• 68°

Editorial: Schools’ long row to hoe grows longer

Superintendent

Dr. Lynn Moody

Dr. Lynn Moody

Everyone knew turning around students’ low test scores in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools would take time. The system’s road to hoe seemed to grow longer this week, though, when the state released the latest school performance grades.

On the bright side, eight schools saw their cumulative school performance score go up a point or more. They were Shive, Granite Quarry, Isenberg, Morgan, Mount Ulla and North Rowan elementary schools; Rowan Early College; and West Rowan High.

Three remained steady: Enochville, Faith and Landis elementary schools.

Scores went down, unfortunately, at nearly two dozen schools — some rather significantly — and for 12 schools that meant a drop in the school’s letter grade.

School officials, teachers and administrators have to be disappointed. The system has been going through a lot of change in the past two years, including hiring a lot of new principals. While the introduction of iPads and laptops last year was not expected to boost scores overnight, it’s doubtful anyone anticipated scores dipping at so many schools.

The challenge for Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody is to keep these scores from discouraging teachers at the very time they need to be pumped up with enthusiasm, the beginning of the school year. While the scores beg for study and analysis, in some ways they are history. Teachers have to focus on the students sitting in their classes now and set goals for higher scores at the end of this school year. The first-year jitters of dealing with new technology are behind them; many educators took advantage of professional development opportunities over the summer and have more ahead of them. There are solid reasons to be optimistic about 2015-16.

Community support is essential. School performance is student performance, and Rowan has a high rate of poverty among school-age children. Helping those children catch up and stick with their peers is like swimming against a strong current — a constant struggle to overcome natural forces. This is no time to back off and leave the work to others. The schools need parental involvement, savvy volunteers and political and financial support.

While she was not addressing Rowan’s situation specifically, state Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson was on target when she called for more pre-school education, calendar flexibility and expanded summer reading camps to address test scores statewide. Rowan desperately needs more preschool and summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children who slide further and further behind. The community needs to develop some solutions of its own; these kids are growing up too fast to wait on the General Assembly.

Comments

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransome

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday