WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The report card for North Carolina schools is out, and graduation rates are up.
Statewide graduation rates are up to 80 percent. That's a one-percent increase from last year.
Three counties in our viewing area have exceeded the state's average graduation rate.
New Hanover County Schools had a more than six-percent increase from last year at 80.4 percent.
"Our teachers, principals, instructional departments, student services have really focused on making sure we identify kids who are at risk and doing what we need to get them ready to graduate," New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley said.
Brunswick County came in at 83.8 percent, and Pender County schools had the highest rate in our area at 86.6 percent.
Markley says though the proficiency results for the county were an increase over last year, there are things that need to be addressed for next year.
"We saw an increase in our minority achievement, but it wasn't as fast as the other groups, so we've got to go back and look at ways that we can take that trend line and accelerate it for students for some of our African American students and some of our students with disabilities," Markley said.
Brunswick County's expected academic growth decreased from last year with 12 of 19 schools meeting the expectation.
In New Hanover County, 85 percent of schools met or exceeded the state's expectations, which is up 15 percent from last year.
Ten schools in Pender County met the growth expectation.