You can take either a glass is half full or half empty view of the Wake County school system’s ability to retain students in the face of increased competition from charter schools, private schools and homeschooling.
In the new edition of In Context, the newsletter for the Wake Education Partnership, the advocacy group touts that “Wake County parents overwhelmingly choose WCPSS.” WEP points to 2013-14 school year data showing that 82.5 percent of the county’s 185,829 students are enrolled in the district.
WEP says that the district’s market share has fared “pretty well” over time, pointing to how it was at 84.8 percent in 2001. Wake’s market share used to be above 90 percent in the 1990s before the advent of charter schools and the expansion in private schools and home schools increased competition.
In terms of a half-empty perspective, WEP compared Wake’s 2013-14 market share with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Guilford, Winston-Salem Forsyth and Durham school systems.
Of the five districts, Wake was third in market share behind Guilford at 84.1 percent and Forsyth at 84 percent. Wake was ahead of Charlotte-Mecklenburg at 79.1 percent and Durham at 75.6 percent.
WEP says it did its comparison of Wake “with other large districts in NC.” But the group bypassed bigger districts such as Union County and Johnston County to get to Durham on the list.