Group to address achievement, resources at Knightdale schools
Posted October 1, 2013
School board member Tom Benton, who serves District 1 including Knightdale, said the town is losing confidence in its schools and that high-achieving students are leaving as a result.
Mayor Russell Killen said a lack of resources has been a problem for many years, and that it has caused some families to leave the town or seek education outside of the town's schools – which serve some of the neediest students in the Wake County school district.
"You have almost 50 percent of the students in Knightdale not going to Knightdale schools," Killen said.
Lagging achievement and negative perceptions about the town's schools led to the exodus, he said.
"We lost some of our best and brightest teachers. We lost some of our best and brightest principals, and we lost some of our best and brightest students," Killen said.
Auditors with the Iowa-based Curriculum Management Systems, Inc., found that some of that perception is reality.
Looking at Knightdale and Hodge Road elementary schools, East Wake Middle School and Knightdale High School, auditors found inconsistent teacher expectations and unevenly distributed resources.
The District 1 working group, which will include school district and local government leaders, will begin to tackle some of these issues at its first meeting Oct. 22.
Benton said it could take time to turn things around, and Killen said more money is needed to attract good teachers.
"Meeting is great. Talk is great. Now we need to get results and we need to do it quickly because it is long overdue," Killen said.