In Wake, Durham, and Orange counties, less than half of school achieved Adequate Yearly Progress, while in Johnston County it was 60 percent.
AYP reporting is part of the No Child Left Behind law, and schools that do not make Adequate Yearly Progress for two or more consecutive years in the same subject face sanctions.
While only 61 of 159 schools made AYP in Wake County, officials pointed out that many missed the goal by only one or two target areas.
"AYP uses an all or nothing approach. If one school misses one target, then the entire school is deemed to have missed AYP," explained Interim Superintendent explained Donna Hargens.
Wake officials said if you look at total targets for the school system, 92.85 percent - or 3,420 out of 3,683 - were met.
In Durham County, just 25 percent - or 13 out of 52 schools - made Adequate Yearly Progress. But district officials said they were encouraged by results from ABCs testing.
Twenty of 29 elementary schools tested better than the previous year and six schools that had performance scores below 50 percent last time have now passed that threshold.