The way NC schools are graded may be changing soon. Here’s what parents need to know

Most parents know that schools in North Carolina each get a letter grade that’s supposed to show how well it’s doing.

On Monday, state leaders are proposing a new way to grade those schools to give parents more information about how their schools are performing.

State Superintendent Catherine Truitt will meet with lawmakers Monday to share an update on an idea she’s been working on with an advisory group for about two years now. 

Let’s say you’re moving to a different neighborhood, and you want to know more about the school your kids would attend.

Right now, the state’s rankings only tell you how their test scores measure up – not about their graduation rates, attendance records, how satisfied the teachers are or what classes they offer.

Monday morning, the state superintendent is making a case to change that.

“Basically, she just wants to add more things into [performance grades], as schools do a lot more, you know, related to discipline, attendance, offering AP courses, career preparation,” said WRAL Education Insider Emily Walkenhorst. “There’s a lot of other things that schools are measured on already at the state or federal level, and she just wants to include some more of those things in that grade redesign.

“It would be a lot more holistic to take more factors into account.”

Walkenhorst said currently 80% of the school performance grade is based off of standardized test scores and 20% is based on growth. And that’s not the full picture.

She said these performance grades are important because they can help parents and families make important decisions.

“People on the outside who don’t work in the schools – parents, people who are looking to have kids or looking at where they’d like to live – can look at performance grades and get some sense of how well a school is doing,” Walkenhorst said.

Lawmakers aren’t expected to take action on this Monday when they meet around noon. However, they will decide how they would like to proceed on a potential redesign plan of the performance model based on the update they receive Monday. – Local News