Wake County Schools

Wake graduation rate stays below state average in 2013-14

Posted September 4, 2014

— The Wake County Public School System's high school graduation rate remained below the state average in the 2013-14 school year, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Public Instruction.

Wake County's 82.2 percent graduation rate for the most recent school year is the highest in the last eight years, officials said. The state's high school graduation rate was 83.8 percent.

Orange County Schools graduated 85.6 percent of its students this year, and Durham Public Schools' rate was 81.5 percent. Several other local school districts, including Nash-Rocky Mount, Weldon City and Northampton, Hoke, Warren, Vance, Halifax and Person counties, had high school graduation rates between 70 and 77 percent.

About two-thirds of students in Wake County met or exceeded state standards that were introduced two years ago. Grades and subjects tested included math and reading in grades 3-8, science in grades 5 and 8 and biology, English II and Math 1 in high school courses.

Wake County school leaders say they scored higher than the state average at every grade level in all areas. James Hedrick, principal at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, says his teachers use the results to target areas of weakness.

“We can’t be complacent where we are,” he said. “They will revise lesson plans and use those lesson plans as a strategic learning opportunity.”

Johnston County Schools reported a graduation rate of 85.4 percent, which marks a 3 percent increase over last year and puts the schools system over the statewide average.

Rodney Peterson, chief academic officer for Johnston County Schools, credited the improved score to the hard work of teachers, counselors, coaches, staff and students.

"JSC students should also be commended as their graduation rates have increased despite more challenging standards and assessments and increased graduation requirements," Peterson said in a statement.

Based on the state's new academic standards, less than 57 percent of North Carolina students are grade-level proficient.

But state Superintendent June Atkinson said the scores don’t tell the whole story.

“Our End of Grade and End of Course tests are snapshots – they aren’t the movie,” she said.


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  • AppStgrad Sep 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    YES, actually that is exactly what happened to veteran teachers- a teacher with 13 years of experience will get a raise of around $40/ month, but lose their (earned/promised) longevity pay which was about $500/year....do the math and see if that's a "fat" raise.

  • Jerry Sawyer Sep 5, 2014
    user avatar

    More and more taxes will not help the graduation rate. Any parent who lets their kids quit school is lazy and sick.

  • Doug Pawlak Sep 5, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    We're not even talking about taxing some more. It's about not continually CUTTING taxes as the republican leadership has done over the last several years. Restore those cuts and we'd have plenty of money to fund education. Those "studies" come from reliable sources. Both sides use them. The Tax Foundation, which is a conservative group, According to them, we are 27th in overall taxes. Other than that, I don't know what you're referring to. I gladly pay my taxes and when I see that our educational system is so poorly funded, I recognize that there will be long term consequnces. (Research states like Mississippi, West Virginia, and Louisiana if you want to see what chronic underfunding of education leads to)

  • swfsm Sep 5, 2014

    Not sure why my comment I made yesterday at 5 didn't post, so will try again.

    For those who wished for race data. Subgroup data, including by race, is available on NC DPI website. Click link in article, then Cohort Graduation Rate in column on left side of page. From that page, you can select data for state or by LEA (district), or individual high schools once you pick the LEA. For LEA totals scroll down to bottom of schools list and pick LEA Results.

    Compared to state, Wake's rate for White is above state rate, Black, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient are all below state rates. For example, ED rate in Wake is about 67% compared to state rate of 78% or Charlotte's rate of about 80%, and the 67% is actually an improvement from Wake's 54% rate for ED in 2008.

  • Doug Pawlak Sep 5, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    When we're 48th in the entire nation in education spending, that's pretty convincing evidence that we need to spend more in that area. Everything else is important as well. But if our overall taxes are near or below the national average, why is it the number one GOP priority to cut them repeatedly? That;s why we're lagging in these areas.

  • chris42m Sep 5, 2014

    Plenty Coups

    Perhaps you can, but I can't. But that is the typical ultra liberal democrat response; "Just tax some more and give it to us. We need it more than you." But, these studies that you site, Could it be that they were commissioned by the same education cartel that would benefit from the funding? Hummm. That sounds about like the Fox guarding the Hen House!
    However, if you feel so strongly about the fact you don't pay enough taxes and that they really do need it so badly, feel free to write the a check for whatever you wish to donate. The address is:
    NC Department of Revenue
    501 N Wilmington St Raleigh, NC 27604

  • Todd Jenkins Sep 5, 2014
    user avatar

    Rumor is that the rates in Garner and Clayton were bad and pulled the county down as a whole.

  • chris42m Sep 5, 2014

    So, I was right, you and the education cartel DO Want IT ALL. We don't need Bridges, roads, or infrastructure as long as "education" gets what it wants. There is no need to take care of the blind, deaf, disabled and destitute; "education' needs that money more than those people. We don't need Police,fire, national guard, or EMS because "EDUCATION" MUST have what they WANT!
    The new W-2 Form, as the education cartel says how it should be, will be simplified to only two lines. 1. How much did you make; 2. Send it in!
    Oh, and BTW,I've been to Finland, Norway, and Sweden many times on business. You fail to tel the dark side. The, in fact, have 5 months of no sun and one of the highest rates of Alcoholism (and Alcohol fueled homicides ) in the world. but feel free to Immigrate if you wish.

  • Lysander Sep 5, 2014

    Take government out of school and things may improve.

  • Confucius say Sep 5, 2014

    Maybe like college atheletes they're foregoing their final year of school to take advantage of the lucrative opportunities that await them....like $15 an hour at McDonalds.