Local News

Schools debate points spotlight on Wake

Posted July 22, 2010

The debate over the Wake County Board of Education's decision to no longer consider socio-economic diversity when assigning students to schools has attracted national attention that some say could affect future growth locally.

On Thursday, school board member John Tedesco and state NAACP President William Barber went head-to-head on CNN about the issue. Entering the term "Wake school debate" into Google's search engine yields 714 news articles, including coverage by The New York Times and The Washington Post.

"I think there's an honest risk to both the image of the school system and to Wake County," said Harvey Schmitt, president and chief executive of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

WRAL team coverage: Protesters rally, disrupt school board meeting School dispute could affect Wake's growth

Realtor John Wood said he has already fielded calls from families looking to move to Raleigh about the school diversity dispute.

"I think the fear right now is there's no understanding of what is the plan for moving forward," Wood said.

The uncertainty is similar to the caveat he used to have to give to new residents about school assignments in the fast-growing district.

"Probably the hardest conversation real estate agents have with their clients is trying to explain to them (they) might have to change schools within a year or two," he said.

Still, he said, he sold three houses this week to people moving to Wake County from outside the area.

"None of them were required to move here with their jobs. All chose to come here because of the quality of life," he said.

Schmitt said the unrest presents another concern – in addition to the slow economy – to companies contemplating a new operation or an expansion in Wake County.

"It's rational and reasonable to expect that people making decisions about the area are going to ask, 'How does that affect me?' and 'Is it something I'm willing to buy into?'" he said.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • danryan28 Jul 27, 2010

    Facebook page for everyone to post there thoughts on Wake Schools


  • com_mon_sents Jul 23, 2010

    CNN?...enough said LOL

  • shortcake53 Jul 23, 2010

    Like I tried to say earlier, the CNN report was an embarrassment to NC.

  • jrbrock Jul 23, 2010

    @SomeRandomGuy -- Indeed! I just watched the video. CNN should be ashamed for the incredibly biased slant of the host.

  • Tawny Jul 23, 2010

    Was your grandson a student here in WCPSS? Where did you obtain your statistics about the graduation rate remaining the same for the past (10) years. If you would look onto the DPT or WCPSS websites, you would see that THAT particular statistic has improved over the last (10) years.

  • gnnpanko Jul 22, 2010

    My Grandson rode the bus for 17 miles of 2 lane winding road to achieve socio-economic diversity when the nearest school was 6 miles away. He didn't know about socio-economic diversity, he knew that his classes had hard core kids who disrespected teachers, who circled their desks and talked smack while the teacher was trying to teach the rest of the kids. This is insane! In Wake County the graduation rate for children receiving free breakfast and lunch remains the same low rate as it did 10 years ago. Forced busing has been in effect for 10 years, has it worked? I don't think so! We want our kids to go to the nearest school, they don't need to be on the bus for 45 minutes to an hour.

  • raleighusaf Jul 22, 2010

    Ok, So I must not get it,I grew up here, If your moving here, why would you not want you child to attend the school close to you,
    there is an elementary school 2 blocks away, but your child rides a bus, 10 miles away. They choose a neighborhood to live in, their they play outside with the same kids, what different does it make if you go to the school with the same kids 2 blocks away, sure go ahead put your 1st grader on a bus for 10 miles. Please, someone explain the logic, Every area in Raleigh Is pretty much mixed, Find an all white or black neighborhood.
    Since wake county is a school district all the money is divided equal. we dont have city school districts like big cities, That really does cause problems

  • SomeRandomGuy Jul 22, 2010

    WOW! I didn't think anybody could be more biased than WRAL on this issue-Appears I was wrong!!

  • Not_So_Dumb Jul 22, 2010

    "trying to explain to them (they) might have to change schools within a year or two"

    Every real estate agent I know has done that all along!

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Jul 22, 2010

    It is interesting that people move in here because its such an attractive place to live and then immediately want to change it to reflect things back where they came from. We use to have a bumper sticker about that.