Wake County Schools

Parents learn about Wake assignment plans

Posted May 31, 2011

— Parents on Tuesday attended the first of three scheduled public question-and-answer periods on two proposals for student assignment in the Wake County Public School System.

The Wake County Board of Education voted in 2010 to change the district's long-standing policy of assigning students based on socio-economic diversity, which opponents said resulted in long bus rides for some, in favor of a plan that would keep students closer to their homes.

Superintendent Tony Tata and a task force have been working on how to implement that change since his hire in January and released two draft plans last week. The so-called blue and green plans are aimed at maximizing student achievement while providing families with more stability and choice.

middle school, school bus Wake schools student assignment plan proposals

At Tuesday's meeting at Millbrook Magnet High School, two task force members walked parents through a website designed to gather feedback on the plans.

"I found it very helpful," said Kelly Johnson, who has three children in Wake County schools.

Under the so-called "blue plan,” or the “Community-Based Choice” plan, parents can choose from a variety of four to six elementary schools, each linked with a middle and high school. Students get priority based on whether they have a sibling at the school or live close by, and the district takes into account achievement balance and capacity at any individual school.

The "green" plan, also known as the “Base Schools Achievement Plan,” is similar to the current assignment model. Under it, the school system assigns students based on student achievement, ensuring that students from low-performing areas end up at high-performing schools.

Both plans address community schools, better programming, diverse schools, equitable and efficient use of resources, stability and student achievement, Tata said.

“The two plans take different paths. I’d like people to consider which idea they prefer, while we work out the remaining details,” he said.

Johnson said she is leaning toward the blue plan. "I would prefer to have choices," she said.

Parent Neela Gaddis saw the benefits of both.

"I think they both have their pros and cons, and it's a matter of what's important to you as an individual," Gaddis said.

Wake County Public School System Parents learn about Wake assignment plans

Parent Sam Haney said he left Tuesday's meeting with more questions.

"How much does it cost? How do you define high-performance and low-performance schools?" Haney said.

Many parents were concerned because they could only view elementary schools for each plan. Wake County officials said they are working to add middle and high schools, but stressed that all schools listed are just examples to show the concept of each plan. 

Information meetings were also held Tuesday at Enloe High School and Athens Drive High School.

The plans are open for public comment until June 12, when they will be adjusted based on the feedback and put before the school board in mid-June.

The chosen plan would take effect with the 2012-13 school year.

Meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. on:

  • Wednesday, June 1 at Panther Creek High School
  • Thursday, June 2 at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School, Garner Magnet High School, Sanderson High School, Cary High School and Holly Springs High School

This story is closed for comments.

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  • Shamrock May 31, 2011

    Ask your neighbors what they know, I bet you'll be surprised.
    Give us da heat n drought

    I can tell you that the school system is a hot topic at the bus stop. My neighbors are all over it. Not sure where you get your information, but I doubt you have asked any of your neighbors.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas May 31, 2011

    "Give the rest of us some credit."

    Ask your neighbors what they know, I bet you'll be surprised.

  • Shamrock May 31, 2011

    "Actually, they did win the overwhelming majority of the votes of the 11% of Wake county voters who cared enough about our kids' education to go vote. To all the rest that are complaining that didn't vote, well just shut up until the next election."

    It was a majority in 4 districts out of 9. Not a county majority by any means. And the rest of us will be sure to be attentive in the upcoming elections.

  • Shamrock May 31, 2011

    The missing data has nothing to do with the school board. Try to keep up, won't you. This is/was all a Superintendent decagons to release a plan missing well more than half of the necessary info needed to even begin to make sense of these so called plans.
    Give us da heat n drought

    Don't you think the board gave the OK to put these plans out to the public? Tata has already shown him what he has thus far. Besides, the board is Tata's boss, so why wouldn't it have anything to do with them?

  • dlnorri May 31, 2011

    The blue will find a lot of favor (choice is popular), but it will not be executable due to transportation issues (and the legal issues listed below may also effect it). The green plan is close to 'stay the course' and will likely be the recomendation. The idea of using student achievement vs. economics is interesting. The real hope is to remove the charter school pushers, the mafiaso crooks, and one or two people who can not remember that community schools was why they left the last town; and get ourselves back in the business of running one of the best and most admired school systems in the land.

  • Shamrock May 31, 2011

    "Interesting that the current Bd is/was an absolute Fail. If Tata had not been hired, we would not even be to this point in terms of an assignment plan."

    You got that right!

  • Shamrock May 31, 2011

    "of course 90+% of parents don't have any idea what you and I are talking about anyway so it really just doesn't matter does it."
    Give us da heat n drought

    Why do you continually act like you are the only one following the WCPSS? Just have no idea where you get your information on what everyone else thinks. I guess you missed all those folks showing up at the meetings over the past several months? Did not see you there. Give the rest of us some credit.

  • superman May 31, 2011

    We received the same "emergency message". Couldnt they at least correct before they used the telephone machine. Just goes to show you how they plan and how unorganized they really are. Just halfway do something!

  • ICTrue May 31, 2011

    "Interesting that the current Bd is/was an absolute Fail. If Tata had not been hired, we would not even be to this point in terms of an assignment plan."

    In one sentance you claim that the board is a failure. Then in the next you praise them for hiring Tata. Which is it?

  • haggis basher May 31, 2011

    "The missing data has nothing to do with the school board."

    And who shoved this task over to the superintendent? And who choose this superintendent? and who fired the last superintendent? and finally who stirred up this whole mess to start with?

    They should resign before they embarrass Wake County and themselves anymore.