Photo by Brian J. Matis

CHAPEL HILL – Adding to an already high graduation rate, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools had an increase by almost three percent in both the four-year and five-year rates in 2013, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Superintendent Tom Forcella said this good news is due to a system-wide effort.

“If I had to give credit to anything, I think it is the hard work of our teachers in the classroom, but even more so, over the last couple of years, we’ve been creating a philosophy that is really built on a culture that all of our teachers believe that effort creates ability,” Forcella said.

The DPI’s Cohort Graduation Report showed that high school students in the Class of 2013 had a graduation rate of 92.6 percent—that’s a 2.6 percent increase over the 2012 rate graduation.

The five-year cohort rate for students who started high school in 2008-09 and graduated in 2013, increased to 93.5 percent—up 2.5 percent from 2012.

“This has really shown up in some of our neediest populations and them working harder and our teachers providing specific strategies to help them with their learning, and this is beginning to pay off,” Forcella said.

Teachers in North Carolina haven’t seen much of a pay-off themselves lately. According to the National Education Association, North Carolina ranks 46th in the nation for teacher pay.

“As bad as was we think morale can be and I know teachers are down because they haven’t had a raise in so many years, and they don’t seem to be getting the respect that they deserve, teachers go into this business to help children, and when those students walk in the door, I find that they just put all of their effort into helping the kids,” Forcella said.

For more information on statewide graduation rates, click here.