State Legislation on Low-Performing Schools
The State Board of Education identified on Oct. 1 about 580 schools as low-performing, including 29 in WS/FCS, based on the budget bill passed by the N.C. General Assembly this summer. The legislation requires the state board to identify any school with a school performance grade of D or F and that met its expected growth target or did not meet its expected growth target as low performing.
The WS/FC Board of Education passed one resolution Oct. 27 identifying what the district will do to support the schools and protesting the definition of low performing for two reasons. First, the board believes that the label is based on a flawed school performance grade calculation that doesn’t take academic growth enough into account, and second, it defines schools that met their growth goals as low performing.
The resolution also outlines the actions the district has taken to support all schools, including those identified by the State Board of Education as low performing, since 2014.
On Oct. 27, the school board also passed a second resolution protesting the legislature’s requirements to dismiss, demote, put on a plan of action or transfer with a plan of remediation the principal of each school identified as low performing as arbitrary, capricious and inapplicable. These actions apply only to principals who have been at the school for two years or more.
The board believes the requirement is arbitrary and capricious in how it identifies principals. For example, a principal’s prior performance and evaluations are not considered. Because research shows that low-performing schools take five to seven years to turn around, giving principals two years or less will not help students. The board also believes that it will make it difficult to attract qualified principals to work in these schools if they face disciplinary action if they do not turn a school around in two years.
The board also believes the requirement is inapplicable because state statue requires the actions to be taken against principals by September 30, and the State Board of Education did not identify low performing schools until October 1.