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CMS: Only 8.2% of high schoolers are ready for a job or college based on math scores

The goal for CMS is to have at least 26% of high schoolers scoring a level 4 or 5 on end of year math exams by 2024.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Test scores show high school students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are severely underperforming in math. 

On Wednesday, CMS released data that show just 8.2% of high schoolers are testing at the highest levels of end-of-year exams in this area. 

The goal for CMS is to have at least 26% of high schoolers scoring a level 4 or 5 on end-of-year math exams by 2024. When students reach this score, this means they’re ready for a job or to head to college. 

CMS says teachers are no longer tamping down expectations due to the pandemic. 

"No matter who they are, where they're from, they're not going to teach down, they expect him to learn the standard," said Hugh Hattabaugh, interim CMS superintendent. "And if we don't do that, we won't increase the scores anywhere in the district." 

RELATED: CMS still searching for 361 teachers a month into the new school year

Despite the data that shows less than 10% of CMS high schoolers are ready for a job or college based on math, it's still an improvement; this time last year, only 3.7% of high school students were making the grade.

Some teachers are still working on mastering the curriculum to catch students up. 

"We've had like 700 new teachers come into the district this year, they're going to need more support, and ensure that they stay with and focus on the curriculum," Hattabaugh said. 

CMS says chronically absent students had some of the lowest scores. 

"If we expect teachers to be in the classroom, and be providing positive instruction, great instruction, and enriching students' abilities to do well, then we expect them to be in the seat," Hattabaugh said. 

The district still has thousands of virtual and hundreds of in-person after-school tutoring options available to students.

RELATED: CMS gets its $50 million tutoring program off the ground

"We've reached out directly to parents where we call up parents, we've had our list of kids that we wanted to make sure that we got some extra support for trying to target the kids that need it," said Daniel Gray, a CMS school principal. 

The district recently spent $50 million in COVID-19 relief dollars on a program to help increase student test scores in schools hit hardest after the pandemic. 

CMS says if scores don’t increase dramatically this school year, they won’t reach their 26 percent target. The district outlined a plan to increase test scores at its board meeting. 

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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