Archive for the ‘Results’ Category


Wake students continue to improve according to 2013-14 performance results

Wake County Public School System students posted steady academic growth across multiple measures last school year, according to test results released today by state school officials.

In addition to gains in the percentage of students considered proficient, the school system’s graduation rate also climbed above 82 percent and the percentage of students meeting new college and career standards increased.

The results were part of a large amount of data released today by the state Department of Public Instruction on various academic indicators.

About two-thirds of Wake County students met or exceeded the more rigorous state standards for proficiency introduced two years ago. They also scored well above the state average in all categories tested.

“Steady growth across a broad range of indicators is always a good sign, especially when a school system starts from a relatively high base given the tougher standards now used by the state,” said Superintendent Jim Merrill.

Grades and subjects tested included Math and Reading in Grades 3-8; Science in Grades 5 and 8; and Biology, English II and Math I in high school courses.

For the 2013-14 school year, 82.2 percent of seniors who started school four years earlier graduated on time. This is a 1.2 percentage-point increase over the 2012-13 rate of 81 percent, and the highest rate registered in WCPSS in the past eight years.

The school system as a whole realized a 1.8 percentage-point increase in the number of students who achieved grade level proficiency in particular subject areas. The districtwide proficiency rate moved from 64.8 percent for the 2012-13 academic year to 66.6 percent last year.

This is the second year that students have been tested on academic offerings under the new NC Standard Course of Study. The new Standard Course of Study incorporates the Common Core State Standards and NC Essential Standards that were first implemented in fall 2012, and under which students were first tested in spring 2013.

Career and College Readiness

The percentage of students deemed Career and College Ready also increased by 1.7 percentage points, from 55.8 in 2012-13 to 57.5 in 2013-14. Career and College Readiness is the percentage of students who scored at levels 4 or 5 (with 3 being grade level proficient) and are on track to graduate prepared for college or the workplace.

A number of schools reported significant percentage-point increases, many in the double digits. Durant Road Elementary showed an overall increase in performance of almost 8 percentage points. Principal Teresa Winstead attributes this to more intervention support, very detailed data walls for each teacher, the addition of a literacy coach two years ago, and a Y-Learning partnership with the YMCA.

Among a number of schools that realized higher performance results were:

  • Olds Elementary, which experienced an overall 16.6 percentage point gain in performance;
  • Smith Elementary, which realized a 13.3 percentage-point jump in Grade 3 reading and a 6.6 point jump in Grade 3 math; and
  • Athens Drive High, which experienced an 11.5 percentage point increase in Math 1.


The percentage of high school juniors who scored a 17 or higher on the ACT exam increased, as well. The percentage of juniors who scored at least 17 in 2013-14 was 71.4 percent, up from 70.5 percent for their counterparts the year before.

For more information on these results and how they affect student learning, please visit

A copy of today’s briefing presentation can be downloaded here.

ACT exam scores hold steady, top state average again

Results from the ACT college readiness exam, released nationally Wednesday, August 20, show that Wake County Public School System graduates from the 2013-2014 school year scored above the state average in all subject areas. The district’s composite score was six-tenths of a point behind the national average, which is heavily weighted with college-bound students who have opted to take the ACT.  In North Carolina, all school systems including WCPSS require high school juniors to take the ACT, regardless of college intentions. Continue Reading . . .

Wake highly ranked in ‘educational productivity’ among NC districts

A report issued this month by the Center for American Progress ranks the Wake County Public School System as one of the most educationally productive in North Carolina.

The report uses data from 2011, the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education, to evaluate the achievement of the country’s public school systems relative to their spending.

An interactive analysis of North Carolina districts is available alongside the report.

Wake teachers top the state in effectiveness

The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) is one of only four school districts in North Carolina where more than 90 per cent of teachers met or exceeded student academic growth standards on NC’s new Teacher Effectiveness Index for 2012-13. In Wake, 91.6 per cent of teachers met or exceeded academic growth standards. The smaller Dare County school system’s index tied Wake.  The smaller Watauga County system’s teachers scored a 92 per cent, and 90.2 per cent of teachers in Cabarrus County Schools met or exceeded standards. The state average for North Carolina is 79.3 per cent. Continue Reading . . .

Wake County students continued steady academic growth in 2012-13

Students across the Wake County Public School System demonstrated steady academic progress in the 2012-13 school year, according to results from end-of-grade and end-of-course tests released November 7.

The results show that 140 out of 165 schools met or exceeded expected growth during the 2012-13 academic year. Students met or exceeded expected growth in 11 of 15 subject areas by grade level. According to the data, students also continued to perform above the state average in every subject, at every grade level tested.

“The new standards demand a lot from our teachers and our students. And our students have shown tremendous growth in the past year,” Superintendent Jim Merrill said. “I commend our teachers and students for their work, and parents for their support. I am proud of what we see today.”

View the results. >>
Continue Reading . . .

SAT results show 7-point increase in average score in WCPSS

The average SAT score for Wake County high school seniors who took the exam in the 2012-13 school year is up seven points from the previous year, according to results released September 26 by the College Board.

WCPSS seniors earned an average of 1572 on the college entrance exam, surpassing the state average by 93 points and exceeding the national average by 74 points. Wake County test takers also continued to outperform students in the state’s other large urban districts. (See “WCPSS Compared to Other N.C. Districts” below.)

WCPSS students made gains in critical reading, where the average score increased by three points, and in the writing portion of the exam, for which the average score increased by six points. The average score on the math portion of the exam dipped two points. Continue Reading . . .

WCPSS Class of 2013 shows good performance on ACT exam

Results from the ACT college readiness exam, released nationally on Wednesday, August 21, show that Wake County Public School System students scored above the state average in all subject areas. The district’s composite score was only four-tenths of a point behind the national average, which is heavily weighted with college-bound students who have opted to take the ACT.  In North Carolina, all school systems including WCPSS require high school juniors to take the ACT, regardless of college intentions.

The ACT is a college admissions exam similar to the SAT that measures what students have learned in their high school courses, and helps educators identify the information that students still need to learn to succeed in college or a career. The multiple-choice test measures a student’s understanding of English, math, reading, and science. WCPSS students exceeded the national average in math, and they were within percentages of a point on most other measures.

“This is evidence of quality teaching and learning in our high school classrooms,” said Superintendent Jim Merrill. “We are off to a good start in our first year of testing all juniors.”  Continue Reading . . .

Learning English takes time

A Data and Accountability report found that the extent to which students are able to become proficient in English over four years varies based on when they enter WCPSS schools (about 40% at kindergarten, 50% at grades 6 or 7, and only 25% at grade 9) and their initial level of English proficiency.
Read the WCPSS Data and Accountability Department report under “Achievement Gap Reports”.

Conducting research in WCPSS

Researchers: remember to secure permission before collecting new data or conducting research in WCPSS involving school staff, students or parents. Continue Reading . . .

WCPSS dropout rate decreases in 2011-12

The Wake County Public School System’s dropout rate continues to improve and falls below the state average for the 14th year in a row. The dropout rate decreased to 2.83 percent in 2011-12 from 3.25 percent in 2010-11 for Wake County high schools, according to new data released by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Continue Reading . . .