Guilford County Schools ‘State of Our Schools’ honors successes, warns of challenges ahead

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford County Schools Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green said the district continues to follow a guiding principal Martin Luther King, Jr. set for education.

“Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education,” said Green during his annual "State of Our Schools" speech at the Carolina Theater Thursday night.

Green focused on accomplishments made over the last year including retooling the tablet plan.

“We got off to a rocky start, there's no other way to say it because of tablets we were supplied with,” said Green. “Unfortunately so many of them were defective and had other problems.”

Within the last year, the tablet supplier has made improvements to the product to make them more durable and easier for adolescents to take care of.

Green also praised the entire school system for improving graduation rates across all groups since 2010.

“I am so pleased that our young people working with our educators have said, 'set the bar as high as you'd like we will rise to you,’” said Green.

Green said the district saw setbacks with the implementation of standardized tests called Common Core.

While proficiency levels among Guilford County students dropped significantly with the start of Common Core to 43 percent last year 54 percent of students passed the test.

“But 53.6 percent is not good enough for Guilford County Schools,” said Green. “I believe no matter what the examination in due time with appropriate resources provided our students can rise to whatever level we set.”

Green also warned parents, teachers and students that new state mandated evaluations of schools could paint the district in a bad light due to factors out of its control.

Green said the school board is already trying to have the measure reversed by signing a resolution to fight the A-F grading system for schools.

“Deeming the legislation to be ill advised, ill conceived, ineffective and a potentially damaging approach to addressing otherwise legitimate concerns to provide to parents and taxpayers an accurate indication of school performance,” said Green.

Green said the school district is also proud of nearly 1,000 students that graduated last year who graduated with a service learning diplomas or exemplary awards for their community service.

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