Test scores show disparity between local schools
A disparity in test scores has been brought to the attention of Moore County School Board Members. Last year, nearly 91-percent of students attending Pinehurst Elementary School performed at or above grade level on state end of year tests. A Southern Pines Elementary, it was 76 percent. Southern Pines Councilman Chris Smithson explained to a couple of visiting school board members that the difference in test scores is discouraging young families from settling in Southern Pines. “They’re turning their noses up at our schools.” Smithson was addressing Board Of Education Chairwoman Laura Lang and Board Member Bruce Cunningham, who attended a recent council session by invitation. Smithson suggested one solution to the difference in test scores might be to redraw attendance districts. Lat year, only one in four students attending Pinehurst Elementary and West Pine Middle qualified for free or reduced price lunches. At three schools in Southern Pines the number who qualified ranged from 53 to 59 percent. The dilemma, the council learned, is that school boards are no longer allowed to determine school attendance by socio-economic factors alone. The solution everyone agreed, is not an easy one.