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Adding two new magnets

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It looks like the Wake County school board will move forward and add two new magnet programs next year at Smith and Brentwood elementary schools.

As noted in today's article, both schools have F&R populations that far exceed the district's goal of having no more than 40 percent of a school's population receiving free and reduced priced lunch.

At Thursday's worksession, Chuck Dulaney, Wake schools' assistant superintendent for growth and planning, said making Smith and Brentwood magnets would not affect other nearby magnet schools.

Wake is reviewing magnets on a yearly basis to determine if magnet schools still meet the goals of reducing poverty and supporting diversity, maximizing school facilities and providing more educational opportunities.

Parents have long said Wake needs more magnet schools.

David Ansbacher, Wake schools' senior director of magnet programs, said because Smith and Brentwood are under capacity, there would be room for new students and base students attending those schools.

The board will receive information on themes for Smith and Brentwood in October, when a final vote is expected.


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I'm tickled pink that Smith

I'm tickled pink that Smith is becoming a magnet. I think it's great there'll be a "local" option for the folks in SE Wake. I just question the BOE's motives behind as Smith's F&R percentages have been an issue for years. It just seems a bit suspect that a WDC subdivision with pricey houses went into Smith's base area and suddenly Smith's a magnet.


As a parent from the county who had children in a COUNTY ELEMENTARY MAGNET program for over a decade, I celebrate that the BOE has at least seen fit to put an elementary magnet in SW Wake County (the red headed stepchild of WCPSS) instead of ITB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay it is not perfect, but it is a small victory and fewer kids forced into busing. Smith deserves this...perhaps some ITB kids will be traveling out of the sacred beltline ring and see part of the world they did not know existed.

What we need to be raising cane about is that old Bev Clark's district get ANOTHER elementary magnet school for the rich ITB kids to flock to...

My argument is that as long as there are magnets, then the county deserves the same proportion as Raleigh. If the county gets stuck with MYR, then Raleigh ITB should have a similar proportion of MYR schools also....they don't deserve the gold mine while we get the shaft....

If the county gets bussed everywhere then doggone it ITB should also....

Gosh ya'll cut Smith some slack, they have suffered and suffered, let them enjoy this perk. Someone in the county deserves some good news--none of the rest of us are getting any....


Anyone who posts here should take the time to try to volunteer in one of these schools. My first-grade son "manditorily" came from a school with a low F&R to a higher one this past year. The level of instruction is definitely not the same. How can a teacher give an assignment to "write three sentences" when the children do not speak English nor know their alphabet, and have no idea even to get started. The children who can perform at any decent level are ignored while the non English speaking children are taught that ball begins with B.

Could you share the name of

Could you share the name of the school your child is now?

name of school

I can't really name names.   I am already afraid I am on the "bad parent" list and don't want to make it any worse for my children.  Let's just say it's one of the new elementary schools opened this year.    While I am all for diversity, it seems like having a high non native English speaking kids and parents would put a lot of unfair pressure on a teacher to meet unreasonable standards.

Magnet Schools = Manipulation and wasted Transportation

Magnet Schools = Manipulation & even more long distance wasted Transportation$

The entire Magnet system is a diversion, a distraction, an inequaility, a false promise for most, etc,etc,,,

When can we focus on neighborhood schools, safety, efficiency, and a sound education for citizens.
enuf said.

You will take note, I trust,

You will take note, I trust, that Darla from Winstar doesn't mention Smith as a school option for Renaissance Park. Just how are all of those kids getting into magnets when they're non-F&R based into a high F&R school - shouldn't that put them into the 10% lottery with everyone else outside the beltline????

Also - what's with the middle school option of being based into Centennial? So, with the change to Smith, they have magnets as base schools for Elementary and Middle. I wait with bated breath to see if their base high school assignment changes to one of the 4 ITB magent high schools with the new 3 year plan.

Perhaps, as parents of OTB kids, we need to be moving into a WDC development - it seems a sure route to a magnet slot.....

Magnet Status for Smith ? Renaissance Park



"These two women were murdered several miles away, a long way in terms of city living. However, this is NOT a very nice part of town and the base school for elementary age kids is awful (Fred Smith Elementary). Also they presently take the kids from this new neighborhood and send them to Smith, probably to help offset the huge number of F&R kids at that school, which is a Garner school. Then they take the kids and ship them to Centennial Middle as their base middle school, which is a Raleigh location near NC State. Then they take the children and ship them all the way over to Middle Creek High School for those years, which is an Apex school.

So your children would be constantly shifted away from probably most of their friends every time they transitioned to a new phase of schooling. For instance, while all of the rest of their friends at Fred Smith move on to North or East Garner, this very small group from your one neighborhood, because it is obviously upper middle class income, would go to a completely different place in order to satisfy the BOE's legal diversification fixation problem."

Renaissance Park


"Hello, my name is Darla and I work for Winstar Homes at Renaissance Park. I thought I might be able to offer a few bits of insite into the schools for this neighborhood. If you go to wcpss.net you will find the school locator. Many have their elementary age kids in the spectagular magnet schools that are close to the neighborhood such as; Conn which offers Active Learning and Technology, Bugg with a Creative Arts and Science program, plus then you would aso have a Montesorri option and a School of Choice option and several other magnet school options. The middle and high schools are both excellent schools and I encourage anyone interested to evaluate these choices on the Wake County Public School sight and make a summary based on what is important to you and your family.

We (Winstar) opened our models in December 2007 and the sales pace has been great. Currently 1/3 of the way complete with 30 homes sold and only 58 more to go in the Capital Collection! It doesn't hurt that one or our floorplans won best designed home in Wake County in the 250-325K range.

I can not comment enough on the fantastic buyers we have. We have a very educated buyer that enjoys the proximity of downtown with the arts, culture and ease of commute all right here at your fingertips. I have even had people selling their expensive homes in the downtown neighborhood of Mordecai and McGregor Downs in Cary to move here.

Warm regards

- Darla"


I smell a Poo Burrito!

"Doesn't it seem like every action the BoE(eR) makes is about F&R and diversity or MYR? Is there anything else on their minds?"

1: Yes, not having Johnny sit next to Shaneetra sit next to Hose sit next to Zing Sing is ALL these liars think about.

2: Yes, Rosa and gang are sweating bullets worried about how to fight the parents who will vote NO with next years BOND!
Parents who are FED FREAKIN' UP with the lies, spin and agendas of the NON-EDUCATING bafoons.

Oh don't kid yourself Lori and Rosa, your public support is currently lower than congress and at your current rate of crap covered ignorance YOUR DAYS ARE QUICKLY COMING TO AN END.

Contact your least favorite boe poo burrito and let them know you, your neighbors and the rest of wake county intends to make their lives miserable next year when they come begging for OUR approval for MORE money.


When the bond is defeated -

When the bond is defeated - will the CC's just invoke the use of CIP's or whatever they are called - to find the money that way?

Is there a cap on how much money can be used that is from a non-bond source?

"At Thursday's worksession,

"At Thursday's worksession, Chuck Dulaney, Wake schools' assistant superintendent for growth and planning, said making Smith and Brentwood magnets would not affect other nearby magnet schools."

Of course, he doesn't mention who it will affect other nearby traditional calendar schools. It will increase the concentration of poverty there. But we don't care about non-magnet schools.

Seriously --- they ignore that the magnet schools are one of the major causes of concentrated poverty. They try to lower the poverty in one area ---- typically a Raleigh area ---- and end up sucking up the affluent kids from motivated families in the surrounding suburban/rural areas, thus shifting the poverty concentration problem to those schools.

Enough of the magnets. WCPSS has proven that it is quite happy to assign people whereever they damned well please, regardless of whether the calendar works for that family. Why should we pay tons extra to reward families to try to aid the (predominantly) Raleigh schools, while we just force hardship on those outside the beltline?

Chuck is trying!

I've been involved with Principals, Teachers and Chuck Dulaney concerning  reassignment, F&R and all of the other issues that the County is facing and I can tell you that Chuck is underpaid. There is not enough money that this County can offer that would make me say yes to his job.
He is really trying to make the best of the complete cluster that is called Wake County Schools. To say that he ignores any ripple effects that his decisions create is an absolute falsehood.
What he does have to do is to choose the lesser of two evils. Once again, not a job I would want.
I agree that the schools outside the beltline appear to be getting their share of the hardship however, the beltline doesn't exist unless it's a node!

We need to erase the node lines and draw new ones that create neighborhood schools. If you don't like your school, you can foot the cost and move.

If you can't afford to move then you can be like me and get involved in your child's school(s).

Last year, I had one in traditional, one in Year round and one on the modified calendar. Yeah me!

About Chuck

Chuck would do his job for half the pay, it is ideology (and "religion") for him. Yeah, I don't know how many people who would want his job. The BoE has made it so complicated that nobody, including him, can do it properly according to guidelines. He has to treat children as pawns and families are unimportant; he isn't fazed because he doesn't care. I believe SAS (can you say Goodnight?) is developing a computer program for their "econ-diversity" policy so we can take any human factor out of the equation. And they wonder why we get so upset.

I'll let you know how much

I'll let you know how much Chuck is trying when I have a meeting with him in a few weeks.

"He is really trying to make the best of the complete cluster that is called Wake County Schools."

then explain (or I'll simply ask him) why he did the SAME THINGS in Char/Meck schools a decade or so ago??

"If you can't afford to move then you can be like me and get involved in your child's school(s)"

I do and I am and it doesn't help the issues of MYR vs. Traditional, it just doesn't. What three schools were those and were any magnets and/or Charters?

Well then

I don't think there's any of Chuck's critics here that would disagree that Wake County is too large and too ambitious in its extra-educational goals, and thus there is no one that could field that job reliably.

This is why we need to reduce the complexity of the school system, in both size and scope. At large elections until then and vote out the "at-asleep" BoE(eR)'s.

There's no empathy with the many Wake Co. parents that Chuck's non-parental award winning ways have put us in direct odds with each other. That is not how to run a school district. 

By the way, all the critical parents that post here are involved in the many ways one can do so. I find a correlative relationship between involvement and irritability.

Go Ron! 

Equal access to education

Jaggles - you make an observation that some schools get more from the PTA. Is it then fair to send children whose parents don't contribute to schools to enjoy what other have raised. After all these "affluent" families are paying a higher share already in taxes for the schools. Is it fair that some people live in bigger houses, have nicer cars, have better jobs, get paid more? Are those schools also getting more of the share of the money pile that WCPSS gets. Actually if you look into the details, you will see the schools with higher F&R are getting more funding. So I ask you what is fair? This is not a Communist State where equality is guaranteed (unless of course you are in the autocratic ruling class). You say parents will find a way out, HOW -- private school? So is it fair to them to have to pay more because they don't want their children bussed hours to a school that they don't want to attend? I don't have the solution to how to make parents of some children to take an interest in their 'education. That is a cultural thing, it has nothing to do with how much money you make. There are many people in poor countries that would thrive in our schools. I think this is the thing that needs to be attacked. Even schools that have been given an unlimited amount of money in an area where the culture of learning or achieving have failed. Magnets are unfair to the public as a whole, they are unequal access. The F&R population rarely improves because of it. So I guess we need to fix the culture, before the problem of educational inequity can be addressed. I do support and NCLB supports voluntary bussing of children from failing high F&R schools. That forces the school system to act. As far as the cultural thing, it's not my place to correct because if I try, I would be slammed down. It needs to be corrected in the local cultural community internally - AND Money is not the answer. I do care, especially for those that care.

I didn't say anything about

I didn't say anything about being fair.  Nothing in life is "fair".  I am just explaining what the real hardship is on high F&R schools.  I don't care who gets to use my PTA money as long as it's for the children, which it is. 

And as far as it being unfair to make others leave for private schools because they are being bussed, that is NOT true.  Our bussed students opt to stay, it's our neighborhood families(my neighborhood) who opt out because of our school's "reputation".

We are just hoping for options to encourage people to give our school a chance.  I don't think they would be sorry.

So - Soapbox warning

What you are saying is that Magnets are for the more affluent in high F&R bases so they are not hurt. This I believe is the real reason for Magnets; it's not for the poor kids. Whether you meant it or not, that's the argument you made. [I believe this to be the truth]

BTW- I have to tell you the busing in of F&R population with a high (I repeat high) degree of economic separation is not good either. Despite the fact BoE says this is real life. I disagree. What is does cause is a forming of a racist attitudes among small children. I have to constantly undo those attitudes and present the bigger picture to my kids. But when they see in their schools a disproportional amount of children misbehaving at recess, not doing homework, and being disruptive in class from one race or another, what do you think goes through their mind.  This is sad, my children are lucky because we discuss it with them. But, human nature is to make friends and associate with people of like manners, beliefs, etc. - don't tell me it isn't. I have more life experience with this than probably anyone on this blog, both domestically and internationally. Human nature is not changed easy, if it can be at all. This is the #1 fallacy of liberalism. It is also the downfall of social engineering. And people tend to to want better, not worse so, who needs to change. Of course the flip side is the affluent kids that are very materialistic or "snooty" due to their parents, this is a problem even in private schools and does occur in "affluent" public schools. I detest this type of behaviour, as much, if not more.

OK , off my rainy day soapbox.

Soap box?

A very well educated reply to a very heartfelt reply.
I think that your opinion concerning affluent parents and their children are the foundation to the issues that the WCPSS face every year. I've been involved with Smith Elem. for many years and have grown tired of the same faces and same excuses telling me the same thing year after year.

We at Smith will have our cake and eat it too! We've been a bottom feeder for too long. It's a shame and a scandal that the "good old boys" of Garner had to draw a line in order to gain attention.
" Pick me, Pick me" didn't work. Raising our hand didn't work so we had to play it they same way the affluent people play. Down and dirty with winning in mind.

We will fight to make and keep Smith a magnet school because every other alternative has been exhausted.

This is the best "current" course of action to balance this school.   I have been very involved in this school and have worked hard to create an environment that our children deserve regardless of income, color or where they live however, when I visit other schools and see the disparity within a 10 mile radius, I can't help but think that things need to be better balanced.

Finally a question to all the posted bloggers. Do you have a child that will be affected by this upgrade in education at Smith?

If not, please blog about something that that directly affects you. My reason for this comment is simple. Where were you when we needed your advice before this decision was made?


The only way to balance a school is to make them Magnet.  Sorry, then you bring down other schools; making good ones mediocre.  So with that logic Magnet Schools are the best because they reward people for staying in high F&R areas. I guess one could make an argument that is good. However, the F&R population gets bussed and parents of those kids have to deal with long bus rides and inconvienience in participating in their new non-community school. 

I don't know what opinion on affluent you are talking about. My observation in the last sentence is more aimed at private schools, than public. It does exist in public, but to a much smaller degree. Afflient parents just want a safe, challenging, and good education for their children. WCPSS for the most part makes that impossible to secure by buying in a "good" neighborhood. So you get the high % of private and home-schooling opt outs. This causes the school system to look worse and it starts a new cycle again and again until........ What?

NCLB makes school systems accountable to produce results in high F&R schools. WCPSS tries to hide their problems by using the "healty school/diversity" shell game. It might work for a little while, but as we can see it will not last (based on declining scores).

MYR was trying to be used to allow F&R kids to utilize "affluent schools", but as we see they don't want to by the ones opting out. Also, the dirty secret is that the diversity mix is ignored between tracks so tracks could be high F&R in one and very low in another. They really could care less since they look at education at the school level, not the student level.

and the same paraphrased

and the same paraphrased "Finally a question to all the posted bloggers. Do you have a child that will be affected by this?" with regards to MYR,  "If not, please blog about something that that directly affects you"

to all those who think YR is great, unless MYR affects you, then just leave it alone.

Still waiting for better ideas

Do any of you have children who attend either of these schools? If you don't...I don't think you understand the real issue. I have a child at Smith and have sent 2 others all the way through. Sideburns...how are you going to PLACE non-F&R children at Smith? The parents won't allow them to attend. They find a way out, which then leaves the school under capacity which then causes WCPSS to bus other children in to fill the spaces. Changing Smith to a magnet is not an insult to the current base population. We still get to go there without applying. How great is that? I am excited that my child will have extra opportunities available to her. What nobody seems to understand is that Smith is already a great school with great resources. All of the children, F&R and non-F&R are loved equally and are educated just a well as any other school in the county. Probably better. The problem is not the education level at Smith, it is the extra stress on the teachers, staff and few active parents. PTAs play a big role in extra funding for schools. That is something that is taken for granted in a lot of schools. In our school, if we don't have the people with the income, we won't get the money through fundraising. In return, our children get less of the extras. So...again...what do you suggest as a better alternative? I am happy to finally see someone paying attention after all of these years.


No matter what they name it....(F&R) satisfies their need for diversity in the schools. Never mind that it does nothing to help the children. Most parents don't realize that even the parents from low income housing don't like their children bussed miles away, giving them less access to the school due to distance.

I don't like magnets

The only way WCPSS will reduce the poverty level (F&R percentage) is by placing non-F&R children in the empty seats. That still leaves the same number of F&R students. How does that help those students (F&R or otherwise) who currently attend Smith or Brentwood? It just sounds like the current students aren't worthy of a better curriculum, more funding, etc. unless non-F&R families are brought it to make it "better".

If you haven't lived it you won't understand

What nobody seems to understand is that the WCPSS can't PLACE non-F&R kids at these schools because most of those parents refuse to let their children go there.  So in that case, the school is under capacity and then they end up having to force other families who won't fight it.  The other thing that nobody seems to understand about Smith is that it is a great school with plenty of resources and each and every child is loved and taught as well as any other child in the county.  Probably more. The problem is the hardship on the teachers, staff and few active parents.  It is hard to have an active PTA, which provides extra funding for the students.  If most people are F&R, the fundraisers make no money, therefore the PTA can't provide the extras that lots of other schools take for granted.

Again...tell me how to force those non-F&R parents to allow their children to attend Smith.

My child is a current base student and I am excited that she will have extra opportunities with a magnet.  Why shouldn't current Smith children have that opportunity? 

What makes the BOE think

What makes the BOE think that everyone will come running back? Magnet or not - building a school community takes time, effort, care and feeding. How many years will it take to build that at these two schools? It sounds like PP is really happy with the school - and that's great - my bet is the folks that left are also happy with where their kids are attending for the most part - so why would they switch back? They have invested time and effort and potentially resources into "their" school...

Or is the idea that they will be forced back? I am not certain how this works.

It seems the more "sure thing" to do (with my tax dollars!) is spend the money on the resources and teachers/programs where it's needed and stop flitting away dollars on what *might* happen.

But - who am I. Nobody important!! :)

Do you all have better ideas?

Part of the reason for the magnet status in Smith's case is to try to entice "neighborhood" people to attend Smith. It's not a neighborhood school because people refuse to go there because of it's high F&R population. Nobody takes the time to find out what a great school it really is. I live in the neighborhood and my children have always attended. Where are the rest of the neighborhood kids? Mmmmm...I believe they left us for magnets!

Jaggles, they may have left

Jaggles, they may have left you for a magnet, or a Charter, or private school, or homeschool.  They may have left because they want stability for their children.

Maybe... but that's not

Maybe... but that's not usually what they say.  They don't like the school's diversity. My neighborhood has never changed base schools in the 11 years I have lived here.  So I would say our base is pretty stable.


They say that it's because they don't like the school's diversity??

 It seems more likely that they don't like Smith because it's not a great school.  It didn't achieve expected growth, over 1/3 of the students don't pass EOGs (including about 1/4 of non-F&R students).  About HALF of the fifth graders didn't pass their math EOGs.  If I lived in that base area, I'd look for an alternative also.

 Maybe they should convert it to MYR and bus kids in from the 5-points area.


Thanks alot

Thanks for the positive comments and confidence booster for all of our hard working teachers. 

What about the 2/3's of the children who do pass?  The school gets no credit for that?

I guess my children are just born geniuses since they've always passed with 4's.  It has nothing to do with the fact that they were getting a good education despite the "odds".

Thanks again for encouraging our neighborhood families to go to their base school so that the WCPSS wouldn't have to try to force it with magnets.  I would love nothing more than a neighborhood school so that my children would have school friends near our home.  But...thanks to you and all of the other people who don't know what they are talking about...it will never happen.


Facts are facts.  I'm not going to sugar-coat them just to make somebody feel good.  In any case, you basically accused your neighbors of being bigots; I was just pointing out an alternative.

As far as "don't know what they are talking about," my stats came straight from the NC School report cards.  Smith Elementary is failing one out of three kids.  I don't know how you can possibly claim that as a success.  

And, actually, I'm not a particularly big fan of Wake's magnet schools, which creates a system of haves and have-nots.  Many of the magnet programs should be available in all schools, not just doled out to those kids who (a) live within a reasonable distance of the magnet school, (b) are allowed to enter the lottery and (c) actually win that lottery.  Were it up to me, most of thoe magnet programs that people are evidently leaving Smith for would have been available at Smith and at every other elementary school.


Could you look into the facts concerning the number of non english speaking students at Smith. It would be listed under ESL.

Remove this amount and Smith's averages will increase quite a bit.

Kinda hard to pass a test if you can't read the language.


Not really

According to the NC report card site, there were only 27 "L.E.P." (i.e. ESL) students, 44% of whom passed.  Removing those kids brings the school's average from ~ 62% to ~64% passing.  That's a fairly small change.


27 ???

The report might reflect 27 but I think it's incorrect.

Maybe 27 in each grade level, but 27 out of the schools population sounds like some Florida math to me.

27 ???

27 huh.....

I just reviewed the yearbook from last year. It must be some election year, Florida math calculation that I'm not understanding.

¡No, yo no entiendo!

Wow. What a terrible performance metric. It sounds like we're accommodating non-taxpayer children at the expense of tax-paying families? Do I misunderstand?

Let's think about this.....

From the article...

David Ansbacher, Wake schools' senior director of magnet programs, said because Smith and Brentwood are under capacity, there would be room for new students and base students attending those schools.

Gee - that gives the new kids moving into Wake Development Corp's Renaissance Park a free ticket as a base student into a magnet school. Guess we know who the BOE really cares about.....

If poverty is the issue.....

Since when does poverty & education mix. Are not all children supposed to be treated "equally" under the constitition of North Carolina. Is WCPSS now a provider of social services? Maybe the WCC's need to remind WCPSS and the BoE(eR) that there job is education.

Also, this is a major waste of money as well, i.e., Magnet programs. The best course of action is to remove all the "unequal" magnet programs across the county, and utilize the savings on expanding the AG programs throughout the WCPSS. Remembers, it the AG's kids that will be building the bridges, flying the planes and curing the cancers.

Wait a minute

Rethink this paragraph:

Wake is reviewing magnets on a yearly basis to determine if magnet schools still meet the goals of reducing poverty and supporting diversity, maximizing school facilities and providing more educational opportunities.

I printed that paragraph out, and placed it on my lawn. The grass around that is now 6" high! Miracle Grow never worked so well! What's in those words?

Yes, and definitely notice

Yes, and definitely notice how "educational opportunities" is last in the list of goals.

Schools are for education first, right?  America's poverty and racial issues are not going to be fixed on the backs of students.  Educatiing everyone and providing challenging and engaging classroom enviroments for ALL will reap far more benefit than the puppet-master thing Wake has going on right now.  They are deepening the very things they think they are "fixing" with their insane policies.

Doesn't it seem like every

Doesn't it seem like every action the BoE(eR) makes is about F&R and diversity or MYR? Is there anything else on their minds?

No, there is nothing else to

No, there is nothing else to this BoE(eR), this is their entire focus and it's only gotten narrower with time.

A school can reduce poverty?

Wake is reviewing magnets on a yearly basis to determine if magnet schools still meet the goals of reducing poverty"


How does a school reduce poverty?   How do they quantify that a school DOES reduce poverty?  These people are crazy!  


Neighbor.hood. schools.please. 


I think that should read "reducing concentrations of poverty."

Magnet schools do a poor job of doing this, anyway, since "magnet" and "base" populations don't really mix.   It's like putting a blue bowling ball and a red bowling ball in a box and saying you're reduced the concentration of blue bowling balls.

 If poverty is such a big problem, why do the city and the county keep building low-income housing?   What you subsidize, you get more of.



Run for Office!

Bob, you should become the next Super of WCPSS.

Better yet, Become the Gov. !

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