Long-time supporter of Wake schools wants say in drafting new assignment plan

Posted March 29, 2010
Updated March 30, 2010

Wake County Public School System

— A group of business leaders concerned about the move to community-based schools in Wake County wants to be involved in the plan to reassign students, Wake Education Partnership's Board of Directors chair Gordon Brown said Monday.

"We are absolutely for diversity in schools. We think it is the right answer,” he said.

The Board of Education voted last Tuesday to move away from the district's longstanding busing policy to achieve socioeconomic diversity, which allows no school more than 40 percent of students receiving free- or reduced-price lunches.

Education Generic 2 Wake schools supporter wants to help draft plan

Tensions over the change have drawn an emotional response from supporters on both sides of the debate. Opponents of community-based schools argue the change could create pockets of poverty and low-income, high-minority schools.

The decision has also heightened racial tensions between the school board and the NAACP, which has accused the board of trying to re-segregate schools.

The Wake Education Partnership, which has been a 26-year supporter of the school system, is concerned moving away from the diversity policy could reflect negative on the county as a whole, Brown said.

"We start getting press that is not quite as flattering as it has been in the past,” he said.

Newly elected school board member Debra Goldman disagrees. She said community-based schools will give parents more choices and that's a good thing.

"This is a positive move,” she said.

Brown said his group wants to make sure balance is maintained and has asked to be included in deciding the specifics of the new assignment plan.

“We want to be involved in those discussions to understand that, and at the end of the day we want stability. Everybody wants stability, but we also want balance,” Brown said.

The Board of Education will be listening to public concerns over the next nine to 15 months as they draft the plan, which would begin to be implemented in the 2011-2012 school year.

"We're looking for the success of students academically, stability and balance,” Goldman said.

Goldman also said one way to continue to have diversity is through magnet schools. She wants to keep existing magnets strong and perhaps create a few more.


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  • Remy Mar 31, 2010

    "the point is once they are sworn in they are supposed to serve the entire county, which requires them to work together with the other 4 board members, listen to ALL public input and decide what is best for all students. Their disrespect to the opposing view and rash decision making shows they are working on their own agenda for the small percentage who voted for them." magnet

    Well said!

  • soyousay Mar 31, 2010

    You gotta love these guys...consistency is not their forte...check out the health care "discussion". They are all over the travails of corporate America and how important to consider business (which it is), but suddening corporate interests are a bad thing in this case? Makes you wonder if they have puts America to work. That used to mean something for those labeling themselves Republications --but they put tea bags in cups, not on their heads

  • SS67 Mar 31, 2010

    Oh Boy! Separation of Church and State!
    Take "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance like it was to begin with.

  • tierney3 Mar 30, 2010

    As others have posted, people used the legal democratic process and voted for the new board members. These board members all ran with a platform of changing the schools back to community based.

    First we have Rev Barber trying to be the squeaky wheel.

    Then we have the petition from the clergy...wait the church or churches should now have a say, hello..separation of church and state. There petition should be of 33 people as citizens.. no weight should be given to their 'position'.

    Now we have the corporate interest trying to manipulate the system. Which I can't figure out because to most people moving to the area the current system is bizarre and NOT to their liking. In other words, it is a deterrent.

  • coolmusicmom Mar 30, 2010

    "Mixing poorer students in with more affluent students is trying to fix the problem - it gives poorer students access to better teachers. Studies show that teachers make the difference, and poorer schools get teachers who are not as good, if only because they have less experience."

    Babbleon-where do you find these statistics and facts about poorer schools get teachers who are not as good? This is a very generalized comment. I have taught in very affluent schools and very poor schools. The teachers who teach in either setting for the most part are really good teachers. The teachers at the poorer schools have a lot more issues to deal with besides just teaching. That does not make them bad teachers.

  • whatusay Mar 30, 2010

    Am I missing Gordon Brown on the school board??

  • dondondon2 Mar 30, 2010


  • cindyedwards38 Mar 30, 2010

    Why have a county based school district? Split it up and let each city or town have their own school district. This way students in Cary go to Cary schools and Raleigh kids go to school in Raleigh. Why bus all over the county?

  • caneFan Mar 30, 2010

    @YELLOWDAISIES - LOL next time I talk to Barack I'll let him know ;-) But I doubt he'll listen to me. I don't think anybody does.

  • dondondon2 Mar 30, 2010

    to accuse people of being racists, because they don't want their kids bussed around the county, is, at best, irreponsible, and is otherwise, in itself racism! isn't it time to realize that racism is not a "whites only" phenomenom? racists come in all colors! some even work for organizations like the NAACP!