WakeEd

The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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Calling for the school board to be "deliberate" on student assignment

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Does being "deliberate" mean being thorough or mean slowing things down until the next Wake County school board election?

As noted in today's article, those are the two perspectives being mentioned for school board member Kevin Hill's proposal to slow down the process for developing he new student assignment model. Perhaps not surprisingly, reaction largely split along partisan lines.

"It's a deliberate approach," said Democratic school board member Keith Sutton. "We are going to have some inclusion and some consensus building."

"Most everybody is uncomfortable if the board doesn't work together," added Democratic board member Anne McLaurin.

But Republican board members Chris Malone and John Tedesco said going at the pace Hill wants would push things out so nothing is adopted before next fall's school board elections.

"It's really convenient that it won't be ready before the elections," Tedesco said.

Tedesco questioned Hill's call to assess the cost implications before even developing the new assignment plan. He argued, for instance, that you need to know what will be in the plan first before determining costs. One example he cited was whether you'd use express busing or regular busing.

"You can't ask a builder how much a building will cost unless you know what all the bells and whistles will be."

But what could matter more is how Republican board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman feels about Hill's proposal.

"I think this board working together would be fantastic," Goldman said of Hill's proposal. "I am looking forward to working for the academic benefit of the children of Wake County."

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"It's really convenient that

"It's really convenient that it won't be ready before the elections," Tedesco said

Hey lets get focused on children and not the next election ... politicians come and go while school building are forever ....the kids, schools, etc. will be here long past JT political life and long past the next election.   Some things may take more than an election cycle to research, understand, educate and fund and we should not be held hostage to election cycles.  I think this is where JT not having kids and wanting to jump start his political career show up as he molds  things to benefit himself and not the kids and citizens of Wake.

made me wonder

That comment made me wonder if his goal wasn't the opposite of his statement, i.e. as you noted -- a political goal of his own was to insure something was in place before the next election.   It seemed to imply that it would have been convenient for ??him??, the GOP?, someone to have his plan implemented before the next election cycle.

So how long are they going to stall?

This is nuts.  Make a plan and move forward.  At this rate, my kids (elementary level) will be in High school or college before Wake County starts to focus on the kids and their education.

When again did the WCBOE

When again did the WCBOE completely abandon education? Early 90's or so, right?

Since when does focusing on keeping schools on level for poverty amount to loosing all focus on education?

May I remind you, the previous board didn't just sit around with their thumbs twiddling saying "How 'bout that diversity policy? Pretty good huh?". Don't pretend like that's the only thing we've been doing the past 20 years.

That's exactly what they did

'Since when does focusing on keeping schools on level for poverty amount to loosing (sic) all focus on education?'

That's exactly what they did - spread the poor kids all over in the name of 'healthy schools', except it actually hurt these kids' education. I guess you didn't understand SDR's other posts, you need to read those again.

If the system did in fact do

If the system did in fact do that, it was obviously not the reason it was created. The intent was to avoid creating high poverty schools, which I hope you realize is a bad thing. Just because poor kids had lower achievement rates at other schools too doesn't mean they'll do better when you put them all back in one school.

Or...

Just because poor kids had lower achievement rates at other schools too doesn't mean they'll do worse when you put them all back in one school. 

In fact, whether they're assigned to a high- or low- poverty school seems to make little appreciable difference in how WCPSS students perform.  You're a smart guy -- run the numbers yourself.  You can get the F&R percentages at the NCSU website and performance numbers from the nc report cards website.  I suggest looking at elementary schools -- it's a nice big data set and it's where most of the busing happens. 

Dilution

The focus was on the schools...not the individual students.  

Could not agree more

I would say anyone with children currently in grades 3 or 4 and above will never see a new plan. Those who continue to fight for change are truly out for the better of those who will come after them and those people are to be commended at every level.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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