State officials to visit Bertie

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 30, 2007

WINDSOR – Company is coming.

On Monday, April 2, the Bertie County Board of Education will host an information sharing session with senior officials from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and members of the North Carolina State Board of Education. The meeting is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. in the board room at the central office located at 222 County Farm Road in Windsor.

According to Rickey Freeman, chairman of the Bertie Board of Education, the purpose of the meeting is to discuss current and future academic plans and programs regarding Bertie County Schools and Bertie High School in particular.

“They want to come here and discuss with us the future plans we have here in Bertie County in regards to public education,” Freeman said. “As you know, Bertie High School is on the list of low-performing schools in the state. This meeting is an effort to make sure we’re moving forward to better our system of education, particularly at the high school. They (state officials) are real concerned about our high school.”

A year has passed since Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard E. Manning Jr. n following up on the status of school districts statewide n placed 44 low-performing high schools on notice in regards to their less than favorable composite test scores. Judge Manning even went as far as to threaten to have those schools closed unless what he described as “dismal test scores” at least reached minimum standards (55 percent).

Using figures from the 2004-05 academic year, Judge Manning pointed out that Bertie High School’s composite test score stood at 53.2 percent. It has risen by nearly 10 percent from a 43.0 performance in 2001-02, but still remained below his minimum threshold.

According to data from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s website, Bertie High’s composite test score fell by nearly 10 points (42.7 percent) during the 2005-06 academic year.

Earlier this month, NCDPI released its first, four-year cohort graduation rate. Even though Bertie High School, with a 63.5 percent graduation rate, was not listed near the bottom of the list, that percentage still trails the state average of 68 percent.

Two hours following Monday’s meeting with the state officials, the regularly scheduled Bertie Board of Education meeting will begin at 7 p.m.