On Any Given Day at Croatan…

November 22, 2010

871 students are enrolled.

About 30 are absent.

That brings it to 841.

Say about 10 find their ways to ALC.

That leaves us with 831.

And then we might have 15 that get rung up for HW non-compliance one way or another.

That leaves about 816 students on a daily basis who are in school and doing the right things.  816!

I applaud all students who accept the Croatan challenge and work their hardest to excel.

And I guarantee we will continue to try to help those who are struggling with the model of being successful in school.

As you know, the world has shrunk.  And one day our students will be competing for jobs with students who are currently enrolled in schools all over the globe.

Successful students make sure they take every opportunity possible to make themselves globally competitive.

One way that we are trying to encourage success at Croatan this year is by focusing on Individual Student Growth.  That is how well students do on current EOCs compared to prior performance on EOGs and EOCs.  Although we still aspire to be at least 96.2% proficient (that means making III’s and IV’s), we want to see more students this semester and next pushing themselves as far beyond the proficiency bar as they are capable.

If students are capable of making level III’s and Level IV’s–which last year occurred on 96.2% of all exams taken–then they should strive to make the highest level III’s and IV’s possible.

Future-ready students can ill afford to sandbag or settle for mediocrity in their marches to success in the highly competitive future workforce and the highly unpredictable future workplace.

Beta Club: Pinnacle of Success

November 11, 2010

In a school noted for academic excellence, Croatan’s Beta Club members represent the pinnacle of success.  They are stellar in academics, character, service and leadership.  They truly are paragons of the Croatan Way, the high standard to which we have an unwavering commitment.

I would like briefly to spotlight two Beta Club keys—Academics and Service.

Why is academic achievement so important to Croatan?  There are very smart students in great NC cities and towns like Beaufort (and east of the bridge), Morehead City, Topsail, Nags Head, Boone, Cary, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro, etc and great US cities like Atlanta, Cleveland, Boston, Dallas, San Diego, New York, etc and great world cities like Shanghai, Jakarta, Montreal, Dublin, Tokyo, Rio, Johannesburg, Milan, etc.  just as there are very smart students in great western Carteret County locations like Emerald Isle, Peletier, Ocean, Cape Carteret, Stella, Bogue, Newport, Cedar Point.

These great students will inevitably and invariably compete for precious jobs—that are becoming increasingly more complex, creative and specialized—in a global economy.  Therefore, academic preparation and competitiveness is paramount.

And why is service so important?  Here is a prime example:  November 10, 2010, marks the 235th birthday of the US Marine Corps; November 11th is Veterans Day.  Not to steal thunder from our Beta Inductees, but the men and women of the United States armed forces epitomize the virtue of service by placing duty to country above self.  Without their service, we would not enjoy the freedoms we have today in this great nation.

We would be remiss not to recognize our service men and women and veterans who, along with Beta Club members, embrace the concept of service as a way of life.  Thank you for all you do.

Thank you, students, for your cooperation and respect during the Beta Club induction ceremony.   Thank you, parents, for your continual support of your student and Croatan High School.  Thank you, staff, for continually challenging our students to uncompromisingly high standards…and supporting them along the way.   Thank you, Ms. Sheila Moore and crew, for staging this prestigious event.

Thank you, Beta Club members and 2010 Beta Club inductees, for daring to excel.

Croatan SAT Scores are Solid

September 14, 2010

Carteret County students’ average 2010 Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores continue to improve while both the state and national results have leveled off since 2008. The county’s combined average score of 1550 is higher than the state average score of 1485 and higher than the national average score of 1509.

Croatan graduates posted an average critical reading score of 536, with an average of 540 in math and 507 in writing. East Carteret High School graduates averaged 518 in reading, 506 in math, and 482 in writing.  West Carteret High School graduates averaged 517 in reading, 536 in math, and 483 in writing.

Read press release

View comparison extract


August 5, 2010

The official 2009-2010 EOC results are in!

Congratulations, Croatan Cougars.  Your hard work last year–under the formidable  guidance of Mr. Bottoms, Mrs. Zimarino, and Mr. Aldredge–has earned the school quite a designation:  NC Honor School of Excellence with High Growth.

Beyond that, the performance composite–or percentage of  students passing all EOC exams–stands at a remarkable 96.21%.

This number is the second highest of all 370 public high schools in the entire state of North Carolina.  Only Providence High School in Charlotte ranked higher…but not by much.  Providence posted an attainable 97%.

The elite designation for 2009-2010 continues the storied Croatan High School tradition of academic excellence, a tradition that will grow into the future.

It is time to raise the roof, Cougars.  The celebration is more than well-deserved.

2010 ABCs and AYP Status Report (Carteret County)

Carteret County High School Performance Composite Comparison, 2003-2010

Carteret County EOC Proficiency Results, All Subjects – 2006-2010

ABCs of Public Education, 2009-2010

CHS Student Welcome Letter, 2010

August 3, 2010

The following letter and class schedules will be mailed to Croatan students on  Thursday, August 5—

Welcome, Cougars, to School Year 2010-2011.

Ever think about the high performance culture of Croatan High School?   We are a culture of high expectations…where nothing but everyone’s best will do.  We have a safe and caring environment. We are family-friendly, where teachers and staff are always willing to go the extra mile.  We have first-rate programs and extra-curriculars.  Our excellent faculty focuses on its primary objective—To Teach, and our self-respecting student body focuses on its primary objective—To Learn.  Our great support staff strengthens the conditions necessary for success.

And Croatan does enjoy its successes!

Read the entire letter in PDF format:   student welcome letter 2010.

Help Wanted: Economist

February 8, 2010

In a sign of the times, a local refrigeration company looks to strengthen its competitive advantage in a global market by adding an economist to its staff.

This classified from the on-line and print editions of a coastal town rag, published thrice weekly:

ECONOMIST, Corporate, Morehead City, NC needed by BMIL Technologies LLC. Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution to economic problems affecting the cold storage, refrigeration and dehumidification industries. Collect and process economic and statistical data. MA in Economics plus 3 years experience or BA in Economics plus 5 years progressive experience.

The reason this classified strikes me is that it relates to  my previous post on emerging issues and creativity.

Leadership of BMIL has devised a creative strategy to understand and attack “the economic problems affecting the cold storage, refrigeration and dehumidification industries.”  BMIL wants to bring on board an economist who will “collect and process economic and statistical data.”  That person will “conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans” relative to growing their business in its sector.

This is no different than how we in schools can and should creatively embrace data and research/policies to create plans for continued growth in our own sectors.

Ultimately, the refrigeration company’s success will be judged in terms of refrigeration units sold.  Our gold lies in how many units of academic growth we can influence annually for 100% of our students.

Emerging Issue: Creativity?

February 7, 2010

haulin netSeems odd that Creativity is stealing center-stage at the Emerging Issues Institute, Feb. 8-9 in Raleigh, NC.    Creativity, hard work, perseverance, and calculated risk have long been staples in the rise of this great nation.

Now, however, we seem to be stuck in the mud as an economic downturn drags on, resources tighten, and businesses/institutions search for answers.

According to an article in the News and Observer:

Creativity is one of those hard-to-define subjects that soon drift into talk of left brain/right brain characteristics and highfalutin references to “the cognitive age” and “the conceptual age.”

But everybody knows that the old jobs of priming tobacco and manning textile looms are gone, and the new jobs are much more likely to require hard thinking than back-breaking work.

So 1,000 leaders will gather at the sold-out conference to listen to such speakers as author Daniel Pink; U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan; Bill Strickland of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild; Eric Liu, founder of Creativity Matters; and Mark Dean, IBM’s vice president for technical strategy.

In education, we would do well to revisit the place of quality and engaging literature, art, recreation, and music in the creativity revival.  But I would caution against throwing the accountability baby out with the bathwater.

Done correctly, the use of data derived from common assessments can inform creative decisions about students, staff, programs and schools…without which, we would often continue to be mired.

There is no dearth of scholarship and commentary on the topic of creativity.  Sir Ken’s video “Are Schools Killing Creativity?” is one modern example.

Just to be creative, I searched the term Creative on my blog and found these results.

The term Creativity on my blog yielded these results, the phrase Daniel Pink yielded these results, and the term Emerging yielded these results.

…and my all time personal favorite on Haulin’ Net when it comes to creativity is that I have had 19 job titles in education in the last 24 years.  I call it Riding New Gears.

Riding new gears is the essence of creativity.  It is literally and figuratively where the rubber meets the rode.

And that may be the challenge ahead of us if we are to embrace creativity as part of the solution to kickstarting economic and institutional engines.  It’s turning words and thoughts into organizational actions.

It requires leaders at all levels who are experienced in creative thought and creative learning for maximum educational gain.

Are We Ready to Race?

January 24, 2010

In “NC Submits Race to the Top Application” (1/22/10), The NC Public School Forum summarized the 195-page application as follows:

Governor Perdue announced this week that North Carolina’s $459.5 million application for Race to the Top was submitted to the U.S. Department over the weekend. According to the Governor, North Carolina’s application stressed four areas of improve and development for K-12 public education:

  • Internationally-benchmarked standards and assessments;
  • Development of data systems that measure success and improve instruction;
  • Supporting effective teachers and leaders;
  • and Turning around low-performing schools.

Smalltown, USA: Old Media Wrestles with New

January 24, 2010

In Sanford, NC–A newspaper veteran gives a balanced explanation of his company’s position on pulling the comments plug for their web articles.

In “Welcoming the Silence,” Billy Liggett writes:

The Internet’s been quieter the past few weeks in Sanford, and that silence is both welcome and unfortunate.

Two weeks ago Monday, we suspended the “comments” feature at sanfordherald.com because of the onslaught of the personal attacks and outright idiocracy (I’ll get to more on that later) that ensued in the weeks and months after we redesigned and upgraded our Web site. The suspension is expected to last until Feb. 1 tentatively, because by then we hope to have a system in place that will require valid e-mail addresses and require logins before a comment is posted.

Gov. Perdue: Ready, Set, Go

January 22, 2010

On her official website press release, N. C. Governer Bev Perdue outlines her education strategy called Ready, Set, Go:

Gov. Perdue’s education agenda will work in three steps:

Ready Increasing the number of students who can read, write and do math by the end of third grade.

Set Increasing the number of students that perform at or above grade level.

Go Increasing the number of students taking college credit courses in high school; graduating from high school; going to college; and completing their degree from a community college, college or university.

Specific policy highlights include:

* Incentives for great teachers in hard to staff schools and content areas
* Leadership Academy for school leaders
* Restructure the ABC’s program to include diagnostic assessment, 21st century skills and national assessments so we can see how our students compare to others across the nation and world
* Adopt the Common Core national standards: everyone agrees on the skills that all students need to know to graduate ready to work, go to college or vocational school
* Community College readiness initiative for diagnostic-type assessments to make sure that students graduate with skills necessary to do community college work

Based on the evolution of and our experience with NC ABCs and The Fed NCLB, the only thing certain anymore in education is that the target keeps moving….and it keeps moving higher.  Not a bad thing.  Because it necessitates continuous learning by and improvement of all stakeholders.

More than that, it reflects the rapid changes happening in the broader realms of society:  economy, markets, jobs, culture, information access, technology, globalization, and politics—among others.

Our students, teachers, and leaders will have to work harder than ever, study more than ever, and be more creative than ever just to ensure hope and place in the era of unprecedented change.

And this runs counter-cultural to any long-held traditional sense of national, societal, or individual entitlement.