Wake County Schools

Board members get preview of Tata's student assignment plan

Posted April 28, 2011
Updated April 29, 2011

— Wake County school Superintendent Tony Tata began sharing his vision for student assignment Thursday with members of the Board of Education. Spokesman Michael Evans said Thursday was the first of several informational meetings between school system staff on the Student Assignment Task Force and board members.

"What we want to do is get board member feedback, and then take it out to the public at large to demonstrate the research we've been doing, where we are in the process and where we are going," Tata said.

The policy change has been more than a year in the making. The school board voted in March 2010 to revise a policy that balanced socio-economic diversity in schools across the county but often resulted in students being bused far from home. The board majority wants to keep students closer to home in a community-schools model. That vote spurred months of protest from those who backed the old policy and say community schools would be segregated and unequal. 

After Tata was hired, the board asked him to take the lead in crafting a new plan. Evans said Thursday that about nine different versions of a plan are under consideration, and the meetings this week are part of the process before selecting and sharing a plan with the public.

"We've not begun to make any decision at this point, but our hope is to inform the board now so in a couple of weeks, mid-May, we can bring some information forward to the public and start getting some feedback," Evans said.

He noted that the Wake Education Partnership and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce followed the same process before they presented their plan to the public in February.

Evans says the decision to meet privately with small groups of board members was not an attempt at secrecy but rather an effort to accommodate the schedules of individual board members. State law requires any meeting of five or more members of the nine-member board be open to the public.

Wake County Public School System Wake board members preview student assignment plan

Tata asked that the public trust that there will be plenty of opportunity for input before any plan is finalized. On Friday, he said plans will be posted on the school district's website by the middle of May to get public feedback.

"I am very confident in what we are doing and how we are doing it," he said.

Tim Simmons, vice president of Wake Education Partnership, said he is pleased the process is moving forward. "The partnership is happy to work with the school system in whatever way would be helpful to them," he said.

Tata said he hopes to recommend a new student assignment policy to the board by June.


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  • Shamrock Apr 29, 2011

    "In the meantime I will continue to pay taxes to educate your children." superman

    Sounds a lot better than paying for a life sentence for those in prison!

  • superman Apr 29, 2011

    You do understand that people who do not have children pay more in taxes than you do and receive no benefit. The majority of state tax collections goes to education. About 80% of the county taxes go to support the schools. So please when you critiize other government programs keep in mind-- you are getting a handout from others who pay more in taxes because they dont have children. If I didnt have to pay to educate your children-- I would only have to pay 20% of my county tax. You dont pay more because of where you live in Wake county-- you pay more because of the value of your property. Cary city taxes do not support the schools so if you choose to live in Cary that has absolutely no benefit to the school system. Please get it right! In the meantime I will continue to pay taxes to educate your children.

  • Realthoughts Apr 28, 2011

    And another note djull494. There over 2000 students that attend Cary High.

  • Realthoughts Apr 28, 2011

    No djsull494......

    It is called hard work, dedication and determination. That is what it takes!

  • djsull494 Apr 28, 2011

    "I just recently attended an awards ceremony at Cary High for students having a 3.8 GPA or greater. There were approximately 600 students awarded this honor."

    If this is 3.8 out of 4.0, sounds like grade inflation to me ...

  • Mark Hayes Apr 28, 2011

    Still don,t quite understand how a family that chose to live in a certain area,pays a lot more in taxes to enjoy that area and worked hard to achieve a life away from elements that would endanger their children can be forced to send them miles away into an environment foreign to all they have worked for,the NAACP needs to look at it from a point of veiw other than their own it seems like it is a one sided opinion getting all the publicity,there are different ethnic groups in all communities so why play the race card other than to stir up embers from a fire that has pretty much died out except for Rev Barbers constant stoking.

  • Realthoughts Apr 28, 2011

    You know what is interesting to me…..I just recently attended an awards ceremony at Cary High for students having a 3.8 GPA or greater. There were approximately 600 students awarded this honor. Now, keep in mind Cary participates in busing many kids from southeast Raleigh. So as I looked around the room I notice something odd, I could count the number of African American students in the room all one hand. So tell me Mr. Barber, just how is this busing thing considered a success?

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Apr 28, 2011

    What preview did they get? This story doesn't even come close to what the headline implies. There are no details. So we will keep waiting for what will without a doubt be the biggest reassignment Wake County has ever seen to be unveiled. I bet all they do is copy what the Chamber and that other group did anyway. People who were not hired to stick their noses into how our children are educated. There will be little input, if any, by the the parents of all those children. It's about what a bunch of backroom dealers need to keep their bank accounts flowing and that's all that's ever mattered to those people.

  • mtadish Apr 28, 2011

    How can you have nine different versions of a plan and call it the same?


  • flashsparks Apr 28, 2011

    I hope this Tata guy can resolve this issue so that all parties are satisfied. So far he's been fairminded. I hope the bussing side doesn't try to get rid of him. Otherwise, I would have to show up to a school board meeting with a sign reading,
    "Save the TATA!".