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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Looking at what Wake County's magnet schools could be like demographically without the program

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What would Wake County's magnet schools look like if they lost those programs and were only populated by the students who live near them?

That's a question that school administrators tried to answer last week for school board members reviewing the magnet program. This chart indicates that many magnet schools, particularly those inside the Raleigh Beltline, would have higher percentages of minority and free-and-reduced lunch (FRL) students if only populated by proximity students.

You can see a big demographic difference from the magnet population going to the schools and the base population being assigned out.

What staff did was draw a large enough circle around the magnet schools to get an enrollment that's roughly equal to what it had last school year. Since several magnet schools are so close, there is overlap in the enrollments.

Washington Elementary's enrollment could be 92 percent minority and 84.1 percent FRL if populated just by proximity students. Last school year, it was 67.7 percent minority and 22.1 percent FRL with the magnet program.

But the difference is even more noticeable when you look at the specific racial demographics. Based on proximity assignment, Washington could be 55 percent black, 34 percent Hispanic, eight percent white and 1 percent Asian. With the magnet last school year, it was 35 percent Asian, 32 percent white, 17 percent black and 12 percent Hispanic.

A similar pattern can be seen at Enloe High, which could have been 71 percent black, 14 percent Hispanic, 9 percent white and 2 percent Asian as a proximity-only school. The FRL percentage could have been 66 percent.

But last school year with the magnet program, Enloe was 39 percent black, 31 percent white, 14 percent Asian and 10 percent Hispanic. The school's FRL percentage was 34 percent.

On the flip side, schools like Brooks Elementary saw little difference between their actual and proximity percentages. In cases where the school's FRL percentage didn't change much with the magnet program, especially if it would remain low, it could be more likely to be demagnetized.

The demographic information seemed to be especially appreciated by the school board's Democratic members. Board member Jim Martin, who hasn't been hesitant about criticizing what he considered to be less than useful data from staff, said it was a very helpful analysis for the board to use when it makes magnet decisions.

1345467665 Looking at what Wake County's magnet schools could be like demographically without the program The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Continued from up top

^This would be an example of the mindless blathering...especially since the Republican school board had their own Utopian vision, you just don't see it that way because you agree with it.  I don't think either group has it right.

"It is clear that you believe that the diversity policy was a "good idea" that was working and could have continued to work if the changing demographics and or growth of WC had not gotten in the way.  The unfortunate reality is that that is simply not true. "

According the ncreportcards.org, in 2001 61.4% of ED kids passed their English and Math EOGs.  63.7% black and 70% Hispanic passed both.  The ED number was ~2 points ahead of the state average, the racial numbers were ~7 and ~8 points ahead of the state average.

In 2011, the ED number had dropped to 49.3%, ~ 4 points below the state average.  The black number was 54.5%, ~1 point below the state average, and the Hispanic number was 62%, 1 1/2 points below the state average.

The numbers seemed to improve from 2001 until 2004, when they dipped a little, and then the following year they dropped more.  I stopped looking, but it's probably safe to assume they pretty much stayed in the crapper.

During that time frame, WCPSS went from 108,000 (24.3% F&R) students in 2002-2003 (earliest data I could find on WCPSS' site) to 143,000 (32.4% F&R).  I don't think you can factually say that the diversity policy never had any positive results if it was in place when Wake County was far superior to state averages.

From 2002-03 to 2010-11, Wake County added about 20,000 F&R students.  I think it's borderline insane to pretend that their arrival wouldn't have presented an entirely new set of challenges (one that obviously wasn't met).

?

Post hoc ergo propter hoc?

Why would you believe that the superior test scores in the early-ods were the result of the diversity policy?

Few points:

(1) the only performance worth looking at is ED, since that's the diversity policy.  Looking at racial performance fails to account for demographic (mainly income) differences -- in every race, performance improves with affluence, so if Wake was more affluent than the state average, you would expect its African-American students to perform better than their peers.

(2) if the diversity policy caused better-than-average scores in 2001, then why didn't it cause better-than-average test scores in 2009?  It seems likely that a different factor (or set of factors) was responsible for the improved performance in the 2001.

(3) In 2006, I believe, the state realized that the EOGs were so easy that students could often guess on 3/4 of the test and still pass.  As a result, EOG passing rates fell across-the-board.  I recall Patti Head saying something like "we were doing so well and then all of that just disappeared."  (Earth to Patti: You were never doing well, but that fact was hidden by the poor quality of the tests.)

On (3), this is one reason why I think NC should adopt some other state's curriculum and stop paying bureaucrats to maintain the SCOS.  

1)  Fair enough.  I really

1)  Fair enough.  I really think it's a matter of opinion, since according to most people the vast majority of kids being bused were AA or Hispanic.  I think the performance of those groups is worth noting.

2)  I think this is because you don't want to credit the diversity policy at all.  I've said all along that I believe a few things:  1) more individual attention helps kids learn (all kids); 2) the diversity policy was an attempt to get some lower-income kids more individualized attention; 3) as the district grew, it was impossible for the diversity policy to keep up, so to speak.

The simplest way to explain it (in an example that is likely exaggerated) is that in 2001, perhaps 2 buses from SE Raleigh brough 60 kids total to an elementary school in Apex.  Those 60 kids were spread out so that only 2 or 3 were in any given classroom.  Only 60 kids (assuming the assignment area had the school at capacity) had to be shipped out to make room (probably mostly magnet volunteers), so it wasn't a big shuffle.

By 2009, it had turned into 5 buses bring 150 kids to that same school.  More reassignments to make room caused problems.  Now, you've put more ED kids into the classes and the teachers can't get to them all as often as they could when there were fewer ED kids in the classes.  Without the extra attention to catch up, I don't think being at that school would really help.  As a matter of fact, that statistics show that it didn't help.

3) I can't remember what 3 was and I can't see it from here, but it seems like the new Common Core curriculum should pretty much do what you say.

Well...

 

So, I'll point out that if you (2) is correct, then you're basically saying that the district has grown to the point that the diversity policy can no longer be effective.  Whether you're right or I'm right, it seems that we should agree that re-instituting the policy is the wrong choice.

But, as to your scenario, recognize (a) ED kids are scattered all through the county; no need to bus from SE Raleigh, and (b) as the number of ED kids increased, so did the number of non-ED kids and the number of schools in affluent areas.  Those 5 buses are going to three different schools, so the portion at individual schools should stay the same.

As to Common core, I'm not convinced.  Few reasons: (a) it's only English and Math, not Social Studies or Science, (b) it's not a full-fledged curriculum in English and Math, (c) jury's still out about whether it's any good, (d) it doesn't solve the "every middle schooler has to take health every semester" idiocy that our state bureaucrats have saddled school districts and students with.  

Personally, I'd go father than my initial statement and allow local districts and charters to choose any state's curriculum or any major national curriculum.  (e.g. Saxon Math).  I'm all about pushing control out to the local districts.

I've never looked it up but

I've never looked it up but what exactly does the state say about PE and or health in middle school?

Well now...

You've pressed me into it -- I had never looked it up either; it was just what I was told when I asked at the school.

But, anyway, here's a link to the "Healthful living" sequence:  http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/docs/curriculum/healthfulliving/scos/2006healthscopesequence.pdf

It drives me nuts that the DPI believes such utterly moronic things as "identify and classify behaviors as being conducive or counterproductive to group functioning,"  "Recognize that failure is a part of learning and growing and demonstrate the ability to cope with failure appropriately," and "Identify food preparation techniques that add less fat and sugar to foods" are more important than, say, "Develop fluency in a foreign language."

Just reading through that sequence makes me mad all over again.  Pinheads.

I've said plenty of times

I've said plenty of times that the 40% goal became to unwieldy as the sheer number of FRL kids skyrocketed along with the total number of students.  I have also said plenty of times that I hope the new board doesn't try to go back to it.  I wish they'd basically stick to the choice plan, but just figure out a way to make the "1st choice" on everyone's list their base school instead of option #1.  That would probably mean that some people's lists would change, but I'm OK with that....I have thought from day one that we needed base assignments.

There are ED people spread around the county, but most of the schools where ED kids were bused to (as far as I know) had relatively low percentages prior to the busing.  In 2003, there were 15,196 ED kids in 80 WCPSS elementary schools.  If you just divide it out, that's 190 ED kids per school.  In 2009, there were 22,831 in 102 schools, which is 224 kids per school.

Now, some people here would say "that's only a 4% increase, so it shouldn't have been a big deal".  I see 7500 more kids the system had to absorb and try to give (in many cases) extra attention.

...

2) the diversity policy was an attempt to get some lower-income kids more individualized attention

How do you reach that conclusion?

 

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/looking-at-what-wake-countys-magnet-schools-could-be-like-demographically-without-the-program#new#storylink=cpy

If you aren't preconditioned

If you aren't preconditioned to think it was strictly to dilute their poor test scores, it's not a difficult concept to grasp.

...

It's not difficult -- but it's wrong. That's why I offered you the opportunity to explain further.

"Our assignment decision was never designed to help any particular student," Oxholm said of the board's vote in 2000. "Test scores for any one individual were not taken into account because of their school assignment and we knew it wouldn't make them any better a student. We also knew it wouldn't make them any worse of a student."

 

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/tom-oxholm-on-school-funding-school-diversity-and-demagogues#storylink=cpy

I think it is abundantly

I think it is abundantly clear that the diversity policy wasn't helping ED students in 2001 or 2009.  If we factor in the direct impact and cost of the policy (including opportunity cost of what we didn't do that may have actually worked), I believe the it was a net negative for the school district and the ED students in WCPSS.  If we factor in the cost of the policy with regards to our communities and public support for WCPSS, the cost is enormous and long lasting.  I'm also fairly certain that many of the administrators over at WCPSS (starting with Mr. Burns) and BOE members like Mr. Hill knew it wasn't helping ED kids which is why they changed the discussion to "healthy schools" without ever defining exactly what that meant.  I actually cannot believe we are still to this day debating whether or not this policy works and have WCPSS BOE members who want us to return to it.  One can only wonder what on earth their motivation is?

...

One can only wonder what on earth their motivation is?

To create a viable social order.

 

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/looking-at-what-wake-countys-magnet-schools-could-be-like-demographically-without-the-program#comment-267997#storylink=cpy

Two things...

(1) Burns' reputation was wrapped up in the diversity policy.  That's why, to this day, he still calls it a success -- to admit the truth would have made him look like a phony.

(2) They are motivated by emotion, not by logic.  It's doing things that feel good, even if they're not effective.

Burns was a phony

The boards that served under him were even worse.

(1)  Even I have admitted

(1)  Even I have admitted that I was wrong (to Dan nonetheless) 2x in one week.  Burn's inability to admit the truth shows his true character.  I don't think anyone would have thought less of him if he had said, "We thought it was a good idea, all the great education researchers thought it was a good idea, but it just didn't work...time to move on to plan B."

(2)  True, but it sure doesn't feel good to watch the ED scores tank year after year.  If it was only emotion, you'd think somebody would have woken up at some point and said, "Hey, we've got to try something else!"  I tend to think it's more than that....I think its rooted in their core belief system that they believe, if given enough time and money, "they" can keep tweaking and adjusting their grand plan until its "perfect".  So they keep digging and digging.  The problem is, there is never enough time or money...

First, I don't believe you

First, I don't believe you can compare the testing results from 2011 all the way back to 2001 as they are completely different test.  The best comparison (likely available) is ED number for WCPSS vs the ED number for the state.  As the ED % for WCPSS is and has nearly always lower higher than the state average, you'd expect the ED scores to be higher than the state average.  In 2001, your point of reference, WCPSS ED scores were only 2 % pts higher than the state average.  Let us keep in mind that NC is not considered one of the premier states with regard to education so I don't think being 2% pts higher than the state average isn't much evidence that the diversity policy was having any positive impact whatsoever.  It's more likely that the lower ED% in WCPSS vs the state was the biggest factor.  Think about how rural most of NC is and then think about WCPSS.  An ED student in WC is not the same thing as an ED student in much of the rest of the state and yet WCPSS ED students were only 2% pts higher.  That's actually pretty embarrassing.  Now you're telling me we're actually worse than the the state of NC!  That tells me the policies of the past 10 or more years have not only not helped but may have actually done damage to this group of students. 

First, WCPSS should return any awards they were given in the past 15 years.  Next, WCPSS should be running as far as possible from any policy that mentions the word diversity.

"Think about how rural most

"Think about how rural most of NC is and then think about WCPSS.  An ED student in WC is not the same thing as an ED student in much of the rest of the state and yet WCPSS ED students were only 2% pts higher."

I know exactly how rural most of NC is....I grew up in Edgecombe County, one of the poorest counties in the state.  My parents still live there.

As for your bolded comment, I think it's correct, but I think you see it opposite of reality.  I believe that an ED student in Wake County is much more likely to come from a family that is struggling to pay rent, buy food, and just live than an ED student in a more rural area.  I don't think for a second that it is accurate to think that Wake County's ED students are somehow brighter than other counties' ED students.

"As the ED % for WCPSS is and has nearly always lower higher than the state average, you'd expect the ED scores to be higher than the state average."

Huh?  No matter which way you actually intended this to read, it operates on the assumption that WCPSS ED students are somehow of a different academic caliber than other counties' ED kids, which I've already said I believe is a flawed assumption.

I also think it's a mistake to try to draw any relevance from WCPSS' ED percentage as it relates to other counties, because WCPSS' ED population would probably be top 25 in the state if you carved them out of WCPSS and made them their own district.

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/comment/reply/50072/267993#storylink=cpy"
Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/looking-at-what-wake-countys-magnet-schools-could-be-like-demographically-without-the-program#new#storylink=cpy

I wasn't saying WC ED

I wasn't saying WC ED students were brighter than the ED students in other parts of the state, I was speaking about the resources available to the ED students in WC vs those in other parts of the state. Resources with regard to public libraries, museums, resources in our schools etc. I guess it goes to show how you and I think differently. I don't think any ED student is less bright than anyone else. In some of our most rural areas, in addition to a lack if educational resources, there is often a lack of a sense of importance in education that can be reflected in lower ED scores in those areas too.

Sorry for the choppy sentence...poor editing on my phone again.

I was attempting to say that WCPSS has almost always had a lower percentage of ED students per capita than the rest of NC. Therefore, they have more resources per capita to cover the cost of educating those students. This is the same argument you make for distributing ED students around to many schools. Because they have a lower ED percentage, WCPSS's ED scores should always be better that districts with much higher ED populations.

I have no clue what your last comment is trying to say but it appears you are again misunderstanding when to apply percentages vs amount.

Am I supposed to use a Ouija

Am I supposed to use a Ouija board to know that you're talking about resources when you say a WC ED student isn't the same as a non-Wake ED student?  It seems like you should have said "A Wake County ED student still has a lot of resources available" or something else much different than what you said....especially if you're going to talk about how we "think differently" as though you're ultra-enlightened.  I read your sentence, and determined what you said based on what it said.  Believe it or not, I can't read your mind and know what you meant to say.

"In some of our most rural areas, in addition to a lack if educational resources, there is often a lack of a sense of importance in education that can be reflected in lower ED scores in those areas too."

Good to know that sometimes it is OK to stereotype.

"I was attempting to say that WCPSS has almost always had a lower percentage of ED students per capita than the rest of NC. Therefore, they have more resources per capita to cover the cost of educating those students. This is the same argument you make for distributing ED students around to many schools. Because they have a lower ED percentage, WCPSS's ED scores should always be better that districts with much higher ED populations."

That logic just doesn't work.  If it did, Wake County wouldn't be near the bottom of the state in per-student spending.  Having the money and spending it on education are two different things.  One difference is that rural districts don't have to put so much money into maintenance or new buses or whatever other overhead costs WCPSS has to deal with by the truckload.  The district where I grew up only has one new school since I attended (not counting the Early College, which is located on the community college campus), and it was a building that was rebuilt after Hurricane Floyd flooded the old one. 

We just choose different times to use percentages versus amounts.  You think it's important to note that WCPSS is "only" whatever percentage ED compared to some other county that may be 75% ED.  I think it's worth pointing out that WCPSS' "only whatever" is probably 30 or 40 thousand kids, while the other district only has 8000 kids total.

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Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/comment/reply/50072/268025#storylink=cpy

If you do not see how stupid

If you do not see how stupid and inconsistent that statement is regarding the percentage vs amount of ED students in the district is , I honestly do not know why I bother debating with you.

That's really helpful. 

That's really helpful.  Thanks for that fresh perspective.

You talk about Wake County's bigger pot when it comes to funding, but you seem to want to ignore all the hands that are reaching into that pot.

In 2011-12 Wake County had 48,881 FRL students and 19,587 ESL students.

The FRL school district would have been the  6th largest in NC last year.  The ESL district would have been 18th.  But, they were all in the same district.  That creates problems, it doesn't solve them.  Sure there is a lot of money available....but if it was enough would you be constantly giving ultimatums about what has to be done before you approve a tax increase?

A rural district has different problems than Wake County.  But, those problems don't automatically mean that one should do better or worse than the other. 

You have done nothing but

You have done nothing but beat in our heads how important the percent if ED is within a school with regard to the pwrformance of those schools. I'm simply applying that same logic to the level of the school system. Whether there are 20 ED kids in a school of 100 or 200 in a school if 1000, the strain on that school is the same. The fact is that many school districts across NC have ED percentages of 50 to 70 percent. The percent is what matters because in WC there are plenty of NED parents to pick up the slack all over. One of the reasons the PPF can remain low in WC is because of the low ED rate. The point is that in 2001, that ED rate was very low relative to the state of NC, a state of poor academic performance to begin with, and WCPSS's ED students only scored 2% points better than that terrible performance. You tried to claim that as a "victory" or at least evidence that the diversity policy was working for ED students. What a JOKE! If that is your standard for success, no wonder you think WCPSS is doing a good job. WCPSS has far more resources than the average school system in the state of NC due to the large numbers of affluent parents that help the schools out in countless ways. They also have to spend less attracting teachers, and teaching the predominantly NED kids in the system who come prepared everyday. WCPSS's performance with ED kids has been dismal for over 10 years. You can only not see that if you dont want to.

"Whether there are 20 ED

"Whether there are 20 ED kids in a school of 100 or 200 in a school if 1000, the strain on that school is the same."

I don't think that's accurate.  I know that you're playing percentages again, but the fact is that in today's budget realities, both of those schools are likely to have one reading specialist.  Which group of kids will be able to get more help?  Which school is likely to have smaller overall class sizes, which equals more individual attention from the teacher?

"The point is that in 2001, that ED rate was very low relative to the state of NC, a state of poor academic performance to begin with, and WCPSS's ED students only scored 2% points better than that terrible performance."

ED students are (typically, not always) harder to teach.  NC has a lot of them.....pretty much always has.  But, with magnet schools, a gazillion AP courses, and all the other extras that WCPSS offers to non-ED kids, it's not like they are cheap to teach.  And it's not like there aren't thousands upon thousands of kids after those extras in WCPSS.  WCPSS has tons of demands from the brightest students and their families, and tons of needs from other students.  And it's not like the size of WCPSS doesn't require a lot of highly-paid administrators that a smaller district wouldn't need.  All of those expenses are a part of that per-pupil spending number, and the fact that WCPSS isn't close to the top in NC is an indictment of the system, not a feather in the cap.

 

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Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/comment/reply/50072/268043#storylink=cpy

The budget realities are

The budget realities are based in a PPF rate which means the school system with a higher percentage of ED students will have less money to spend on each of them. Your reading spec ex is also false as a school with only 100 kids will either not have one at all or will share one with many schools.

Your explanations are so ridiculous they clearly show desperation to defend a policy blindly. That is what is sad.

The sad part...

is that, not withstanding all these numbers and arguments you put up, you still have no solutions to offer as usual (other than putting all the ED kids in separate schools so they "can get the attention they need"). 

I don't suggest we "put"

I don't suggest we "put" anyone anywhere, just assign based on proximity and the respond to the individual needs of the schools and the students in them.

I have provided more solutions on this blog than you, Dan and all your lib buddies combined.

"According the

"According the ncreportcards.org, in 2001 61.4% of ED kids passed their English and Math EOGs.  63.7% black and 70% Hispanic passed both.  The ED number was ~2 points ahead of the state average, the racial numbers were ~7 and ~8 points ahead of the state average.

In 2011, the ED number had dropped to 49.3%, ~ 4 points below the state average.  The black number was 54.5%, ~1 point below the state average, and the Hispanic number was 62%, 1 1/2 points below the state average."

The time frame you chose to illustrate performance under diversity is interesting.  2001 was about the time that the Massengill Manifesto was implemented.  Before that time, we had magnet schools in inner city schools, where Raleigh and suburban NED students were given an incentive to go to the magnet schools.  Because they were very distant from the outer edges of the county, not as many of those families could face the time/distant cost of going to magnet schools, but they were able to stay  in good schools in their community.  This was the situation my family was in, and I was OK with it.  Having grown up in a rural school district with an hour-long bus ride and having experienced the horrors that bored, unsupervised older kids can perpetrate on other kids during an hour long bus ride, I wanted no part of that for my kids.  I chose to give up the goodies of magnets in return for keeping my kids in a local school.

Then, around 2001, started to really mess things up.  There was a huge need for new school seats in Western Wake.  Instead, WCPSS chose to build to brand new elementary schools near the South Raleigh/Cary border, both within a mile of an existing school.  When the nearby sububanites rejected the schools and entered the magnets in droves, WCPSS then started bussing in western Wake students to fill the seats in these schools that had been purposely built inside the "busable rim" rather than where there was a gaping need for seats.  

Prior to this, WCPSS had an equity of sorts in its diversity plan.  Before 2001, the only kids who were bussed long distances to schools were either kids who voluntarily chose to go to a magnet to get better programs, or low income kids who were bussed to a more distant school in the hopes of putting them into a better learning environment.  Then Massengill came in and started purposely weakening the non-magnet schools, and WCPSS began bussing the outside-the-beltline kids long distances to schools that were not as good as their nearby schools.

I maintain that the more equitable approach to diversity was working.  Then the state put in the high -stakes testing, and all of a suddent schools with higher proportions of high needs kids cried foul because they were competing for the same ABC's for Education bonuses against schools with lower concentrations of high needs kids.  Instead of looking at the needs of WCPSS families, WCPSS listened to the cries of "No Fair!" from teachers and became obsessed with trying to spread the low income children around.  When we were only looking at the ABC's scoring, spreading the low performing kids around served the purpose of making the scores on various schools look more equivalent.  Once No Child Left Behind testing came in and all of a sudden we started looking at the performance of various subgroups (by race and economic status), though, it was clear that spreading the kids around was more about dilution of poor scores than actually addressing the needs of the high needs kids.

 

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/looking-at-what-wake-countys-magnet-schools-could-be-like-demographically-without-the-program#comments#storylink=cpy

2001 was as far back as data

2001 was as far back as data went on the ncreportcards site, and I don't know where to look for older information.

The scores actually got better for the next 2 or 3 years, then they dipped, then they dropped off of a cliff.

"I maintain that the more equitable approach to diversity was working."

I agree.

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The Tests....

There too many factors to take into account regarding the test scores.  The renorming of the tests and the students being allowed to retake the test these last few years could be the reason for the drop/increase.   Next year the test scores will probably drop as WCPSS adopts the common CORE.  I know a lot of people will point to the DEMS being in control for the drop, but that wouldn't be fair.  I personally look at my kids scores.  If I see continuous improvement I'm happy. 

Calling it "mindless

Calling it "mindless blathering" is just your way of dismissing something for which you have no arguement....you've proven that time and again.  The Republican school BOE wasn't seeking a Utopian vision, that's not how conservatives think.  They were simply seeking to bring forth a simple and proximity based assignment policy that is based on personal liberty...period.  Allowing personal liberty is the exact opposite of attempting to create Utopia.  That being said, they failed in that effort because they chose to compremise due to the extreme pressure placed on them by the diversity crowd calling them racist.  Out of that compromise arrose the "Choice Model".

As to your ED comparisons, they are frankly invalid based on your own criteria.  In other words, if ED students drag down a school then they most certainly drag down a school system!  By comparing WCPSS to CMS and the state of NC during those years is complete invalid as the F&R percentages are wildly different.  No one is arguing that it doesn't cost more to increase the performance of F&R students.  Therefore, when WCPSS had 24% F&R, they had more resources available to them to meet those student's needs.  When the # ballooned to 32%, they had less and were more like CMS and the rest of NC.  If you want to see if the diversity policy worked, you have to compare ED performance at the different schools within WCPSS, not outside of WCPSS.  When you do that, you will find that the %ED at a school does NOT correlate with ED performance.  That is the valid comparison.

The Republicans most

The Republicans most certainly had a Utopian vision.  It was one where we were going to send every kid to a school close to home, and then that school was going to become a hub of the community.  Churches and businesses would magically open up tutoring programs for struggling kids, which is how we were going to be able to adjust for not having adequate funding.

Like I said...you just refuse to see it for what it was.

As far as your last paragraph is concerned, I don't think that the overall district performance for ED kids is an irrelevant statistic.  But, even if we assume you are correct, and that it is irrelevant, your argument seems to be that lack of proprer funding is the root cause of the poor ED performance, and I don't think there is much argument that the diversity policy was an attempt (no matter how unsuccessful it may ultimately have been) to do more with less funding.

I find it a bit odd to draw school-specific conclusions and consider them absolute.  If the diversity policy was in effect, and assignments were done according to it, there's no way of knowing (that I'm aware of) if students affected (or not) by the policy would have done better (or worse) at different schools.

If a kid was bused 15 miles across the county, and still made a 2 on his EOG, that doesn't automatically mean he wouldn't have gotten a 1 if he'd been assigned at a school closer to home.

If the bus ride itself was a bad thing, wouldn't students in magnet schools suffer?  Enloe is thought to have some of the most challenging programs in WCPSS, and plenty of its students are "bused", so shouldn't they be struggling?

...

I don't think there is much argument that the diversity policy was an attempt (no matter how unsuccessful it may ultimately have been) to do more with less funding.

Can you explain what you mean?

 

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/looking-at-what-wake-countys-magnet-schools-could-be-like-demographically-without-the-program#comment-267911#storylink=cpy

You clearly do not

You clearly do not understand what Utopianism is....

What you describe as the "Republican" vision is nothing more than liberty and allowing the natural social behaviors of people to run their course.  Utopianism is where you set up a structured "perfect" society through as series of rules that everyone must conform to.  That's far different then saying, "Here's your community school....have at it."

Additional resources helps ED performance.  I fully believe that.  The busing policy was originally a solution to that, albeit it was a flawed solution.  The problem is, the powers that be knew it wasn't helping ED students and so they changed the criteria for success to "healthy schools". 

I'm not asking you to look at one school vs another school.  WCPSS has a lot of schools.  You look at the correlation (or lack there of) between ED% and ED performance across ALL schools.    If sending ED students to low ED schools helped their academic performance, it would show up in as a positive correlation in that comparison.  That's a pretty powerful comparison and there is no correlation.  In fact, many of the worst schools for ED performance had the lowest ED population and vica versa.

I simply do not understand you last comment.  "Busing" alone is not the problem.  Busing an ED kid whose parents are less likely to be involved in the first place may be a problem.  The biggest problem is that there is no educational stratedgy to deal with the ED kids at large.  When they are spread about, the effort is further diluted.  FYI-the ED kids at the magnet schools did not fair very well during the busing years, particularly at Enloe.

Look at the base maps!

I really hope that they look at the base maps as they look at this magnet data. In the 'Magnet School Alignment with Magnet Principles' chart, I was very happy to see that they had a category for what the schools would look like if they were all proximity based, but the criteria is still skewed.

Look at Underwood. That school rates a 'green' on all categories except for Proximity Demographic. If a school was only filled by proximity students and would be 'healthy', getting a white rating, then how can that same school also score a green for how well it lowers the F&R and minority student %? Because the base is skewed. IIRC, Undewood has four base nodes: 2 are next to the school and are low F&R and 2 high F&R nodes are bused in from downtown, giving Underwood an overall base F&R of 60%. But that is deceiving since it's not a true base. If you have to bus in your low income kids, then I don't think they should count as your base in determining how well you align with magnet principles.

From another viewpoint, E Millbrook only rates a yellow for all but one category. The percentage of magnet students is quite low at E Millbrook (less than 20%), which means that the magnet program doesn't significantly lower F&R or minority percentages. But that is completely due to the assignment policy. For whatever reasons, GM and previous BOEs set it up that way. E Millbrook is doomed to rate poorly on this metric but it has nothing to do with the location of the magnet program. It has to do with assignment decisions made in the past.

YES...  I think (skimmed

YES...  I think (skimmed it) generally all "group 1" magnets are about in the same boat.

Some group 1s are in the

Some group 1s are in the same boat but others are not. Brentwood, Smith, and Millbrook ES are some I can think of off the top of my head. But for schools like Hunter, Ligon, Washington, and Fuller, they bus out a lot more of the local students so their minority and F&R percentages go way down.

My dear friends..

do not worry.  The fact that the magnet grant is a desegregation grant is immaterial.  The good General Tony Tata will explain it to us, in simple, easy to understand logic at the upcoming State of the School System presentation.  The mere fact that it is being held at SERHS, means that he is not, nor has ever been a bigot.--simply look around. 

The costs of replicating magnet programs across the county pales in the face of what recurring program expenses the Good Gen. TT has incurred so far, while failing to maximize facility usage--pearls before swine.

He will not be with us for long, his talents and vision will be needed elsewhere and thus, he will leave us for other opportunities.  We who cannot understand the vision, are left to our own devices.

General Tony will share everything we need to know about the magnet program which has been in place in this county since 1982 in due time.

 

Do not fear...

What would they look like?

I guess they would look like every other school.  That would be terrible wouldn't it.

How about some coverage on schools that change the children's tracks without notifying them, instead of some crystal ball blog post?

Yes newcomers, this happens here.  As well as other things you won't hear about unless you ask those affected.

Not that interesting

Not all minorities are poor. Just thought I should share that little fact.

Yes, of course, and that is

Yes, of course, and that is exactly what makes it interesting...

What would Wake County's

What would Wake County's magnet schools look like....?

Interesting choice of words Mr. Keung...

But the difference is even more noticeable when you look at the specific racial demographics.

So...the magnet program shuffles kids more by race than by income.  Interesting...

...particularly those inside the Raleigh Beltline

And the greatest effect is within the Raleigh Beltline....Also interesting....

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/looking-at-what-wake-countys-magnet-schools-could-be-like-demographically-without-the-program#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/looking-at-what-wake-countys-magnet-schools-could-be-like-demographically-without-the-program#storylink=cpy

Good grief.

Good grief.

Yes, Dan, we know you're

Yes, Dan, we know you're fine with profiling children based on the color of their skin. 

How about interrogating those Muslims at the airport too?  Or how about rounding up and questioning any white male that shaves his head? Perhaps we should just ban all white males, ages 20-30, from owning a gun? 

Exactly how much liberty are you willing to sacrifice based on your profiling schemes?

None of your comments in

None of your comments in this thread have any real meaning....they are just mindless ramblings.

TKH wrote a quick blog post about a report that was prepared for the school board, and you're acting like it's some sort of propaganda piece.  You were silent last week when he quoted massive amounts of an article published by Civitas.

If you're going to complain, complain all the time. 

Statistics show that high-poverty schools cost more if they are going to be effective.  The fact that proximity-based assignments would change the makeup of magnet schools matters in light of those statistics. 

You continue to ignore/devalue statistics that you don't like, while making post after post with statistics that you approve of, even if you have to make them up.

TKH wrote a quick blog post

about this "what if" non-story, but couldn't be bothered to whip up another quick post about the families whose lives were affected drastically because of un-notified forced changes by their school, and this school system, because that school, and this school system, can't manage their year round scheduling fiasco.

Interesting.

You do have to admit that it

You do have to admit that it is a pretty big story that WCPSS staff can indeed formulate an assignment policy, fantasy or otherwise, based on drawing geographical circles around schools.

Statistics show that

Statistics show that high-poverty schools cost more if they are going to be effective. 

Do magnet schools not cost more?

What is the uncalculated cost of shipping kids all over the county and creating unstable and illogical patterns of re-assignment?  What is the cost to suburban communities who end up having to hope for magnet slot or bear the brunt of the children being shipped far from their homes without additional Title 1 funding? 

It cost (at least) the same to effectively teach low-income students no matter where they attend school.  WCPSS just chooses to spread that cost around and then no pay for it.  Therefore, because they are not paying for it, the academic performance of the ED students suffers greatly.  What is the cost of that?

Finally, due to the disrespect of suburban parents and the dismantling of their neighborhoods and communities so the Dems can engage in this failed social experiment year after year, you can count on NOT getting support for a tax increase to fund schools or build new schools.  What, Dan, is the cost of that!

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/comment/reply/50072/267808#storylink=cpy

What is the cost of railing

What is the cost of railing against an assignment policy that doesn't exist?

"What is the cost to suburban communities who end up having to hope for magnet slot or bear the brunt of the children being shipped far from their homes without additional Title 1 funding? "

What is the cost of that statement.....to your credibility, coming on the heels of all the "I don't mind paying for extras for poor kids as long as I get a proximate, stable assignment for my kid"??  Especially considering your kids (just like mine) have pretty much always had proximate, stable assignments...

"It cost (at least) the same to effectively teach low-income students no matter where they attend school. "

That's not necessarily true..especially for K, 1st, and maybe 2nd grade students.  If you take a class of 24 ED kids, divide them up, and put them into 6 different classes of NED kids otu in the suburbs, here's what happens:  1) a parent or two show up almost every day of the week to help their teacher; 2) those parents help out with group time; 3) the teacher is able to take those kids who may need more help (which doesn't necessarily mean they are the ED kids) and focus on their needs for a significant amount of time while the parent(s) help the other kids; 4) every child benefits from the increased individual attention.

I've seen that happen with my own eyes.  I know it's real.  It's not some liberal education fairy tale.  I also know that growth made the diversity policy unmanageable as it was and it needed to change but no one would change it.  Don't take my support of the idea behind the diversity policy as support of it for what it became before it was tossed aside.

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/comment/reply/50072/267819#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/comment/reply/50072/267819#storylink=cpy

There you go again....trying

There you go again....trying to suggest I can't make an argument against something unless I've been (in your eyes) directly affected.  The truth is, the treatment of parents and the dismantling of our communities by the previous assignment policies has affected all of us.  The existence of the magnet program prevents any type of special program or even adequate AG programs from developing at the non-magnet schools.

The statement you "bolded" is 100% in-line with what I've said before.  The "shipping" of students absolutely affected proximity and stability for people in the suburbs.  As it has been, we (as a whole) didn't get proximity, didn't get stability, didn't get access to programs, didn't get sufficient funding for AG, etc and weren't allowed to develop those programs for fear it would compete with the magnets.  Once those things are reversed, I support extra funding for high poverty schools.

For every ED kid you think gets extra attention in the classroom because some white suburban mother is helping out, 3 more are being ignored and their mother's can't get all the way out to the school to even meet the teacher.  You like stats so much, take a look at the more than of decade of data clearly showing that the diversity policy didn't help ED students at all and may have even been harmful to them. 

I still "rail" against the diversity policy because 5/9ths of the current BOE wants to bring it back!  There current actions with the magnet program make that perfectly clear.

Your 2nd paragraph is

Your 2nd paragraph is completely past tense, which makes sense because the policy you're arguing against is history, too.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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