Wake County Schools

Wake school board votes to change student assignment plan

Posted June 19, 2012
Updated June 20, 2012

Wake County Public School System

— After hours of heated debate Tuesday night, the Wake County school board voted just before 1 a.m. Wednesday to have school system staff revise the district's choice-based student assignment plan just eight months after it was approved.

According to the directive, approved 5-4 by the board, the revised plan would be created by evaluating the current and previous assignment plans in an effort to "integrate the best practices and strategies."

The new student assignment plan would move away from a choice-driven plan and return to an address-based plan with expanded magnet and theme-school choice.

Any changes to the plan would not go into effect until the 2013-2014 school year, at the earliest.

Board members said the revised plan should be focused on student achievement, stability and proximity and that each address should be assigned a school or schools within a "reasonable distance."

It's been one week since the district wrapped up student assignment for the 2012-13 school year, placing more than 151,000 students in 169 schools across the school system.

Parents on both sides of the issue spoke during the public comment portion of the school board meeting Tuesday evening to present the pros and cons of changes to the plan.

"Changing this plan, throwing it out, is not good for this community," said parent Jennifer Mansfield.

Board Chairman Kevin Hill said no one is trying to push through any quick, dramatic changes, but they simply want to put the conversation on the table.

"I think it would be irresponsible not to go back and try to look at what we can do improve this (current) plan," he said. "To what extent, I don't know. I mean, the superintendent, himself, has said repeatedly in the last month that we’re going to have to make some changes."

Board member John Tedesco said changing the assignment plan now would be a step in the wrong direction.

"To go back to the old business as usual with reassignment year in and year out down the pipe, that is the wrong way to do," he said.


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  • rogerwx Jun 22, 2012

    How many times must it be said? It is all about the numbers. Not the percentage of minorities, not the socio-economic balance-it's about the numbers that make the schools APPEAR to be successful, or at least APPEAR to be improving. Unless you have money to spend, or are willing to sacrifice, charter schools provide the solution. Limited emphasis on athletics and MUCH better discipline and learning environment. They get the best students from the public system for those reasons. Nothing to do w/race or income. I for taught 31 years and witnessed first hand the dumbing down and decline of discipline in the public schools.

  • pipolia25 Jun 21, 2012

    I am highly pleased with the Neighborhood Schools program that was put in place for this upcoming year. We got into our neighborhood school, which is a decent school and 1.5 miles from our house. I am happy that my child will not be shipped down to Moore Square Middle on a bus to socio-economically diversify that school since we have a middle school 1 mile from our home that is our new feeder school. If this new board messes this up and I find my child back on a bus, I will be forced to go back to work and send my child to private school. Maybe by then we'll have vouchers for private schools to help with the cost.

  • newssaavy72 Jun 21, 2012

    Sure is a whole lot of confusion going on. MAINLY because one ethnic group of parents are NOT involved in their childs education or up bringing. Therefore instead of fixing that problem everyone else who is involved heavily with their kids education are affected....So sad.

    jljwcj - don't clump that one ethnic group into one. Just because you see some doing that, it is NOT all! Everyone is not the same and to say that all of them are not involved is dumb! You don't know what the family'a situation is. They may have to work during certain hours and can't attend functions. Don't stereotype and don't generalize!

  • newssaavy72 Jun 21, 2012

    What a pure mess!I am thankful that my daughter was granted an automatic seat from Ligon to Enloe and I just left my elementary daughter at her same school.I wanted her in a magnet, but didn't want the hassle of putting up with a third rejection in a row. I did not participate in this school choice assignment! It is a joke to implement a change after people have already gone through the process of choosing and getting placement for their kids. I have never seen so much incompetence from a group of so-called educated people who have no insight on anything, but how to be popular amongst themselves. What a wast of tax payer money and let what a shame as well to keep begging the comissioners for extra money when it is wasted only to get results like this. Back to the drawing board!

  • kimandwill89 Jun 20, 2012

    Not a single high school from Wake Co. in the nations top 100. That tells you what reassignment does for students. No parental support for the student equals no success in school. All the bickering and shuffling around will not change that fact.

  • kimandwill89 Jun 20, 2012

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  • injameswetrust2003 Jun 20, 2012

    I get the feeling that the dems were planning to change back to the old plan all along. I just don't understand why they waited until now to change it. They voted last year to direct the superintendent to do all this work on the new plan. I didn't realize until last night just how political Kevin Hill is. I thought he would be the one person above this partisanship, what with all his talk about collaboration. He's just another politician talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  • wasone Jun 20, 2012

    It's going to take a while,the "new board members" haven't had their time on TV-5 yet so here they come,I for one am tired of seeing them on the news. If the board members had to ride the bus twice daily and spend the day in the class rooms until they decided on a plan that worked,I bet it wouldn't take that long decide on one that works for everyone.

  • Bill of Rights Jun 20, 2012

    For those of you wondering about the connection between privatization and segregation: privatization was toted as one way North Carolina's highly racist school system could avoid integrating after the Brown v Board of Education vote in 1954. It wasn't until Swann v Mecklenberg in 1971 that North Carolina began to truly integrate ... as for privatization, read up on Prince Edward County, VA for an example of how privatization was used to circumvent state law. Jesse Helms was a big advocate of privatizing schools in North Carolina to perpetuate segregation. In a nutshell, that's why many people are so vitriolically opposed to privatizing schools; there's already been a dangerous precedent set for that in the past and many people understandably don't want to see that repeated again.

  • Nancy Jun 20, 2012

    October 12, 2011

    ""The old assignment plan is water under the bridge," Hill said in reference to Magiotta's concerns. "We have an outline of a new plan to work with and we need to ensure that it works well for all kids. We may need to slow down the process a bit, but the old plan is the old plan, we won't be going back to that."

    Democratic School Board Member-Elect Susan Evans has said he has no plans to come out swinging with sweeping changes like the Republican leadership did two years ago.

    "Most importantly we want good government and professionalism returned to the school board, with decision making based on a collaboration between board members," Evans said. "Our community deserves that."