching and learning, reviewing the success of actions implemented and revising course as necessary to help improve outcomes

Previous Coverage:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools provide preliminary test results from 2020-21 school year

CMS 2020-2021 Preliminary End-of Year Results

CMS District 1 school board member Rhonda Cheek shared her perspective with WBTV ahead of the release.

“The hopeful part of me is that things don’t look worse, but the realistic part of me is that we weren’t back to normal last year,” she said.

Last Friday, Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh said the upcoming release should not be looked at negatively, but rather as a chance to move forward following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning.

“When the scores come out it’s not going to be doom and gloom, it’s a challenge but we will be working hard and supporting our teachers and our principals as we move forward to achieve what the Board has set and it is a high bar that they have set, we don’t want it any different than that,” Hattabaugh said.

Cheek says it’s important to remember different factors that affected student performance.

“We still had a lot of issues with absenteeism last year, staffing, just all of the challenges of returning to class from COVID. I think that we’re going to see some pretty dismal kind of performance tomorrow,” she said.

Based on previous state data, CMS has 42 low-performing schools, which are schools with a D or F grade, it is likely this number could change not just in CMS, but in other schools across the state.

Since starting his term, Hattabaugh expanded the district’s learning communities from six to nine with an emphasis on support in low-performing schools, announced incentives and plans to add more teachers to the top 10 low-performing schools, and discussed placing more certified staff in Math 1 and third-grade reading classrooms.

The student population in greatest need are Black and Hispanic students.

“We’ve got a learning loss that occurred during the pandemic and we have to get them back up for reading comprehension,” he said.

WBTV will have coverage of the scores released on Thursday.