Wake County Schools

Single proposal for Wake school assignment expected in June

Posted June 3, 2011 9:54 a.m. EDT
Updated June 3, 2011 11:36 a.m. EDT

— The Wake County Public School System’s superintendent said Friday that he hopes to recommend a single plan for student assignment to the school board at its June 21 meeting.

Two drafts released online last month will be updated by Friday night to include information about choices for middle and high school assignments, Superintendent Tony Tata said.

Previously, only information about elementary schools had been released.

The so-called blue and green plans are proposed courses of action to replace the district's current long-standing policy of assigning students based on socio-economic diversity in favor of a policy that assigns students based on where they live.

Opponents of the current plan have said that it results in long bus rides for some. Those who support it say the new policy will keep students who are economically disadvantaged from receiving the same quality of education as their counterparts.

Tata has said that the new proposals are aimed at maximizing student achievement while providing families with more stability and choice.

The blue plan will also get a test run June 13-20 that will mimic the student assignment process, Tata said.

Parents can log on to the Wake County schools website and choose their top schools for their children to attend.

So far, the proposals have generated more than 200,000 page views and 11,000 comments, he added.

The proposal to the school board will include a work plan on how to implement the plan through next March, as well as a schedule for more public hearings and time to refine the plan, Tata said.

Under the blue plan, or the “Community-Based Choice” plan, parents can choose from a variety of four to six elementary schools, each linked with a middle and high school. Students get priority based on whether they have a sibling at the school or live close by, and the district takes into account achievement balance and capacity at any individual school.

The green plan, also known as the “Base Schools Achievement Plan,” is similar to the current assignment model. Under it, the school system assigns students based on student achievement, ensuring that students from low-performing areas end up at high-performing schools.

Students who are pleased with their current schools will be grandfathered in, Tata said.

"For both plans, if you like your school, you can stay," he said Friday.

Both plans address community schools, better programming, diverse schools, equitable and efficient use of resources, stability and student achievement.