Student Scores Drop As North Carolina Adopts Tough Benchmarks

Nov 7, 2013

The Department of Public Instruction revealed a dramatic drop in student performance on standardized tests Thursday.

The number of North Carolina students passing state reading and math exams dramatically dropped this year, reflecting a change in performance under higher test standards and a new curriculum, according to education officials. 

 Across the state, 44.7 percent of students passed exams, down from 77.9 percent the previous year,  the Department of Public Instruction said Thursday. 

 This was the first time the state exams were aligned with a more rigorous set of standards known as the Common Core, which emphasize deep analysis and creative problem-solving over short answers and memorization. State and local officials have spent months trying to brace the public for the start figures and continued to do so when they were officially released Thursday. 

 “We have been clear for some time that we anticipated a change in North Carolina’s results,” schools superintendent June Atkinson said in a news conference. “We are just as clear that we expect our students over the coming years to show improvement as our students adjust to higher expectations.”

 A full report is available on the Department of Public Instruction’s website.