Raleigh, N.C. — The architect of the Wake County Public School System's choice-based student assignment plan said Tuesday he's pleased with how the plan was implemented, but seems some room for improvement.
Education consultant Michael Alves said existing overcrowding caused some kinks in the execution of the plan, but pointed out that the majority of students got their top school choice.
"So far, the choice plan has worked," Alves said.
He said the plan was especially successful with rising kindergartners and that his model sets out a feeder pattern for students through middle and high school.
"They are not going to be reassigned and told to go to another school next year," Alves said.
He said capacity and balancing demographic diversity are still issues for the school system.
After assignments were made, students receiving free and reduced lunch increased by more than three percent at 25 schools. At one school, it increased by more than 11 percent.
Six schools saw a decrease of three percent or more in the number of student receiving free and reduced lunch.
Still, Superintendent Tony Tata stands behind the plan, saying fewer parents are filing transfer requests than in previous years.
"That is an indicator of satisfaction," he said.
In other business at the Wake County Board of Education meeting Tuesday, board members voted unanimously to extend the student wait list period to July 18. Waiting lists were set to expire July 29.
That means families who are waiting for a seat at a school they prefer over their current assignment will have three more weeks to wait for a spot to become available.
The school board also voted to join the North Carolina School Boards Association in their request to intervene in litigation between the State Board of Education and the N.C. Learns Virtual Charter School. The charter school is suing the state in an effort to force them to allow online K-12 schools to operate in North Carolina.