By Diana Matthews, The News Reporter
Kenny Garland, superintendent of Whiteville City Schools, announced that the system had achieved one of the highest graduations rates in North Carolina for the latest school year.
North Carolina’s State Board of Education released the 2017-2018 North Carolina Public Schools Accountability Results for 2,538 traditional schools.
The city district’s 2018 graduation rate is 91.3 percent, which places WCS 20th out of 115 public school districts across the State of North Carolina.
Students at North Whiteville Academy, the district’s alternative school, graduated at a rate of 77.4 percent, and Whiteville High School had a graduation rate of 93.3 percent.
The overall rate of 91.3 percent “is the highest graduation rate of all districts in the Sandhills region,” Garland said. “According to my records, this is the highest graduation rate ever achieved by Whiteville City Schools.”
While graduation rates are in the top 20, end-of-grade and end of course standardized testing showed WCS ranking 38th in the number of students from third grade up achieving grade level proficiency (test scores of 3, 4 and 5). Also, the district ranked 44th in College and Career Readiness (scores of 4 and 5).
Measures of College and Career Readiness showed that the district’s English Language Learners placed 4th out of 115 districts statewide. The Hispanic population placed 10th out of 115; students with disabilities placed 13th; the black population placed 14th; the white population placed 18th out of 115 and the economically disadvantaged population 33rd.
The superintendent said that the graduation rates and test scores reflected the work done by teachers from kindergarten level through high school. “I believe the efforts made by our schools to promote the value of a high school diploma along with meeting annually with high school students to review transcripts has been very beneficial to our system,” Garland said.
“Beginning with rising freshmen, each student receives individual guidance on how to achieve a high school diploma. Also, beginning in kindergarten, we emphasize the importance of graduating college and career ready.”
Future editions of The News Reporter will detail high school graduation rates from Columbus County Schools and Thomas Academy, a charter school operated by Boys and Girls Homes.