Wake County Schools

Student assignment plan will move forward on schedule

Posted January 10, 2012
Updated January 11, 2012

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— Despite lingering concerns, the Wake County student assignment plan will move forward on schedule without any changes.

Board of Education members spent several hours at a work session Tuesday talking with school system staff about a number of concerns brought up last week about the new choice-model plan. 

The plan gives parents more input into where their children go to school and aims at providing stability for students who are sometimes reassigned under the current plan for diversity purposes.

"The decision has been made, the question of delay is off the table," said board member John Tedesco during  the work session. 

"Whether I agree with that is almost immaterial, the decision was made to go forward," said board member Jim Martin, who had  raised several concerns.

Martin and other board members, as well as community groups, are worried about whether students from traditionally low-performing schools would have access to schools that are high-performing. Other issues with the plan include cost concerns and the track in which students move from elementary to middle to high schools.

The board acknowledged that the plan is not perfect but agreed to continue with it as long as there is constant monitoring and evaluation and adjustments, if they are needed.

Wake school board won't delay student assignment plan Wake school board won't delay student assignment plan

"We need to respect the decisions parents are making today. We can't go in and say, 'You've been given an assignment slip, now I'm going to take it away,' and say, 'No, you have to have something else,'" Martin said. "That's irresponsible Parents have been jerked around by the system long enough. We can't do that."

"I think we're going to see some schools that have some challenges," Tedesco added. "Some of those schools need our resources, and we need to put our money where our mouth is and make sure we have the right resources in place – whether it's tutoring support or reading specialists or special education services for those children. We have to help all of our children succeed."

During Tuesday evening's school board meeting, charter middle school students and parents expressed concern about their high school options under the new plan. Many said they would be locked out of their closest school because of seats filled by others grandfathered in under current feeder patterns.

"I will get pushed out of the school that every other ninth-grader on my block will attend next year,” Exploris Middle School eighth-grader Ellie Buckner said.

Superintendent Tony Tata said current charter school students will get the same proximity priority as others, and that they expect many students will choose different options under the new plan.

"There will be capacity that is not available today," Tata said.

Parents are set to begin Jan. 17 choosing and ranking which schools they want their children to attend for the 2012-13 school year.

Their choices are based on their address and include at least five elementary, two middle and two high schools. Those schools are a combination of traditional-calendar, year-round calendar, magnet and other specialty options.

The school system will begin notifying parents in mid-March of their assignments.

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  • LBJ192 Jan 12, 2012

    "By summer time it will be like the days of old. A new breed of school board haters will emerge, protest, take over meetings, get arrested and create an even more divisive school system and community."
    YouMakeItSoEasy

    And you will be one of those haters because it is impossible to satisfy you.

  • LBJ192 Jan 12, 2012

    "If you really want to help the poor performing minority students, end race based busing and spend the money on special programs to help the poor performing minority kids in their neighborhood schools."
    DontLikeTheSocialistObama

    Where have you been for the last 2 years, under a rock? There is no more diversity busing starting next school year. No one on the board wants to go back to it or they would have made more of a stink in the last few board meetings. You can not produce one bit of proof anyone wants to go back to diversity busing. Get over it.

  • westernwake1 Jan 11, 2012

    "It's a proven fact that when the parents value education and work with their kids and the schools, their kids do well in school."

    I will note that even in low income households with single mothers, when the single parent makes the commitment to focus on their child's education the student generally excels in school. You have to give credit to a number of low-income single parents who have done this. Some have even been on these threads.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 11, 2012

    Under the old race based busing program, it implied that black kids can't learn unless they are the only black kid in a room full of white kids in the suburbs.

    The african american community should have been insulted by this implication.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 11, 2012

    The old socio-economic diversity (race) based busing program wasn't intended to help the poor performing minority students. It was designed to scatter them all over Wake County to minimize their effect on test scores of schools so that we had no poor performing schools.

    The high minority dropout rate in Wake County illustrates how the busing program has failed the poor performing minority students.

    The problem was that once they got to the school in the suburbs there were no programs to help them and they got put in the corner while the teachers focused on the better performing kids.

    If you really want to help the poor performing minority students, end race based busing and spend the money on special programs to help the poor performing minority kids in their neighborhood schools.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 11, 2012

    Until education becomes valued in lower socio-ecnomic level homes things aren't going to changes.

    No amount of money or busing is going to fix the problem until things change in the homes of poor performing kids.

    It's a proven fact that when the parents value education and work with their kids and the schools, their kids do well in school.

  • kmanc4s Jan 11, 2012

    haggis basher,

    "The small good decisions each of us make each day, don't cost money."

    "But hiring more and better teachers does so whats your point?"

    We have great teachers now some of the best in the State, and of course they deserve more money.

    My point is we could hire the best Ivy League professors for our classrooms and pay them accordingly, build schools with gold tiled hallways, supply every student with the latest technology and it isn't going to help these kids who go home to dysfunctional homes; drug, gang and alcohol ridden neighborhoods and parents that aren't interested. This is where the work needs to be done that will close the achievement gap.

    Has busing kids all over the county for the past 40 years helped close the achievement gap? No and it never will. If it could have worked, after 40 years it would have.

  • Screw WrAl Jan 11, 2012

    "We STILL do not know what this new plan will cost."

    We know this much, many won't get their first several choices and many won't get transportation this time around. Then what?. As the best and desired schools fill up the anger will build. If that number turns out to be as many as some are predicting that number is going to be enormous. Once that happens outrage will ensue.

    By summer time it will be like the days of old. A new breed of school board haters will emerge, protest, take over meetings, get arrested and create an even more divisive school system and community.

  • beaupeep Jan 11, 2012

    "My kids are just about finished with Public Schools and have done very well but they could easy have fallen through the cracks caused by gross underfunding."

    I'm guessing it had little to do with funding and more with parental involvement.

  • Crumps Br0ther Jan 11, 2012

    Then lets fund education properly

    Where is all the lottery money, isnt that what its for?

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