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Tag: Policy studies

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Published Document Title Authors Pages Abstract
June 2017 Math Acceleration in WCPSS Elementary and Middle Schools: Implementation and Impact Lenard, Matthew

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Since 2014, the Wake County Public School System has implemented single subject acceleration (SSA) as a way to provide students with access to advanced mathematics courses. This report includes three main findings related to the implementation and impact of SSA. First, a disproportionally large percentage of male, Asian and academically/intellectually gifted students were nominated, qualified and accelerated compared with their female, Black and Hispanic/Latino counterparts. Second, roughly two-thirds of students who qualified for SSA in mathematics actually proceeded to take the accelerated course. Third, near the qualifying cutoff score, accelerated students performed similarly to their non-accelerated counterparts, suggesting that SSA had no significant achievement effects—positive or negative—for students who were accelerated. We recommend that staff expand the visibility of SSA in order to inform more diverse populations, identify potential causes of non-acceleration among qualifiers, explore options for assessing content-level mastery, and maintain the 80% qualifying CASE score for SSA mathematics.

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May 2013 High Five PLT Survey Results, 2007-08 to 2012-13 Jackl, Andrew

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WCPSS PLT survey responses have been positive over time, remaining at high levels for the past six school years. Analyses of High Five PLT Survey data from 2007-08 to 2012-13 show: The percentage of positive agreement to each of the High Five PLT Survey themes increased between 4 and 11 percentage points since baseline data was first collected in the 2007-08 school year. When the survey data were disaggregated by the six PLT themes, only "collaborative culture/team processes" showed a decline (two percentage points). When the survey items are examined individually, the percentage of respondents marking that they "strongly agree" almost universally decreased from 2011-12, while the percentage marking "agree" showed a corresponding increase. Administering the High Five PLT Survey at less frequent intervals is recommended, as well as standardized PLT training for all new staff.

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January 2013 Promotion Retention Rates, 2011-12 Paeplow, Colleen

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The vast majority of WCPSS' students are promoted to the next grade level at the end of each school year. Only 3.4% of students were retained within grade in 2011-12; however, this rate varies considerably by grade, school level, school, and student subgroup. High school students represent over three fourths of retained students with the highest retention at grades 9 and 10. For a high school student, retention may mean repeating as few as one course (rather than a full grade). Limited English proficient (LEP) students were three to four times as likely to be retained as non-LEP students in elementary, middle, and high school. This tripling of retention was most notable at the high school level, where nearly a third of LEP high school students were retained overall, including nearly 40% of LEP students in grade 9. Furthermore, approximately 20% of economically disadvantaged (ED) students and students with disabilities (SWD) were retained in high school. Given the elevated retention rates within some grades and student subgroups, further investigation into retention is merited and planned.

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July 2012 High Five PLT Survey Results, 2007-12 Jackl, Andrew

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Summary - WCPSS PLT survey responses have been positive over time, reaching a high plateau for the last three years. Analyses of High Five PLT Survey data from 2007-12 show: In 2011-12, high percentages (87.2%) of WCPSS teachers responding to the High Five PLT Survey provided positive responses to the items. Responses have been positive from 2007-08 to 2011-12, with small increases over time. Overall, WCPSS has shown an improvement in its PLT Performance Index of 5.7 percentage points over five years. The elementary, middle, and high schools have shown gains of 4.2, 7.5, and 9.1 percentage points, respectively. The implementation of dedicated time for PLT work (Wake Wednesdays) correlated to slight increases in PLT indices at the elementary and middle school levels; only the elementary level saw a slight decline when dedicated time was no longer provided.

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April 2012 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Professional Learning Teams (PLTs): 2010-11 to 2011-12 School-Based Policy Study Jackl, Andrew
Lougée, Aimee

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Professional Learning Teams were first introduced in WCPSS in 2003. Implementation checks, first done in 2007-08, showed most teachers (81.5%) reported involvement in PLT work. These high percentages improved slowly over time, with 87% positive responses to items by fall of 2011. In terms of impact, 81% of teachers indicated students learned more because of their PLT work. Student retention rates, classroom grades, state test performance, and graduation rates have all improved over time. Regression analyses indicated those schools who utilized PLTs the most had greater decreases in student retention rates than those with lower implementation. Similar analyses for student growth on test results just missed statistical significance. While it is difficult to separate out the impact of PLT work from other initiatives, these analyses suggest PLTs have contributed to improvements in WCPSS outcomes despite tough economic times and increasing challenges for teachers.

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November 2011 Fall 2011 Survey Results for Hilburn Drive Academy K-8 McMillen, Brad

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Fall 2011 Survey Results for Hilburn Drive Academy K-8

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August 2011 Evaluation of WCPSS Central Services Professional Learning Teams (PLTs): Spring 2011 Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Board policy indicates that central staff are to support school implementation of Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) and to participate in PLTs at the central level. Central Services supported PLT work in the schools in a variety of ways. The percentage of principals who saw this support as adequate dropped from 85% to 70% between spring 2010 and 2011. Within Central Services, 86% of survey respondents reported participating in at least one PLT. Of those responding to the Spring 2011 PLT survey, responses remained overwhelming positive about implementation and effectiveness. However, without exception, the strength of agreement decreased, with the percentage of respondents who "strongly agreed" dropping between 2010 and 2011.

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June 2011 Comprehensive Assessment Systems: Purposes and Implementation Talbot, Troy

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Comprehensive Assessment Systems: Purposes and Implementation

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June 2011 Outcomes for Supplemental Education Services (SES): 2009-10 Paeplow, Colleen

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This report, the third of three reports examining Supplemental Education Services (SES) within the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), focused on the long-term goal of improved student achievement by the end of the school year. In 2009-10, 508 students participated in SES at the five schools offering SES: Brentwood, Fox Road, Poe, Wendell, and York. The vast majority of students (83%) participating in SES received tutoring services in both reading and mathematics. Overall, this study did not support the value of SES in promoting higher achievement (beyond what matched students achieved).

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April 2011 WCPSS 2010-11 High Five Professional Learning Teams (PLT) Survey Results: Implementation Over Time Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) continues to implement Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) as a research-based method of improving teacher effectiveness and increasing student achievement. Over each of the last four years, a survey of educators was conducted in WCPSS and the other four High Five districts. As in previous years, this year's data showed strong support among teachers for the PLT model; between 73% and 91% of respondents indicating that they "strongly agree" or "agree" with the statements pertaining to the six PLT themes. Viewed longitudinally, positive responses for each theme have increased between four and eight percentage points since 2007-08. When 2010-11 results were compared with 2009-10, the results were less dramatic, with smaller changes in the percentage of positive responses.

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March 2011 Implementation of Supplemental Education Services: 2009-10 Paeplow, Colleen

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This report, the second of three reports examining Supplemental Education Services (SES) within WCPSS, focused on the implementation of SES, and the degree to which short-term and intermediate goals were met. In 2009-10, the SES program was largely implemented with fidelity, with some areas needing refinement related to communication and monitoring. Monitoring reports noted appropriate instruction based on learning plans was occurring. SES has 13 implementation requirements for the Local Educational Agency (7), providers (2), and parents (4). Nine were fully met, with four partially met. The two short-term goals--student enrollment in SES and providers pre-assess all participants--were met. Three of the six intermediate goals were met (progress reports given to parents, minimum of 30 hours offered to each student, monitoring showed implementation occurring) and two additional goals were partially met (attendance at SES and post-assessments given to completers).

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February 2011 Supplemental Education Services: 2008-09 & 2009-10 Paeplow, Colleen

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This report describes SES within Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) in terms of the schools, providers, and student participants in 2008-09 and 2009-10. It is the first in a series of three reports related to SES. NCLB requires schools receiving Title I funding in their second year of school improvement to offer eligible students Supplemental Educational Services (SES) in addition to existing Title I services. The SES programs for WCPSS in 2008-09 and 2009-10 were in compliance with federal guidelines to make available an SES program, enroll only FRL students, and to use state-approved vendors to deliver the program. SES is designed to improve the achievement of FRL students who score below, at, or above grade level. Therefore, service to some students may help schools reach AYP standards while service to others may help individual students and schools reach ABCs and other standards of academic success.

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January 2011 ABCs and AYP Results, WCPSS: 2009-10 Haynie, Glenda

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In 2009-10, 92% of WCPSS schools met Expected or High Growth as measured by the North Carolina ABCs program, a 3.5 percentage point increase from 2008-09. Fifty-four percent of the schools made High Growth and 38% made Expected Growth. All subgroups saw their percentages of students meeting growth increase to above 55% in 2009-10; with the "All Students" group above 60% (the state's definition of High Growth for a school). Slightly more than 90% of WCPSS schools were in the recognition categories Honor Schools of Excellence (5.8%), Schools of Excellence (3.2%), Schools of Distinction (40.6%), or Schools of Progress (40.6%). Yet there was a substantial decrease in the number of schools making AYP (38.4%) compared to 2008-09 (62.8%). The decrease in 2009-10 can partly be explained by the one-year effect of retests that benefitted schools in 2008-09, and the invalidation of tests for high school occupational course of study students by the U.S. Department of Education. There were a much greater proportion of schools that met High Growth among the schools that met AYP (71.7%) than among those that did not meet AYP (43.2%).

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November 2010 WCPSS Professional Learning Teams (PLTs): 2009-10 School-Based Policy Implementation Study Baenen, Nancy

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As a result of Board Policy 3610, PLTs were implemented across WCPSS in a consistent fashion in 2009-10. Data show that implementation improved and teachers spent more time engaged in collaborative work. School staff cited numerous benefits for teachers and students. Regression analyses showed a reasonably strong correlation between high levels of PLT implementation and students' academic achievement, attendance, and their overall level of satisfaction with their schools. Essential characteristics of PLTs were illustrated in case studies of high-performing PLTs' in the district. While collaborative cultures have been well-established, most teams could benefit from additional training on ways to use data, and on ways to evaluate the success of their efforts. Communications with school communities could also be more consistent across schools.

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June 2010 End-of-Grade (EOG) Multiple-Choice Test Results, 2008-09 McMillen, Brad

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In 2008-09, results from End-of-Grade (EOG) reading and mathematics tests in WCPSS continued to demonstrate an upward trend across grade levels and student subgroups. Disaggregation of results by ethnicity, income level, disability status, and English proficiency status showed that achievement gaps between historically underperforming subgroups and their peers are still significant but are closing. Results of the new EOG science test in grades 5 and 8 showed that proficiency rates in science are below those for reading and mathematics. The effect of retesting for students who fail to score proficient on the first administration of EOG tests indicated that retesting improved proficiency rates by 4-9 percentage points, and that some groups of students benefited more than others from retesting.

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June 2010 Evaluation of Central Services Professional Learning Teams as of Spring 2010 Baenen, Nancy
Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) board policy states that central services staff are to support school implementation of Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) and to participate in PLTs at the central level. Central staff support school efforts in a variety of ways, and over 85% of principals at each level reported this support was adequate. Participation in PLTs among central staff respondents was high for those in administrative (86%) and professional and technical roles (76%), but lower for support staff (37%). High percentages of central administrators, professionals, and technical staff had positive views about PLT implementation and impact. Responses for those in administrative roles were almost always more positive in spring 2010 than in previous surveys. High percentages of administrators and professional/technical staff believe PLTs help them perform their job more effectively, along with most support staff (91%, 86%, and 67% respectively).

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May 2010 WCPSS 2009-10 High Five PLT Survey Results: Professional Learning Team (PLT) Implementation Over Time Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) continues to implement Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) as a research-based method of improving teacher effectiveness and increasing student achievement. High Five PLT Survey results from 2007-08 through 2009-10 showed a strong level of support for the PLT oncept. The 2009-10 results revealed 73% to 92% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with all statements pertaining to each of the six core PLT themes. Generally, teachers responded more positively to the survey items in 2009-10 than in previous years. The percentage of teachers meeting weekly for over an hour increased greatly over prior years after implementation of the Board policy on PLTs. In short, survey results suggest strong implementation, with slow but measureable progress towards full functioning of all components of the model.

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January 2010 NovaNET 2008-09 Evaluation Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina

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NovaNET is a technology-based teacher-facilitated educational approach used at schools to support students at risk of not meeting graduation requirements to accrue credits in a variety of subjects. NovaNET contributes to the WCPSS goal of closing achievement gaps and creating opportunities for all students to graduate on time. In 2008-09, 38 NovaNET courses were offered districtwide. All high schools offered credit recovery (CR) courses. Six schools offered remediation opportunities, and 11 offered new credits. Based on summer courses, NovaNET had a high success rate in helping students earn credits towards graduation. Based on high summer pass rates, it is recommended to encourage use of NovaNET to earn course credits, examine ways to enhance EOC performance, designate use of NovaNET within course codes, streamline reporting methods, and enhance monitoring of success. Consider expanded use of NovaNET as a supplement for regular courses. Based on cost-effectiveness, expand student access to NovaNET in summer if feasible.

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June 2009 Algebra I Performance in Year-Long versus Semester-Long Courses Holdzkom, David

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This study examined differences in student achievement between 9th grade students who took Algebra I in a twopart, year-long sequence and those who took a one-semester Algebra I course. Results indicated higher proficiency rates and higher growth results for students in the year-long sequence, especially for students who scored below Achievement Level IV on their 8th Grade Mathematics EOG test. Schools are urged to use these results to make data-based scheduling decisions for 9th grade Algebra I students.

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June 2009 PLC Survey Results by Years of Experience Baenen, Nancy

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On the High Five PLC Survey, most teachers, regardless of years of experience, viewed PLCs as having a positive impact on their work environment and student learning. Beginning teachers tended to have the highest percentage of agreement. The percentage of teachers agreeing that PLCs were having the desired impact increased between 2007-08 and 2008-09 for both beginning teachers and those with more experience. Thus, trends were in the desired direction.

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May 2009 Professional Learning Community (PLC) Implementation: WCPSS 2008-09 High Five PLC Survey Results Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) continues to implement Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) as a research-based method of increasing student achievement and improving teaching effectiveness. Teachers were surveyed in 2007-08 and again in 2008-09 to obtain data about the status of PLC implementation efforts within the district. The 2008-09 results showed a strong level of support for the PLC concept (71% to 89% of the survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed with statements pertaining to each of the six core PLC themes). In most instances, teachers responded more positively to the survey items in 2008-09 than they did the year before. In short, survey results suggest that the district is making progress towards its goal of full PLC implementation.

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May 2009 Wake County Public School System Promotion and Retention in Grades K-12, 2007-08 Paeplow, Colleen

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Within the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), nearly all (96%) students in grades K-12 were promoted, with 4% retained at the end of the 2007-08 school year. Although the percentage of students retained is low, it represents 5,699 students who will require added instruction. For elementary and middle school students, retention requires a full year of additional instruction at an annual cost of $7,821 per student; for high school students it requires repeating courses at a somewhat lower cost. For each of the past three years more than 90% of students in all No Child Left Behind subgroups (ethnicity, free or reduced-price lunch, limited English proficient students, and students with disabilities) in WCPSS were promoted, but retention rates varied by subgroup. Although the overall retention rate in WCPSS was 4.3%, the percentage of tudents in each subgroup retained varied from 2% to more than 9% in 2007-08.

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March 2009 Comparison of SAS© EVAAS© Results and WCPSS Effectiveness Index Results Holdzkom, David
McMillen, Brad

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Comparison of SAS© EVAAS© Results and WCPSS Effectiveness Index Results

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October 2008 Middle School Grading: Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) 2006-07 and 2007-08 Paeplow, Colleen

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This study examined the distribution of middle school reading and mathematics grades in 2006-07 and 2007-08 and the correlation of students' classroom grades and End-of-Grade (EOG) scores in 2006-07. Most students (80% or more) received an A, B, or C in reading and mathematics. Among Level IV students, the percentage with an A in the classroom varied by ethnicity. Mathematics grades had a slightly stronger correlation to the newly revised mathematics EOG scores than did reading grades to the 2006-07 reading EOG scores. Middle school grades of A-F had a weaker correlation to EOG scores than that found for standards-based grading and EOG scores at the elementary school level. Schools varied considerably in terms of the percentage of students receiving an A or B who scored at or above grade level on the EOG.

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June 2008 Standards-Based Grading 2005-06 and 2006-07 Paeplow, Colleen

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Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) uses a standards-based grading policy at the elementary school level that aligns with North Carolina's Student Accountability Standards and the WCPSS Promotion/Intervention policy. This evaluation examined the distribution of grades given in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and the correlation of students' grades and End-of-Grade (EOG) scores in 2006-07. The study found that over three fourths of students were graded as proficient in reading and mathematics. In reading and mathematics grade K-2 students earned higher grades than their 3-5 counterparts; overall, mathematics grades were lower than reading across the K-5 grade levels. Fourth-quarter reading and mathematics grades were correlated with reading and mathematics' EOG scores. Mathematics grades had a stronger correlation to the newly revised mathematics EOG scores than did fourthquarter reading grades to the current reading EOG scores. Furthermore, a student scoring proficient within the classroom has a greater likelihood of being proficient on their EOG than those with below grade-level scores.

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May 2008 WCPSS Professional Learning Communities: 2007-08 Implementation Status Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are in the implementation stages throughout the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). Results from the 2007-08 High Five PLC Survey of teachers throughout the school system, as well as observations and focus group interviews in selected schools, show that strong support continues for PLC implementation overall, (66% to 87% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with statements about each PLC element). Results suggest PLC concepts and work efforts are well underway and are growing in implementation. Challenges cited include finding time for PLC team work and remediation of student skills, increasing the understanding of all staff of PLC concepts, and increasing teachers' skills in developing and using quality formative assessments.

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February 2008 Public Issues Confronting the WCPSS Board of Education as Perceived by Focus Group Interview Participants Baenen, Nancy
Holdzkom, David

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In an effort to understand the issues that the citizens of Wake County believe confront the Board of Education, two focus group interviews were conducted in November 2007 with the Community Relations Committee (CRC). The two groups both identified population growth as a major root cause of many of the issues confronting the school system. Many of the issues identified by the interviewed groups may be thought of as nested, or embedded. The focus group interviews identified three major impacts of this rapid growth on the school district: providing high quality facilities and educational programs, creating a student assignment plan that is fair and provides some measure of predictability, and coping with the increasing diversity of the student population.

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April 2007 Magnet Program Review Regan, Roger
Rhea, Anisa

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This review evaluates the effectiveness of Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) magnet schools in meeting the objectives established by the Wake County Board of Education in April 2005. Data show that magnet schools positively contribute to the optimal utilization of school facilities in WCPSS. Many magnet schools and neighboring schools would experience under-utilization or unfavorable changes in the demographic composition of their student populations if they were demagnetized. Analysis also suggests that magnet schools effectively promote diverse student populations and reduce high concentrations of poverty by drawing students from more affluent families to their schools. Magnet schools tend to show similar achievement trends as non-magnet schools with similar student populations. Surveyed magnet school principals describe how the expanded educational opportunities offered at their magnet schools positively impact students' academic and personal growth. Finally, interviewed magnet program administrators concur that magnet programs provide education innovation as a means of attracting parents and students to under-utilized schools.

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April 2007 Professional Learning Community (PLC) Implementation WCPSS 2006-07 Baseline Survey Results Baenen, Nancy
Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are being developed in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) to promote continuous improvement and student success. Baseline results from a 2006-07 survey show strong support for PLC concepts/expectations among school staff (at least 88% rated themes as medium or high priority), with lower implementation levels (60-73%) per theme. Sustained implementation of PLCs was reported by 24-30% of staff for each theme. Results suggest training in PLC concepts and strategies should be well received in WCPSS, and that increased implementation is clearly possible.

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October 2006 Defining a Professional Learning Community: A Literature Review Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Summarizing a nonexhaustive review of the literature, the following definition is suggested for a professional learning community: A professional learning community is made up of team members who regularly collaborate toward continued improvement in meeting learner needs through a shared curricular-focused vision. Facilitating this effort are: supportive leadership and structural conditions, collective challenging, questioning, and reflecting on team-designed lessons and instructional practices/experiences, and team decisions on essential learning outcomes and intervention/enrichment activities based on results of common formative student assessments.

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October 2006 Evaluation of Supplemental Educational Services at Hodge Road Elementary 2005-06 Paeplow, Colleen

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In 2005-06, four private agencies provided 252 Hodge Road students with supplemental educational services as one component of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Only students receiving free or reduced-price lunch (FRL) were eligible. More than half of those served scored at or above grade level before service, while some students who scored below grade level were not eligible. The curricular materials used were remedial and not designed to extend the learning of students scoring at grade level. At grades 1-2, the percentage of students reaching grade level in literacy increased for those served; this was not the case for not-served students. Both served and not served students improved End-of-Grade (EOG) reading performance at grades 3-5. Students who had multiple risk factors (limited English proficient [LEP] or students with disabilities [SWD] in addition to FRL) showed the greatest increases in the percentage of students at grade level. A major caution when interpreting the results is that analyses could not control for other intervention efforts that may have contributed to results found.

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July 2006 High School Redesign 2004-05 Reichstetter, Rosemary

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) strengthened the rigor, relevance, and relationships within its high schools in 2004-05; a primary strategy was the adoption on a block schedule. This progress report found an increase in more rigorous academic opportunities. Higher numbers of enrollees engaged in advanced courses and generally stable or higher academic success was achieved with End-of-Course exams, grade point averages, and credits earned. Greater relevance in coursework was evident and a wider variety of instructional practices. Staff promoted stronger student-staff relationships by emphasizing personalization. The majority of students and teachers reported fewer discipline concerns in classes, and students felt connected with their schools. Dropout and suspension rates did not decline.

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April 2006 Effective Biology Teaching: A Value-Added Instructional Improvement Analysis Model Haynie, Glenda

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This research study developed a value-added instructional improvement analysis model. North Carolina state testing results were used in regression and residual analyses of student achievement. This analysis allowed for identification of the "most effective" and "least effective" biology teachers in Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS). The study found that the "most effective" biology teachers were focused on the delivery of biology instruction; resisted distractions from their classroom efforts; maximized student use of class time; studied and planned with other teachers using the North Carolina Biology Standard Course of Study; focused all student time on the Standard Course of Study goals; carefully planned teacher controlled student activities; and used data to guide their instructional practice.

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December 2005 Advanced Placement (AP) Course-Taking, Exam Participation, and Exam Results, 2004-05 Dulaney, Chuck
McMillen, Brad

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The first section of this bulletin summarizes Advanced Placement (AP) course participation and AP exam data for the Wake County Public School System for the 2004-05 school year. Overall, the percentage of high school students who took at least one AP course increased from 14.1% in 2003-04 to 15.7% in 2004-05. About 59% of students who took an AP course took the corresponding AP exam for that course, and about 78% of those exam scores were 3 or higher, which is the College Board's threshold for mastery. The second section reports on a more in-depth study of AP results for students from the 2003-04 school year that looks at the relationship between 8th-grade achievement and success in AP courses.

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December 2005 End-of-Grade Multiple-Choice Test Results, 2004-05 McMillen, Brad

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The percentage of reading and mathematics tests taken by Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) students in grades 3-8 that resulted in Level III or IV scores fell slightly in 2004-05 to 90.8% from 91.1% in 2003-04. The percentage of students scoring in Level III or IV was slightly higher in mathematics (91.4%) than in reading (90.4%). The percentage of students scoring in Level III or IV in reading showed slight increases at all grade levels except grade 4, while percentages in mathematics rose slightly in grades 6 and 7 and fell in grades 3, 4, and 5. Female students out performed male students in both subjects. Disaggregation by race/ethnicity, income level, and disability status showed either no change or a small increase in the percentage of reading scores at Level III or IV and no change or a small decline in mathematics for most groups.

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October 2005 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Results: 2004-05 Dulaney, Chuck
Haynie, Glenda

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) met 66 out of 73 (90.4%) measurabledistrict targets in the third year of federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) accountability standards. The 2004-05 school year was the first year that the Annual Measurable Objectivesincreased. In grades 3-8, the objectives were 76.7% proficiency in reading, up from 68.9%, and 81.0% in math, up from 74.6%. In 10th grade, the Annual Measurable Objectives were given new starting points based on past student performance on English I, 10th-grade Writing, and Algebra I tests, which were approved as the high school primary tests. In spite of the new and increased targets, 63% of all WCPSS schools made AYP in 2004-05 (83 out of 132). Twenty-seven schools missed only one or two targets. Students with disabilities and recipients of free or reduced-price meals (economically disadvantaged) were the two subgroups that most often failed to meet AYP targets.

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August 2005 ABC Outcomes for WCPSS for 2004-05 Dulaney, Chuck

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ABC Outcomes for WCPSS for 2004-05

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May 2005 Student Outcomes After Reassignment for School Socioeconomic Diversity: Year Two Follow-Up Baenen, Nancy

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This study examined whether reassignment, specifically when used to maintain socioeconomic diversity in WCPSS elementary schools, affects the academic outcomes of students over a two-year period. Results indicate that (1) only a small number of students in the year studied were reassigned only for diversity (with more reassigned for growth or other reasons). (2) Three-fourths of the students slated for reassignment did not attend the schools to which they had been assigned, instead choosing other options available to WCPSS students, such as magnet schools and special programs; and (3) reassigned students who did attend the schools to which they had been reassigned attained reasonable achievement in the two years following reassignment. Achievement results were mixed, with no clear advantage for either group. Only 37 students remained in their reassigned school by the end of year 2, so small sample sizes limit the generalizability of the results.

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April 2005 Improving Teacher Quality: Progress in Meeting NCLB (Title II-A) Requirements, 2003-04 Speas, Carol

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Overall, WCPSS is on track in meeting NCLB's Title II, Part A requirements for teacher quality and quality of professional development (PD). In 2003-04, all WCPSS teachers met the "highly qualified" standard. All lateral-entry teachers, as well as 89% of Title I-funded paraprofessionals, met new mandates. Further, 85% of Title II, Part A-funded PD activities were more intensive than a single day, up from 20% in 2002-03. District-wide, 75% of core area teachers completed at least one PD activity; 72% participated in "high quality" PD (comparable to a similar-sized NC district). Recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers, as well as documenting the provision of high quality training to increasing percentages of teachers, will continue to be challenging.

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February 2005 Block Scheduling Evaluation Baenen, Nancy
Reichstetter, Rosemary

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In 2003-04, 11 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) high schools moved from a traditional student schedule of six full-year courses to a block schedule of four courses each semester (4x4). Implementation went fairly smoothly, with 90% of teachers trained prior to the change. Academic course opportunities and course enrollment numbers increased substantially (by 24% and 46% respectively) compared to 2002-03, key desired outcomes. Academic success was marked by increases in credits earned, grade promotion rates, and twelfth grade graduation rates as desired. Maintenance of prior status was desired for other outcomes this first year. End-of-course performance and grade point averages of 3.0 or higher actually increased slightly, while Advanced Placement (AP) scores of 3 and greater decreased slightly. Student attendance and suspension rates remained the same. Generally, most of those surveyed and interviewed expressed satisfaction with the change. Exploring modified schedule options for some courses as well as continued professional development are recommended.

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December 2004 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Results: 2003-04 Dulaney, Chuck
Haynie, Glenda

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Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Results: 2003-04

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October 2004 WCPSS Outcomes Summary for 2003-04, With an Emphasis on Achievement Gap Status Baenen, Nancy
Dulaney, Chuck
Yaman, Kimberly

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) has seen positive changes in patterns of achievement and dropout rates over the past several years overall and by subgroup. The most positive one-year subgroup changes related to dropout rates for Black students and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for minority, low-income, and limited English proficient (LEP) students. However, many achievement gaps remain, and the system continues to work towards optimal achievement for all students and closing achievement gaps.

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June 2004 Input on 2005-06 School Calendar Survey Baenen, Nancy

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Board of Education, in considering the best start date for the school calendar, questioned how important certain factors in the calendar are for high schools. If factors assumed to be important were not in fact important, a later start date would be considered. In the spring of 2004, input on the 2005-06 school calendar was secured from high school students, parents, and professional staff. In addition to rating the importance of various scheduling factors, respondents were asked to look at three specific calendars. The most popular specific option for all three groups was the calendar with the earliest start date beginning August 9, 2005, and ending May 24, 2006. About half of the parents (51%), 42% of the staff, and 34% of the students picked one of the other two options. The second-favored option overall was a start date of August 24, 2005, with a start date of September 6, 2005 selected least often. Factors most often cited in support of the August 9 start date included vacation schedules, exam completion before winter break, and the number of instructional days before Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

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April 2004 From Complacency to Excellence Through School District Reform: A Case Study of the WCPSS Banks, Karen

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WCPSS has made some notable positive changes in achievement, graduation, and other outcomes over the last few years. This document summarizes trends over time in outcomes and district efforts which likely contributed.

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December 2003 A Study of the 1995 WCPSS 9TH - Grade Students with Disabilities Cohort Haynie, Glenda

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In a study of 5,226 first-time 1995 9th-grade students, 12% of the students were students with disabilities (SWD). Academic performance indicators for the SWD group were far below the overall cohort indicators. Difficulties for students with disabilities could be observed beginning in ninth grade. The average GPA of SWD students at the end of ninth grade was 1.79(a D+ average) compared to an average GPA of 2.58 (a C+ average) for the overall cohort. Just 57% of the SWD cohort graduated (defined as completion of 12th grade with a diploma or certificate) compared to 77% of the overall cohort. Of the graduating SWD students, only 36% took the SAT with an average total score of 949, while 76% of the overall cohort took the SAT with an average total score of 1065. Black SWD students were less likely to graduate than White SWD students (45% compared to 66%). Behaviorally/Emotionally Disabled (BED) Black female students were least likely to graduate (13%). The 43% of SWD students who dropped out had a ninth grade average GPA of 0.82 (below a D average).

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November 2003 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Results: 2002-03 Dulaney, Chuck
Paeplow, Colleen

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In the first year of implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation in North Carolina, 51 of the 79 elementary schools, one of the 25 middle schools, and one of the 16 high schools in Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) met the requirements of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Of the 48 Title I schools (all elementary) in WCPSS, 29 met AYP and 19 failed to meet AYP requirements. The number of reading and math AYP targets applicable to WCPSS schools ranged from eight to 32. Seven of the eight schools with 13 or fewer targets met the AYP requirements. All eleven schools with more than 25 targets failed to meet the AYP requirements. The two subgroups that most frequently failed to meet AYP were SWD (students with disabilities) and FRL (free or reduced-price lunch) students.

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June 2003 Promotion/Retention of Students In Grades K-8: 2001-02 Paeplow, Colleen

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At the end of the 2001-02 school year, 90.5% percent of students in grades K-8 were promoted, 3.6% were retained, and 5.9% withdrew from Wake County Public Schools. Of the 48,874 students in grades 3-8, 95% took at least one End-of-Grade (EOG) test. The retention rate was higher among students in grades 3-8 who did not take EOG tests (6.1%) than for students who took EOG tests (2.4%). The rate of retention for male students was consistently higher than that of female students. Students receiving free or reduced lunch, students with Limited English Proficiency status, and students with Special Education status had lower promotion rates and higher retention rates than their counterparts. Kindergarten (8%) and 1st-grade (7%) students had the highest rate of retention. One percent of White students were retained compared to 5% of Black and Hispanic/Latino students.

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April 2003 Advanced Placement Exam Results 2001-2002 Regan, Roger

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Students at 15 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) high schools took approximately 4,878 Advanced Placement exams offered by the College Board in 2001-02. With 20% of all juniors and seniors in the district taking at least one AP exam, the percent attaining a score of 3 or higher on a 5-point scale (the score typically needed to qualify for college course credit) reached a 10-year high of 80.5%, up 3.3 percentage points from the previous year. WCPSS' overall success rate was higher than that of comparable large school districts, and 17 percentage points higher than the rate for the nation as a whole. On the five most frequently taken AP exams, the percent of scores that were 3 or higher rose an average of 8.6 points.

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February 2003 Class-Size Reduction Program 2001-02 Speas, Carol

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In 2001-02, 23 schools were provided with 40 teacher positions through the Class Size Reduction (CSR) Program. Achievement results for students in reduced class sizes were compared to those of similar students in other CSR schools who did not choose the same grade for the project (keeping school and student demographics similar). At grades 1 and 2, WCPSS K-2 Literacy and Mathematics Assessments were compared pre (spring 2001) and post (spring 2002). These analyses yielded mixed results: (a) an increase in the percentage of students meeting the reading-book-level standards was greater for students in the reduced-size classes at grade 2 but not at grade 1, and (b) an increase in the percentage of students meeting the mathematics standards was greater for students in the reduced-size classes at grade 1 but not at grade 2. As in the previous year at grade 3, the NC End-of-Grade fall pretest and spring post-test data indicate that, controlling for differences in pre-test scores and free and reduced-price lunch status of students, there were no significant differences in reading and mathematics achievement between students in reduced-size classes and those in regular-sized classes. As in previous years, WCPSS generally did not reach a class size of 18, the goal of the enabling legislation, and it was again recommended that schools receiving two CSR teacher positions should place two teachers at the same grade level to reduce class sizes at a single grade.

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October 2002 Parent Survey Results 2001-2002 Wildman, Wanda

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Parent Survey Results 2001-2002

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June 2002 Advanced Placement Exam Results 2000-2001 Kaase, Kristopher
Paeplow, Colleen

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The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to high school students. Many colleges and universities provide course credit to students who earn a high score on the end-of-year exams. Almost 60% of United States high schools offer AP course work, and more than 800,000 high school students participated in AP programs during the 2000-2001 school year (College Board, 2001). All 15 comprehensive high schools in the WCPSS offer AP courses. Enrollment in Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) AP courses was approximately 6,900 in 2000-01. Many students took more than one AP course. A total of 4,320 AP examinations were taken by 2,223 WCPSS students at the end of the school year. This report examines AP exam results for the WCPSS with comparisons to other large school systems, the state of North Carolina, the South, and the United States.

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May 2002 Class-Size Reduction Program Evaluation, 2000-2001 Speas, Carol

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This report examines the impact of the second year of the federal Class-Size Reduction (CSR) program in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) on student achievement.

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