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Published Document Title Authors Pages Abstract
July 2014 Dropout Rate for WCPSS: 2012-13 Gilleland, Kevin
McMillen, Brad
Muli, Juliana

8 View Abstract

Despite increases in student membership each year, WCPSS continues to maintain a steady decline in dropout counts. In 2012-13, the WCPSS high school dropout rate fell to 1.95%, its lowest rate ever. The WCPSS rate is lower than the state's rate, and also the lowest of the other four large school districts in North Carolina (Guilford 2.07%, Forsyth 2.72%, Mecklenburg 3.02%, and Durham 3.21%). WCPSS dropout rates by ethnicity in 2012-13 also fell for all subgroups, with Black/African-American students experiencing the largest drop of 1.8 percentage points, from 4.6% in 2011-12 to 2.8% in 2012-13.

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May 2014 WCPSS High School Graduation Rates: 2012-13 Regan, Roger

21 View Abstract

The WCPSS four-year cohort graduation rate increased slightly from 80.6% in 2011-12 to 81.0% in 2012-13. Over the past five years, the overall rate has increased 2.6 percentage points and is now at its highest point since 2005-06. In contrast to the 2011-12 cohort, graduation rates declined slightly for economically disadvantaged students (64.9%), and students with disabilities (59.6%). Four-year cohort graduation rates at the 25 WCPSS high schools with graduating classes ranged from 68.3% to more than 95% in 2012-13. Rates increased at nine schools and declined at 15 schools. Follow-up analysis of the 2012-13 cohort also shed light on the characteristics of non-graduates and the relationship between early literacy and graduation rates.

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December 2013 Limited English Proficient Students: Progress of 2008-09 High School Cohort Baenen, Nancy

33 View Abstract

Students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) entering U.S. schools in grade 9 face a tight timeline to simultaneously learn English and graduate from high school in four or five years. Based on the cohort of LEP students who entered WCPSS for the first time in grade 9 in 2008-09 and did not transfer out, 46% graduated within 4.5 years. Some (17%) graduated while still LEP. Cohort graduates tended to start ninth grade with greater initial English proficiency, strong educational backgrounds obtained elsewhere, or high motivation and support. Unfortunately, 41% of the cohort dropped out of high school. Early warning indicators include not passing required courses and being retained (only one third of the cohort was able to be promoted every year). Only 20% participated in ESL support programs outside of school (36% of those with the lowest English proficiency participated).

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March 2013 WCPSS High School Graduation Rates 4-Year and 5-Year Cohort Rates 2011-12 Regan, Roger

13 View Abstract

The WCPSS four-year cohort graduation rate declined slightly to 80.6% in 2011-12 from 80.9% in the previous year. At the same time, the five-year rate rose substantially from 81.6% to 84.4%.

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

16 View Abstract

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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January 2013 WCPSS Dropout Rate: 2011-12 Gilleland, Kevin
Muli, Juliana

3 View Abstract

On January 10, 2013 the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released its annual statewide Dropout Report covering the 2011-12 school year. Charts show the dropout rate for WCPSS compared to the state as a whole, to other large school districts in North Carolina, and by selected student subgroups.

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June 2011 High School Five-Year Graduation Rates, Wake County Public School System (WCPSS): 2009-10 Haynie, Glenda

7 View Abstract

In 2009-10, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction was approved to include a five-year graduation rate as well as a four-year rate in determining if schools, districts, and the state made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the NCLB Act. This rate was based on the incoming 9th grade students of 2005-06. The denominator of the cohort remained the same for both the 2008-09 four-year and the 2009-10 five-year rate with an additional 296 graduates added to the numerator in the fifth year. The 2009-10 five-year district rate rose to 81.5% from a 2008-09 four-year rate of 78.4%. The subgroups with the largest increases were limited English proficient (9.8 percentage points), economically disadvantaged (7.8 percentage points), and students with disabilities subgroups (7.4 percentage points). Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American students had the largest rate increases among ethnic subgroups (6.6 and 5.5 percentage points, respectively).

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April 2011 Assessing the Value of the Arts: Looking Beyond Traditional Achievement Measures Baenen, Nancy
Brasfield, Jon

13 View Abstract

Courses in the arts develop skills specific to the discipline. Research also suggests that the arts contribute to enhanced attentiveness, engagement in school, communication skills, and critical and divergent thinking. Other studies point out benefits for at-risk students in reducing negative outcomes such as dropout and crime rates. Studies report a correlational relationship between arts education and reading achievement, but a causal link has not been established. Thus, there is evidence of benefits of the arts that can support students' success in school, but more high quality causal studies are needed.

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March 2011 2009-10 WCPSS Dropout Rate Gilleland, Kevin

5 View Abstract

On March 3rd, 2011, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released its annual statewide Dropout Report covering the 2009-10 school year. Charts show the dropout rate for WCPSS compared to the state as a whole, to other large school districts in North Carolina, and by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) subgroups.

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

9 View Abstract

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 An Evaluation Of The Wake County Public School System Alternative Educational Options Rhea, Anisa

141 View Abstract

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) alternative educational options. The WCPSS options are similar to those in other North Carolina districts. WCPSS student outcomes based on state assessments and federal standards are also equivalent or higher than other districts, although the capacity for WCPSS students served at each alternative setting is generally lower. Students at WCPSS alternative schools receive benefits such as smaller classes and greater access to counseling services. Student data also indicate that these environments help build student resiliency. Base school personnel understand some aspects of the alternative schools, but greater transparency is needed, especially at the high school level. Additional alternative education sites are needed to better meet the needs of at-risk elementary students. Comprehensive services and settings for long-term suspended students and students with severe behavioral issues who are ineligible for special education services should also be created.

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

28 View Abstract

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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March 2010 2008-09 WCPSS Dropout Rate Gilleland, Kevin

5 View Abstract

On February 5th, 2009, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released its annual statewide Dropout Report covering the 2007-08 school year. Charts show the dropout rate for WCPSS compared to the state as a whole, to other large school districts in North Carolina, and by race.

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December 2009 ABCs and AYP Results, WCPSS: 2008-09 Boykin, Anne-Sylvie

8 View Abstract

ABCs and AYP Results,WCPSS: 2008-09

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

5 View Abstract

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 Factors Associated with Staying on Track to Graduate: Evidence from the WCPSS 9th Grade Class of 2005-06 Gilleland, Kevin
McMillen, Brad

11 View Abstract

Given that graduating from high school on time prepared for the future is the ultimate outcome of the K-12 education process, then an understanding of the factors that distinguish students who do from students who do not becomes important. This study looked at data from the WCPSS 9th grade class of 2005-06 in an effort to document some of the factors that separated students who stayed on track to graduate from those who either got behind or dropped out. Results indicated that several demographic, program, and achievement factors were associated with staying ontime to graduate during high school. These results should help schools better identify students who might be at risk for not graduating on time.

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February 2009 2007-08 WCPSS Dropout Rate Gilleland, Kevin
Holdzkom, David

4 View Abstract

2007-08 WCPSS Dropout Rate

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February 2009 ABCs and AYP Results, Wake County Public School System: 2007-08 Boykin, Anne-Sylvie

10 View Abstract

The North Carolina ABCs Accountability Model has two components: The performance composite and growth. Using those two components, each school is assigned into a recognition category and designated as having met Expected or High Growth. Under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) provision, a school meets Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) if all subgroups with 40 or more students reach pre-set targets in reading and mathematics, and if the school shows progress in its graduation or attendance rate. Eighty-six percent of Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) schools met Expected or High Growth in 2007-08. Sixty percent of WCPSS schools received the designation of School of Progress. Twenty-eight out of 153 schools (18%) met AYP.

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January 2009 Best Practices to Promote High School Graduation Baenen, Nancy

13 View Abstract

Significant attention and resources have been focused on reforming high schools to enhance graduation rates. The research literature supports the following practices: For struggling students, accurate identification and intensive instructional, monitoring, and counseling support For 9th graders, transition activities, personalization, and academic support strategies For teachers, intensive training to help them provide effective instruction and support, particularly for students showing signs of risk.

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January 2009 Overview of Practices to Promote High School Graduation Baenen, Nancy

2 View Abstract

Significant attention and resources have been focused on reforming high schools to enhance graduation rates. The research literature supports the following practices: For struggling students, accurate identification and intensive instructional, monitoring, and counseling support For 9th graders, transition activities, personalization, and academic support strategies For teachers, intensive training to help them provide effective instruction and support, particularly for students showing signs of risk.

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April 2008 Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID): WCPSS Program Evaluation Baenen, Nancy
Lougée, Aimee

57 View Abstract

This evaluation examined the implementation and effectiveness of the AVID program in middle schools throughout the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). Survey results and school visits revealed considerable inconsistencies in implementation across schools. Specifically, selection criteria were not consistently understood and applied, all staff members implementing the program were not able to attend AVID training, and some schools emphasized enrollment in Algebra I in eighth grade more than others as a desired outcome of AVID participation. Attrition from the program was high, with 38% of those enrolled in grade 6 in 2005-06 continuing with the program through grade 8 in 2007-08. The stated goal of having all AVID students enroll in Algebra I by grade 8 was not met, although a higher percentage of AVID students in grade 8 enrolled in Algebra I than was true system wide (50% vs. 28%).

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April 2008 WCPSS High School Student Outcomes: 2006-07 Baenen, Nancy

108 View Abstract

Many indicators of performance, persistence, and academic rigor for WCPSS high school students point toward the relative success of WCPSS high school students. Student achievement remains high compared to state and national results, and an increasing number of students are pursuing rigorous AP coursework in high school. The skills and abilities that WCPSS graduates obtain appear to serve them well in the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, which is the most common educational destination for WCPSS graduates. However, changing student populations and rising academic standards are challenging the system's ability to sustain and increase academic performance for all students. Gaps in achievement have increased, with higher percentages of minority students and students with academic risk factors at risk of not graduating on time, compared to other groups.

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February 2008 2006-07 WCPSS Dropout Rate Gilleland, Kevin

4 View Abstract

2006-07 WCPSS Dropout Rate

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November 2007 Analysis of Achievement Data Boykin, Anne-Sylvie
Holdzkom, David

4 View Abstract

Analysis of Achievement Data

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March 2007 WCPSS High School Student Outcomes 2005-06 Holdzkom, David
McMillen, Brad

93 View Abstract

Looking across various indicators of performance, persistence, and academic rigor for WCPSS high school students, many indicators point toward the relative success of WCPSS high school students. Student achievement remains high compared to state and national results, and an increasing number of students are pursuing rigorous AP coursework in high school. In addition, the skills and abilities that WCPSS graduates obtain appear to serve them well in the UNC system, which is the most common post-high school educational destination for WCPSS graduates. However, significant challenges remain related to changing student populations and rising academic standards which are challenging the system's ability to sustain and increase academic performance for all students.

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July 2006 High School Redesign 2004-05 Reichstetter, Rosemary

51 View Abstract

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

17 View Abstract

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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March 2006 2004-05 Wake County Public Schools' Dropout Rate Gilleland, Kevin
McMillen, Brad

4 View Abstract

2004-05 Wake County Public Schools' Dropout Rate

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

28 View Abstract

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

42 View Abstract

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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December 2005 Graduation Rates of the 1998-99 9TH-Grade Cohort Wake County Public School System Dulaney, Chuck
Haynie, Glenda

16 View Abstract

A study of 6,037 first-time Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS) 1998-99 9th-grade students found that their overall four-year graduation rate was 80% and a five-year graduation rate was 83%. Female students (87%) were more likely to graduate than male students (79%). Asian (92%) and White (88%) students were more likely to graduate than Black/African American (68%) and Hispanic/Latino (72%) students. Black/African American male students were least likely to graduate (60%). The 1998 rate is six percentage points higher than a comparable 1995 rate. All ethnic subgroups improved, with Hispanic/Latino students increasing four points, Black/African American students increasing eight points, and Asian students increasing nine points.

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December 2005 WCPSS Outcomes Summary for 2004-05, With an Emphasis on Achievement Gap Status Baenen, Nancy
Yaman, Kimberly

45 View Abstract

The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) saw improved achievement between the late 1990s and 2003, both in overall trends and results disaggregated by subgroup. Achievement gaps began to close. The percentage of students scoring at grade level is now quite high. In the past three years, the percentage of lower income, minority, and limited-English-proficient students has increased, and the percentage of students at grade level has changed very little. Dropout and graduation rates show some closing of gaps between Black and White students, but not between Hispanic/Latino and White students. Identifying ways to further close achievement gaps and improve other student outcomes is challenging, especially in light of additional graduation requirements which will be added for students entering 9th grade in the 2006-07 school year.

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

12 View Abstract

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 A Study of Student Mobility: Wake County Public School System 2002-03 Haynie, Glenda

43 View Abstract

Eighty-seven percent of all Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) students instructed during 2002-03 were continuously enrolled (CE) in one school from the first week of the school year until the last day of school. Across grade levels CE percentages steadily increased from only 82% in kindergarten to 94% in grade 12, except for a dip to 83% in ninth grade that was primarily due to dropouts. A majority of the students who were not continuously enrolled from the first week (MOBILE) were African-American/Black or Hispanic/Latino, and students in the MOBILE group were much more likely to come from low-income families than were students in the CE group. Passing rates and average scale scores on 5th, 8th, and 10th grade End-of-Grade (EOG) tests were lower for the MOBILE group than for the CE group in almost every comparison, even when controlling for ethnicity and family income differences.

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May 2005 The Impact of Mobility on Academic Achievement: A Review of the Literature Kaase, Kristopher

9 View Abstract

The Impact of Mobility on Academic Achievement: A Review of the Literature

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March 2005 Dropouts from Wake County Public Schools 2003-04 Gilleland, Kevin

57 View Abstract

Dropouts from Wake County Public Schools 2003-04

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March 2005 East Wake High School Evening Program Reichstetter, Rosemary

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The East Wake High School Evening Program study focused on whether the program was meeting its original intent and was cost/beneficial. The focus changed from serving only dropouts or students likely to drop out or not graduate who participated in the extended day program to serving any student needing course grade recovery. Most attempted courses were completed with credits earned, and grade promotions of enrollees increased. However, some classes were small, which increased the cost per student. Few dropouts enrolled in 2003-04, and overall enrollment was lower than previously.

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February 2005 Block Scheduling Evaluation Baenen, Nancy
Reichstetter, Rosemary

62 View Abstract

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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December 2004 Dropouts from Wake County Public Schools 2002-03 Gilleland, Kevin
Gilleland, Kevin
Gilleland, Kevin
Gilleland, Kevin

26 View Abstract

Dropouts from Wake County Public Schools 2002-03

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December 2004 Dropouts from Wake County Public Schools 2002-03 Gilleland, Kevin
Gilleland, Kevin
Gilleland, Kevin
Gilleland, Kevin

26 View Abstract

Dropouts from Wake County Public Schools 2002-03

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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

22 View Abstract

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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May 2004 Partnership for Educational Success 2002-03: Implementation and Outcomes Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

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The Partnership for Educational Success (PES) is a collaboration between the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) and Wake County Human Services. The primary goal of PES is for the agencies to work together to help students achieve grade-level performance. PES provides family-centered services to at-risk students and their families. In 2002-03 PES provided services to 269 at-risk students and their families. PES-funded staff also supported non-PES families, but no data was collected regarding these families. In 2002-03, over half of PES students scored at or above grade level before PES participation. These students may have been siblings of the primary referred students, who did score below grade level, although corroborative information is not available. Teacher survey data indicated that PES families are more involved with the school after PES participation. Test score outcomes of students in grades K-8 were inconclusive; results are similar to free and reduced-price lunch eligible students (FRL) as a whole. More data are necessary to provide a clear picture of the success of PES in meeting its academic goals.

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January 2004 Dropouts from Wake County Public Schools 2001-02 Dulaney, Chuck
Gilleland, Kevin

22 View Abstract

Dropouts from Wake County Public Schools 2001-02

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January 2004 End-of-Grade Multiple-Choice Test Results for 2003-04 Haynie, Glenda
Regan, Roger

39 View Abstract

The percentage of reading and math 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 to 91.1% from 91.3% in 2003. However, the percentage of students scoring in Level IV remained stable at 60.4%. The percentage of students scoring in Level III or IV was slightly higher in Math (92.1%) than in Reading (90.0%). Average reading scale scores showed slight declines at all grade levels except grade 5, while average math scale scores rose slightly in grades 4, 5, 6, and 7 and fell slightly in grades 3 and 8. Disaggregation of scores by race/ethnicity showed a small decline (down about two percentage points) in the percentage of Hispanic scores on grade level in both reading and math, a small rise (less than one point) for Asian and Black students in both reading and math, and mixed results for White and Multi-ethnic groups. Students from low-income families and students with disabilities showed small improvements in both reading and math.

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

27 View Abstract

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 Wake County Public School System Outcomes Summary for the 2002-03 School Year Baenen, Nancy
Dulaney, Chuck

18 View Abstract

Overall, the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) has seen positive changes in patterns of achievement and dropout rates over the last several years. However, the system continues to work towards optimal achievement for all students, closing achievement gaps, and improving Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) results. Each of the sections that follow cites key findings from reports produced by the Evaluation and Research Department (E&R) during the 2002-03 school year or from reports currently in progress that will analyze student outcomes from 2002-03. Subsequent pages contain figures illustrating some of the key findings.

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May 2003 Graduation Rates, Wake County Public School System: A Study of the 1995 9TH-Grade Cohort Haynie, Glenda
Johnson, Stephen
Scudder, David

19 View Abstract

A study of 5,226 first-time 1995 9th-grade students found their overall graduation rate was 77%. Female students (80%) were more likely to graduate than male students (69%). Asian (83%) and White (83%) were more likely to graduate than Black (60%) and Hispanic/Latino students (68%). Black males were least likely to graduate (53%).

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

30 View Abstract

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 NovaNET Student Outcomes 2001-2002 Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

23 View Abstract

In the 2001-02 school year, NovaNET students earned significantly higher GPAs and fewer F's than before participating in NovaNET. NovaNET students did not show significantly greater gains than students in a comparison group that had similar demographic and academic characteristics; however, analyses revealed that the two groups varied somewhat in terms of prior suspensions, so results should be interpreted with caution. Some schools had much greater participation and student success than others. Strategies used by successful NovaNET programs include individualizing coursework; supplemental counseling and behavior modification; selecting the most appropriate students; requiring students to sign a contract promising to complete the course; and giving offline assignments to supplement NovaNET. Extending successful school practices to all schools could increase overall program impact.

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February 2003 School Size: A Review of the Literature Overbay, Amy

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Many discussions of school size tend to concentrate on secondary sources, such as other literature reviews; although this review does examine some secondary sources, it focuses on empirical research. Recent research suggests that smaller schools may be linked to improved attendance and participation in school activities. Some studies claim that smaller schools may also be associated with higher achievement, although other studies indicate that school size does not have a significant impact on student performance, and cite other variables such as district and school affluence as more reliable predictors of achievement. In fact, some studies suggest that students in more affluent districts may benefit from larger schools. Given the lack of consensus in the field over these issues, as well as practical issues related to rapid growth, limited funds, and the cost-effectiveness of smaller schools, many administrators and policymakers may prefer to pursue alternative reforms. It may be possible to achieve the desired student outcomes by reorganizing school populations, or by creating smaller learning communities within existing facilities.

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May 2002 Gaps in Academic Achievement: WCPSS Status 2001-02 Baenen, Nancy
Banks, Karen
Dulaney, Chuck
Yaman, Kimberly

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This report examines students' academic success in WCPSS based on outcomes such as achievement test scores, dropout rates, and course enrollments. Gaps have been evident in the achievement of students with different backgrounds and characteristics for decades. These gaps in achievement are one of the biggest challenges facing educators across the country. In some areas, the gaps in student outcomes in WCPSS have narrowed over time.

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April 2002 Annual Progress Report on Students who Drop Out 2000-2001 Gilleland, Kevin
Kaase, Kristopher

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The overall dropout rate continued to decline in 2000-01 for the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). The grades 7-12 dropout rate was 2.4 percent, the lowest since the state of North Carolina and the WCPSS began reporting dropouts in 1992, using federal standards. Since 1994-95 the gap between the grades 7-12 dropout rates for Black students and White students has decreased from 4.3 to 2.1 percentage points. The largest number of dropouts has always occurred at the high school level. Of the 1,038 dropouts in the WCPSS for 2000-01, 1,024 (98.7%) were in grades 9-12. The WCPSS high school dropout rate decreased from 5.5% in 1995-96 to 3.7% in 2000-01 (see Figure 1). The WCPSS high school dropout has been lower than the rate for North Carolina and paralleled the trend of a decreasing rate of dropouts since the state began reporting high school dropout rates in 1998-99.

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February 2002 NovaNET 2000-2001: Analyses of Student Outcomes Relative to a Comparison Group Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

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NovaNET is an on-line computerized instructional system that provides students with self-paced instruction for many North Carolina high school courses. This evaluation looks at outcomes for students participating in the NovaNET program and compares them with outcomes for a group of students with similar characteristics who did not participate in NovaNET. The primary positive finding was that the number of failing grades decreased significantly for students who participated in NovaNET, while a slight increase occurred for matched students. The GPA for NovaNET students showed a significant increase, but the comparison group increased about the same amount (difference between increases were not significant). NovaNET appeared to have more of a positive impact on math and social studies course grades than on English and science course grades. The pass rate for NovaNET science courses was only 50%. NovaNET did not appear to impact suspensions in 2000-2001; rates for NovaNET and matched students were statistically similar. NovaNET students were more likely to drop out of school in 2000-2001 than the comparison students who had a lower dropout rate than WCPSS overall; the change in drop-out rates should be examined again over the next few years. Overall, NovaNET seems to help students pass classes. However, more specific findings are difficult to obtain due to the newness of the program, and the difficulty of creating an accurately matched comparison group.

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January 2002 Summer Academy in the Wake County Public Schools: An Evaluation of the 2001 Program Holdzkom, David

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Summer Academy in the Wake County Public Schools: An Evaluation of the 2001 Program

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December 2001 Strategy 17: NovaNET Online Learning System Year 2 Program Evaluation Baenen, Nancy

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Wake County Public Schools have addressed the needs of at-risk students with an array of academic and alternative programs that reflect serious commitment of funds and time. The 1999-2000 academic year witnessed the beginning of a 9 million dollar, three-year, community-wide collaboration between existing programs and agencies expressly intended to coordinate efforts to serve at-risk children and their families. The grant, entitled Safe Schools Healthy Students, was funded by the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education in an effort to promote safe, inviting, and optimal learning environments for all students. The program was built upon a broad collection of 17 strategies aimed at addressing the risk and resilience factors associated with school safety and student success. Each strategy included a three-year sequence of action steps, focused on strengthening resources or services within the school system. These services ranged from improving at risk screening and referral strategies, to mentoring, to substance abuse prevention, to improving school security.

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November 2001 The Effectiveness of the Wake Summerbridge Summer Enrichment Program Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

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Wake Summerbridge is an enrichment program that has supported selected WCPSS middle school students for a number of years. This evaluation compared subsequent academic performance, suspensions and dropout rates of students who had participated in the program with a comparison group of students with similar characteristics who did not participate in the program. The main positive finding was that dropout rates were much lower for Summerbridge students than for the comparison group (1% versus 13%). Achievement scores and grade point averages showed a slight but consistent advantage in absolute terms for Summerbridge students over the comparison group. The differences were not statistically significant, although they may have some educational significance. The percentage of students receiving F's and suspension rates actually favored the comparison group. However, the higher dropout rate among comparison students may account for the lower number of F's earned by this group. Some cautions must be kept in mind when interpreting these findings. Sample sizes were relatively small which makes statistical significance more difficult to detect (about 80 per group). Groups could differ in ways that could not be determined from school system data files (e.g., attitude toward school, rigor of course selections, middle versus higher income status). Given the results, the cost of providing the service should also be considered in decisions about future funding.

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October 2001 Wake County Safe Schools/Healthy Students Project Year Two - Year-End Performance Report April 1, 2001 - September 30, 2001 Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2
Overbay, Amy
Reichstetter, Rosemary

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The Wake County Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Project is a three-year federal cooperative effort sponsored by the Department of Education, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Together, these departments have encouraged organizations and agencies across the country to develop initiatives that prevent violence and substance abuse in schools by addressing six major elements determined to be critical in sustaining safe and healthy schools and students. Wake County has responded to this challenge by identifying four goals that correspond with these six elements, and by adopting seventeen strategies for carrying out these goals. By focusing on collaboration and cooperation with partner agencies and the community, the Wake County project is promoting the implementation and refinement of sustainable efforts to create a safe, orderly, and drug-free learning environment within county schools.

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February 2001 Annual Progress Report on Students who Drop Out 1999-2000 Baenen, Nancy
Carwile, Stephanie
Kitts, Doris
Knott, Donna
Scudder, David

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The high school dropout rate during 1999-2000 in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) was 4.1 percent (2.7% for grades 7-12), the lowest since the start of annual reporting by WCPSS. The WCPSS dropout rate has steadily declined from 1994 to 2000, as displayed in Figure 1. The decline was interrupted in the 1998-1999 school year, the year that students going directly to junior or community college GED programs began to be included as dropouts. The decline resumed during the 1999-2000 school year. The decrease in the WCPSS dropout rate corresponded to a similar decrease in dropouts reported across the state.

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August 2000 Is Summer School Effective for Remediation in Algebra I? Baenen, Nancy
Lloyd, Wanda

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For students who failed Algebra in 1994-95, repeating the course in summer school was as effective as repeating the course the next school year in improving students' knowledge. End-of-Course test scores improved for both groups (with no significant differences between the groups), and students who took the course during summer school were more likely to pass than those repeating the course during the regular school year.

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February 2000 Dropout Report 1998-1999 Gilleland, Kevin
Howard, Daniel

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The 1998-99 duplicated dropout rate is the percent of first-time dropouts (those who dropped out for the first time in 1998-99) and previous year dropouts (those who dropped out before 1998-99, returned to school in 1998-99, and dropped out again). There had been a steady decline in the WCPSS dropout rate for grades 7-12 from 1993-94 to 1997-98. However, the percentage of WCPSS dropouts increased between 1997-98 and 1998-99. The WCPSS dropout increase also corresponded to a dramatic increase in dropouts reported across the state. (Figure 1). These increases may be due to a rule change in the assessment of dropout rates which now reports students who transfer to community colleges to receive their GED as dropouts. In the past, these students were referred to as transfers.

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February 2000 Impact of Instructional Assistance 1998-99: Accountability Report Baenen, Nancy

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WCPSS has had efforts in place to support low achieving students for many years. However, about 20% of WCPSS students do not score high enough to be considered "on grade level" on the End-Of-Grade (EOG) tests given across North Carolina in grades 3-8. WCPSS and the community have adopted the goal that 95% of our students will score on grade level in grades 3 and 8 by 2003. Staff recognized that the 95% achievement goal could not be accomplished unless we tried new ways to help low achieving students and provided additional resources to schools. For the 1998-99 school year, previously funded efforts such as special education, Title I, English as a Second Language, and Student Support Teams continued, but approximately $5 million in additional funds (some grant and some local) were also allocated to schools to support low achieving students. This report focuses on whether the additional funds made a difference in the progress of low achieving students and what techniques seemed to make the most positive difference for students.

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November 1999 Dropout Report 1997-1998 Gilleland, Kevin
Howard, Daniel

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Dropout Report 1997-1998

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July 1999 Collected Evaluations on the WCPSS Alternative School Program for Students with Long-Term Suspensions Carruthers, Bill

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) has provided an alternative school program for students with long-term (LT) suspensions since the 1995-96 year. In 1995-96, the program was operated by the WCPSS and known as the Alternative Learning Center (ALC). Since the 1996-97 year, the WCPSS has contracted with the Richard M. Milburn High School (RHMS), a private firm, to operate the program. Over these years, the WCPSS has conducted a number of evaluations of the program. This Executive Summary highlights major conclusions of these collected evaluations.

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June 1999 State of the System Burch, Glenda
Carruthers, Bill
Speas, Carol

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The purpose of this report is to summarize some major trends in WCPSS and provide a set of benchmarks against which progress in the system can be measured in future years.

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