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Margiotta calls for end of magnet program

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School board member Ron Margiotta got some negative reaction from other board members this week when he proposed elimination of the magnet program.

During Tuesday's discussion about whether to continue the year-round consent process, Margiotta said that the recent court ruling give Wake "absolute authority on student assignments."

As a result, Margiotta said they didn't need the magnet program to achieve the goals of reducing high concentrations of poverty, supporting diverse populations and maximizing use of school facilities.

Margiotta then suggested setting up a date to discuss elimination of the magnet program. Rosa Gill, chairwoman of the school board, said Margiotta's request was out of line with the motion being considered.

After the meeting, Margiotta elaborated on his intentions.

Margiotta said many of his constituents in District 8, which includes Apex, Holly Springs and southern Cary, can't avail themselves of magnet schools because they're so far away.

Margiotta said that in the face of a major budget crunch Wake should eliminate the magnet program.

"It's hard to justify the expense of these programs," Margiotta said in an interview. "With some of the money we spend, give the programs to other schools."

He envisions dividing up the various magnet offerings around the county with different programs at each school. Less would be offered than now to save money.

Once the economy gets better, Margiotta said Wake could expand what's offered.


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This whole thing boggles my mind. If WCPSS has ABSOLUTE, 100% ability and authority to assign ANY student ANY where ANY time on ANY calendar, why the need for "magnets" (attracting students)? You don't need to ATTRACT students if you already own and posses the irrevocable power to put students wherever the hell you like.

Sounds like the people in magnets like the perks, and can't separate that emotional attachment to the school (funny, that!) and its programs in the face of the logic that magnets truly are obsolete now that the court has ruled in WCPSS' favor.

Can't have it both ways.

(Where have I heard THAT before??)

It seems CMS has

It seems CMS has reconsidered the value of magnets:

"CMS is committed to increasing educational opportunities for students. Magnet programs are theme based to promote students’ interests, abilities and talents. Researchers have noted that magnet programs promote innovation in teaching and learning, increased parental involvement, greater student engagement, and diverse student bodies that, when added together, can lead to higher student achievement."

"And diverse student bodies." From their website!

Per CMS-http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/cmsdepartments/ci/MagnetPrograms/Pages/default.aspx

I am finished with this useless tête à tête with all of you "experts." I have a job to do, in our public schools, for YOUR children. Do not expect any further response from me, I will not be further goaded into useless badinage. My battle will be where the rubber meets the road. This mindless banter cankers the brain. I'd like to save mine for my classes, not jack......well you complete the rhyme. Adios.


Not an ego, just a lot of

Not an ego, just a lot of time studying my field and practicing it in the field, teaching at both the college and high school levels since the early 1990s. I will not apologize for my educational level nor my passion for the craft of teaching. I have but three questions for you. In what neighborhood do you live? What is your base high school and what are the demographics there? Magnets were designed to attract talented students to inner-city schools that had a disproportionally high number of financially disadvantaged students (with the exception of perhaps Broughton). I cannot speak about elementary or middle schools because that is not where my expertise resides. Nonetheless, the concept remains the same in those schools as it does in the targeted high schools in Wake County. Charlotte-Meck chose to end magnet schools and that system is now the poster child of re-segregation by ethnicity and class. There they now spend more per child to accomplish less than when they maintained the magnet program. Just say that re-segregation based on class or ethnicity is what you really desire and I will leave you to your opinion, as unjustified and transparent as it is.

from concernedteacher

I know I shouldn't waste my time replying

as "concernedteacher"/"HollyRidgeParent" (apparently two usernames are needed for someone with four degrees) has posted s/he is done with the banter, but will respond anyway because I can't stand the patronizing attitude some people have when it comes to those who are low income.

"Magnets were designed to attract talented students to inner-city schools that had a disproportionally high number of financially disadvantaged students"

That statement about attracting students with a certain talent may be true in other places where applicant acceptence is based on test scores. In other words, a noninner-city student actually has to be AG to go to an inner-city AG magnet or actually have a talent in the arts. That is not the case here. Here it is based solely on where the student lives and priority is given to those from overcrowded, non-diverse areas, regardless of actual "talent."

Therefore, I can only assume that "concernedteacher" either 1) does not understand the magnet application/acceptence process here or 2) thinks all noninner-city kids have talent and are needed in inner-city schools because inner-city kids do not possess talents. Even with four degrees a person can be prejudice.

As for the three questions:

You wouldn't know my neighborhood from a hole in the wall because it is small and unmarked by a sign, but includes a wide range of income levels and we are like a big family because nobody gives a care about how much their neighbor does or doesn't make. We treat each other as individuals without prejudices. Base HS is Athens Drive, an ITB non-magnet, with about 40% LI per the 2009-2012 reassignment plan, which BTW is 40% is lower than the really good schools I went to as a kid.

Don't apologize, but please get a clue.

Of course you should not apologize for your education. Educational pursuits are wonderful things. What I find interesting about your comments, however, considering you teach history, is the lack of perspective. I don’t understand how someone, who surely must be well informed of the oppressive nature of segregation, can compare it to parents seeking community-based schools so that their children don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on the bus and get reassigned every year.

You must have performed research as a history student. I suggest some research in how well Wake County is addressing the achievement gap in low income and minority populations. As you likely know, Wake’s approach is to bus kids around based on some convoluted socioeconomic equation. This makes the schools, in general, look relatively healthy. What is not mentioned is that the low performing students remain destined for academic failure, although the are less noticeable. How someone who claims to values education lets this persist is appalling. There are program out there that directly address the challenges of low income students – KIPP (Gaston Co.) and Mission Impossible (Guilford Co.) schools are examples.   

Finally, using a term like resegregation is really just a pitiful attempt to use race as a weapon and is the last bastion of a failed argument. Perhaps it has worked for you in the past and as a whip to assert control over you unfortunate students, but it no longer works as a retort for the folks seeking change in Wake County. We are a legion of parents of every race, color, creed, political affiliation, and gender, and we are sick and tired of the status quo and an arrogant school board that has demonstrated time and again that they think they know what is best for our children.



Magnets were designed to

Magnets were designed to attract talented students to inner-city schools that had a disproportionally high number of financially disadvantaged students (with the exception of perhaps Broughton).


Exactly why we no longer need to waste tax money on them. This problem no longer exists.  WCPSS now has the legal power to assign any student, anywhere. 

This won't be palatable for magnet parents whose oxen are gored, of course. 


"Magnets were designed to attract talented students to inner-city school..."

Talent has nothing to do with magnets. Socio-economic status does. Sad, isn't it?



You missed the point

HollyRidgeParent -

You missed the point of what Mr. Margiotta was saying when he proposed stopping the magnet program.  If WCPSS has the power to assign students to any school they so desire, why is a magnet program necessary any more?  Can't the same diversity goals be achieved at a much lower cost by assigning students exactly where the district wants them to go?

BTW, CMS did not end magnet schools.  They ended magnet schools for socioeconomic diversity purposes, but there are still many magnet schools in CMS such as Harding University High and West Charlotte High.  You can see the entire list here:


CMS spends more than WCPSS because they have twice the poverty rate.  They receive additional state and federal funding that Wake does not receive to compensate for the higher poverty rate.  Black and low income student subgroups in CMS have higher passing rates on End of Course tests for 2007-08 compared to their counterparts here in Wake.

Two master's an M.Phil and a

Two master's an M.Phil and a Ph.D. smarty. Now consider this, if Southeast, Enloe or Garner lose their magnet status and return to neighborhood schools, what will be their demographics? Folks at Cary, or Broughton, Greenhope or Wakefield have no problem with ending magnet now do they? Why might that be? Where do you live? Fess up, but I doubt that you have the guts to do so.
How about sticking to hard facts and not rhetorical, sweeping generalizations.


I'm confused -- I thought you said that your degrees were in History.  You have two masters in History and an M.Phil in History?  (I didn't think you could get an M.Phil in history.)  Or are you counting your teaching degree also?

I live in the Wakefield area.  I'm not a big fan of ending the magnet program, but I do think that it needs some serious restructuring.  

My preference would be to expand the availability of "core" advanced programsso that they're available in all schools, keep "specialized" magnet schools as-is, and possibly add a few (a Vo-Tech magnet seems like a great idea.)  

Sometimes people need to look at more than books

The fundamental goal of the diversity policy and magnet program is to improve the education of the poor, right? Well what do your books say about how it has? You are the one making generalizations. Throwing out degrees doesn't impress me. I have met a lot of "smart idiots" with a PhD and little common sense.  History books, especially those about recent history are often written with bias. That bias is also passed on to the students from the professors that teach. I have seen many a lie and half truth written in recent historical events that I was part of.

How many people have been sucked into supporting the grand-daddy of all anti-poverty programs and didn't know it:

Your study of history should of included other interesting causes or solutions that some people have for poverty, you need to look deeper than the surface sometimes (read these):

Article 1
Article 2
Article 3

BTW- I don't agree with that either on many levels. AND -That one isn't working either. Let's not lie, magnets don't help poor people.

Full disclosure, I am white, upper middle class, and I live in Wakefield. I have at least one AG child. I also like the fact that my child goes to a school near me. I am not in this fight for my children. I had a problem with the MYR conversion of the ES (and it had nothing to do with the schedule) and I removed my youngest to private school. I am not ashamed of that, nor should I be. My sole goal is to champion an excellent equitable school system that gives equal opportunity to all children. That system does not exist in Wake County. I don't agree with supporting policies that don't work.

"The fundamental goal of

"The fundamental goal of the diversity policy and magnet program is to improve the education of the poor, right? "

 Nope .. the goal of diversity policy is healthy schools whether for poor or rich.  The goal is not to end up with all the high needs kids on a few schools (e.g. warehousing) because it puts a lot of stress on the teachers and administration.  The actual scores of the individual rich and poor kids might not change but the teacher burnout and attrition will be lower.

I disagree, the key word is fundamental

If you want truly healthy schools, you have to concentrate on fundamentals at an early stage. If SOME poor children are at a disadvantage because they did not have a good early learning foundation, we need to try to build that foundation. If they don't have family support, we need to compensate. You don't do either by shipping them off to schools where they are at a bigger disadvantage than the vast majority of students.  Magnets doesn't achieve this easier.

Just because a school has lower overall scores, doesn't make it a bad school. The issue with teachers "burning out" is more a function of trying to put a standard of achievement that is unrealistic for some children. IMHO, there needs to be more ability grouping and more flexibility given to elementary schools. If you fix the foundations, the schools overall will become healthier. BTW- I don't believe in "rich only" schools either, they come with their own set of problems. 

Now consider this, if

Now consider this, if Southeast, Enloe or Garner lose their magnet status and return to neighborhood schools, what will be their demographics?


Why, whatever the WCPSS desires their demographics to be, of course.  The WCPSS now has the legal power to assign any student to any school or calendar anywhere.  It's completely up to them what Southeast, Enloe or Garner will look like if the magnets go away.

Changing the Wake Co. Public School Climate


 [One parent tutors three

 [One parent tutors three low income kindergarten children each week. Each, she says, have problems in recognizing and maintaining recognition of the alphabets. When I asked about the potential of dyslexia or the status of testing, she says one child's test "isn’t scheduled for 2 MORE YEARS"! 

A nearby parent said, upon being given the same timeline for her child, forked out over a thousand dollars to have the test conducted more quickly through NC State University.]


VOR – hopefully this illustrates the challenges that LI kids face early on which non-LI families over come.  If you want to have a fair and competitive system, we need to work to solve these “small” problems soon and early and not leave it up to “survival of the fittest”.


“Another child has not learned how to use tableware. The parent working in his classroom was uncertain of how to intervene because, apparently, his own TEACHER has not worked with him in this endeavor. His mannerism causes him to be looked at strangely by his fellow classmates.”


VOR – is that what schools should be teaching?  Do you want you precious tax dollars going to teach about table manners?  Is there an EOG for this?  BTW, my adopted foster daughter also did not know these things at age 12 when she came to live with us.  So, this hits home.


“Some in Wake County are insinuating that WSCA parents are racist and don't 'want our children in their schools'. “


I don’t think this is about race.  It is about class, advancement and income.  Many OTB families have invested a lot of time reading to their kids, teaching them the alphabet, or how to use a fork and want a more challenging offering.   They see kids not of the mold as holding their kids back which is the rub by taking more of the teacher’s time.  Race has nothing to do with it.


What I object to is that while the parent volunteers are counted on - and come through - with lots of extra help and genuine concern for children who are not their own, once they get too close and start to make suggestions about how they could make things better for these little individuals they get slapped with a toxic label. The school system and society can't have it both ways. 

Couple points

Missed diagnosis of learning challenges happens with both LI and non-LI, especially if the student is still at grade level (high IQ, but learning disabled, so still treading water although not at their full potential). I know of one that went four years before being diagnosed and then only because the parents went through NCSU (student has gone from "average" to AG identified). Advocating by parents is very important, which probably happens more in non-LI families. Unfortuneately, many LI parents cannot avail themselves of having their child privately diagnosed. One of the concerns I have with reassigning students so often,  is that those with disabilities whose parents do not see that there may be a problem or know what to do about it, get lost in the shuffle.

OTB families seeing kids not of the mold as holding back their kids --

1) I don't think that attitude, which I do agree exists among some parents, is limited to OTB and actually in my part of OTB, I have not heard people say that.

2) I still think if a school system bases policies on the theory that LI kids cause schools to not be healthy, it can hardly wonder when people start to think that LI kids will hold back their kids. That is why we need policies based on the theory that all kids are individuals and all kids can learn and not that certain groups cause schools to be healthy or unhealthy.

3) I think in some instances where parents have developed the theory about holding back, it was based on a personal experience where their children were in a classroom with differentiated learning levels where the teacher taught to the middle, rather than using a differentiated teaching method. This left their more advanced student bored in the corner. IMHO the teaching method needs to reflect and work with the mix of students. When it does and all the kids are growing at their pace, I don't think there is a rub. I suspect ES is more conducive to differientated teaching than MS and HS, which is why at those levels they start having advanced class offerings.



Good points ... I actually

Good points ... I actually think that we have come as far is if there was a mostly black school ITB that was sending most of their kids to Duke and Harvard, that many white families would be beating the doors down to get in. "IMHO the teaching method needs to reflect and work with the mix of students.”   

Maybe that is the insight ... we can segregate by ability in different schools (warehousing?) and apply resources efficiently to each group separately or we can have a mix of student (diversity) but we need a differential teaching method that allows for a broader range of abilities than "shooting down the middle".


And what exists right now

is a hodge podge of inefficiently applied resources ('wealthy' kids getting magnet resources while many LI do not), inequitable resources (non-magnet schools with higher LI than magnets, but don't get same resources as magnets), and various mixes of students and teaching methods.

Why do you refer to segregating by ability as warehousing? To me, it is only 'warehousing' if the resources are not given to meet the students needs. You wouldn't consider a Votech school that is given adequate resources to set up good programs as warehousing would you?

“Why do you refer to

“Why do you refer to segregating by ability as warehousing? To me, it is only 'warehousing' if the resources are not given to meet the student’s needs.”


Agree... personally, I believe, once the pain is gone I see the energy and funding disappearing too.  Once some people get their kids into their little neighborhood schools they will forget about the bigger world outside their 2 mile radius of friends is my prediction.  So, yes segmentation or segregation might be more efficient but ultimately seems to dry up once the “problem” is not visible.  


So, we don’t need to herd all the F&Rs in one special school close to their home to get hat efficiency.  We can get that special segregation also within a school or within a single classroom (e.g. one room school house).  So, warehousing high needs kids in a few schools is not the only way to get efficiency.


Segregation -the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means b: the separation for special treatment or observation of individuals or items from a larger group <segregation of gifted children into accelerated classes>.

User1234 uses the term Warehousing for one reason

That is to provoke an emotional response to fuel racial tensions. His goal is to try to paint most of us a racists or uncaring, out-of-touch individuals.

He is very predictable.

I guess being from LA VOR

I guess being from LA VOR can only assocate segregation with race ... you can segregate a population by more factors than race you know.  Get out of the 60's

Maybe you have a small point

In my upbringing in South Louisiana the rich and poor mixed just fine. In fact, a lot of the South is that way. In my town an outsider would rarely know who had money and who didn't.

Then again, if your goal is to achieve diversity, what is the positive impact if it's not about race or culture? Do you really think if my children are exposed to "gansta culture" as a norm, they will be better for it? If it's just about rich and poor, parents and churches do a lot better job  than schools in teaching life lessons.

You have some points that I don't fully disagree with user1234

1. Your point about testing for physical disabilities at a young age. I agree and think the public health service should make this happen. My son was screened in another state free of charge in pre-K and found to have a "lazy eye", he has sight today in that eye because of it...we had no idea of the problem because he never complained. Dyslexia is another problem that is often overlooked. But these examples are things that occur at all income groups and yes I do believe public health needs to get involved. The school system should allow and recommend testing, but they are not responsible.

2. Manners. Yes it would be a good thing to teach in public school. And yes I do feel it is part of education. This could be taught, I have no problems with that. But it is not and that doesn't even happen at most private schools. It should, but not graded.

3. I agree it is not about race. I don't think that the economic diversity policy does anything to address your issues though. If anything, a problem that exists in larger numbers, it is easier to justify educational classes to address them. It would be easier and carry less stigma on the student.

Wow ... that is closer than

Wow ... that is closer than usual ..

1) Seems like a worthwhile cost ... why pour $8k of education into a kid who has a problem processing it.

2) Surprise ... I thought you would be all about utility.  NP as long as it does not become junior coatillion and take away from math and science.

3) We actually agree sort of ... there are better ways, more efficient ways, (e.g. KIPP??) ... lets put them in place and see if they are as good as the hype ...

you are wrong, wrong, WRONG

"I don’t think this is about race.  It is about class, advancement and income.  Many OTB families have invested a lot of time reading to their kids, teaching them the alphabet, or how to use a fork and want a more challenging offering.   They see kids not of the mold as holding their kids back which is the rub by taking more of the teacher’s time.  Race has nothing to do with it"

As the "parent volunteer" mentioned I can speak to this directly and you couldn't be more wrong, our school system is NOT SERVING these students and parent volunteers are COUNTED on to make up the differences...that is a IMPOSSIBILITY than can only stem one hole in the dyke at a time, before too long you have gushes, hence  the rising drop out rates, discipline issues, falling test scores....etc.

SOLVE IT?!??!  How are YOU going to solve it, sit and blog all day and ACCUSE people of racism, elitism, class discriminination and more.....unless YOU are IN these schools every day, unless YOU are giving YOUR time FOR FREE to these students every day, your remarks are as worthless as our BoE (eR)

Just a thought

Has anyone considered that maybe Ron Margiotta made this suggestion simply to highlight exactly the kind of power that the Supreme Court has confirmed is in the hands of the BoE. The majority of the BoE has overtly stated that their goals boiled down to "reducing high concentrations of poverty, supporting diverse populations and maximizing use of school facilities." Nothing about academics or happy parents in those goals - never have been right? It may simply be a sly political move on Mr. Margiotta's part to highlight just the tip of the iceberg of changes that they have at their disposal now. They don't have to care about how happy parents are with the magnet program any longer. That concern simply does not fall within the boundries of those goals.

They've been figuratively playing with a gun for some time now, threatening and bullying us with it, and now the Supreme Court has loaded it. D'ya think that Ron has simply tried to warn everyone that the lunatic has the rifle and is headed for the kitchen? (Take cover!)

I wonder.

Sly or Grandstanding

“It may simply be a sly political move on Mr. Margiotta's part to highlight just the tip of the iceberg of changes that they have at their disposal now.”


Some say sly others say grandstanding ….


First, I think since Mr. Margiotta and Mr. Pope are at odds over Magnets it confuses the Republican’s message.  Second, it alienates all the neutral parents who love magnets.  Haven’t magnets been around for 20 years?? And that is a lot of people to piss off.  Third, getting rid of magnets seems to be coming from whites like Ron which unfortunately looks racial on the surface.  Overall, I don’t think the call to end magnets benefits Ron or his cause.

You may correct

about the misconceptions that may occur because so many do not understand the details. They just think, "oh magnets are supposed to help kids." They are not aware or do not think through that the LI kid close to the magnet gets bussed out to a regular school while a wealthy kid from ITB or the burbs gets to take a second language or dance class on the taxpayer's dime.

However, I think while those in magnets who are getting the benefits love magnets, there are many who are in that last 10% pool who may like some of the concepts, but are not happy with the inequitable way the program is run here.


I saw this as pure Machiavelli - Ron jumped the gun and put the turd on the table.  The current board is comfortable, but now using the full extent of their power will be suspect to more people.

Still waiting

On a solid detailed plan Ron has put on the table since he took office? Anyone? Bueller?

Grandstanding was a perfect phrase to use for him.

It seems that Bueller is

It seems that Bueller is not the only one with a penchant for skipping class.

supportwcpss? Answer please.


As I asked you before: What is so wonderful about the current school board policies on diversity and reassignment that they have earned your seemingly undying suppport?

It seems odd that you are so opposed to Margiotta, yet seem to have no idea what he stand for. In summary, it is my understanding that he want to:

Respect and consider parental concerns (the recent school board "listening" meetings demonstrated that the rest of the school board has no interest in this)

Use research as basis for decisions, such as studying whether or not busing for diversity is helping those it is intended to serve

Move toward community-based schools to better and more directly address the challenges some low income comminities face, knowing part of the solution includes greater parental and community involvement (currently policies work against this ideal)

End policies that have proven to be failures and implement alternatives that have been proven successful in other school systems

Spend available funds more responsibly with a focus on education rather than transportation

If you need more details, Margiotta seems to be very responsive to the concerns of parents and would likely answer your questions directly.

I get the impression you have your mind made up and you really have no interest in considering anything except blind support for a school system that is failing many students and families.





If you had read my posts you would know my position on the school board policies so I won't regurgitate yet again.

As for Margiotta I know very well what he stands for as I have been in this system since he came on the Board.  I know his supposed beliefs and lis lack of actually coming up with a detailed plan to solve any of the problems he rants about. 

He doesn't share my views so he is not listening to my concerns. 

 Agree with using research but defining how to obtain that scientifc research is not as easy as just counting up some numbers. 

I strongly disagree with community based schools will address the issue of hig poverty areas.  I have dealt with those areas when I worked in education up in NE.  There was no greater involvement by those who lived 300 ft away vs. 3 miles away. 

If you haven't done any research then you can't say they have proven to be failures.  By your own statement you can't make a conclusion in either direction. 

The school system isn't failing me or the majority of parents I know.  As for the state of the school system across the US - that's a different story - but that story has nothing to do with distance or calendar. 

Just say you have no good answer.

You sure took a long time not to answer my question, but I anticipated as much.

Community schools geared toward the needs of particular communities are most certainly the answer --look at KIPP and Mission Impossible schools as examples.

Your "300 ft or 3 miles" comment is hilarious.  If that is your characterization of the busing situtation in Wake County, you are profoundly unaware of what is going on. I know several students in my neighborhood who attend a  middle school over 20 miles away and are destined to go 15 miles to high school. They do not attend the 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th closest school and are on a bus two hours plus each day. Tell me who is benefitting from that?


Because you never really had a question.  And I don't have to repeat my position every time a newbie comes on to the Board.  Look it up if you are really interested in my views on the policies.

As for these other programs, show me a place where it scales and the associated costs.  Given that I don't believe you have ever worked with the families we are discussing I could characterize you as unware.  And please don't jump to the conclusion that I endorse 20 mile bus trips based on my previous comment. 



Dodging the question is understandable

I had a very specific question, as you are well aware. If you don't have an answer, I certainly understand, as it is very difficult to articulate support for failed policies. As for being a newbie, that is hardly the case. Like your motivation to support our current school board, it seems facts are not that important to you.

It is interesting that you question whether or not I have an awareness of the challenges associated with socioeconomic disadvantaged individuals; sorry to shatter your limited perception, but it just so happens that the work I have done over the past decade involves research and policy analysis pertaining to education and workforce development, with a significant focus on addressing the challenges of those most in need.  Additionally, most of my closest associates have advanced degree in education and have spent their careers serving the interests of students from all walks of life.

Your haughty tone reminds me of the arrogance displayed by the Wake County school board, the majority of which think that they are on the right path even though there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

You win

Since you are obviously too lazy to go back and look at my previous comments I guess I will once again repeat them.  I do not believe the current diversity is implemented succesfully.  I think it is haphazard and does not meet the goals it is trying to solve. 

However, I have talked to parents in this demographic who fully support leaving their base school no matter how far it is.  I've talked to principals who have said the same thing.  Those parents have told me their high F&R base school provides an unstable environment  that only supports a negative interaction as they don't have the time to contribute and be involved because of their current situation.  

So I strongly believe in a diversity policy but believe the current one needs to be redone.  As for it being a failed policy I don't think you can define as failed any more then you can define it as successful.  We don't know and, unlike some black and white people on here, it's not that easy to assess it. 

I find it amazing that you suddenly have all this experience that you had told us about before.  I guess you must also have four degrees.  I won't toot my own horn like you but I have worked in high risk environments and have been involved in very HIGH poverty schools before I decided to stay home with my kids and I doubt you have any concept of these environments on a day to day basis. 

Now it is interesting that you have not answered my question.  Where have you seen these 'successes' scale and what are their costs?  

If you had attended the

If you had attended the Cary forum yesterday, you would have seen a great example of success from Guilford County. 

In the first two years of their Mission Possible program, they made significant progress closing the achievement gap:

Geometry:  Reduced gap from 16.5% to 9.4%

Algebra II:  Reduced gap from 13.3% to 5.1%

Algebra I:  Eliminated gap which was 5.5%, Low-income schools now out-perform by 2.3%

I'd call that a success story, achieved without sending kids all over.

BTW, I agree that WCPSS has done a poor job of implementing policy 6200.  Today, 57 schools are out of compliance.  But, in order to comply, 5,600 more students would have to be added to the already-massive redistricting plan... is that what you are suggesting?

BTW, I have presented specific examples and statistics.  If you don't agree, present the contradicting data and please don't stoop to name-calling.

Curious ... did they reduce

Curious ... did they reduce the gap while maintaining the high-income schools or was the gap reduced by lowering the high income and increasing the low income? "Gap" analysis is so hard to judge sometimes.

btw ... I think people applaud these results but don't know how long support for them will last .... or if funding will dry up ... and things will revert back ... educaton reform runs in cycles and eventually people lose interest and the gap returns ...

Good question.  The

Good question.  The Algebra tests changed between '06 and '08, so the collective results went down (as they did all over NC).  The Geometry test did not change.  Non-F&R performance actually increased by 2.2%.

As to funding, people in Guilford are worried about next year.... no different than Wake County.

I don't think everyone applauds the Guilford results.  The Wake County school board members at the meeting looked very uncomfortable.  During the Q&A, their comments had more to do with defending their own policy than finding out more about how Guilford County made this work.

Once again, a non answer

"Lazy?" I've read your posts; you don't have very much to say and you often just repeat the WCPSS party line.

You've taken 5 paragraphs again to not answer my question. You support the policies of WCPSS yet admit they are poorly implemented and are not achieveing the results that are needed to serve low income students. Please use your powers of articulation to explain that. What is there to support? 

Are you even willing to consider that there may be a better way than busing kids around the county and hoping for the stars to align? I don't know any community school advocate that is against diversity for diversity's sake; it is not about that. It has more to do with a belief that there are much more important factors to consider when developing policies and programs designed to help students succeed.

There is no denying that the Wake diversity policy is a failed one. That is a given. The achievement gap that it is supposed to address remains virtually unchanged. Amazingly, decades of busing has not increased performance in the classroom. Don't you understand why most people are saying, enough is enough?

I don't even understand your comment regarding my experience. I did not suddenly gain anything. You questioned my awareness of socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and I simply explained that I do indeed have some actual experience in that area. I don't know how you can interpret that as "tooting my horn."

It is interesting that you look to me to answer the scalability and cost questions about the KIPP and Mission Impossible schools. I don't know that, but I sure bet the answers are out there. If you were really concerned about finding solutions, you'd ask a different set of questions, beginning with: where do I find out more about these kinds of successful programs? But, it is clear that your interest is disengenuous and you are not open to new ideas.

Remain ignorant if that is your wish. What do I care? In October we will have a new dynamic on the school board and you will get to witness the change that will make a positive difference in Wake County.

 (Your name isn't Patti or Lori, is it?)


You act the way you do and expect respect in return.

I believe in the concept of the diversity policy to ensure we have healthy schools because I have seen what happens to high poverty schools and the majority of the BOE haters (not labeling the group here) don't give a rat's a$$ about this population.  They weren't helping that population before their apple cart was upset and they won't be after.

A cluster idea was floating around a few years ago I believe had some merit.  But those clusters  would have to be much bigger then people expect because of the distribution of poverty in this county. 

I'm looking you and the rest of the BOE haters to provide solid facts about the true  details of this alternative programs.  No one wants to stand up and tell me how much it costs and can it scale to 40,000 F&R kids.  What we found when we implemented pilot programs in high poverty schools was that in almost every case it worked great for a class or a few classes but when you tried to implement for a larger group it fell apart mostly because you didn't have those unique people to implement the project and long term it became very expensive and took an extensive amount of effort that could not be maintained. 

When October doesn't provide your results cna you promise me you'll shut up.

Sorry, No Promises

The only thing I promise you is that I am going to offer my time, talent and treasure to change the dynamic of the school board in October to one that has an open mind to innovation and works in the best interest of ALL students and familes in Wake County. And, if that does not happen, I will only increase my efforts.

By the way, I do not "hate the BOE." I don't waste my time with such negativity; there is no purpose in it. In fact, in all likelihood, the school board members are probably decent individuals; they, except for Mr. Margiotta, are just incompetent in dealing with the educational challenges in Wake County. It is past time for a new approach. 


"When October doesn't provide your results cna you promise me you'll shut up."

What was that you said about respect?  Hypocrite.

"I get the impression you

"I get the impression you have your mind made up and you really have no
interest in considering anything except blind support for a school
system that is failing many students and families."

You nailed it.

Kudos for Ron

Ron Margiotta once again demonstrates that he is the only thinking member of the BOE. How in the world did this nation ever send a man to the moon without magnet and year-round schools, and all the other clap-trap experiments that WCPSS has tried other than discipline, neighborhood schools and teaching the 3 Rs, which is how my generation sent a man to the moon. That first astronaut, Alan Shepard, was a graduate of a one-room schoolhouse; non-magnet, traditional calendar. Parents, frustrated with government schools? You can NOT be forced to send your children to them. There are plenty of alternatives.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.