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Wake County school board says it's unnecessary to make student achievement a guiding principle for magnet schools

Is it redundant or unfair to make student achievement as part of the guiding principles of Wake County's magnet school program?

As noted in today's article, a bipartisan group of board members rejected Wednesday including student achievement in the guiding principles. Only school board member Keith Sutton voted for its inclusion while board members John Tedesco and Deborah Prickett were absent.

The proposal on the table was to amend the current first guiding principle to say that magnets "reduce high concentrations of poverty, support diverse populations and increase student achievement."

1347245942 Wake County school board says it's unnecessary to make student achievement a guiding principle for magnet schools The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board rejects including student achievement in magnet school principles

More to come later, but the Wake County school board voted today against making student achievement one of the principles of the magnet school program.

Democrats Kevin Hill, Jim Martin, Susan Evans and Christine Kushner were joined by Republicans Chris Malone and Debra Goldman in not supporting its inclusion. They argued that student achievement is already part of the system's mission statement and that it's unnecessary to add the wording just for magnets.

Only Democrat Keith Sutton voted for including it in the principles.

The board preliminarily agreed to keep the principles of expanding educational opportunities and maximizing use of school facilities. No decision was made on the principle of keeping schools diverse after Goldman objected to having the vote without all the board members present or getting public feedback first.

1339632777 Wake County school board rejects including student achievement in magnet school principles The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board committee recommends May 2013 school construction bond referendum

Are you ready for a Wake County school construction bond referendum in May?

The school board's facilities committee recommended today going with a timetable that would have a May 2013 bond referendum instead of an October 2013 referendum. The reason is that school staff says the earlier referendum would let them get money for projects in July 2013 compared to July 2014 if the wait until an October 2013 referendum.

“We can’t afford to fall a year behind on capital projects,” said school board member Jim Martin.

1339546770 Wake County school board committee recommends May 2013 school construction bond referendum The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Allison Backhouse questioning Wake County school board member Jim Martin's involvement in student assignment leave policy

Allison Backhouse is criticizing Wake County school board member Jim Martin's efforts to help professionals such as his fellow N.C. State professors keep their children's school assignments when they return from sabbaticals.

In a Sunday blog post, Backhouse writes about "the unethical nature of creating a policy to serve his friends and co-workers at the request of his boss." Martin says the provost who made the request to him and others in the school system for an extended family professional leave policy isn't his boss.

Martin also responded to Backhouse that he's "not working to 'benefit my friends.'" Martin writes that "careful attention should be paid to policies that impact any of the County's major employers," such as N.C. State.

1339440766 Allison Backhouse questioning Wake County school board member Jim Martin's involvement in student assignment leave policy The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board debates how long to extend school waiting lists

Was the Wake County school board's decision to only extend the dissolution of first-choice wait lists to July 18 the right call?

Some school board members talked last week about extending the deadline even further for all students, or least for those in high schools. But staff cited the need to lock in a date for schools to have their enrollment figures and to be fair to newcomers who will be moving in over the summer.

The waiting lists were going to expire on June 29. But after parents lobbied for more time to get into their first-choice school, the board told staff to look at a later date.

Wake County school board members debate putting GPS monitoring units in school buses

Is the Wake County school system's decision to play "Big Brother" a wise investment or money that could have been better spent elsewhere?

The school board's vote Tuesday to enter in a contract with Everyday Solutions to install GPS monitoring devices on all district school buses was hailed by supporters as an initiative that would save money and improve safety.

But opponents on the board called it a "toy," saying the $1.3 million expenditure in the first year could have been used for other areas such as more money for teacher assistants and assistant principals whose pay was cut last year.

Wake County school system looking at expanding dual-enrollment opportunities

Speaking of virtual schools, Wake County school administrators are looking to broaden the opportunities for high school students to take academic enrichment courses.

At last week's Wake County school board policy committee meeting, staff presented changes they're working on to the district's dual enrollment policy and its R&P. The policy governs how high school students can take supplementary courses at other secondary schools or institutions of higher education to get academic credit.

A big proposed change would be to end the monopoly on non-secondary schools having to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) for students to get credit from them. Wake would now say that accreditation could come from other regional equivalents to SACS.

Wake County school board to vote on making CTE high school a standalone program

It looks like the Wake County school board's hand is being forced in terms of what model to use for the new career technical education high school.

The school board will vote Tuesday on making the new CTE high school a standalone full-day program. The alternative would be a half-day program in which Wake would have one group of students in the morning and another in the afternoon.

For the deal to go through, the county has to sign off on it. At the last meeting of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, County Manager David Cooke made it known to commissioners which option county staff prefers.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

Wake County school board members debate use of teacher performance pay

It looks like, at least in the near term, any use of teacher performance pay in the Wake County school system would be on a limited basis.

Wake County school board members debated the use of merit pay when reviewing the draft strategic plan last week. Some school board members support its use while others are adamantly against it or only support using it in limited cases.

Performance pay is already in limited use in Wake.

Looking at how well Wake County magnet schools fulfill their guiding principles

The impact of the new student assignment plan on Wake County's magnet schools and potentially adding more magnet programs to Eastern Wake are just some of the issues that have been put on staff's plate.

Wednesday's school board discussion on how well magnet schools are meeting their current objectives produced a number of comments and requests for more information from staff.

The information could help shape which schools get magnet programs.

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