Education

Wake school board members discuss assignment policy

Posted February 10, 2010

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— A Wake County Board of Education committee held the first of several meetings to discuss potential changes to its decade-old student assignment policy on Wednesday.

“We need to talk about student assignment in a way that's best for our students,” said board member Debra Goldman.

Wake board members discuss diversity policy Wake School Board discusses diversity

The school district assigns students so that no school has more than 40 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Students are reassigned each year to maintain that level, as well as to fill new schools and relieve overcrowding.

At least five of the school board's nine members have indicated that they plan to end the practice, which can involve busing students to schools farther from their homes, in favor of neighborhood schools.

Recently elected board member Deborah Prickett wants changes to help improve graduation rates among economically challenged and minority students, whom she said are suffering.

Board members who support the policy say changing the current plan in favor of neighborhood schools would disrupt diversity at schools.

"I don't want, maybe, teachers picking and choosing different schools because of the perception – real or imagined – that one school is a good school and one is not a good school," board member Kevin Hill said.

The state NAACP has also announced its opposition to ending the current policy.

NAACP president Rev. William Barber said that doing so would re-segregate schools and deny children their constitutional rights to a sound, basic education.

Instead, Barber is pushing for equity in funding, high-quality teachers and smaller class sizes, as well as more parental involvement.

The committee did not make a decision on Wednesday. Goldman said the discussion could continue for weeks or months before a recommendation is given to the full board.

29 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • HangOn Feb 11, 2010

    Parents' involvement is what helps kids learn and excel - not sitting next to a white kid.
    Wouldn't it be easier for an "economically disadvantaged" parent to be involved if they don't have to go across the county to the kid's school. Neighborhood schools make sense and save everyone money. It's also a hardship on the kids to have to get up earlier and get home later to get bussed farther. Is that what you want, kids on a bus for 3 hours a day?
    Schools are not daycare. Be a good parent and help your kids learn.
    Mr. Barber, why are you arguing in other counties that taking kids away from neighborhood schools is segregation? Please make up your mind. Oh yeah, it doesn't matter what the policy is - you're going to whine and make noise about. By the way, did you guys every apologize to the innocent duke lacrosse players?

  • NCAries Feb 11, 2010

    @ josephlawrence43

    Okay, I understand your perspective. I misunderstood your words. I read that to mean you felt this is the kind of talk that these children are receiving from home and that is not the case a majority of the time. As a parent of two in the system and one that has completed the system some years ago I know what you mean now and I agree. The students learn more than you think from those labels.

  • josephlawrence43 Feb 10, 2010

    ncaries: Its not minority or poor families telling me this--its 23 years of classroom teaching , and seeing all the various lables given to students. In essence, because of these lables, the student learns that they cannot be failed or retained--it would violate their self-image, their civil rights or the provisions of their special ed. classification. Never mind that they receive little if any education. Not because the school systems don't bend over backwards to accomodate these kids-like giving 3 chances to pass the state mandated EOC/EOG, special separate classes, modified assignments, modified grading plans--in short, making certain that a student passes with little, if any, effort on the students part. But, this whole situation goes way back to the first days of desegregation--and before you start throwing bricks at me--give me a chance to explain what I mean.

  • affirmativediversity Feb 10, 2010

    Why do the champions of diversity always equate being the member of a minority with being poor?

    Does this not bother the heck out of anyone?

    Do they really need to perpetuate that stereotype? Are they completely incompable of acknowledging accomplishments?

  • NCAries Feb 10, 2010

    @affirmativediversity

    I take full responsibility for myself. I am not seeking any type of validation from you. I am just like everyone else on this blog. I have an opinion based on my experience growing up in this country. I don't expect you to like it. I don't like some of the negative things I read here on this blog. I have just as much right to see things the way I do as anyone here. And to answer your question...I probably could if I really tried...no point though it's just a waste of time...life is what it is.

  • affirmativediversity Feb 10, 2010

    NCAries,

    Could you be any more negative? Are you at all willing to take responsibility for your own life or is it always someone else's fault?

    I pity you...and I pity more any child who has to listen to rant like the one you posted on this site!

  • Remy Feb 10, 2010

    cowboy - I get what you are saying, but it doesn't work in the real world. You pay more because you have more, just like the rich pay more fed taxes than others. We all have to make up the difference for those that do not have, with the hopes that they will be able to contribute to society, and not be a burden to society in later years.

  • cowboyinfv Feb 10, 2010

    wantingmore4us I can go along with what you say, I want to help my community but I want it done on a fair scale. Because I purchase a nice home or land should not mean I pay higher school tax that is property tax. A fair school tax would be every resident over the age of 18 and living in Wake County should be taxed once a year at a flat fee, that is fair. You want diversity now that is diversity. FAIR ALL THE WAY AROUND.

  • affirmativediversity Feb 10, 2010

    Ahhhh, for the old days when our kids went to school to learn Math, English, Science and History NOT DIVERSITY!

  • NCAries Feb 10, 2010

    The point is that minority and poor students WON'T learn because they have been told for so long that they don't HAVE TO learn. josephlawrence43

    I don't know what minority family has been telling you stuff, but most poor minority families that I know tell their children that they have to work twice as hard to get half as much as the "other" kids and they have to follow all the rules because they will be disciplined worse than the "other" kidse for the smallest infractions. And when the question of why comes up they tell their children that that's just the way it is when you participate in a game where the opponent is the rule maker and the rule enforcer and usually the biggest rule breaker...no such thing as equal and fair treatment.

More...