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CMS discusses goal to boost high school math scores

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board has set out specific goals to address low-performing schools and low student achievement.

One of the goals is aimed at increasing high school student Math I scores, according to the district’s progress report.

“We’re looking at that at multiple times during the year so that we can adjust if we need to,” said CMS board member Carol Sawyer, District 4. “We can change strategies. We can move resources where they’re needed.”

Last month, Channel 9 reported that 50 CMS schools earned a low-performing designation from the state.

That is why district staff now give monthly updates to school board members on progress toward the district’s goals that are aimed at increasing student achievement.

The progress report was focused Tuesday night on math and end-of-course testing scores for students in Grades 9-12.

“The board is sharpening its focus on our goals and with that sharpened focus, staff is sharpening its focus,” Sawyer said.

Students are considered college and career-ready if they score a 4 or 5 on their end-of-course tests.

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Wednesday night’s report showed that at the end of the last school year, 8.2% of high schoolers reached that level of readiness.

But the district’s goal is to reach 16.5% by the end of the current school year and 25% by October 2024.

“We’re looking at ninth graders here that probably haven’t had as great success but were proficient,” said Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh. “And we got to get them to Level 4, Level 5.”

Hattabaugh said that thanks to federal stimulus dollars, the district has been able to deploy a host of resources that boil down to more funding for schools and more one-on-one time for students.

“I have confidence that they’re going to be able to move our students forward with this ninth-grade class to the 16.5% college, career-ready,” Hattabaugh said.

However, district leaders expressed their serious concerns about what happens with those resources when the federal stimulus dollars cease to exist, which they will.

“If we make our goals, we are going to need these extra resources to do it,” Sawyer said. “If the state wants to see progress, they’re going to need to step up and support us.”

The superintendent said a crucial part to increase student achievement post-pandemic is that parents must ensure their child is in class every day.

Another of the district’s goals is aimed at increasing scores in English Language Arts for Black and brown students in the third-grade students.

The district will address enrollment numbers next month.

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Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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