NEA survey: Wake teachers oppose community-based schools

Posted October 15, 2010 10:23 a.m. EDT

Wake County Public School System

— A survey by the National Education Association found that a majority of Wake County teachers oppose ending a student assignment policy based, in part, on achieving socioeconomic diversity in schools.

Eighty-one percent of survey respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with ending the diversity policy while agreeing that the policy has had a positive impact on students' academic achievement.

The survey was conducted by HCM Marketing Research on behalf of the NEA. Pollsters called 501 members of the NEA who teach in Wake County between Sept. 4 and Sept. 12. A margin of error for the survey was not given.

Nearly half of survey participants – 47 percent – identified the student assignment policy as the biggest problem facing Wake County schools, while 19 percent named funding cuts and 12 percent listed class size.

Five of the nine school board members favor ending the diversity policy in favor of creating community-based schools. Controversy over exactly how to do that has dogged the majority, leading to a vote last week to scrap a plan to create school assignment zones.

In the survey, 81 percent of participants had a negative view of the school board, and 72 percent agreed with the statement that Wake County schools are on the wrong track. Large majorities held positive views of the school system as a whole and their particular schools.