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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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Laying out the board's work plan

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After months of work with an outside facilitator, the school board has finally finished its work plan.

In theory, the work plan lays out what the board wants to focus on between 2008-11. The items should be familiar as they're based off the findings of the curriculum management audit and the citizens' facilities advisory committee.

The board will look at is how to provide equal access to comparable programs, services, and opportunities to impact success for all students.

The board will also review offering weightlifting, wrestling and tennis and reducing parking spaces. Both of those options from the CFAC report drew a lot of negative remarks. Tennis supporters were especially unhappy.

There are plenty of other things in the work plan to keep the board busy. 

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Forget Not - True But

True, this has been brought up by the HOA but the legality of no parking signs in neighborhoods is tricky. The real issue is this shouldn't be an issue; WCPSS's failure to act on the problem is the issue. They caused the problem in the first place.

services

Cars parked on both sides of road make it almost impossible for fire engines to navigate neighborhood streets making high school parking an issue of a dangerous nature....

Mr Stoops - Re: Parking Reduction

Here is an unintended consequence that BoE could give a rat's a$$ about - If parking is reduced kids will still drive and park in nearby neighborhoods. The school then says it not our problem, it's yours... {How dare you live next to our high schools}. One neighborhood, an affluent one in Wakefield, is now a sea of ugly No Parking signs and service contractors must now park in driveways. The problem is expected to get worse this year when a lot more students arrive. The residents were forced to do this because the HOA could not get any support from the school system. Nobody likes it and in the end the kids get ticketed and can't park anyway. Do you really think that this does not influence property values? Of course the parking lot at the school is half filled with busses.

IS THAT FAIR ! Mr. Stoops, from you comment above, you seem to be one of the suggesters, did you intend this ? What is needed is a good lawyer ! Of course, one side could care less because their lawyers are at their call and we the people pay for them.

 By the way, this is a new problem that started last year due to severe overcrowding at the school. The homeowners did not buy their homes with that parking problem.   Also, when schools don't have adequate cafeteria facilities because of overcrowding, what do you propose the kids do? -- walk to eat off campus?

Facilities

WCPSS facilities folk have already begun to implement many of our committee's recommendations, many of which are not "sexy" enough to make the news. The discussion of the athletic facilities and parking is important, but it also represents a small portion of the committee's work. I would say a more critical issue is the rift between the school system and some of the local builders and contractors.

I would also argue that the relatively high cost of building new WCPSS schools is worrisome, but that concern is not one that stands out in our committee's final report.

Terry Stoops

Cash-strapped districts cutting sports

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/28/education/28sports.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

My 2 cents

When facilities are built they infrastructure should be designed to deal with the maximum student body the school system will allow in a school. When schools have 30% of their student housed in trailers and infrastructure was designed for 30% less, all building planning becomes a farce. This does occur in WCPSS right now in some schools, even those in affluent areas. Why does this occur in the name of diversity? Why use modulars long-term when they cost more to operate and will not stand the test of time.

Equal access is a farce too when the majority of good programs are offered only inside the beltway.. People who live in the outskirts of Raleigh and outlying towns only get the crumbs that are left after the ITB crowd get their fill. Those that get the crumbs are subject to long bus rides and long hours.

The Academically Gifted are the ones who suffer the worse in this mess. The few programs they offer in mainstream schools are mostly paper exercises and not well executed. Those parents that can afford private are leaving in droves.

Well done Wake County voters for giving us these fine lot of School Board members who more enjoy getting meaningless awards too bolster their liberal and failing agenda than to teach our kids in the manner they deserve. No matter how much money is thrown to them, they will continue down the wrong path.

amen

"Equal access is a farce too when the majority of good programs are offered only inside the beltway.. People who live in the outskirts of Raleigh and outlying towns only get the crumbs that are left after the ITB crowd get their fill. Those that get the crumbs are subject to long bus rides and long hours."

VOR--this is especially true when the F&R students at the magnet schools are bused to outlying suburban schools in order for more ITB non-F&R kids to attend these magnet schools....

OT alert

hmmmm a certain county AND Capital are missing from the list, BUT a city they love to compare to made it...

http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/14/housing-buyers-list-forbeslife-cx_md_0714bestbuy.html

Obviously, it's a list of

Obviously, it's a list of cities of a certain size. Too much Fox News for you. We report (just the parts we want). You decide (to agree with us).

We examined the country's 40

We examined the country's 40 largest metropolitan areas and looked at where home prices have appreciated over the last two years.

SHould be interesting...

Here are a few goals that will be interesting:

1. "Implement district plans and goals to provide equal access to comparable programs, services and opportunities to impact success for all students."

Does this mean that people living way out in the 'burbs will be provided reasonable access to magnet schools, or will they still have bus rides of more than an hour?

2. "new school designs should provide an area for the media center no greater than the DPI recommended area"

What? That's absurd -- the DPI recommendations are a minimum. Plus, Wake County pushes a lot more kids into individual schools than is typical -- large libraries and computer areas are necessary for larger populations. This is hardly a place to cut costs.

it IS weird and a waste of

it IS weird and a waste of money IMHO, but apparently not all that unusual....look:

http://www.capeelizabeth.com/news/curriculum.html

http://www.beavton.k12.or.us/pdf/ins_MathFacJobDes.pdf

https://webapps.forneyisd.net/forney/newsite2/asp/page3.asp?page=Instructional%20Facilitators

http://www.teacherlinesoutheast.org/facilitators.htm

http://www.sptimes.com/2008/02/26/Southpinellas/Feuding_schools_offic.shtml

Is it just me?

Is it just me, or does anyone else think it's weird that our school board hires a facilitator to come up with a work plan for them?

I thought it was the school board's JOB to come up with a work plan, that's what our tax dollars go for. Why can't they ask their constituents what matters most? They have all these studies, and they can't figure out what our students need? This seems like a massive waste of tax dollars that could be better spent (ahem) in the classroom!

wierd

I agree fiestamom, it seems a waste of funding to hire a facilatator to determine what the issues should be for the coming year....

These issues should be OBVIOUS.....

 

And a few more....

7) Continue to ignore the needs of advanced and gifted students who (1) have parents who chose to live outside the Beltline or (2) were not lucky enough to win a magnet seat in the educational lottery.

8) Continue to stuff as many children as possible into classrooms with no regard to what makes an effective learning environment.

Work plan details

1) Move students around like pawns
2) Nod vigorously when talking to upset parents and then ignore their feedback
3) Rack up massive diesel bills
4) Pick up "Good Commrade" awards and ribbons in Rancho Cucamonga, CA for social engineering.
5) Submit T&E expenses for line item #4
6) Cause public education to implode

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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