Raising Standards & Setting High Expectations

NC Department of Public Instruction READY Animation

Raising Standards - Dr. Jason Van Heukelum

  • A week from now, the state of North Carolina will release the 2013 state test results in reading, math and science.  What you may not know is that last year we raised the bar.  Last year, the state of North Carolina took a bold step and raised academic expectations for schools, teachers and students.
    Raising standards is a good thing and something we support in Cabarrus County Schools.  We expect our students to perform at high levels and graduate from high school college and career ready.  We expect our students to have the skills and knowledge needed to pursue all their hopes and dreams in life. And we expect the public schools of Cabarrus County to prepare our students for the challenges of the 21st century and compete with the rest of the world. And, so, we've embraced the call for higher standards in academic performance and I believe Cabarrus County Schools is rising to meet these new standards every day.
    Last year was the first year with higher standards and more rigorous assessments.  As in any arena, when expectations are raised, the initial adjustment can be challenging as past performance no longer yields the same results.  In fact, with a raised bar of expectation, someone may perform better than they ever had in previous attempts, yet still not meet the new standard. The same holds true with this years state test scores. In raising the bar we can expect our performance to decline as compared to previous years. And while, the data may seem low compared to previous years, we are proud of our performance. Because we've raised standards. And that's a good thing.
    So, while the bar for proficiency has been raised to a new level and our proficiency scores will be well below our previous performance, the data actually shows that our students are learning more than ever and our teachers are performing at high levels.  I can confidently say that the teachers in Cabarrus County are some of the best in the state of North Carolina. When we raised that bar of expectation, we worked harder than ever to achieve it and in working hard toward a new, raised standard, our students grew more than they have ever grown in the past.  
    Recently, we received our testing growth data and I am proud to tell you that Cabarrus County Schools did a fabulous job. Our students and teachers exceeded the academic expectations set forth by the state of North Carolina.  Our student growth and our teacher's work ethic is something to be celebrated and you should be proud of Cabarrus County Schools.  
    In the next few weeks you will see numerous headlines about proficiency scores in North Carolina. Read past the headline. And remember, we've raised standards in North Carolina. And that's a good thing.
Last Modified on November 1, 2013