Results are High for Dare County Students on the State’s College and Career Readiness Measures
Results are High for Dare County Students

For the 2012-2013 school year, the state of North Carolina adopted a new state testing program called READY to replace the former program known as the ABCs. There are 17 end-of-grade and end-of-course tests in the READY accountability model to measure progress of students from elementary school to high school. Additionally, the state now uses these four measures of college or career readiness for high schools only: graduation rates, ACT scores, math rigor, and scores on career education tests.

The on-time graduation rate for Dare County was 91.4 percent, compared to the state average of 82.5 percent. It was the seventh year in a row that Dare County Schools was officially recognized for being in the Top Ten school districts for its graduation rate.

The state’s definition of “math rigor” is the percentage of graduates who took Algebra II and passed it. For Dare’s Class of 2013, that percentage was 91.3 percent of graduates. “It’s good to see over 90 percent of our graduates enrolling in and passing Algebra II, but the state’s recommended target is 95 percent,” said Sue Burgess, Superintendent. “This is something we will address during the current school year.”

 On the ACT college admissions test, Dare’s combined high school scores ranked 8th out of 115 districts in the state for the percentage of students meeting the benchmarks in all four areas of English, math, reading, and science. The scores necessary to meet the benchmarks coincide with the University of North Carolina’s measure of college readiness for admission.

The state’s fourth measure of readiness applies only to students completing a course of study which includes at least four career education courses. Those students must take three tests called “WorkKeys.” To be considered “career ready” and to qualify for the WorkKeys Silver Certificate, students must score at least a 4 out of a possible score of 6 on all three tests. Over 76 percent of Dare’s career students qualified for the advanced recognition, compared to 67.3 percent for the state.

 “These college and career indicators show that our teachers and principals are meeting the challenge of preparing students for their lives after high school,” remarked Burgess. It should be noted that the state’s READY accountability model aligns well with the proposed vision statement for Dare County Schools which says, “All students will graduate on time, prepared for college, careers, and life.”