WXXI AM News

Connections: Are Countywide School Districts the Answer?

May 27, 2014

How can urban schools finally raise graduation rates and send more kids to college? The answer could lie in Wake County, North Carolina, where the story goes that there are no bad schools in the city of Raleigh. Is it true? And if so, how? The success in Raleigh is traced to a merging of city and suburban schools in 1976, creating one large Wake County district. Students are assigned to schools to ensure a healthy mix of children -- balancing race, income, and other factors. We'll talk to a delegation from Rochester's Children's Agenda that recently visited Wake County to see if the lessons could translate. This includes Larry Marx, executive director of the Rochester Children's Agenda, and Beth Laidlaw and Don Pryor from Urban Presbyterians Together.