Focus on East Wake Schools Moves Forward

As a former educator, there is nothing quieter to me than a school hallway at night.

Maybe it’s the contrast to the volume of life and activity found there during the day.

Wednesday night, the hallways at East Wake High were just that quiet.  But behind the door to the media center, there was a hubbub of activity as community and school leaders met to discuss how to improve schools in the East Wake area.

\"EastThe performance of schools in East Wake was described as “definitely left of center” on a chart graphing performance composites of all schools in WCPSS.  Some schools demonstrate high growth (above the center line) and some low growth (below center line).

East Wake schools at all levels perform below district average.  The gap begins in elementary schools (14%), and gets larger as students progress through middle school (19%) and high school (22%).  “The gap between district and eastern wake schools gets larger as we go from elementary to middle to high,” explained Asst. Superintendent for Data and Accountability Dr. Brad McMillen.

It was noted during one table discussion that perhaps the East Wake elementary schools were performing well given their challenges.  None of the five elementary schools are among the twelve listed in December as being considered for the new Elementary Support Program.  (In December, those elementary schools being considered were: Barwell, Brentwood, Bugg, Creech Rd, East Garner, Fox Rd, Hodge Rd, Lincoln Heights, Lynn Rd, Smith, Walnut Creek, and Wilburn.)

Graduation rates at the high school level are close to district average.  But other high school performance indicators show poorly. Two and four-year college-going rates are, “significantly below WCPSS average,” and there are lower rates of students who stay in college once enrolled.  The combination of these two data points revealed a concern about the strength of the diploma that East Wake High offers compared to others in the district.

The meeting was certainly a priority to the school system.  School board members Tom Benton, Bill Fletcher, Monika Johnson-Hostler, and Christine Kushner were in attendance.  So were Deputy Superintendent Cathy Moore and Chief of Communications Tim Simmons.

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