WakeEd

The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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Wake's dropout rate improves

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Wake County school administrators are touting a reduction in the district's high school dropout rate

In a press release today, school officials say that high schools reported a dropout rate of 3.47 percent for the 2008-09 academic year, the lowest rate since 2003-04. Figures show that 1,430 students dropped out last school year, compared to 1,689 the previous year.

The press release also says that the for the first time since 2000-01, dropout rates for each racial//ethnic group declined as compared to the previous year.

The dropout rate for black students is the lowest since 2003-04. For white students and for multi-racial students, it's the lowest since before 1999-00.

Wake is also touting that the district's dropout rate is lower than the state's and for most urban North Carolina districts. For instance, the dropout rate is 4.99 in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and 4.27 statewide.

Of the urban districts, only Guilford County was lower than Wake at 3.13.

The dropout rate figures come as the new school board majority and their supporters complain about the declining graduation rate.

The graduation rate and dropout rate are two different measures that can sometimes be contradictory. The dropout rate is a state measure while the gradation rate is a federally mandated measure as part of No Chid Left Behind.

Click here for a school district report on the 2008-09 dropout figures.

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This would cause the graduation rate to appear to be on the decline at the same time retaining a higher proportion of aion kinah http://www.playerassist.com/aion/

9th Grade Academies/centers

I think the concept of 9th grade academies/centers is really helping.

Now that EOC testing s going to figure into this years graduating class it will be interesting to see how many actually finish in 4 years.Every year I see "early "graduations at the high schoolsand .I wonder how many of them are late graduates from the year before!

Great news

Yes, this is good news. I don't understand how both the graduation rate and the dropout rate can both be declining, though.

Is this because more students are taking longer than 4 years to graduate?

Eric, I'm not a stats person

Eric, I'm not a stats person but didn't June Atkinson put some new interventions in place a few months ago--I think for one she said they would go back and let students  that had not passed the computer skills test graduate after all.  There were other reforms as well, I just don't recall them all.  Would that not have an effect on the outcome?

" didn't June Atkinson put

" didn't June Atkinson put some new interventions in place a few months ago"

You have to work at not graduating ... at my wife's school they have daily reports on any kids that might fail ... they are assigned a CA , study hall, etc. parents are called in ... no one falls between the cracks  ... the school bends over backwards to get them across the finish line kicking and screaming if needed ...

Hmm... I'm not sure.  I

Hmm... I'm not sure.  I hadn't heard that.  If that is the case, though, I would expect the graduation rate to improve and not continue its slow downward path.

Dr. Atkinson spoke to the

Dr. Atkinson spoke to the reforms made in a tv interview.  I found some info from Action for Children site under "Some May Be Eligible for HS Diplomas". .....A retroactive change to state law will give some NC students who did not get a HS diploma because they did not pass state competency tests another chance to get one.  The change affects students who finished all requirements for graduation except passing the state competency tests in reading and math, or a computer skills test.  The General Assembly eliminated competency tests as graduation requirements in a move retroactive to 1981 when they were not required.....   I am not certain how this will affect the overall graduation stats but I suspect it will make NCs numbers look better.  It will also have a very positive affect on the students who couldn't do much without a HS diploma.  It would be wrong to say that this was accomplished by delivering a better level of education.  Kudos to the GA and DPI for doing this.

An alternative explanation

An alternative explanation is that fewer individuals who were not seniors dropped out relative to those who were seniors.  This would cause the graduation rate to appear to be on the decline at the same time retaining a higher proportion of students in lesser grades would make the drop-out rate lower.

Hopefully everyone here can agree on one thing

This is good news about the children of the city.

Paging Dr. Freud.......

"HOPEFULLY EVERYONE HERE CAN AGREE ON ONE THING...

This is good news about the children of the city."

Agreed, this is good news.

But this is a COUNTY school system, no?

Yep -- my error.   Should

Yep -- my error.   Should have said county!

Wink

Yes, I think we can all

Yes, I think we can all agree on this.  Good news.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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