Educational Success

A young person’s ability to achieve academic milestones and be engaged in school on a continuous basis is a key factor in determining longer-term economic self-sufficiency as an adult. Through collective community investments and strategic initiatives centered on school success, we are working to support the vision that all students will be prepared to reach their full potential and lead productive lives in a complex and changing world.


Academic Success Resources (#Wake Ready)

Early literacy has proven to have a significant relationship with graduation rates across a variety of contributing factors. According to research, third graders who are not reading at grade level are among the most vulnerable to drop out of school later. A long-term study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that students who were not proficient in reading by the end of 3rd grade were 4 times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. In fact, 88% of students who failed to earn a high school diploma were struggling readers in 3rd grade.

Learn more about the Educational Success Action Team and their efforts to improve educational success.

Wake County Planning Blueprint Outcomes:

Percent of students who score a 3 or above on the 3rd-grade reading and math End-of-Grade (EOGs) assessments

Percent of students who score a 3 or above on the 8th-grade reading and math EOGs

Number of middle and high school students short- and long-term suspended

Percent of students who pass 10th grade English II

Average ACT scores

Percent of Wake County Public School students who graduate on time

Percent of students enrolling in college


Digital Divide

The digital divide refers to the gap between those able to benefit from access to the internet and other technology and communication services and those who are not able to access these services. A recent study found that, nationally, around 17% of children are unable to complete their homework due to limited internet access.

The equity implications of these gaps and impacts on learning have been brought into sharper focus as schools and districts across the United States grapple with the COVID-19 crisis. A recent parent poll from the Education Trust-West revealed that 38% of low-income families and 29% of families of color are concerned about access to distance learning because they don’t have reliable internet at home. Parents also cited concern about access to technology – 50% of low-income and 42% of families of color lack sufficient devices at home to access distance learning.  

Even before COVID-19, students from the most disadvantaged communities often depended on public libraries, fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, and Wi-Fi-enabled school buses to access the internet and complete homework. Work must be done to close and eliminate the digital divide so that all students can successfully learn and engage in school and beyond. 

Learn more about the digital divide here.

School to Prison Pipeline

The school-to-prison pipeline is the funneling of students from schools to prison that happens across the country. Youth who are prosecuted rather than receive age-appropriate treatment and rehabilitation, are more likely to re-offend and commit more serious crimes. These youth are often vulnerable students who come from and experience:

  • Underfunded schools
  • Increased policing of school hallways
  • Lack of adequate intervention programs or alternative education places

Efforts to dismantle the pipeline include:

  • Raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 16 to 18 for youth who commit misdemeanor offenses (Raise the Age- passed in 2019)
  • Implementing evidence-based reforms to ensure equitable treatment for all students in North Carolina
  • Improving data collection and reporting requirements to better inform school administrators, parents, and policymakers
  • Establishing a legislative task force on school discipline policies.

Learn more about the school-to-prison pipeline here.