GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The latest test scores for Guilford County Schools (GCS) reiterate the challenging standards of the new Common Core curriculum, implemented statewide last school year. Only 43.2 percent of scores from Guilford County Schools were considered "proficient" this past year, compared with 75.9 percent of scores from 2011 to 2012--prior to the curriculum switch.
Proficiency is calculated by how many test questions are answered correctly--a number GCS chief accountability and research officer Dana Wrights explained has increased, in conjunction with Common Core standards. Wrights said the drop in proficiency is across-the-board, both in all districts statewide and in all subjects. The Common Core entails harder tests and more difficult concepts.
GCS said the rigor of the curriculum has become more evident in other measures, including the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the ACT. Wrights said ACT scores have slightly improved, since the Common Core's implementation.
GCS said it is "important to remember that North Carolina has raised expectations significantly in the 2013-2013 school year." According to the state's new Ready Accountability System, the pre-Common Core goal was to perform at grade-level proficiency or better. The new goal is to perform at grade-level proficiency and be college and career ready.
To further this career mindedness and to honor North Carolina college application week, GCS is holding a career fair this Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum's special events center. Dr. Karen Meadows, GCS supervisor for K-8 counseling, explained the fair is open to all middle or high school students in any district. She said some schools even are providing buses from school to the fair. Meadows said more than 50 businesses and career representatives will be in attendance, giving real-world prospective on what various jobs entail.
Meadows said it is critical students at least have some idea of what they do not want to do, prior to going to college. She said hosting career fairs like this really can help students discover and hone their interests.
For more information on the career exploration fair, visit GCS Counseling Services.
For more information on the Common Core or to compare district scores, visit the NC Accountability website.