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Bruce Drysdale, Sugarloaf, Balfour Ed Center post impressive growth

Bruce Drysdale and Sugarloaf elementary schools and Balfour Education Center showed impressive gains in test scores, and five schools earned the top recognition in state test scores released today.

In addition, Henderson County continued its comparatively high graduation rate, posting a rate of 84.9 percent and leading a trend among all North Carolina high schools of improved graduation rates. The rate here was ahead of the state rate of 80.2 percent, the highest ever statewide and a figure that state education officials applauded.
Despite the high spots, the scores offered something of a mixed bag. The five schools making the top rank was one more last year but two dropped into the lowest category — no recognition — and one of those had been among the stars last year.
East Henderson High School and Hendersonville Elementary dropped into the no recognition category because their academic improvement fell short of expected levels. EHHS posted a composite score of 84.86 percent, up from last year's score of 80.84 percent but below expected growth levels set by the ABC program. Hendersonville Elementary School posted a composite of 85.6 percent, down from last year's score of 93.6 percent, and a precipitous drop from the highest category to the lowest.
The test scores and graduation rates, along with federal measures of school performance based on standardized tests, showed Henderson County schools performing well compared with its counterpart across the state. The federal measure showing Henderson County schools meeting 98.4 percent of performance targets ranked the school district ninth among 115 districts in the state.
In the ABCs, the state program that measures overall performance and puts a heavy emphasis on year over year improvement, the schools making the highest designation as an Honor School of Excellence were Atkinson, Clear Creek, Etowah and Glenn C. Marlow elementary schools and the Henderson County Early College High School, which runs a five year program that awards students a high school diploma and two-year associates degree.
"We are pleased with our continued growth in student performance," schools superintendent David Jones said. "These successes are due to the hard work and focus of our employees on student achievement."
The administrators were especially proud of the results Bruce Drysdale, which had been the target of an intensified teacher improvement program, and Sugarloaf and Balfour Education Center.
Bruce Drysdale jumped eight points in its composite score, from 64.57 to 72.2 percent, climbing from "no recognition" to "school of progress status." Sugarloaf went from 71.02 to 83.3 percent, to go from school of progress to school of distinction. And Balfour went from 36.16 percent to 48.9 percent, earning it a high growth designation. Balfour, which educates high school students with disciplinary problems and students who are young mothers, had met zero of three target goals in 2011. This past school year it met four out of five goals.
Among the schools making 100 percent of their goals in the federal measurement were Atkinson Elementary, Bruce Drysdale Elementary, Clear Creek Elementary, Dana Elementary, Etowah Elementary, Flat Rock Middle School, Fletcher Elementary, Hendersonville Elementary, Mills River Elementary, Rugby Middle School, Sugarloaf Elementary and West Henderson High School.
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