Wake County has:
- One of the top 20 largest public school systems in America.
- Two universities and four colleges, all but one of which have been in existence for more than 100 years.
These are just two facets of the many educational opportunities in Wake County. Learning is such a huge priority here that 50 percent of residents ages 26 and up hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Education is viewed as essential to our productive economic future by the Wake Education Partnership, a group of committed individuals who follow and support this vision: “Wake County is a community that places excellence in public education as a top priority and whose citizens expect every child to graduate on time prepared for the future.”
Numerous collaborations among educational institutes, local organizations and businesses emphasize how entwined the learning experience is in the community. These partnerships extend to every age level, including the very young. For example, there are six Ready to Learn centers involving the Wake County Public School System, Wake County Human Services and community agencies. These centers help preschoolers from infants to age 5 develop their educational abilities.
To reflect education’s importance, the Wake County Public School System has set a goal of having a 100 percent graduation rate by 2014. Currently, 78.8 percent of Wake’s high school students graduate on time in four years (the state average is 70.2 percent), but the board and community at large feel those numbers should be better.
This ambitious yet worthwhile goal shows how Wake County plans to strengthen its longtime dedication to education even more in the future. If it works, it will increase the talent of our workforce, and our children will be able to handle our changing economy no matter what challenges lie ahead. That’s a good investment for all of us.