Wake County Schools

Review finds 'significant' progress in how Wake schools operate

Posted January 26, 2012 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated January 26, 2012 7:10 p.m. EST

Wake County Public School System

— The Wake County Public School System and the school board have "demonstrated significant improvement" in how they operate, according to a report Thursday from a group that threatened to revoke accreditation for the district's high schools.

In March, Atlanta-based AdvancED placed the school system on an "accredited warned" status for what it called a "lack of effective governance and leadership" as well as a "climate of uncertainty, suspicion and mistrust throughout the community."

Major policy changes, heated debate and fears over segregating schools sparked protests and arrests after a new board majority took control in 2009.

A complaint filed by the state chapter of the NAACP prompted AdvancED to visit Wake County and review how the board conducts its business.

The group returned in November for a follow-up visit. According to the school system, its new status is "accredited on advisement," which maintains the accreditation status of its high schools for the rest of the school year.

In its latest report to the school system, AdvancED found the district had completed five of seven required actions and was in the process of completing the remaining two.

"Overall, stakeholders share a greater sense of confidence in the school system, however, the board must continue to be transparent, engage stakeholders and focus on student achievement to build trust within its community," the report said.

Wake County school leaders welcomed the news.

"As the report states, we take the required actions seriously, and we are happy to report that our high school graduates' diplomas remain in good standing," Superintendent Tony Tata said. "We will continue to focus on student achievement and work toward good governance that inspires confidence in all stakeholders."

"Good governance is exceptionally important, and it is clear we are making progress," school board Vice Chairman Keith Sutton said. "While we still have some work to do, I am proud of the board and our staff."