Education

School board member: Vance graduation rate 'deplorable'

Posted August 22, 2013

— Parents and school board members are calling for action in Vance County, where the high school graduation rate ranks last in North Carolina.

Vance County Schools graduated 64.9 percent of the students who entered local high schools in 2009-10, according to figures released this month by the state Department of Public Instruction. Statewide, a record 82.5 percent of students graduated high school in four years.

"This is deplorable," said Ruth Hartness, a member of the Vance County Board of Education. "We need to have some plan in place."

Hartness said she hasn't heard from school administrators exactly what that plan will be. The first school board meeting since the numbers were released will be next month.

Superintendent Ronald Gregory couldn't be reached for comment.

Northern Vance High School Vance County has NC's lowest graduation rate

"We definitely need to get parents involved. The schools cannot raise a child," Hartness said. "They're being left behind. They're not in school a lot. There's a lot of absences there. Yes, they're definitely left behind."

Parent Keith Lewter called the poor graduation rate "a shame" but said many local parents are already involved with their children's education.

"It is a concern, but that's why we try and teach our kids at home as well," Lewter said.

The 2013-14 school year starts next Monday.

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  • fuzzmom Aug 26, 11:30 a.m.

    "This is a cultural problem. Those who grow up in a home where the parents check homework and who take time to engage their children in wholesome things . . .as opposed to letting them play video games, listen to the single parent in the other room banging headboards with somebody new every night or listening to music that promotes violence and abuse..."
    Really? Nice blast at single parents. Apparently you don't know many. Most are busting their behinds. So what, married people are never intimate when their kids are in the house??? Meanwhile, I'd like to see your studies on music and grades. You made a great point about the homework, after school activities and too much video game playing. However, you shot it all down with your narrow view on who single parents are and your ignorance of music, which I made add, is a form of art. Never mind it's a form of all many students do well enjoying, while they study. I certainly did, and I was an excellent student.

  • IPayYouPay Aug 23, 9:59 a.m.

    Your Republican-controlled congress couldn't care less. With them, it's all about business. Well, news flash, if those businesses don't have qualified applicants, they won't flourish. Think about it, Reps.

  • jackflash123 Aug 23, 8:57 a.m.

    Personally, I think the schools should allow the drop-out rate to skyrocket so that it wakes people up to bigger issues beyond school. I'm not saying schools should encourage people to drop out, but if we stopped the extraordinary efforts to prevent it, cover it up, or keep deadbeat students who have already dropped out mentally on our rolls, maybe society as a whole would work toward a solution. Right now, I see schools sweeping things under the rug and accepting too much blame for drop-outs.

    I had a student a few years ago who wouldn't do anything. When I asked, out of frustration, why he was even there, he said it was b/c he'd lose his driver's license if he dropped out. What do driving privileges have to do w/ school? It's nothing more than society's way of using schools for babysitting so senior citizens feel safer power-walking at the mall.

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Aug 23, 8:20 a.m.

    This is a cultural problem. Those who grow up in a home where the parents check homework and who take time to engage their children in wholesome things like the Scouts, Awana, 4-H - as opposed to letting them play video games, listen to the single parent in the other room banging headboards with somebody new every night or listening to music that promotes violence and abuse, the former students do better in school because there are different value systems in the home.

    Lower income families usually mean that the parents didn't graduate or apply themselves in school. When a parent drops out and their kids stay in school, a parent might be willing to accept a "C" grade because their kids are doing better than they did - but it's not enough. Affluent parents know what it takes to succeed in school and they won't accept average or sub par grades from their kids.

    In the end, the education is there if you want it. There's no excude not to learn.

  • indrdw Aug 23, 8:08 a.m.

    duh! If kids are not in school most of the time how will they graduate. In the 'old days' you could not be out of school like that. There were consequences if you were picked up. It is the parents responsibility to make sure their children are in school and doing their work. The school cannot make them do this but their could be something done about truancy. The school has records and should be responsible for making sure something is done about this. The state educators cannot be responsible for the students being their but they can do something about habitual absentees. For sure someone has some ideas about this. If not we have a problem with those who should have the answer.

  • Southern Girl Aug 23, 8:07 a.m.

    Superintendent not available for the media for 2 days? Why?