Wake County Schools

Wake schools look to adapt teaching, learning to changing times

Posted May 30

— Wake County Public School System leaders are working on a new strategic plan to get students ready for the future.

Author and futurist David Houle told a crowd of educators in Raleigh on Friday that the nature and style of teaching needs to change to prepare students to careers in industries that might not even exist right now.

"If we do not better educate our young, it doesn't matter what else we do," Houle said, noting that any school system that doesn't adapt "will fall behind the rest of the world."

Superintendent Jim Merrill said the program was designed to get people excited about the prospects for the district's new strategic plan. Ideas from parents, teachers and students will help to build it.

"I am not certain we are consistent across all classes and students, really preparing them for what the future will hold," Merrill said. "I hope our communities ask for standards and measures that are much higher than we currently operate on."

Students will continue to get the basics of reading, writing and math, but future teaching may include more emphasis on creativity and collaboration. New tests might better compare students with others around the world.

"We have taken the high quality of our Wake County public schools for granted, and we are now at a crossroads," said Christine Kushner, chairwoman of the Wake County Board of Education.

Focus groups and online forums have already been held to gather ideas, and more town halls and surveys are planned to build the strategic plan. The final result could affect policy and budget decisions.

"We could see changes in how things are done," Merrill said. "I hope so. I honestly hope so."

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