Superintendent Bill McNeal said the rise in test scores is something to be proud of.
"This is good news. We are continuing to move forward and we're doing it in a very substantial way," he said.
Officials also said the test scores are up 2 percent from last year.
"That is awesome because they have worked so hard and they've struggled several years with getting the students up to a certain level," parent Gelinda Richardson said. "They've changed the curriculum. They've done a lot of hard work. They're very spontaneous. We appreciate that as parents."
"The teachers played a big part in it, making sure the children were well-prepared and not nervous about taking the test," parent Renae Mayo said.
"We were a little far behind on the goal that's projected for 2003, so we had quite a gap to make up. This is a giant step forward in reaching that goal, and we're very excited about it," teacher Ida Lawson said.
Despite the good news about the scores, officials said there is still more work to do. Wake County's goal is to have 95 percent of students testing at or above grade level by 2003.
"When you start thinking of 11,000 students that still are below grade level, that's work that we still have to do," McNeal said.
McNeal said without more resources, he doubts they will reach the goal of having 95 percent of students performing at grade level by 2003, but he said they will be close.
Another result from the test scores is that the achievment gap between minorities and white students is narrowing. Officials said the number of African-American students reaching grade level increased by 6 percent this year and the number of Latino students increased by 4 percent.