Wake County reported a 3.47 percent dropout rate for the 2008-2009 school year, down from 4.17 percent of high school dropouts the previous year. This is the county’s lowest rate since 2003.
North Carolina’s high school dropout rate decreased .7 percent in recent years, now at 4.27 percent. Wake County’s dropout rate has repeatedly been one of the lowest in the state, behind Guilford County, at 3.13 percent and Chapel Hill-Carrboro County, at less than 1 percent.
WCPSS has also been successful in decreasing each of its minority groups’ dropout rate.
The report issued neither entirely good nor bad news. The News and Observer reported that though more students are dropping out of school due to low attendance records, many students return to education by attending community college programs.
Wake County has taken several measures to further decrease its dropout rate. WCPSS.net cites offering smaller schools, freshman-specific campuses, academic intervention, peer tutoring and student advisors as steps made to strengthen support for high school students. The state government is also doing its part to discourage dropouts by revoking the drivers’ license of anyone who drops out before they turn 18. Wake County’s 2007-2008 graduation rate was 78.8%.
These actions, school officials hope, will eventually result in achieving the WCPSS goal: to have every single student graduate on time by 2014.