Wake County Schools

Test drive for Wake student assignment proposal extended

Posted June 17, 2011

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— More Wake County parents are needed to take part in a trial run of one proposed student assignment plan, schools Superintendent Tony Tata said Friday.

The families of 10,260 students have done an online test drive of the Community-Based Choice plan, but Tata appealed for at least 12,000 families to participate.

The idea is to get feel for what student distribution might actually look like under the plan. Greater participation will produce more accurate results, he said, adding that families in eastern Wake County and southeast Raleigh are currently underrepresented in the results.

"We want and need more input to get the data we need to better understand what parents would choose," Tata said during his weekly news conference. "Every parent has a voice, and the more we hear, the better we can make choices in the future."

Dena McQueen, who has a child at Southeast Raleigh High School, said she tries to keep up with student assignment issues but admitted that she hasn't visited the website for the proposed assignment plans or taken the online test drive.

"This is the first time I've heard about it, but ... I'll probably do that as soon as I get home and check it out," McQueen said.

Wake looks to parents in south and east for input Wake looks to parents in south and east for input

To get such input, the deadline for participating in the trial run has been extended until June 24, and district administrators will hold community outreach events Sunday and Monday to explain to parents how to do the online trial.

The Community-Based Choice plan, or "blue plan," allows parents to 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 each school.

The alternative, the Base Schools Achievement plan, or "green plan," is more 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.

Parents who prefer the green plan say they like its stable feeder plans, which would let them know with confidence where their child would be going to elementary, middle and high schools, Tata said.

He said that feedback on both plans will be part of his presentation on student assignment at the June 21 meeting of the Wake County Board of Education.

Tata also said he plans to meet with the state NAACP, which has been critical of the school boards' decision to end a policy that assigned students to schools based, in part, on achieving socio-economic diversity across the district.

Tata shared a letter he wrote state NAACP President Rev. William Barber Thursday, agreeing to meet to talk about student assignment.

The superintendent said he also wants to talk about working with the NAACP to hire more black and Hispanic teachers and to improve communication with Wake residents.

Blue plan test drive outreach events

Sunday, June 19

  • First Baptist Church, 101 S. Wilmington St. in Raleigh; after the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. services

Monday, June 20

  • Wendell Elementary School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Southeast Raleigh High School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Fuller Elementary School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Wakelon Elementary School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Ligon Middle School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Zebulon Middle School, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Hodge Road Elementary School, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Boys and Girls Club, 605 N. Raleigh Blvd. in Raleigh, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

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  • thought Jun 17, 2011

    McQueen said this is the first she has heard of it-- that is what is wrong with parents- it has been in the news- parents don't pay attention. get the blue tooth out of your ear and see what you are missing

  • injameswetrust2003 Jun 17, 2011

    Good for you, Mr. Tata, for putting some of the community responsibility on the NAACP. I will be interested to hear what they are doing to meet these goals for the groups that they claim to represent.

  • C6-YA Jun 17, 2011

    What I'd like to know is why School Buses are still out and about empty. Driving around Wake County today I counted at least 4 or 5 of them. School ended last Friday. What gives?

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Jun 17, 2011

    Funny that this is extended. Since the majority of parents don't respond to most wake county school issues, and the majority of those don't even know what you are talking about, this really seems to serve almost no purpose. The new leaders should not expect most parents to respond because after years of abuse from previous boards and board members most parents gave up. But I digress, a test drive is meaningless because the only plan worth even wasting time with is the blue plan. That other color plan is nothing more than what we currently have and we see how that has failed us.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Jun 17, 2011

    "The test lacks high schools and middle schools."

    No they don't, they released those 2 weeks ago. Wake up.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 17, 2011

    "(and let them pay for their own transportation)"

    So long as they get a property tax break, I agree.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 17, 2011

    "ensuring that students from low-performing areas end up at high-performing schools.""

    Code words for the racial discrimination will continue we just won't use the word diversity.

    I will say though this is the most effort I have seen from Wake County to get input from the parents. The prior board and superintendent only worked on getting the right mix of color to suit their twisted concepts.

  • blahz Jun 17, 2011

    all the "Outreach" sites seem to be in Southeast/East Raleigh? where's the diversity in that?

  • tropicalgirl Jun 17, 2011

    wakemom, I'm sorry to hear that - there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason, does there? When we accepted the magnet assignment, we were told that we have to provide our own transportation, which we were fine with since the school was near our jobs. That may change in the coming year so we wanted her closer to home where she could take the bus or we could easily get her to school. This denial means that we are still supposed to provide transportation ourselves.

  • wakemom Jun 17, 2011

    ensuring that students from low-performing areas end up at high-performing schools."

    What is a low-performing AREA? we_all_have_it_coming GOLO member since November 20, 2009 June 17, 2011 1:29 p.m. Ignore Report abuse


    yes and no because majority of US in the zip code do not even go to school together at all. the kids are all over the city so i dont know how they go about low performing area (if based of scores) unless they looking individually. there is no way possible they can go by a particular school bc all the schools are MAGNET! they are just going by the fact that the populations is black and a lot of people in this area are low-income. AND I GET TIRED OF THEM PUTTING ALL OF US IN THIS AREA CODE AS LOW-INCOME! is it bc um black? yep!