Wake County Schools

Single proposal for Wake school assignment expected in June

Posted June 3, 2011

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— The Wake County Public School System’s superintendent said Friday that he hopes to recommend a single plan for student assignment to the school board at its June 21 meeting.

Two drafts released online last month will be updated by Friday night to include information about choices for middle and high school assignments, Superintendent Tony Tata said.

Previously, only information about elementary schools had been released.

The so-called blue and green plans are proposed courses of action to replace the district's current long-standing policy of assigning students based on socio-economic diversity in favor of a policy that assigns students based on where they live.

Opponents of the current plan have said that it results in long bus rides for some. Those who support it say the new policy will keep students who are economically disadvantaged from receiving the same quality of education as their counterparts.

Tata has said that the new proposals are aimed at maximizing student achievement while providing families with more stability and choice.

The blue plan will also get a test run June 13-20 that will mimic the student assignment process, Tata said.

Parents can log on to the Wake County schools website and choose their top schools for their children to attend.

So far, the proposals have generated more than 200,000 page views and 11,000 comments, he added.

The proposal to the school board will include a work plan on how to implement the plan through next March, as well as a schedule for more public hearings and time to refine the plan, Tata said.

Under the 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.

Students who are pleased with their current schools will be grandfathered in, Tata said.

"For both plans, if you like your school, you can stay," he said Friday.

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

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  • cjw6105 Jun 3, 2011

    wakemom

    No, we would not have applied for the magnets, we wanted our kids in traditional schools after 6 years of magnet programs in elementary. We wanted our kids closer to home without the constant changing of classes and teachers that magnets had.

    At the time, Carnage was not a good school socially or academically. Southeast was, but only if you excelled in math and science. But for me, no school over ten miles away is good when you have a dozen much closer. I understand that you can't always get your closest school, but the Wake Board used that for an excuse to send us far away, bypassing a dozen much closer schools, some only 2 miles away.

    There is no excuse for having areas of "have nots" in a wealthy county like Wake. Every student deserves some sort of choice and shouldn't be forced to ride great distances to school in a program they don't want to be in.

    I know what's best for my kids' education better than Wake County does. That's cutting to the chase.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Jun 3, 2011

    Only 6-10 more months and this will all be resolved won't it.

  • cjw6105 Jun 3, 2011

    jimmycarter and Da Toy Maker, you amaze me when you say my neighborhood's forced assignment to Carnage and Southeast was not true or was because of overcrowded schools. WE LIVED IT FOR 25 YEARS HERE IN SWIFT CREEK. WE HAD NO PUBLIC OPTION BUT TO GO THERE BECAUSE THESE SCHOOLS WERE OUR ASSIGNED BASE SCHOOLS. TRANSFERS ELSEWHERE WERE ROUTINELY DENIED. What is it you don't understand here?

    In 1986, we were removed against our wishes from an underenrolled East Cary and sent to Carnage, making it the second most overcrowded school in the county. This reassignment resulted in some students in our node having 5 straight years of different base schools, and that was before the Southeast High reassignment. Crowding and distance aren't the issues here, race is. Dillard Middle, three times closer than Carnage, was greatly under-enrolled during this period, but we were not allowed to attend it.

    Argue this all day, but I have the facts and you don't.

  • westernwake1 Jun 3, 2011

    We have Mills Park Elementary in Cary near us. It is over-enrolled but they still bus in F&R lunch kids from Raleigh. The bus trip for these children is quite long.

  • Da Toy Maker Jun 3, 2011

    westernwake1 & cjw6105:

    You both might very well correct from what I have read regarding SE Raleigh area & Garner getting very high % F&R lunch kids. I have no idea how many kids were "forced" bused into the Magnet schools. As in cjw6105's case, how many of the Cary schools near your place are under enrolled?? With all those new mega developments in Cary, I personally doubt that. Yes, they could possibly move kids from your neighborhood to the vacant seats in Cary schools for the ones left by the ones going to the Magnet Schools voluntary. Wasn't that what they were doing to have that high % of F&R lunch kids in Garner, etc?? As I were saying, never taken a very close look at that. I know the two elementary schools (York & New Bern?) near my neighborhood are under enroll now. There are just not enough kids from the near by area to fill the seats up. Doesn't this mean some kids will have to be bused in to fill those seats? Where should the kids bused from??

  • wakemom Jun 3, 2011

    cjw6105

    of the two schools you listed (which both are very good schools) if you had a base near you, would you have applied for a magnet to attend either school? lets also throw enloe and ligon in there. ligon and enloe both have high performing magnet schools. i am just curious.

  • jimmycarter Jun 3, 2011

    That's not true. I live in the same area and there were traditional school options. If you went to Carnage or Southeast, it's because you chose to.

  • cjw6105 Jun 3, 2011

    One of the Wake School System's many lies was the magnet by choice concept. For 25 years, my neighborhood was forcibly bused nearly 12 miles one-way to the Carnage Middle magnet, and for over a decade just as far to the Southeast High magnet. We had NO other options, traditional or year-round. In fact, we couldn't even apply to other magnet schools. Yes, haggis basher, sometimes you do have to travel, but not like that. Being about 2 miles south of Cary, there were TONS of schools much closer.

    This forced magnet assignment came when minority students in southeast Raleigh were bused to our area and beyond. The board now calls it socio-economic, but it's racial. You can call 6 inches half a foot, but they're the same thing.

    Despite forced busing, Wake minority graduation rates have remained below the state average. Color-coded schools have failed miserably everywhere. Wake is no different.

    The main thing parents want from this school system is neighborhood schools. Period.

  • jonnraleigh Jun 3, 2011

    I know military families whose kids changes schools, cities, lives every couple of years. You don't hear those families whining, and from what I read, they tend to do well.

  • westernwake1 Jun 3, 2011

    "Are you sure that was set for diversity not to over crowding??? As I were saying, I never really look at it very closely since my kid (only one) got into Martin then onto Enloe. I could see how that could be the case since they would have to assign some of the kids in between HS to downtown schools so the over crowded area kids would not have to skip a couple schools nearest to their home. Just saying. You could be absolutely correct that was done for diversity reason though."

    You are correct this bussing in some cases could be due to over-crowding and not diversity. Clearly the impacts of growth and diversity are mixed in the assignment issues.

    However I will make the case that the cases where minority students from under-enrolled downtown schools are bussed to the
    over-enrolled schools in the subsurbs are due to diversity policy. Similarly the non-minority children bussed involuntarily downtown are due to diversity policy.

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