Wake County Schools

Parents, NAACP focused on Wake student assignment

Posted June 8, 2011
Updated June 9, 2011

— A new student assignment plan for Wake County schools remains a top concern for many parents. 

Parents have less than a week to give feedback on two proposed plans.

Many parents at Tuesday night’s school board meeting spoke in favor of the Green plan, also known as the “Base Schools Achievement Plan.” The 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.

Advocacy group Great Schools in Wake Coalition prefers the Green plan. 

“We feel its more focused on student achievement, and the Blue plan just has too many questions,” said coalition member Lynn Edmonds.

The Blue plan has drawn more support in on online feedback left on the Wake schools' website. Nearly 500 people have said they prefer it, compared to about 200 who favored the Green plan.

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 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.

“The people in this community want to have choices, choices that are fair. Choices that value proximity and stability," board member John Tedesco said.

Wake student assignment proposals draw debate Wake student assignment proposals draw debate

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.

State NAACP president Rev. William Barber fears the board is abandoning a concept for healthy schools. Barber has been one of the most vocal critics of the board policy change to stop busing students for socio-economic diversity.

The NAACP has concerns about the plans and the process. Barber argues data about the current assignment plan should be compared to the new proposals and says any plan that doesn't link diversity and student achievement is flawed.

“Diversity and resources are key components to student achievement and adherence to the law,” Barber said.

Board member Keith Sutton, also a strong supporter of diversity, believes considering many factors and community feedback are key steps in the right direction.

“At the end of the day, we'll be able to come up with something that everyone can live with,” Sutton said.

The NAACP plans to release more detailed questions about the plans on Friday, along with a letter requesting a meeting with Wake schools Superintendent Tony Tata. They hope to meet with him before he presents recommendations to the school board on June 21.

The proposal to the 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.


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  • ambidextrous cat Jun 10, 2011

    This plan only benefits the children with parents who care about academics. Under this plan poor students will choose to attend the same schools that their friends attend.

  • Realthoughts Jun 9, 2011

    This all sounds too much like an episode of South Park.

  • beachboater Jun 9, 2011

    NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Reverend Doctor William Barber does not like the blue, green, yellow, red, mauve, white, black, or grey plans. He favors a plan that has not, and cannot be developed, and will cost many millions of dollars to implement, all in a year of tight budget restraints. Barber and the NAACP have agreed to help defray the cost put putting the 2¢ in.

  • Realthoughts Jun 9, 2011

    LaRoque for Wake County Board School board member!

  • Realthoughts Jun 9, 2011

    I don't know about you all but I going to as Rep LaRoque to move to Wake County so we can elect him to the Wake County School Board.

  • Krimson Jun 9, 2011

    Hater: I have to imagine living in another county, your children experience a different school system than those here in Wake. I don't think its that hard to understand that some parents would be willing to accept a 20 mile bus ride in order to send their child to a superior school. Also, under the Blue Plan, there is no guarantee that children from the same neighborhood will attend the same school - each family is alowed to choose which school they want to attend.

  • richonenc Jun 9, 2011

    Did barber enjoy the buffet in jail?

  • Gr8FunMan Jun 9, 2011

    yabo...LOLOLOL! There you go, applying common sense to the issue. Shame on you!!!

  • Hater like Darth Vader Jun 9, 2011

    I don't understand one thing, are there a lot of parents who's children are currently being bussed far from home trying to fight the neighborhood schools? I live in Clayton, and one of the best things about our neighborhood is how all of our kids go to school together and how much interaction there is with the school and community. I would think a school 20 miles from home would keep a family from being involved in a lot of that.

  • Mark Hayes Jun 9, 2011

    So many on this item better skip over to politics and see how our Bev is wanting veto the voter ID issue,this has an impact on all as well.