WCPSS proposes goal of 95 percent graduation rate in draft strategic plan
Posted January 5, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake school leaders want to annually graduate at least 95 percent of students that are “ready for higher education, career and productive citizenship.”
The objective is part of the Wake County Public School System’s proposed five-year strategic plan, which school board members will discuss during a Tuesday afternoon work session.
The plan focuses on educating students that are prepared for a “complex and changing world” and that are “collaborative, creative and critical thinkers.”
The draft document comes after months of the district soliciting public input through stakeholder focus groups, town hall meetings and an online survey where nearly 10,000 people shared their thoughts on the state’s largest school district.
Some of the suggestions were incorporated into the plan’s five pillars: Learning & Teaching, Achievement, Balanced Assessment System, Human Capital and Community Engagement.
But the document does not directly address one of the biggest concerns from stakeholders – teacher pay. More than 600 teachers left Wake schools between July 2013 and April, in part due to pay, according to the district.
“The majority of stakeholder cohorts (principals, teachers, community groups, school board, and teachers) could give examples of the outbound churn of teachers leaving for other school systems or private schools due to low compensation in Wake County,” according to an August survey results report. “Moreover, the current pay does nothing to encourage the most talented students to pursue a teaching degree.”
In the past, the district has fallen short of its strategic plan goals:
- In 2003, Wake schools wanted 95 percent of its students to score at or above grade level on state reading and math tests. The district ended up with 91.7 percent proficiency.
- Five years later, the district wanted 95 percent of students in grades 3-12 to score at or above grade level on state tests and for all student groups to demonstrate high growth. No more than 76 percent of students were proficient on state tests, and no more than 58 percent of students demonstrated high growth.