Wake County Schools

Feds want to hear from public about Wake schools

Posted April 27, 2011

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— Investigators with the federal civil rights office want to hear from residents of Wake County about the public school system's policies. They have scheduled a forum May 4, at 7 p.m. at Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh.

Last summer, the state NAACP filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights alleging a plan to change how students are assigned to schools across the county would concentrate poor students into schools in poor communities.

OCR investigators have met with school leaders, students and members of the board of education. The meeting next Wednesday is designed for community members to sound off on the school system's policies.

WRAL.com plans to carry the forum live online.

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  • gray3369 Apr 28, 2011

    What hasn't the NAACP filed a complaint about? If a Low wage Parent paying Low Wage Taxes with a child attending a Low budget School the NAACP should file the complaint against the parent, Not the Department of Education.

  • taylor81 Apr 28, 2011

    @westernwake1... I admit I have never heard a parent say that exact statement. I have heard what I quoted below:

    "I paid good money to move into Preston so my kids wouldn't have to sit beside a bunch of hoodlums in class."

    Perhaps its those who shout the loudest that give a bad name to parents whose main concern was how the policy was being implemented.

    I do believe that we have made progress in that few concerns are directly related to race/culture/ethnicity at this point. As you said, "parents whose children already live in racially integrated neighborhoods with people from many different backgrounds and cultures." Neighborhood schools, though, still leave rich kids attending with rich kids, poor kids attending with poor kids. The original spirit of the of the districting plan was to diversify socio-economically, giving low income kids a chance to benefit from those schools which were flush with additional parent funding. Are all parents as open to this idea as you?

  • westernwake1 Apr 28, 2011

    @taylor81

    Actually what parents said are "I do not want my child moved to a different school every year" and "I want my child in a school close to my neighborhood where I can support their education and it does not take an hour bus trip to bring them to school."

    Most parents never said anything like "I don't want poor kids coming into my child's school." Making this type of claim is an insult to the majority of reasonable parents whose children already live in racially integrated neighborhoods with people from many different backgrounds and cultures.

  • taylor81 Apr 28, 2011

    I think I would actually feel better if people started coming forward and saying, "I don't want poor kids coming into my child's school." At least then we could start working on the issues rather than dancing around them. Based on the last districting map under the old school board, the vast majority of the students in areas with the highest voting percentages (essentially, middle to uppper-middle class neighborhoods) actually attended a school within 5-10 minutes of their home. According to a few close friends who are active WCPSS employees at the high school and middle school levels, most of the parent concern (in their schools) began when low-income students from Raleigh were brought from their neighborhoods into schools like Cary, Apex, and Green Hope. Again, the issue in question seems to be rather transient...

  • rc4nc Apr 28, 2011

    It's been stated by school professionals that parental involvement is key to a child's education. Now explain how involved a parent is going to be when the school his/her child is attending is across the county from their house? Those who don't support neighborhood schools, don't care what parents think, or what parents want for their children.

  • rc4nc Apr 28, 2011

    Schools didn't decline until the Federal Government got involved with them and they won't improve until it gets out of them.

  • taylor81 Apr 28, 2011

    "Can you explain to me how placing my child in one school in kindergarten, a second school in first grade, and third school in second grade, the a fourth school in third grade..."

    Lets say it was the same school, K-5. But it was a school in a low income neighborhood located 15-20 minutes from your home. I imagine there would still be plenty of complaints made to the school board, only then we'd be begging the question: Was the flawed execution of the policy the complaint, or was it the spirit/intent of the policy that was the issue?

    Sitting at a restaurant in Cary the other day, I overheard a gentleman at the table behind me tell his friends, "I paid good money to move into Preston [neighborhood] so my kids wouldn't have to sit beside a bunch of hoodlums in class." I fear this is the mindset we may be up against... only most people in Wake county are too p-c to come out and say what they're actually thinking. Lots of philosophical shadow-boxing going on.

  • westernwake1 Apr 28, 2011

    @nything25

    As one of the few people posting on this forum that has actually read the Wake County and other studies - let me state that results do prove clear correlation between educational achievement and not bussing students. Math and statistics don't lie - but opponents of neighborhood schools regularly mis-represent or ignore the obvious results.

    Can you explain to me how placing my child in one school in kindergarten, a second school in first grade, and third school in second grade, the a fourth school in third grade in support of a failed diversity policy has improved their education. As a parent let me say this common experience shared by many families is a nightmare. It was obscene that the old school board ignored all the parent's complaints and refused to listen to us. Now they are voted out.

    The issue of resourcing of schools is totally separate of the need to focus on neighborhood schools and eliminating endless changes each year.

  • taylor81 Apr 28, 2011

    Many of the comments here have mentioned that "the community" has already spoken through elections. Please keep in mind that you can find many instances throughout history where the opinion of the community has proven to fly in the face of equity. Think back on the widespread public support for Jim Crow laws, and further public outrage when they were deemed unconstitutional, or the majority consensus in the south that students of different races shouldn't attend school together (a view which was documented to have carried on well past the Brown v. Board decision with the creation of White Flight private schools, and sadly, seems to still be imbedded in the values of some communities even today). Just because the majority of the citizens [through their voting record] demonstrated that they don't want students of differing socio-economic status attending school together doesn't mean that "neighborhood schools" [read: socio-economically segregated schools] should be allowed to happen.

  • BUCKEYEnNC Apr 28, 2011

    You know, a simple solution would be to dissolve the Wake County School System. Have each city/town establish their school systems.

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