How Many Students at Chapel Hill Are Excelling Academically?

To promote academic excellence in our high schools, we created the Excellence Index (EI): a simple way of rating schools academically by focusing exclusively on high achievement. The EI quantifies the percentage of students scoring at the highest levels on an array of exams. Scores are referenced to state and global norms, which are set to a EI score of 75 (representing a typical level of high achievement). To get a 75 score based on 2017 test score data a school would have:

 – 13% score a 5 on AP exams
– 10% score in the 90 percentile or higher on the SAT
– 9% score Distinguished Learner (Level 4) on EOCs (average of all 8 subjects)

– 29% score 6 or 7 on IB exams (if applicable)

These are each weighted equally in the index.
Chapel High School’s 2018 Excellence Index score is a 31.  This means that Chapel Hill students are about 2.5 times LESS likely (31:75) to score at the highest levels on exams than their peers statewide or nationally. The underlying data is in the graph below.

This data shows that Chapel Hill students were about 10 times less likely to score in the 90% on the SAT; about 6 times less likely to score a 5 on any AP exam, and were about equally likely to score Distinguished Learner on the EOC.
chart (8)

Of note is the fact that in spite of having an AP magnet program, very few students are scoring at the highest level on AP exams. We believe this is largely as result of recruiting academically unqualified/unprepared students into AP courses, which allows them to offer more courses, which they market to attract students to their magnet program.

Positively, the percentage of students scoring on the EOC increased from 6.3 to 8.7. More students scored at the top level than the Georgia norm in Economics, US History, 9th Grade Lit, and American Lit. As a result of these gains, the EI score increased from 19 the previous year to 31.

If you are a stakeholder at Chapel High School (e.g. parent, grandparent, homeowner in the district, future parent), please help us advocate for excellence by contacting Principal Sean Kelly to express concern over low achievement in SAT and AP exams, and ask exactly what is being done to raise more students to these levels of achievement:

 You might also include his immediate supervisor, Cathy Swanger:


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