Education

Former board members say they support Wake students

Posted April 26, 2010

Wake County Public School System
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— A group of 25 former members of the Wake County Board of Education spoke out Monday in support of the school system, saying they are willing to help as controversy lingers on how students are placed in the district's schools.

"We really want to stick and be on the positive note of not being complainers but being people who have our hand out to help, if we can," former board member Judy Hoffman said.

Ex-school board members speak out Ex-school board members speak out

The move comes as a school board student assignment committee is beginning to look at a community-based assignment model to replace the system's current plan, which buses students to help schools maintain a socio-economic balance.

"Every child is important, and the educational success of every child is what we need to be focusing on," said former board member Bill Fletcher.

Supporters of the community assignment plan say it will keep students closer to their homes, allow for more parental involvement and give parents more options in their children's education.

The plan's opponents fear that changing the current assignment model would create pockets of poverty in the school system and ultimately re-segregate the schools.

The neighborhood schools initiative, however, was not specifically mentioned at a news conference Monday.

"We want to join with others in the community to ensure an equal opportunity for a sound basic education for every child in Wake County public schools," the group said in a statement.

"For over 30 years, the Wake County Public School System has been a model for school districts around the nation," the group continued. "Because research consistently shows that challenges to success for all students in high-poverty and racially isolated schools are greater, we have worked to prevent the creation of such schools."

Others disagree.

"The question is whether these past members – whose policies put us in this place –  really want to constructively take a hard look at the problems facing our school system and how to make those better," said Joey Stansbury, with the parents group WakeCares, which supports neighborhood schools.

School board Chairman Ron Margiotta said it appears that the group has the same goal as the school system but said it was the same group that "created the problems that we are living with today and that we now have to correct."

"We welcome the support from everyone and everybody, as they (the current board) undo and correct the problems of the past – and by doing so, they will be able to offer stability and choice."

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  • mindofreason Apr 27, 2010

    People can say what they want about the system being a racially based motive for busing, but that oversimplifies the issue. I for one am aware of many poor WHITE students who are bused under the current plan. This current plan is about attempting to assist students from all backgrounds, not poor, rich, white, black, whatever. Where is the bad in that? I just don't see it. Furthermore, all the data suggests that Wake's scores will most likely lower (overall) when the plan is changed, based on data out of CMS, KC Schools, and other systems that have attempted this conversion. We should demand all of our students make 100% marks, but that is less likely to happen if some schools have more resources than others. Lastly, not busing will most likely end up costing the county a ton more money as we will increase our need for additional schools, and will not utilize the existing schools to their fullest capacity. This is a more expensive proposition than most have led on...

  • acc_blood Apr 27, 2010

    I think the most damning statement from the group was how Wake County has been a model of diversity for 30 years. It's not an inaccurate statement, but it affirms what the opponents of the current "socio-economic" busing plan already know - that eliminating this TEN YEAR OLD policy and re-instating magnet programs will not bring us back to the dark ages of the 50s and 60s (like they want us all to think). Wake County had a great diversity policy for 20 years before this stupid method currently in play.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 27, 2010

    "Funny that the same people who will bash this group of former school board members and are currently supporters of the "gang of five", probably thought this school system was great when they moved down here years ago when these people were in power, right?"
    This school system has not been great for a very long time. These former school board members have presided over a decaying system and the agenda they pushed has been a failed one for decades. I don't know if they are just deluded, or simply close-minded. This is not just a Wake County or NC problem. It is a national problem. The current public system actually needs to be completely overhauled. We need to get back to encouraging and recognizing achievement instead of the current path and that path is one of "lowering the playing field" in the name of leveling the playing field. Low expectations gets you low achievement. These are former members. They need to stay out of it.

  • NoFreakinWay Apr 27, 2010

    22 failed attempts at creating a REALLY great school system, so they all gang up and spout their failed views. Glad all 22 are gone! Now on to squashing that diversity plague!

  • aintbackingdwn Apr 27, 2010

    The former board members don't want public school affirmative action to end. Call it what it is.

  • just brian Apr 26, 2010

    I find it very interesting that many of the posts on all of the education stories are full of grammatical and spelling errors. That is just an observation though.

  • colliedave Apr 26, 2010

    to replace the system's current plan, which buses students to help schools maintain a socio-economic balance.

    how about reporting the truth? The plan was to maintain a RACIAL quota. The previous board used economics as a ruse to get around a SC edict that banned busing on account of race.

  • Da Toy Maker Apr 26, 2010

    "In addition, look at the number of PRIVATE transportation vans in the county and the number of children being taken to school by Taxi's. All a child has to do is be slightly disruptive....private transportation is then provided.

    WASTE!
    tgcmisc"

    Don't you think this might have more to do with the law that mandating it?

  • Da Toy Maker Apr 26, 2010

    Don't get me wrong. I don't have any solution because I'm not an educator. Personally, I don't think either ways it is going to make much of difference. Kids that will excel will do so. Kids that will fail won't success. We already have a community school model, CMPS. If you compare WCPS & CMPS, graduation rate by race doesn't seem to vary much.

  • Da Toy Maker Apr 26, 2010

    "...
    The children here are at least one year behind what my nephews and nieces are studying in the Long Island public schools....

    NotFromHere"

    How much is the local tax for houses in Long Island??? Care to share?? I moved down here from Upstate NY 17 years ago. I remember how much I had to pay for schools up there. Same with NJ. Care to point out the number??

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