White Oak High School was recognized for being in the top two highest rates of high school graduation in North Carolina for a cohort size of 200-299 at a ceremony in Raleigh. This is the second year that State Superintendent June Atkinson has held the special recognition ceremony to highlight the importance of high school graduation and the graduation success stories in North Carolina.
"North Carolina must redouble its efforts to keep students in school and on track for high school graduation," said State Superintendent Atkinson. "A high school diploma is a basic accomplishment for anyone entering the workforce and an essential stepping stone to a community college or university. The schools and districts we have honored today show us that public schools can have high graduation rates, and when they do, students are the winners."
School districts and schools were recognized in three categories, Top Ten School Districts, 100% Club for High School Graduation Rate, and Top Two Schools by Cohort Rate. In each case, the rates are the four-year cohort graduation rate. This rate refers to the percentage of students who graduate from high school in four years or less. The rates are for the students who were identified as being in the graduating class of 2009. White Oak High Schools Cohort Graduation Rate for 2008-09 was 90 percent.
North Carolina overall has a statewide graduation rate of 71.7 percent. For specific groups of students this rate is even lower. In particular, male students and students who are Native American, black, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient or with disabilities have average graduation rates that are lower than the state average. The state graduation rate will not be fully addressed unless all of these groups' performance is addressed.
Atkinson said sending the message to students that education is a foundation for their future is only one part of the equation. Research shows that students benefit from smaller learning environments, opportunities to build relationships with their teachers, rigorous and focused academics and support to help them overcome setbacks.
For more information about today's kickoff event, please call the NC Department of Public Instruction's Communication division at 919-807-3450.