Both The Economist and Education Week had their takes last week on the fight over socioeconomic diversity in Wake County schools.
In The Economist article, the writer speculates whether Wake's future looks like that of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, where the percentage of high poverty and high minority schools has increased since the district ended busing for diversity. The article says that efforts by CMS parents in poor areas to get into wealthier schools have often been impossible to grant because of capacity limits.
"(School board member John) Tedesco bristles at the notion that Charlotte is the future; he believes that with better management and more efficient spending Wake can avoid Charlotte’s errors, and he may be right," according to the article in the British weekly. "But Wake’s school system faces a $20m shortfall, which makes the board’s task all the more daunting."
The Education Week article doesn't include any interviews with members of the new school board majority or their supporters. It does say that efforts to reach school board chairman Ron Margiotta were unsuccessful and quotes from his Northern Wake Republican Club speech.
Education Week interviewed both Ann Denlinger, president of the Wake Education Partnership, and Richard Kahlenberg, a researcher from the liberal Century Foundation. Both are critical of the direction of the new board majority.
Education Week cites the WEP report that found that "the district would immediately have more than two dozen high-poverty, low-performing schools if the new student-assignment policy were to be solely based on the neighborhoods students live in."
“In our opinion, Wake County shouldn’t make decisions that result in low-performing schools,” Denlinger said in the article. “We believe we have choices here.”
What they're referring to is what could happen if students were solely assigned to their closest school, something the WEP acknowledges isn't being considered by the board.