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Few Days Remain to Voice Opinions About Reassignment

Posted December 27, 2007

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— Parents who don't like this year's Wake County School reassignment proposal only have a few more days to voice their opinions. The comment period ends Jan. 1.

Three new elementary schools will open next year - two in western Wake County and one in northern Wake County. About 6,400 students are slated to move to different schools next year as a result.

In recent years, the Wake County Public School System has moved as many as 11,000 students in one year as part of reassignment to as few as 2,000 another year. Each time, there are changes in between, and parents are readying to plead their case.

In the sometimes complicated world of Wake school reassignments, Judy Andrus said she feels her fight to keep her child at Farmington Woods Elementary in Cary is quite simple.

“We’re very close and we just feel that we should be able to walk to our community school,” Andrus said.

At this point, 6,400 students are slated to shift to other schools next year to fill three brand new schools and relieve overcrowding. More than 100 students are being reassigned from Farmington Woods to Briarcliff, because Briarcliff is losing 102 students to the new Laurel Park Elementary School.

Wake County School Board Member Beverley Clark said the plan is far from a done deal. It will be revised before the board reviews it on Jan. 8.

“We always get feedback,” Clark said. “I’m sure there will be revision. That’s the whole point of putting it out there … That’s what I always tell people, don’t just say you don’t like it, make a constructive alternative.”

Andrus said she knows a school system with 140,000 students is complicated.

“I know their job is difficult,” she said. “I would not know where to begin to tell them how to do it.”

But Andrus said she hopes board members understand her neighborhood's plea: to stay at a school within walking distance rather than attend one 1.5 miles away.

“We are not the cause of the overcrowding. We shouldn’t have to be the ones to move,” she said.

The board will finalize a plan in February.

One unknown factor that will affect future reassignments is the school board's appeal to a judge's ruling that makes year-round schools voluntary. The Court of Appeals will hear arguments on Jan. 9.

33 Comments

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  • poohperson2000 Dec 28, 2007

    the ideals of the conversation are great, but the reality is there are flaws with reassigning, and not reassigning. We as parents need to flexible and realistic. New schools opening means reassignment ( I am sure I may face this when the new Fuquay El opens). Many of the poor SE Raleigh Neighborhoods have only magnet schools, and no regular local school to attend, and no place to build new ones. Some of the issues that currently exist are not so easy to repair. Wake county is NEVER going to have neighborhood schools, and has not in the 12 years I have lived here. DO NOT move here thinking you can pick your school based on where you live..

  • oceanchild71 Dec 28, 2007

    "There is a population of parents that will never be heard from, for various reasons. I agree these kids do deserve better, but it is going to take others going to bat for them." poohperson2000

    That is exactly what I am saying. That everyone will have to stand up to demand more accountability from the system and from each other as parents. There are plenty of non-low-income families impacted by this who don't question WCPSS. The single parent or low-income parent should be speaking up the loudest as it is their kids who are getting the short end of the stick. But when your transportation is a bus or a cab, it is kind of hard to make it to Open House when your child's school is 15 miles away and you have to work double shifts to make ends meet.

    Schools want teachers to go all techie and have all the assignments online and communicate w/parents via e-mail. In low-income houses, very few have constant internet access. Heck, few have constant phone service.




  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 28, 2007

    It's much easire to bus frl kids instead of non-frl kids to achieve their socialist goals.

  • poohperson2000 Dec 28, 2007

    oceanchild71

    I agree with you 100%. But I also think that for example they bus allot of FRL kids to Garner (the mayor's cheif complaint). It is sad to say, but so many times the FRL parents are the ones who are not involved with their kids. Many of them are trying to scrape a living together, are single Moms, or have large families to tend to. Yes, this is a generalization, but it also helps paint a picture of how the busing occurs and why it goes on with little opposition from the parents. There is a population of parents that will never be heard from, for various reasons. I agree these kids do deserve better, but it is going to take others going to bat for them. The other factor of why many do not complain is the longer on the kids are on the bus the more time they have to get to and from work, without having to pay for daycare.

  • Nancy Dec 28, 2007

    "Part of this shell game is in response to NCLB. Dilute the numbers across the schools and get out of providing tutoring or new bus routes. But this is not solving the problem of students not receiving a sound education at all schools. "

    The constant reassignment has been ongoing and non stop long, long before NCLB was ever thought of, in fact, long before Bush was even considering a run for the WH. Wake County did this when the Supreme Court ruled racial busing was illegal. That is when WCPSS shifted to reassignments based on free/reduced lunch numbers. That way they could see mix the poorer performing students evenly (although that's not even working out well) to raise test scores. What it has achieved is mediocrity in all students.

  • oceanchild71 Dec 28, 2007

    Poohperson2000: You are right in that there are a lot of students who do not have any support/ guidance at home. However, any parent whose child is bussed past 3 other schools in the name of diversity should be demanding these answers. The more people that demand transparency in the results, the more WCPSS will have to either improve all schools or give parents more control over where their child is sent.

    Part of this shell game is in response to NCLB. Dilute the numbers across the schools and get out of providing tutoring or new bus routes. But this is not solving the problem of students not receiving a sound education at all schools.

    Look at the scores/NC Report Card of the schools and you will discover some trends that do not support WCPSS' current policies. It is tedious and takes time, but I think the vast majority of people would be surprised at what is going on.

  • superman Dec 28, 2007

    They will be building about 10 new schools a year for the next 5 years. To think that students will continue in their same school year after year is wishfull thinking. The county and the school are both experiencing massive growth. It is not reasonable to bus students from Fuquay to north Raleigh. Students will have to be reassigned each year to fill the vacant schools. The schools will have massive changes for the next 5 to 7 years until the growth slows down. Change is going to be a part of your life whether you want it or not.

  • Not_So_Dumb Dec 28, 2007

    Taught, past tense. 6th grade.

  • poohperson2000 Dec 28, 2007

    Not_So_Dumb

    What grade do you teach?

  • bosoxbaby Dec 28, 2007

    Ok pooh....I just misunderstood then. My apologies for calling you out.

    Have a lovely day!!

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