Wake County Schools

Wake school board reverts to old maps for new assignment plan

Posted October 4, 2012
Updated October 5, 2012

— In a move that seemed to satisfy both sides of the bitterly divided Wake County Board of Education, school system leaders are developing a student assignment proposal that utilizes assignment maps from last school year.

Under a June directive from the board, school system staff developed a student assignment plan for the 2013-14 school year that combines elements of the current controlled choice plan and a neighborhood model that links each Wake County address with a base elementary, middle and high school.

But some parents expressed disappointment with the maps drawn up by district leaders that showed which neighborhoods would be assigned to which base schools.

"We are one neighborhood, but they split us into six," said Karen Carter, who lives in Cary's Westpark neighborhood. "It just puts into question – are we even a neighborhood?"

Board members agreed at a work session Thursday that families should be able to keep their 2011-12 base assignments, with some minor adjustments for capacity. About 94 percent of parents polled during the development of the choice-based plan said they were pleased with their current assignments.

So, keeping those assignments intact promotes stability, said board member Susan Evans.

Board member Deborah Prickett agreed.

"I don't see (implementing) a big overhaul to get people upset all over again," she said.  

Board Chairman Kevin Hill said stepping back from a radical student assignment re-write is the best thing to do. Wake school board builds consensus on student assignment Wake school board builds consensus on student assignment

"Let's slow this thing down a little bit and let's take a good look at it," he said, adding that the board reached some consensus during Thursday's meeting.

Tensions have been high among board members after the Democratic majority voted last week to fire Tony Tata as superintendent. Hill said problems with the implementation of the choice student assignment plan and a busing debacle that got the traditional calendar school year off to a "disastrous" start were among the reasons cited for Tata's dismissal.

Board member Debra Goldman, who has been outspoken in her support for Tata and her outrage at his termination, said she saw Thursday's meeting as a positive step toward board cohesion.

"There has been a big wake-up call, and the board is moving forward," she said.

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  • miketroll3572 Oct 12, 4:02 p.m.

    Ignorance is bliss.

  • Road-wearier Oct 12, 2:38 p.m.

    "Who ever thought that the Democratic board members would actually listen to all the outrage from parents."-westernwake

    Apparently the ousted Republicans from last election didn't...or chose to listen to a minority.

    Art Popr & Friends managed to politicize a non partisan school board - and now we all are left with the mess of bitterness, thickheaded ideology, and a roomful of my-way-or-the-highway attitude. I hope Art's happy with this. The old system wasn't optimal, but it worked more or less. If the Art-oids had not chosen a scorched earth policy they'd probably still be in control of the board. Instead we're all left with a mess...the board will now swing back and forth.

  • fbillingsly Oct 5, 7:46 p.m.

    Tata's firing--in reality--had *nothing* to do with his "lack of educational experience." Tata was not hired to teach school. He was hired to properly apportion taxpayer funded resources in a way that conformed to the majority of parents' demands for Proximity, Stability and Student Performance. Tata succeeded in creating an extraordinarily accommodating plan that all but a vocal minority of Progressive activists were happy with. Tata was ousted--in reality--because he succeeded in implementing a workable assignment solution, in winning support from a majority of taxpayers and because he stood in the way of the new Progressive board majority's desire to dust off the old "bussing for diversity" plan to appease the NAACP and other misguided agitators. In the net, the board has broken their promises to parents/citizens/taxpayers to refrain from sudden or overt changes to the new assignment policy, ousted a proven and respected leader and wasted HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of taxpayer dollars.

  • westernwake1 Oct 5, 7:35 p.m.

    I support the implementation of a neighborhood school assignment policy. However if Wake County puts this method into place we need to have a plan in place to properly fund schools that have high rates of children from low income homes. This means that the average funding per student at these schools must be greater than the "affluent schools", and extra staff / programs are needed to make these students successful. This includes the concept of provided extra pay to teachers who agree to teach in these challenging situations.

    I recognize how difficult it is to teach in high poverty schools. I have had family members who have taught in Title 1 schools in N.C. outside of Wake County. The most important thing is to make sure that the school is a 'happy' and secure place each day for the children and that they are properly fed before you can even take the next step to learning. I applaud the many teachers who step up and do their best for these children each day.

  • swfsm Oct 5, 6:49 p.m.

    Wishful - I didn't ask about what happens to the brick and mortar school building, I asked about what happens to the LEP kids - the little human beings' lives, educations and futures. Do their academic needs get met while the school is focused onon being popular with the middle class?

  • injameswetrust2003 Oct 5, 6:39 p.m.

    "Who ever thought that the Democratic board members would actually listen to all the outrage from parents."-westernwake

    Even these clowns realize that they will need votes to stay in office, and based on last week they better start mending fences.

  • wishful Oct 5, 6:23 p.m.

    funny you should ask... the school you describe becomes so desirable by the middle class that it soon becomes overcrowded and then those kids get reassigned...

    "what happens with the LEP kids when they are redistributed so no one has "too many" of "them" and then THEY don't have a peer group? Do their needs get met or is the teacher too busy teaching to the above grade level majority peer group in the class, which is non-LEP, and no time or incentive to teach to the LEP kid?"

  • ConservativeVoter Oct 5, 6:09 p.m.

    "" It seems as though some believe, like previous WCPSS leaders, that if you a child of poverty, you cannot learn. Not_So_Dumb"

    I don't believe so. My parents basically made very low wages (about twice the minimum wage) by all their children (4 total) have 4 years BS or better education. Same with my wife. On the other hands, a little help does go a very long way. - Da Toy Maker"

    I was the same way.

    My father only completed 9th grade and realized what a mistake he made.

    My father pushed me to excel in school and go to college.

    If I made a B or less I knew I was in big trouble when I brought my report card home.

    I wound up being #1 in my high school graduating class and completed a BS in both Computer Science and Business Administration along with getting an MBA.

    I made it because education was valued in my home and my parents pushed me to do well in school.

    The problem that we have in some socio-economic levels is that education isn't valued in the home.

  • Da Toy Maker Oct 5, 5:37 p.m.

    "
    It seems as though some believe, like previous WCPSS leaders, that if you a child of poverty, you cannot learn.
    Not_So_Dumb"

    I don't believe so. My parents basically made very low wages (about twice the minimum wage) by all their children (4 total) have 4 years BS or better education. Same with my wife. On the other hands, a little help does go a very long way.

  • Da Toy Maker Oct 5, 5:32 p.m.

    ConservativeVoter:

    Well. You and I are looking at it very differently. With number of students that almost equal to the total population of Williams County, I personally say the WCPSS did a fairly nice job. I think you and I both agree that Diversity Plan just hide the number of low performing students. I do believe given the choices and what, the old pan did not do that bad with all the restrictions given. Up for debate is what is best: Spread them out and concentrate. That is basically what we are dealing with. I personally don't see performance achievement in either plans if there are no dramatic change in our culture and social policy. When the kids look up to The like the overpaid Athletes and actor/actress, how are we expect kids to strike for Academic achievement?

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