Local News

Group Hopes To Close Achievement Gap In Wake Schools

Posted August 26, 2006 6:36 a.m. EDT

— Statistics show black students are held back at higher rates than their white or Asian classmates in Wake County Schools. Now, one group is working to bridge the achievement gap.

About 30 parents attended a seminar hosted by the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children. The goal is to open communication between parents and educators.

"We want parents to be aware of promotion policies and requirements so they can better assist the children who attend the schools," said coalition member Calla Wright.

Fifty-two percent of all students held back in Wake County Schools last year were black. The retention happens most often at the Kindergarten, first-grade and ninth-grade levels.

Superintendent Del Burns said for all students, basic skills should be learned from the beginning.

"We look at elementary especially, because literary skills are so critical," said Burns. "Students who can read well can perform well in school. So we maintain a strong focus there."

Parent Daphne Wright said her focus is being a part of her children's education.

"We as parents have to be actively involved, have to be open and have to communicate with the school," said Wright.

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children holds seminars each month. In September, the group will educate parents on Wake County's upcoming $970 million bond proposal. The money would pay for new schools, land and renovations.