Wake County Schools

Group to address achievement, resources at Knightdale schools

Posted October 1, 2013

— A new group will meet later this month to focus their efforts on improving schools in Knightdale after a recent audit found problems with the distribution of resources there.

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. 

Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen Group to address problems in Knightdale schools audit

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. 


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  • WralCensorsAreBias Oct 2, 2013

    You poor families in Knightdale, having to put up with Benton as your board person must really stink. He's no better than Kevin Hill and neither could decide which door to run out if the building was on fire. Sounds like they just plan to continue kicking your can down the road and not actually doing anything about the issues.

    I'd certainly make sure he doesn't win his election next week, if I were you guys. He's as complacent as they get.

  • coolmom Oct 2, 2013

    This is definitely not a new problem. I pulled my kids out of Knightdale elementary schools 15 years ago and put them in magnet schools because they were not being challenged and their intial excitement for school was diminishing. Although the magnet schools were not perfect, I believe they received a good education and graduated to go on to 4-year universities. Talk is good, but talking has gone on long enough. It's past time for significant action.

  • kimcphttech Oct 2, 2013

    Us as parents in eastern Wake county have been saying this for years, how it was happening and every year it was getting worse. I have a daughter that went to Knightdale elementary and then switched to Lockhart 3 years later and it was a huge difference and needless to say there are things she should have been taught that she was not taught. The children of eastern Wake county have been getting shafted for years and it's about time someone realized it and has the backbone to step up and try to do something about it.