NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: OCTOBER 19, 2011


Fourteen North Carolina high schools were recognized yesterday during a luncheon ceremony for having at least 80 percent of students' end-of-course test scores at or above proficient. What makes these schools' student performance so special is that five years ago they were among the state's 66 lowest-performing high schools.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said the success of these schools is significant and linked directly to a team approach. "Turnaround schools have benefitted from the dedication of state consultants, school leaders, faculty and staff, and parents working together as a team. Investing resources, expertise and hard work does result in increased student performance," Atkinson said.

Schools recognized during yesterday's event are listed below. The school's corresponding performance composite also is noted. Performance composites indicate the percentage of student end-of-course test scores that are at or above proficient.

Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools 94.7%
Harding University High Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools 94.5%
Middle College at Bennett Guilford County Schools 90.0%
Jones Senior High Jones County Schools 88.7%
North Gaston High Gaston County Schools 86.6%
Middle College at NC A&T Guilford County Schools 83.7%
Beddingfield High Wilson County Schools 82.3%
Pine Forest High Cumberland County Schools 82.1%
North Brunswick High Brunswick County Schools 81.6%
Bunn High Franklin County Schools 81.3%
E.E. Smith High Cumberland County Schools 81.1%
Franklinton High Franklin County Schools 81.0%
Richmond Senior High Richmond County Schools 80.9%
South Creek High Martin County Schools 80.7%

In 2005, North Carolina embarked on the high school turnaround initiative to provide intensive assistance to a group of persistently low-performing high schools. In 2006, additional high schools and middle schools were added, creating a group of 66 high schools and 37 middle schools. Schools involved in the turnaround process were required to develop a "Framework for Action" that guided improvement activities for the school, including a description of the actions to be taken and the people and resources involved.

Schools that are part of the Turnaround program will now be assisted under the state's Race to the Top College & Career Ready, Set, Go! initiative. This program's turnaround activities target schools that are in the bottom 5 percent of performance and/or have graduation rates below 60 percent, and districts with aggregate performance composites below 65 percent.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.