Polk students excel on end of grade tests

Published 9:30 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2021

County students scored substantially higher than state average

POLK COUNTY—Despite COVID-19, Polk County students continued to excel in academics during the 2020-2021 school year on end-of-year testing. 

Polk students scored substantially higher than the state average last school year with 59.8 percent of those tested scoring grade level proficient compared to the state average of 45.4 percent. 

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Of the testing, Polk County elementary schools exceeded the state average of proficient students in reading and math by at least 13 percent at every grade level; Polk County Middle School students surpassed the state average in reading at all grade levels and in math in grades 6th and 8th; Polk County High School and early college students also finished above the state average in all areas. Polk County High School and early college have a combined four-year graduation rate of 92.4 percent, which is 5.5 percent higher than the state average. Polk County High School and early college students also earned a 17 or higher score on the ACT last school year, which was 8.4 percent higher than the state average. 

“I want to first say thank you to all of our Polk Schools family as they worked very hard during the pandemic to continue learning and achieving,” said Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene about the test scores. “We were fortunate to be able to have more in-person learning for our students than other districts across the state, especially at the elementary level.

“Though we have known it for many years, this year’s results validate that being in school makes a tremendous difference in student performance. Polk County Schools is accustomed to performing well on state assessments, and it appears we have again outpaced other districts. I am proud of our students and educators and thank them for their efforts.”

The student achievement data for the 2020-21 school year is based on analysis of all end-of-grade (EOG) and end-of-course (EOC) tests, which are aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in English Language Arts (Reading) and Mathematics and the Essential Standards in Science for all public schools in North Carolina.

“While we celebrate our accomplishments, we are still concerned about the learning loss that has occurred over the past 18 months,” Greene said. “It will be very important for us to continue our work in remediating and helping students master missing content and skills.

“I am confident our teachers and families will continue to work hard to ensure our students continue to achieve at high levels.”

Academic Indicator State Polk County Difference from State
Performance Composite 45.4 59.8 14.4
Grade 3 Math 44.5 76.1 31.6
Grade 4 Math 37.8 59.7 21.9
Grade 5 Math 42.0 62.8 20.8
Grade 6 Math 40.6 53.5 12.9
Grade 7 Math 42.5 37.0 -5.5
Grade 8 Math 32.7 49.3 16.6
Grade 3 Reading 45.1 69.9 24.8
Grade 4 Reading 45.1 61.4 16.3
Grade 5 Reading 42.4 58.3 15.9
Grade 6 Reading 45.3 60.4 15.1
Grade 7 Reading 46.7 53.2 6.5
Grade 8 Reading 48.2 64.7 16.5
Grade 5 Science 53.9 69.2 15.3
Grade 8 Science 70.3 86.0 15.7
NC Math 1 (9-12) 25.1 35.5 10.4
NC Math 3 (9-12) 44.6 46.2 1.6
Biology 45.6 58.9 13.3
English II 58.5 68.6 10.1
ACT Composite Score 55.2 63.6 8.4
4-Year Graduation Rate 86.9 92.4 5.5