Local News

Broughton High loses magnet program

Posted December 10, 2008

— Wake County school board members voted Wednesday to strip Broughton High School of its magnet status.

The 5-4 vote came after about three hours of debate. Chairwoman Rosa Gill had the tie-breaking vote, after board members Patti Head, Beverley Clark, Ron Margiotta and Lori Millberg voted to remove the magnet program and board members Anne McLaurin, Horace Tart, Kevin Hill and Eleanor Goettee voted to retain it.

Many Broughton High students chose to attend the Wednesday morning meeting to lobby for the magnet program. One student said after the vote: "The fight is not over."

"No one wants to give up; we're not going to give up something we want. Something we like,” student Forrest Finch said.

"Americans need to perform better and be more challenged. This program does that for the students, and we got rid of it – that makes no economical sense,” parent Lylla Childress said.

The International Baccalaureate program will be phased out at the school over five years. The prestigious program will be moved to Millbrook High School during that period. School officials estimated the switch will cost about $2 million.

Some in the community credited the IB program with making Broughton High successful. Others said the high school is so successful that it no longer meets the criteria to be a magnet school, though specifics of that argument are unclear.

"It is somewhat offensive to have parents who make claims about a program that they have never experienced and call for its removal," magnet supporter Caroline Monson told school board members during the debate. "A major financial investment has been made at the IB program at Broughton, and I beg you ... to find a way for Wake County to benefit from that investment rather than throwing it away."

A statement from Superintendent Del Burns in the district's booklet on magnet schools says, "For 26 years, magnet programs have been an effective means of addressing diversity and helping students experience success. Magnet schools provide a variety of teaching approaches and curriculum offerings that help to customize a student’s educational program. Additionally, the magnet schools’ network has provided a positive climate through which other critical issues have been addressed – educational choice and effective use of space."

Former and current students held signs and candles during a rally outside the school Tuesday afternoon. They urged school board members to keep the school's magnet status.

“It's not only given us a better way to learn, a better curriculum, but it has taught us to speak out," Finch said. "When we are faced with this issue, we are not being disrespectful. We are not being a mean group of students. We're trying to say what we believe in, what we think is right, and what we know is better for us as students.”

In October, the school board informally, yet unanimously, agreed to keep the magnet status at Broughton High. They also suggested that more students should be in the program.

Some parents protested that possibility, saying that expanding the magnet program would mean some neighborhood kids who aren't in it would have to be reassigned to other schools to make room for more magnet students.

That movement reportedly caused some board members to reconsider their support for the earlier plans.

"Broughton will again survive this change, and it will emerge with a better, intact school system," magnet opponent Bart White told board members Wednesday. "I ask you to keep the traditional base (enrollment), which if left alone, will keep Broughton a strong school."


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  • aquamama Dec 11, 2008

    "you will never have so much fun just waiting for our wrath!"

    It'll be my pleasure.

  • bs101fly Dec 11, 2008

    "Perhaps it's time for me to look into running for the school board."

    knock yourself out. you will never have so much fun just waiting for our wrath!

    better hurry folks and comment some more or this one will die a quick death like so many other stories of parental discontentment!

  • bekkicollis Dec 11, 2008

    mysterye: Apply to Broughton. You have a better chance of getting in this year than you would have done last year. The magnet lines have been re-drawn too: all of south Raleigh have to apply to Garner HS to get IB now (the program at Garner will be good; it is accredited by the IBO). Your child can always go back to Millbrook, unless your node assignment changes (your node might change if they make space for magnet students) but you won't find it as easy to transfer to Broughton.

  • bekkicollis Dec 11, 2008

    Thank you aquamama. It is nice to read some sense on here. I have a friend with kids at Green Hope HS and they get snooty comments if their jeans cost less than $100. My kids at Broughton have never come across anything like that. People have a very biased and incorrect view of Broughton. As for us, we have magnet places and live OTB, like most magnet families.

  • aquamama Dec 11, 2008

    It looks like many posters on this topic who are against the IB program at Broughton feel slighted in some way by Broughton, advanced classes, and people who live ITB. What's up with that? Do you have something against children? Or is it against their parents? Some of you hate people who live ITB? Why? SE Raleigh is also ITB. There's mixed housing everywhere in Raleigh. We live in an historic neighborhood but pay cheaper rent than if we lived in Durham. Kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds go to Broughton, not just old-money Hayes Barton kids. As far as advanced classes- AP or IB- they should be offered at every high school in the system. I did not have an IB program at my high school. I was very happy that my son had the opportunity to earn an IB diploma. As parents, we should WANT our children to do better than us, right? Well, I do, anyway. I plan on sticking around Raleigh for a while. Perhaps it's time for me to look into running for the school board.

  • bs101fly Dec 11, 2008

    boo hoo, poor babies!

  • nsanity Dec 10, 2008

    You said it Twister56

  • New York Yankee Dec 10, 2008

    No wonder Wake County schools are so terrible.

  • mysterye Dec 10, 2008

    Thanks carolinagirl75 - but I'm guessing since my node's school is MHS, and we're not currently in the magnet program,he won't stand much of a chance of getting in the program at NBHS as a freshman magnet student.

  • TheAdmiral Dec 10, 2008

    Those over privileged brats need to loose it. Heaven forbid that any screwel can be a performing screwel.

    But then again, it is not for the school system to strive for anything, but to bang their head on the bar that they keep lowering.