RALEIGH -- All public schools in North Carolina got letter grades from A-F from the State Board of Education Thursday.
Eighty percent of the grades are based on how students performed on standardized tests. Twenty percent of the grades are tied to how much academic growth students showed while enrolled at the school.
About 29 percent of schools got a "D" or "F". All schools assigned those grades must send a letter to parents informing them.
Elementary and middle schools are being judged on student achievement in mathematics, reading, science, and biology. High school grades are tied to student scores in math, English and biology as well as graduation rates and the percent of 11th-grade students who score well on a college entrance exam they all must take.
North Carolina joins more than a dozen other states that have adopted the system which was adopted by state lawmakers to begin in the 2013-2014 school year.
In Wake County, school leaders said Wednesday they don't support the system and instead released their own report one day ahead of the state report card.
"We have never believed assigning a single grade to a school makes much sense," said Superintendent Jim Merrill. "Our parents understand there is much more to a school than one grade can reflect."
The progress reports from Wake County Public Schools are broken up into categories of grades, quality of faculty, teachers' views about the school climate, and leadership. All of this information is then compared to state and school district averages.
Progress reports for all Wake County Public School System schools can be found on the district's website at www.wcpss.net/schoolreportcards.
Meantime, counties statewide braced for the numbers. Some were expecting dismal results. Last month, Durham Superintendent Bert L'Homme warned that the county should prepare for mostly 'D's and 'F's. He pointed out though that those same schools surpassed growth expectations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report