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Burgetta Wheeler on the "nearly incomprehensible Wake County schools assignment plan"

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Burgetta Wheeler is ringing the "alarm bells" about the new student assignment plan.

In her column today, Wheeler charges that "we seem to have skipped a few of those steps on our way to implementing the nearly incomprehensible Wake County schools assignment plan." She writes that parents are "becoming frightfully aware of some of those emerging weaknesses, costs and consequences" of the plan.

Wheeler points to the decline in magnet applications that she attributes to families no longer being able to return to base. She writes that the new feeder patterns are restricting choice for families who want to leave their feeder, are newcomers or who are leaving charter schools.

"March 16 is the day parents who have ranked choices will find out where their children have been assigned," Wheeler writes. "The casualty count and collateral damage could be considerable."


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for those of us who understand

the issues this column is ridiculous.

Keung must be cringing that they let her fill up space with nonsense after he spends hours and hours trying to explain how things work and why they are changing. My guess is that it was Steve Ford's brilliant decision to let someone this clueless to weigh in.


At this point, it's nearly impossible to remember what the new assignment plan was supposed to fix...

Really? Ms. Wheeler forgets what this new plan was supposed to fix? What a load.

Keep harping on the magnets, btw. I love when people point out the so-called problems with the magnet system in this plan. Not being able to choose to leave your school at a whim? Welcome to WCPSS for the rest of us.


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/02/29/1892619/schools-should-reassess.html#storylink=cpy

Burgetta is....

In case you didn't get the memo.... "Burgetta Wheeler" is The N&O's new "Conservative columnist" or so she is being touted by her bosses.

The same bosses that consider Stevie Ford, RobRW and Barry Saunders to be "Mainstream Moderates" so consider the source.

Keungy, of course, is The N&O's "registered unaffiliated" blogger/reporter.

they did have a moderate

Matthew Eisley. He was the editor of the N Raleigh section and was excellent - balanced, thoughtful, not a party hack to anyone. He left a year ago. wonder why?

I was thinking of him too. 

I was thinking of him too.  I really miss him and wish they had moved him over the to the main paper instead of just the North Raleigh News.  He was fair and balanced.  We need more like him who are willing to take off the blinders and see the reality of situations.

I can guess how that job

I can guess how that job interview went:

N&O: We're looking for conservative columnist to pretend we are fair and balance and possibly get our readership over 100.  Are you a conservative?

Burgetta:  No.... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

N&O:  Was there a swimming pool?

Bugetta:  Yes.

N&O:  Ok, you're hired.

Before you posted, I had

Before you posted, I had looked back and found a few of her previous columns on the web...didn't strike me as conservative.  Sounded more like another liberal hack to me.

Shows what I know....

But But But....

"They" (The N&O) say she is Conservative.  Of course "they" also said Crystal Mangum was "a navy hero & an honor student" and "they" said "John Edwards was Husband-of-the-Year so go figure.

Too bad Evans filled that

Too bad Evans filled that spot on the BAC, Burgetta's got just the kind of thinking Evans was looking for to be her sounding board...

First of all...who is

First of all...who is Burgetta Wheeler and why am I supposed to care what she thinks exactly?

Keung, why don't you just ask some guy at the supermarket what they think?

I love it when people attribute causation to correlated actions. Perhaps there's a decline in magnet applications because people now feel they'll have some stability closer to home?

We all have our theories, just like certain body parts, why do we need to know about Burgetta's?


...Burgetta's opinion counts, and yours, amazingly, doesn't. See, not so hard to understand.

I'm willing to bet more

I'm willing to bet more people read my comment(s) that any of her columns....and the N&O doesn't pay me anything!

I bet you're right because I never head of her

Let me correct the celebrity fill-in journalist of the week on at least one thing, they MAY or MAY NOT find out about their choice March 16th. If the letters are coming home from school those who are tracked out won't find out until they track back in, in most cases. If it's going in the mail it won't mail until the 16th and therefore won't arrive for some until the end of that week.

So mystery penmaster extraordinaire, your timeline is not exactly accurate.

I thought we could sign in

I thought we could sign in on wcpss.net and check for the results? Originally, they stating beginning on February 27th thru March 16th. Now, it just states March 16th. Guess they received far more "applications" than they ever imagined? Regarding the journalist - she's neither a celebrity or a fill-in. She writes a column on a regular basis for the N&O - think it's weekly.

Yes, you are supposed to be

Yes, you are supposed to be able to get results online.

You may be correct

Since I'm not choicing I'm not sure about notification. Just know how it's worked in the past for us. Always comes home via backpack pigeon about a week past when everyone else got theres.

As for the writer, still never heard of her.

Unfortunately, we had to go

Unfortunately, we had to go through the "choice" process...only want to go to the same school that every other kid in the neighborhood goes to ...not sure why we have to go through that process and then wait 8 weeks for a result? Instead of  "Choice Plan", why don't they call it "Standby Policy".... like they do in the airline business? Basically, it's the same - waiting around for a seat that nobody else wants.


You didn't HAVE to go through the choice process. If your child is currently attending a WCPSS school, you had a feeder pattern --  you just didn't like it for whatever reason.


The feeder pattern wants to

The feeder pattern wants to send our child 3 times as far away with no transportation to a magnet school that no one in our neighborhood attends. We'd like the "choice" to send her to the school that her sister attends. If we don't get our "choice", can we sell our magnet spot on Craigslist and use the money for private school?


Why no transportation? Why is it a magnet feeder? Did you choose to send her to a magnet school and now want to opt back to base?

Currently attending magnet

Currently attending magnet middle school that is closer to us than the "base" middle school. Now assigned to magnet high school which is 3 times as far as former "base" high school with no transportation. We are not the only ones in this situation - approximately 2,000 other magnet students have been assigned to 6th or 9th grade with no transportation. Instead of having us apply for a magnet school or sign an "intent" form to remain in the program (like we have for the past 13 years), they decided to "choose" for us. I'm fine with voluntarily applying to a school with no transportation if that is what is best for my child. I'd be willing to drive my child anywhere in the county if I thought it was necessary. But I don't understand how they can assign children to a school with no transportation without first gaining consent. I'm sure they are aware that not everyone owns a car, has time to drive their child, and has the money to pay for the gas. Wonder if they did that to any F&R students?

I am curious about this no

I am curious about this no transportation magnet situation.  Enloe is the only mag HS that offers neighborhood transportation, but I thought the other 3 offered express service across the county.  You don't have an express stop available? 

I'd love to hear from anybody who knows of magnet middle and high schools that don't offer transportation to kids who were pre-assigned there.  Croswife mentioned Joyner, which feeds to East Millbrook.  What others are there?

Is this in addition to the

Is this in addition to the 1100-1500 (I can't remember specific number) that have been assigned to non-magnets without transportation?


So, your issue is really one about transportation? I really don't understand, however, why you're not getting a bus. I know that those that opted-out of YR and are now in a different feeder pattern have this situation but I hadn't heard anything about magnets.

And the system didn't choose for you. You were given a feeder pattern with the option of choosing something else. Sorta like when you applied for your magnet middle. You had a base and chose to go to the magnet. Now it's just the opposite.


An example...

Joyner ES is a county-wide magnet.  Only students from the N/ NW area of the county had ever had any transportation provided and it has only via express bussing.  The students from the remainder of the county had to provide their own transportation.  So now all the magnet students had their feeder pattern chosen for them to continue in the IB  magnet program to East Millbrook MS and Millbrook HS. And even for the ones that had express bussing that worked in ES doesnt mean that it can work for them in MS.

I agree with you about

I agree with you about Joyner.  The feeder to the Millbrooks makes no sense for somebody in the southern part of the county.  They should have split the feeder pattern depending on what part of the county you live in.  Southern/Southwestern Wake should feed to the Garner IB magnets and Northern/Northeastern Wake should feed to the Millbrook IB mags. 


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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.