GCS Records Higher EOG, EOC Scores in 2013-14

Guilford County Schools (GCS) had higher scores on 2013-14 End-of-Grade (EOG) and End-of-Course (EOC) assessments. Students also improved in all other state measures, including the ACT, ACT WorkKeys and the percentage of graduates passing more challenging math courses. The state released school, district and statewide data on Thursday, Sept. 4.

This is the second year under North Carolina’s new READY Accountability Model, which includes new tests, more challenging lessons and higher expectations for students. The model has three components to measure how schools and districts are performing:

  • Performance Indicators – Percentage of proficient scores on EOC and EOGs, as well as performance on the ACT, ACT WorkKeys, percentage of graduates passing more challenging math courses, and the four-year cohort graduation rate.
  • Growth Indicators – Measure of how much students learned in a school year; for example, schools where students make a year’s worth of growth during one year of instruction meet expected growth.
  • Progress Indicators – Measured by Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs), which are performance and participation targets for districts and schools.

Performance Indicators:

Students in third through eighth grades take End-Of-Grade tests in reading and math; fifth- and eighth-grade students also take EOGs in science. Students who take Math I, English II and Biology take End-Of-Course tests.

The district’s overall performance composite on the EOCs and EOGs was 53.6, which means students showed proficiency on 53.6 percent of all tests taken. A closer look at the data shows 52.1 percent proficiency in EOG reading, 49.2 percent proficiency in EOG math and 60.3 percent proficiency in EOG science. End-of-Course scores showed students were 59.5 percent proficient.

While those numbers are higher than those for the 2012-13 school year, when GCS’ overall performance composite was 43.2, districts cannot accurately compare the scores. That’s because in March of 2014, the state set new achievement levels for the EOCs and EOGs.

For approximately 20 years, the state assessed students on Levels 1-4. Students were considered proficient if they scored a 3 or 4 on the tests. In March, the State Board of Education added an additional level in order to more closely measure student achievement. Students who reach achievement levels 3, 4 or 5 are considered on or above grade level. Students who reach levels 4 or 5 are also considered on-track for the state’s standards of college- and career-readiness.


 New Achievement Levels

Meets Grade-Level   Proficiency Standard

Meets College-and-Career  Readiness Standard

 Level   5 – “Superior Command”

a a

 Level   4 – “Solid Command”

a a

 Level   3 – “Sufficient Command”


 Level   2 – “Partial Command”



 Level   1 – “Limited Command”



The READY accountability model measures four additional indicators: the ACT, ACT WorkKeys, math course rigor and four-year cohort graduation rate.

The ACT result measures the percentage of students who meet the minimum academic requirement for the UNC system schools, which is a 17. In GCS, the number was 58.7 percent, up from 56.3 percent in 2012-13. Across the state, 59.3 percent of students met the minimum requirement in 2013-14, compared to 58.5 percent last year.

ACT WorkKeys is a series of tests that measure foundational and other job skills. The state measured the percentage of Career and Technical Education completers who achieved a Silver certificate or higher on the ACT WorkKeys; in GCS, 61.9 percent achieved that level, compared to 67.6 percent statewide. Last year, GCS had 60.1 percent achieve that level, compared to 67.3 percent statewide.

Math Course Rigor measures the percentage of graduates who took a third math class in high school; the number for both GCS and the state was over 95 percent.

GCS reached a record-high graduation rate in 2013-14, with 88.5 percent of students graduating. That was compared to the state average of 83.8 percent.

Growth Indicators:

For the 2013-14 school year, 76 percent of GCS schools – 89 schools – met or exceeded expected growth, compared to 74.7 percent of schools across North Carolina. In 2012-13, 68 percent of schools met or exceeded expected growth.

Meeting growth means students achieved at least one year’s worth of learning in one year’s time. When students achieve more than one year of learning, they have exceeded growth. The new data shows schools and students are moving in the right direction.


Progress Indicators:

The READY model also sets Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs), which are performance and participation targets for the state, districts and schools. There are 210 possible targets; GCS has 208.

The targets are based on subgroups, which are groups of at least 30 students in different categories.

Targets can include measuring the performance and participation of all students in a school or district, all the way to measuring very specific groups of students. Schools must ensure that 95 percent of students in a subgroup take the required tests; if they miss that target in just one subgroup, the school will not meet its AMO goals. In GCS, 19 schools missed at least one participation target, including 17 high schools.

Here’s how that can happen: a middle school may have exactly 30 students with disabilities who are scheduled to take the eighth-grade science EOG. If one student is out and doesn’t take the test, the school will still meet its target with 96.7 percent of students participating. If two students are out and don’t take the test, that drops the participation level for that one particular group to 93.3 percent, and the school will fail to meet its participation targets.

Despite those challenges, 28 GCS schools met all targets, including eight high schools.