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Wake County Public School System
The end-of-grade test results for elementary and middle school students in the third and eighth grades were just a little below the school system's peak in 2003.
Wake County reading scores climbed slightly, compared to last year, while math scores dropped by a half percent.
Wake County Public Schools Superintendent Bill McNeal chose Raleigh's Carrol Middle School for the announcement because of its marked improvement over past years.
Still, the numbers fall short of Wake County's stated goal of 95 percent at or above grade level by 2008.
"We believe that no matter where we are, we could do better," McNeal said.
Raleigh high school scores remained steady -- but were a long way from the 95 percent passing.
McNeal used the announcement to highlight the school system's recent budget struggles.
Without more resources to target those not making the grade, the school's leader admits meeting the goal will be tough.
"We're at a point now that we're saying to the community as we take this next step, we need the community to step up and help us," McNeal said.
The end-of-grade scores make up just one part of the schools' evaluation. The numbers will be reanalyzed for ABC and No Child Left Behind ratings.
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