Education

NAACP hears 'controlled choice' for Wake schools

Posted July 28, 2010

Wake County Public School System
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— An educational consultant who believes Wake County parents can have more choices in their children's schooling without creating high-poverty schools met with leaders of the state NAACP Wednesday to explain how.

Michael Alves has been in Raleigh this week presenting his "controlled choice" concept to local business and community leaders, as well as Wake County Board of Education members.

The concept uses a computer model to divide the school system into several zones in which student population is representative of the entire school system.

The NAACP has been a vocal opponent of the school board's recent decision to move away from a longstanding student assignment model that buses some students to one that assigns students based on where they live.

Policy opponents fear it will put poorer students at an educational disadvantage because the move would segregate schools, lead to pockets of poverty and cause high teacher turnover. Proponents believe it can help improve test scores, allow parents to be more involved and provide stability for students.

Those on both sides of the debate who've heard from Alves this week believe what he's proposing could be a potential solution.

Great Schools in Wake Coalition opposes community-based schools.

"We all want to have a situation where every school can be balanced, can be equitable in terms of its resources," Chairwoman Yevonne Brannon said of controlled choice. "This is really back to the future."

"I think it's a great opportunity to listen to other methods of student assignment," said Claude Pope, president of the Wake County Republican Party, which backs community-based schools. "I have always been a big proponent of more choice, versus less choice."

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  • wasone Jul 29, 2010

    Please correct me if I am mistaken,but if I remember correctly the citizens/residents of Wake county voted the new school board in because they wanted a change,hopefuly for the better.....maybe the NAACP and the other outsiders should refrain from interfearing with the school board meeting and give the new changes a chance..THEY JUST MIGHT WORK. Most of the ones arrested and are causing problems are not even residents of Wake County,hey here's a thought...Maybe they could stay home and help their own children with their home work rather than interfearing with the school board meetings and what about the Wake School Board rights to meet in an orderly session?

  • Tommylee Jul 29, 2010

    We should listen to the people that were voted in and not someone from out of state.

  • Plenty Coups Jul 29, 2010

    wildcat-"Very good point. If only the parents could see themselves."

    That's what the NAACP should focus their energy on.

  • wildcat Jul 29, 2010

    The REAL problem is in the Parents/Students unwillingness to learn. Period. That is what needs attention, learning, and changing.
    MakoII

    Very good point. If only the parents could see themselves.

  • MakoII Jul 29, 2010

    Plenty Coups,

    Yes, it does rile when a group, as you say makes a ruckus, and then gets press, acknowledgment, and perhaps results, even if they're unjust.

    But that SHOULD highlight the power of organization and the will of a group of PEOPLE to get something they want.

    Just like this Community Based thing. A group of organized people made a successful campaign of the issue and won the day.

    Now imagine this was done on SANE issue that really helped us in terms of getting better results in School, making Politicians accountable for their corruption, having dedicated and respected sources of information so we don't live in a world of spin, myth, propaganda with which people make poor decisions on.

    I'm encouraged by the NAACP's ability, even though it's often misguided today as they become less and less necessary and their issues less and less dire. To go from ending hangings and back of the bus to who to kill first on death row and equal salaries is diminishing and hard to take.

  • Plenty Coups Jul 29, 2010

    Mako II-"Given that the NAACP has a lot of money and people to bring to protest or "advertise" an issue, if you can get them on board, you eliminate negative advertising. It's necessary PR.
    Lincoln made a great point when he was initially against Emaciation that if the PEOPLE are not FOR it, it won't stand.

    Community Based Schooling will become a reality, but unless the people are convinced it's viable, it will be a short lived reality, passing back to the old "diversity" policy within the next 5 years."

    Very good point Mako, but I'm not sure it will matter with them. Perhaps. It still sticks in my craw that they get more recognition by creating such a ruckus.
    "The REAL problem is in the Parents/Students unwillingness to learn. Period. That is what needs attention, learning, and changing."
    Yes, until this is acknowledged, there will never be a longstanding change in the achievement gaps.

  • MakoII Jul 29, 2010

    Well people can whine about the current board, but it comes down to who goes out and votes. They got voted in. Everyone KNEW their agenda. The opposition didn't come out and vote. Too bad, so sad. I didn't vote, but I'm FOR a change.

    Why? Because the OTHER system DID acheive it's initial goals pre-segregation of creating schools that were equal in terms of available curricula books, building maintenance and AC and Certified Teachers. There is NO issue with those being equal today.

    Yes, SOME schools have more PTA money, but THAT is the community's fault, not the State's fault.

    But those in control FAILED to achieve closing gaps. Period. They failed. Time to try something new.

    If THIS too fails, on to the NEXT thing, but hopefully, no going backwards!

    At the end of the day, Federal dollars can't buy up stupidity.

    The REAL problem is in the Parents/Students unwillingness to learn. Period. That is what needs attention, learning, and changing.

  • superman Jul 29, 2010

    We have a lot of closed minds. Every person in this county who pays property tax has a stake in the school system! It dont make no difference what color or if you have children in school or not-- about 80% of the county taxes goes to support the schools and pay for your childrens education. We dont have children so if you would like for me to be quiet and sit in the back seat--please exempt my property tax so that I only pay 20%. In the final analysis, it really doesnt make any difference what people say or do-- the 5 board members are not going to change. It will take a law suit and loss of federal funding for the board to change. The feds will be packing up their stuff and headed south soon. Watch for them.

  • MakoII Jul 29, 2010

    Plenty Coups,

    Given that the NAACP has a lot of money and people to bring to protest or "advertise" an issue, if you can get them on board, you eliminate negative advertising.

    It's necessary PR.

    Lincoln made a great point when he was initially against Emaciation that if the PEOPLE are not FOR it, it won't stand.

    Community Based Schooling will become a reality, but unless the people are convinced it's viable, it will be a short lived reality, passing back to the old "diversity" policy within the next 5 years.

  • Plenty Coups Jul 29, 2010

    whatusay-"Why was the school board elected, to please the NAACP, or do what they promised, neighborhood schools."

    Good point. I hope if they are presenting to the NAACP they're doing it on their own dime.

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