It's the sixth consecutive year of gains.
State Superintendent June Atkinson said nearly 80 percent of schools met their academic goals. She credited focused initiatives that include working with underperforming schools, new software, and new programs.
For the full comprehensive report, visit http://abcs.ncpublicschools.org/abcs/.
The newly released results are part of a comprehensive report that uses End-of-Course (EOC) and End-of-Grade (EOG) tests from grades 3 through 12 to measure student performance and determine whether a school is improving each year under the N.C. ABCs of Public Education and the federal No Child Left Behind law to measure student performance.
The report said Wake County students made steady academic gains in the 2011-12 school year. Seventy one percent of Wake County Public School System schools showed proficiency gains overall in 2011-12, compared to 63 percent the previous year.
Thursday's results showed that WCPSS high-school students demonstrated an overall proficiency rate of 85.8 percent -- an increase of 2.5 points from the previous year.
Elementary students gained 1.9 points from the previous year, while middle school students' overall proficiency rate increased by .9 points.
Superintendent Tony Tata thanked teachers and staff "for their superb accomplishments and hard work," in helping students achieve.
Along with district-wide increases in proficiency, Economically Disadvantaged students in the county earned the highest levels of proficiency in math and reading that they have achieved under the state's current testing model. Non-Economically Disadvantaged students also showed notable gains.
The report also showed that 80.8 percent of WCPSS students who entered high school as part of the Class of 2012 graduated within four years. The WCPSS graduation rate for the Class of 2011 was 80.4, and was adjusted to 80.9 after the standard correction period.
Durham Public Schools also showed an increase in the graduation rate. Officials said the district's 4-year graduation rate is now 77 percent, an increase of 3.1 percent from 2010-11. The 5-year graduation rate is now 79.8%.
"We are definitely pleased with the results and want to thank our students, parents, teachers and volunteers for their hard work. It is clearly paying dividends," said Superintendent Eric J. Becoats
Twenty four schools made gains of five or more percentage points in proficiency, while four schools made gains of 10 or more percentage points in proficiency.
It's the 15th and final year for the annual ABCs of Public Education report. The school accountability effort is being replaced by online testing and school ratings based on skills students need for college or work. Also starting next year, schools will be graded like students on an A to F scale.