In Craven, 14 of 25 receive at least a C, with one D and one A

North Carolina’s second annual school performance grades are in and 14 of Craven County’s schools received grades in line with the state’s average of a C.

On Wednesday, the State Board of Education released grades for all traditional and charter schools based on test scores and students’ academic growth.

In Craven County, one school earned the top grade of an A – Craven Early College in New Bern. Seven schools received a B and three – Oaks Road, Roger R. Bell Elementary in Havelock and Vanceboro-Farm Life Elementary Schools – were given Ds, according to the report.

“In comparison to the state and surrounding school systems, I am very proud of the results of our schools,” Craven County Schools Superintendent Lane Mills said in a statement. “The hard work of our students and teachers continues to pay dividends.

“The overall quality of education in Craven County Schools, however, cannot be solely measured by test scores. Our schools do a wonderful job of creating safe and inviting learning environments with caring, dedicated and quality educators. Reflecting on this data, we will continue to make data-driven decisions to ensure that instruction is aligned for optimum student achievement.”

In Craven County, 22 out of 25 schools met or exceeded growth, a 15 percent higher rate than across the state, according to a release from Craven County Schools.

“Growth is used as an indication of the rate at which students in the school learned over the past year,” according to the release. “The standard is roughly equivalent to a year’s worth of growth for a year of instruction.”

State Superintendent June Atkinson expressed concern that schools with high percentages of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds were more likely to receive D or F school performance grades.

“We know that students who come from poor circumstances often make significant academic growth each year,” Atkinson said in a release. “Many of our children living in poverty do not have access to preschool education – a well-researched strategy for improving student achievement.”

The full school Accountability Report can be viewed at ncpublicschools.org.

Crystal Garrett is a reporter for the Sun Journal.