RALEIGH — Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata reported today that the school system has experienced gains in the graduation rate with mixed results on state exams.
During his Virtual Town Hall forum, Tata said preliminary data show that Wake's graduation rate has increased to 80.3 percent, up from 78.2 percent last year. Passing rates on state exams went up for elementary school students while dropping slightly for middle schoolers and staying unchanged at the high school level.
Tata said Wake's graduation and exam results showed the state's largest school district had a "respectable academic year."
Today's news comes after Education Week released a report last month showing that Wake has the third-highest graduation rate among the nation's 50 largest school districts.
Tata also said today that graduation rates have risen for several different groups in Wake. He said the graduation rate for African American students increased from 63.9 percent to 67.2 percent. It's gone from 54.2 percent to 64.1 percent for Hispanic students.
Tata said the graduation rate for Caucasian students also increased from 89.3 percent to 90.4 percent.
But Tata didn't mention the graduation rate for low-income students. The relatively low graduation rate for these economically disadvantaged children became a campaign issue in the 2009 school board races.
The preliminary results for the state exams was mixed.
Tata said the passing rate on state end-of-grade exams for elementary school students had increased from 79.9 percent to 81.8 percent. For middle school students, he said it dropped from 80.4 percent to 80.2 percent. He said the passing rate for high school students on state end-of-course exams remained 83.6 percent.
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