The need for more money for Wake schools was a big issue at Tuesday's forum but reassignment and neighborhood schools also were discussed.
As noted in today's article, former school board Tom Oxholm took a strong stance against those critics who are calling for a system of neighborhood schools in Wake. Oxholm was a panelist on the discussion on whether Wake has achieved academic excellence.
Oxholm said that if you want to see the effects of neighborhood schools you can look at what the area was like before the 1976 merger when the downtown Raleigh schools were poor and underenrolled.
Oxholm said you can also look for examples of neighborhood schools at other large urban districts such as Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Philadephia. Despite great teacher pay, he said those districts have experienced white flight.
He said he also wants to avoid the examples of Greensboro and Charlotte.
While Oxholm said that "proponents of a resegregation type effect" have a few successes, there are "lots of looming disasters."
Oxholm said repeating the mistakes of the past is not a great idea.
“If you go down that way, the cleanup will be unbelievable," Oxholm said of neighborhood schools.
Oxholm also complained about the recent newspaper articles comparing the different approaches that Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg have taken toward dealing with diversity.
He blamed the articles for confusing the public about the purpose of Wake's diversity policy. He said the policy is not about trying to make sure every child scores his best on standardized tests but is designed to keep all schools healthy.