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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Mayors split on new school board majority

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You could tell that Wake County's mayors were in two different camps at Friday's breakfast meeting with the school board.

As noted in today's article by Sadia Latifi, the Western Wake mayors had praise for the new school board majority. The Eastern Wake mayors were less excited at the change in school board leadership.

"Thank you for bringing a more responsive attitude to the school board," said Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly at the meeting. "Families and taxpayers are demanding changes in Wake County schools."

But the Eastern Wake mayors lobbied for more resources. Along the way, Wendell Mayor J. Harold Broadwell took a swipe at the new school board majority's opposition to the diversity policy.

"I am a product of diversity..." Broadwell said at the meeting. "I benefitted from kinds who came from better backgrounds from me."

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I have an idea! Why don't we

I have an idea!

Why don't we split WCPSS in half? Western Wake gets the new board majority and Eastern Wake can have their old board back (minus Ron of course).

I find the Knightdale &

I find the Knightdale & Wendell mayor's support of the status quo/old board amusing. The diversity policy does NOTHING for those schools. WCPSS freely admits that there is little busing in Eastern Wake. There is nowhere to send their low income kids and WCPSS knows that it cannot send middle class Raleigh students that far away. Their parents won't stand for it.

So under the current diversity policy, all of Eastern Wake's schools are over 40%, with most being over 50%. Eastern Wake schools have the least amount of academic opportunities, but their students have the least chance of getting into a magnet. Even though WCPSS knows that they have fewer academic opportunities and purposely gives them the least chance of getting them in a magnet, they have refused to do anything about improving academic opportunities. "There's too many low performing, poor kids in those schools to offer those classes".

So what have Wendell, Zebulon & Knightdale gained from this diversity policy? Truly, how has this policy benefitted them?

...

Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen loves WCPSS so much that his kids are in private school.

 

Nice.  I couldn't

Nice.  I couldn't understand why he was backing Rakestraw until somebody pointed out that he's a partner in Meeker's law firm.  I think that was the relationship.

Correct. Killian's support

Correct. Killian's support has nothing whatsoever to do with schools, he is just Mayor Meeker's and BoE member Ann McLaurin-Meeker's buddy.

OT-Possible Library Closing

Southeast Regional Library in Garner may close in August. This library is one of the busiest in the county and is a vital resource to many students in the area. Families and students go to the library to access computers and the internet to do research for school. Many of these students walk to the library and may lose access to a library if SERL was to close.

garnercitizen.com/2010/01/wake-county-plans-to-close-southeast-regional-library-in-garner/

If you wish to support the cause to keep the library open you can join the facebook page
facebook.com/pages/Garner-NC/Keep-Southeast-Regional-Libray-Open/261952067897?ref=ts

and sign the online petition
petitiononline.com/SERL/petition.html

Interesting...

If the article is right and 25% of kids in Cary are being educated outside of the public school system, that's a real problem for future support of the district. Those parents, presumably largely affluent, well-educated and VOTING, would ordinarily be the school district's biggest supporters. If the district is to be properly funded with involved parents, it desperately needs those supporters. If that pattern continues, the district will slowly evolve into a 3rd rate school district.

This is the elephant in the room that the pro-diversity supporters are missing: the district cannot serve poor kids by driving away affluent parents.

Bob,  What will happen to

Bob,

 What will happen to affluent parents left in high poverty community zones.  They will move or leave the system, just like Charlotte.  Since Charlotte moved to neighborhood schools, the number of people to leave the system has increased, and is a good deal higher than Wakes.

I do agree WCPSS needs the support of all parents, and driving away affluent parents is not helpful, but as well we should not create public schools that require a high end mortgage to attend.  There definately needs to be change, but the current path of division and balkinizing our County will not generate that support you refer too.

Uh...

So, first of all, by "affluent" I meant more than just "non-F&R," as you appear to be using it.   

Secondly, nobody's talking about linking enrollment in a school to the size of a mortgage -- that's a strawman of a talking point from your side.   I live in Wakefield, which is among the more expensive areas in the county and there are plenty of people here who do not have a "high end" mortgage and I know several local families who do receive free or reduced-price meals.   Further, it's a mistake to drive policy based on the very few areas in the county which have the population density of very affluent families capable of creating schools of only their kids.   There just aren't that many wealthy people in the county.   (And, those that live in the huge-mortgage homes would probably send their kids to private schools regardless of the quality of the public schools.) 

Third, there's a view on your side that seems to say "They're trying to push poor students into their own high-poverty schools where they have no options."   But, there are a number of ways of ending the so-called diversity policy that do not end up in that situation.  An obvious example is simply allowing poor downtown families to opt into suburban schools instead of being forced there.  Creating schools in low-income areas that better serve the needs of low-income students (a la KIPP Academy) would also cure those ills that you're concerned about.

The fact is that poor students aren't doing any better in suburban schools than they do in lower-income downtown schools.  (Look at the Elementary EOG scores among F&R students at various schools to see this.)

The division and balkinization is largely happening from your side.  Calling your opposition "resegregationists" is hardly a way to find common ground.

 

KIPP Schools not the Answer

KIPP schools have drop out rates that FAR exceed their Public School counterparts.  Whereas some KIPP schools graduate 90 % or more of the students who stay there for four years, over 60% of the students who enroll in them drop out or are thrown out before they reach their senior year.  The same happens in their elementary and middle schools.  Bottom line is they can expel students and throw out students who don't do their homework and whose parents don't come to volunteer and public schools can't.  If public schools expelled 60% of their students before their senior year, it would be seen as a major crisis even though they would graduate 90% of their students.  With KIPP schools it's a major celebration because they overshadow the bad facts with the good, kind of the way that the school system is accused of doing with the diversity policy.  I don't understand that way of thinking. 

Also, if you let urban minorities choose to go to suburban schools, won't you have the same situation we currently have, or is the reasoning that only the motivated parents/students will choose to go to suburban schools, which would leave all of the high poverty unmotivated parents/students in the urban areas?

I think the current policy that buses some poor minorities over 1 hour each way is ridiculous and unfair.  I also know that to be successful in mainstream society (as a banker or data processor, not as a rap star or pro ball player) that a person has to be able to operate in a white middle class world.  I am just afraid if we put all of our poor children into poor schools that the opportunity gap will widen further for them, even if the achievement gap closes. 

Also, will we really fund these schools equitably?  Dumping all of your Title I money into these schools is not equitable funding (Title I money is already predestined for poor children).  Equtiable funding would involve taking state and county appropriated funds and putting more of them where concentrations of poverty are higher (EX. Schools in Eastern Wake might be funded at $4500 per pupil while schools in Western Wake would be funded at $4000 per pupil).  We all know that the county commisioners would never approve this kind of funding.

There is not easy answer.

Soo...

Be careful about generalizations.  At the Houston school, drop out rate is 0%

http://www.city-data.com/school/kipp-academy-tx.html

Even if the KIPP schools match the drop-out rates of the local school district, the remaining kids are certainly better prepared at the KIPP schools than those in the public schools.  And, that alone, is enough to justify them.   Beating the public schools is, unfortunately, an amazingly low standard.

In any case, KIPP was just an example of an alternative.  There are others.

The county commissioners don't have the level of control that you seem to think they do.

Also, if you let urban minorities choose to go to suburban schools,
won't you have the same situation we currently have, or is the
reasoning that only the motivated parents/students will choose to go to
suburban schools, which would leave all of the high poverty unmotivated
parents/students in the urban areas?

That's a false dichotomy.  I suggest that many "motivated parents/students" will prefer to go to their neighborhood school.  After all, there are costs to going to a suburban school -- long bus rides, inability for parents to be involved, etc...  How, for example, is a parent who relies on public transportation going to get to parent's night at a distant school unserved by public transportation? 

 

Dropout rates in article are for Grades 7-8

The 0% dropout rates reported in the article you referenced were for Grades 7-8.  Not only were they 0% for the KIPP school, they were 0% for the entire state of Texas.  Probably because it is against the Compulsory Attendance Law in most states to dropout before you are 16 years old and there aren't too many 16 year old 8th graders. 

Dropout Rate

Please note that the graduation rate in NC and the dropout rate in TX are different.  Graduation rate involves the number of students that leave with a diploma after 4 years of high school in NC.  Dropout rates in TX involve the number of students who leave school and do not enroll in another school.  The dropout rate of 0% does not reflect the number of students that leave that school over the course of 4 years, nor does it reflect the number of students who do not graduate in 4 years.  For example if I leave the KIPP school and go to Houston Public Schools, as long as I enroll, I'm not a dropout, even if I never attend Houston Public Schools.  In NC, any student who does not graduate in 4 years counts against the graduation rate.  If you graduate with high honors in 5 years, you count against the graduation rate (You don't count statistically as a graduate in graduation rate.) 

I have nothing personally against KIPP schools, in fact I think they are an amazing model for making things work for a large number of children.  What must be noted, however is that you have to APPLY to them, agree to certain CONDITIONS, and be chosen by a LOTTERY.  If high minority public schools had this same set of criteria, you might find they would do much better as well.  Public schools have to take what they are sent, with no conditions and no exceptions.

Graduation rate differences?

Could you please give a reference to your assertion that graduation rate reporting is different in Texas versus NC?

It was my understanding that under No Child Left Behind, states are required to report a 4-year graduation rate based on a standard formula provided by the federal government.

Not sure

Not sure it is different, I just can't find a credible source anywhere that reports graduation rate for KIPP schools.  I know that in Public Schools if a kid transfers from school A to school B in the same county and does not graduate in 4 years he counts against the graduation rate.  This is not the case with kids who leave a KIPP school. 

 It would be more reliable to look at the transiency rate of these schools to see how many students are leaving.  I do not doubt that the ones who stay are doing great.  They have to be committed or they are gone. 

oh wow this gives so much

oh wow this gives so much more explanation behind high drop out rates.  Are lower income populations more mobile?  (do they move more?)

 

Like you, I am not convinced

Like you, I am not convinced that KIPP is the appropriate model for all children.  But one thing to consider:  the students enrolled in KIPP were usually enrolled in the public schools prior to KIPP.  Most of them were not at grade level.  After a time at KIPP, those who stay are often at grade level or beyond.  Yet they have the same parents, home situation, etc.  Why did the public schools not tap into their potential?  If they have parents who are motivated to apply to KIPP and conform to the conditions of the school, why did the public schools not reach them?  In my opinion, the public schools are sending a message to parents that their kids cannot succeed.  This turns off even the motivated parents.  When a school like KIPP comes along, those parents are energized.  I realize that some aspects of KIPP (like longer school days and a longer school year) would be hard to replicate in the public schools.  But I do think that the positive attitude toward the children's potential could be incorporated.

" After a time at KIPP,

" After a time at KIPP, those who stay are often at grade level or beyond.  Yet they have the same parents, home situation, etc.  Why did the public schools not tap into their potential?  If they have parents who are motivated to apply to KIPP and conform to the conditions of the school, why did the public schools not reach them?  In my opinion, the public schools are sending a message to parents that their kids cannot succeed."

Sadly, I can make the same analogy to regular public school ... we homeschooled our four daughters and they learned twice as fast as their public school friends ... they normally only "went to school" from 9-12, homework after lunch and they usually tested two grades ahead of the public school kids ... while I would like to think my kids are bright, really they started with similar potential to the public school kids and just had a more efficient educational delivery system ... so there is so much more potential than is being harvested.

So...

I suspect that the main difference you're seeing is in the one-on-one focus.  If the public schools were able to have classes as small as your kids had at home, they might have been able to achieve similar results with many of their charges.  But, that would be prohibitively expensive.

 

I used to think that

I used to think that before we homeschooled our son. I was more worried about his math when we started, and I had no idea how to teach reading. So I just had him read for half an hour every day. First, I was surprised how many books he read compared to the number he had been reading in the public school. It was at least triple the number. Plus his reading scores shot up. Prior to this, I had figured that the improved performance kids showed in homeschooling probably was the result of one-on-one work. This reading experience convinced me that the schools just hadn't had high enough expectations for him. He could easily have been assigned this much reading in the public schools and probably would have been a much better reader then.

I agree .. forget blogging

I agree .. forget blogging and running around trying to get in a magnet school ... the real return is getting your child to read ... We use to take home 50 books a week from the library and my kids were reading Harry Potter at six ... there vocabulary and writing is far beyond most of the the other kids and it is all due to reading (and not having a TV)... I wish there was a magic bullet for math.

So..

ABSOLUTELY the biggest impediment to math is not learning your multiplication tables cold.  Far too many kids get into 6th grade without a good grasp of the multiplication tables.  And, that involves repetition over a few years (say 2nd-5th grade), because they tend to forget parts that they don't use.

If you don't just instinctively know that 6 x 8 is 48 in elementary school, you'll never be able to factor x^2 - 14x + 48 = 0 in middle school.

Agree Bob ... from 1-5th

Agree Bob ... from 1-5th grade my math classes where working 100 addition, subtraction, mutliplication and division problem every day as fast as possible until it became second nature ... it seems like rote work now but boy did it help ... I feel sad the teacher let kids use calculators now since they seem to be lazy ... what next a handheld eReader so they don't need to read anymore?

Bob, actually, the old they

Bob, actually, the older they got the less my wife was needed ... once kids master the fundamental like reading, add/mult tables and learn to manage their time my wife had less and less to do ... many HS Highschool kids are totally self directed usually learn through remote learning with colleges ... talk to anyone whose kid is in Montessori school which has a teacher with many kids and the kids take their work down, do it and return it .... personally, it seems public education encourges kids to be lazy and have a teacher spoon feed them ...

Hmm...

Could be.  I read a lot of colonial history and have noticed that any education among colonial students was nearly all self-directed -- there were tutors, but most of the work was the student's.   I don't know that would work today.  Heck, I don't know that it would have worked with me in high school.

On the other hand, what I'm reading has a strong survivor bias -- the students who did not perform well under that self-directed education probably ended up not doing very much with their lives, and never had books written about them at all.

 

Same experience

We had the same experience when I homeschooled our son.  I think the low expectations affect all children.

"I have nothing personally

"I have nothing personally against KIPP schools; in fact I think they are an amazing model for making things work for a large number of children.  What must be noted; however is that you have to APPLY to them, agree to certain CONDITIONS, and be chosen by a LOTTERY?  If high minority public schools had this same set of criteria, you might find they would do much better as well.  Public schools have to take what they are sent, with no conditions and no exceptions.  "

 A while back an education professor at Elon posted a comment that KIPP is a good program but not scalable to the whole county.  Given that parents have to sign a contract, and kids have to wear uniform and stay after school (who is going babysit younger siblings?) and go to school on Sat. there will be many who are not interested in this voluntary program.   

It was always interesting that many feel comfortable imposing this structure on poor kids but would rebel if they had to submit to get a good education.

 

 

“Third, there's a view on

“Third, there's a view on your side that seems to say "They're trying to push poor students into their own high-poverty schools where they have no options."   But, there are a number of ways of ending the so-called diversity policy that do not end up in that situation.  An obvious example is simply allowing poor downtown families to opt into suburban schools instead of being forced there.  Creating schools in low-income areas that better serve the needs of low-income students (a la KIPP Academy) would also cure those ills that you're concerned about. “

 

“The fact is that poor students aren't doing any better in suburban schools than they do in lower-income downtown schools. “

  

Bob, you are on to something but let me help you …

 

First, our side has no interest in “ending the so-called diversity policy” without reason.  I have mentioned that our side is interested in student performance.  You side keeps saying that diversity has neither helped not hurt student performance.  Our side keeps saying than find something that does improve performance and don’t blame diversity for all life’s ills.

 

“An obvious example is simply allowing poor downtown families to opt into suburban schools instead of being forced there. 

 

Your quote brings up the question is why do poor people have to opt out of poor neighborhood schools to attend successful suburban schools …. Why aren’t their neighborhood schools top notches too?

 

Again, start with performance …. If having poor kids go to good suburban schools is having serious ramification to their future performance than let’s change things …. Start with improving performance not ending diversity.

 

Finally, think about creating programs like KIPP first and working to end diversity second.   Once suburban parents rid themselves of poor kids that will be less likely to allocate resources for programs like KIPP.

Soo...

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

Recognize that there is a conflict between your position and Perry's.  Perry is saying, basically, that it's impossible to have a "poor neighborhood school" which is "top notch."  You seem to be implying that it is possible.  I agree with you, but I believe that creating those schools will mean substantially breaking away from past practices.  That means doing things like encouraging charter schools targetted at lower-income students, partnering with groups in the community (gasp!  even churches.  What will the ACLU think?)  and creating alternate model schools.

The diversity policy has become a lightning rod of criticism and has clearly failed its essential purpose.  In addition, its presence is really stymying any ability to get to community schools.  Why keep it around?   I agree that I would like to see more concrete plans for targetting lower-income students.  But, that's going to take time.  In the meantime, get rid of the lightning rod. 

IMO, Community schools is not really intended as an alternative to the diversity policy, as many detractors think.  Instead, I think of it as an effort to get desired programs closer to students.  So, for example, if we want our kids to go to a traditional calendar school or an AG magnet school, there's a nearby option.  The diversity policy is only impacted because it makes that model much more difficult to achieve.

The goal is that lower-income students, like every other student, ought to be able to get programs that they prefer in nearby schools.   Students would only have to be bussed outside their community if they chose some lower-interest program that doesn't make sense to be offered everyplace (think a Vo-Tech high school).

 

"Recognize that there is a

"Recognize that there is a conflict between your position and Perry's.  Perry is saying, basically, that it's impossible to have a "poor neighborhood school" which is "top notch."

Hopefully Perry or Support chip in but I think we would all like to see diverse schools but not if it lowers performance .... if diverse schools lead to lower performance, I think most people will come done on performance side .... Bob, I think many progressive feel that there won't be any follow through ... whether you are poor, minority, an indian, etc. it never seems like the power structure fulfills it's promises.   Personally, I would like to see the schools in these poor areas be so good that these folks I refuse to go to Green Hope because their school is much better ...

If there are people truly out their that hate diversity and have a mission to eliminate it, I say that by concentrating on performance and improving the performance of poor kids and showing that kids in their neighborhood schools are heads and tail better than similar ones going another school, it will be an arguement everyone can get behind.

So...

As to your Green Hope point, it sounds like you favor giving poor parents the option to decide whether to send their kids to Green Hope (or whatever school) or not.   That seems like a great first step to me. 

Incidentally, we're (or at least I'm) using "diversity" as a short-hand for the policy of using
family income as an input into student assignment decisions.  It has
nothing to do with the ordinary meaning of the word "diversity."  So,
when people hate "diversity," it's really that policy we're talking
about, not the broader idea that our lives are enriched by being
exposed to people from a large variety of different cultures, religions
and backgrounds.

"As to your Green Hope

"As to your Green Hope point, it sounds like you favor giving poor parents the option to decide whether to send their kids to Green Hope (or whatever school) or not.   That seems like a great first step to me.  "

I think my first cut is that government needs to provide an education.  So they have a certain number of seat and those seats need to be filled.  Ultimately, someone is not going to be happy with the seat they get ... I say too bad within reason ... I like the idea that everyone is happy, has choices but that is not the prime mission of government ... I would prefer the kids who are bussed a long distance speak for themselves ... all I have seen is affluent parents argue against those kids coming to their school not the actual affected people ... the best I have heard is someone has a friend who knows a poor person who is unhappy .... and really, if your goal as a parent is education getting to go to a school of excellence like Green Hope where all the atheletes and band members have uniforms, go on trips, have great teachers and a wide selection of courses what is an extra 10 miles on a bus ... you should understand that .... that need to get the best education possible ... so for people who want to end diversity ... build up the neighborhood school / end the disparity the poor families are asking why my child has to leave our neighborhood school of excellence to go any where ... like you would be  asking ....

"I would prefer the kids who

"I would prefer the kids who are bussed a long distance speak for themselves ... all I have seen is affluent parents argue against those kids coming to their school not the actual affected people ... the best I have heard is someone has a friend who knows a poor person who is unhappy "

This is the reality I have experienced as well, I am not completely distrustful of these folks until I think of reality and I say what, they think we will buy that? 

They openly discuss moving to certain places to "pick" their kids' school based on its health - but then deny the right of poor kids to go to a school of the same "health" (defined by population and testscores, which is part of what they mean).

Ugh. 

So...

As a parent in one of the schools that kids are being bussed to...

I don't care if a student is bussed into my kids' school if his parents decide that's best for him.  I do care that many of those students (and their parents) resent the fact that they're being bussed that far.  When those parents have been given a voice (as in the year-round opt-outs), they've largely chosen for their kids not to be bussed.   Heck, CCAACC made a significant effort to convince those parents to opt-in to year-round schools.

I also don't understand why the district thinks those kids are being helped by sending them to a "school of progress."

Incidently, the fact that my kids' school is a "School of progress" is, by far, my biggest complaint against the district.  I suggest that the district focuses on balancing students instead of on teaching quality.  And, that's one of the reasons I oppose the so-called diversity policy.

Perry, Keep in mind that

Perry,

Keep in mind that to some degree the status quo school policies have already gotten us what you describe.  18% of students are already out of the public school system, and I would posit that a majority of them are from families with incomes above the Wake County median.  While none of us strive to emulate CMS, I'd be curious what percentage of their students are educated outside the system.

hmmm ... I do not think you

hmmm ... I do not think you have that right ... I think you are view it from your side, not theirs... as you know we were part of that group - affluent, homeschoolers - who only entered public education for HS after our children got a good foundation.  People who home school or send their kids to private school value education a lot ... enough to sacrifice a good deal - time, money, etc. ... we don't hate public education or want it to fail  ... in fact all the homeschoolers I knew supported every education bond sent their way ... they worked for passing them even though they did not benefit... actually, we felt sorry for the parents who had to keep their kids in public school because they we missing the best years of their children's lives farming the educational responsibility off to the government....  So, no ... people who home school or are in private school are public school’s biggest advocates because they know how important education is and know many families have to unfortunately rely on it ….

You Are Right On Slinging

Great comments, Slinging! Keith Weatherly's philosophy is who cares about the rest of Wake County, just give me what I want for Apex. Cary's leadership is right in there, too.
Too bad our new school board members have the same idea. Those of us who do not live in Cary or Apex better get involved before we find ourselves in such a mess, we will never get out of it!

Mayors looking out the

Mayors looking out for the interests of the cities they govern. Hmm, perhaps I need to check, but I think that is what they were elected by their constituents to do.

"Mayors looking out for the

"Mayors looking out for the interests of the cities they govern. Hmm, perhaps I need to check, but I think that is what they were elected by their constituents to do. "

I wish the new BOE members did the same and looked out for their district instead of Ron's.

ZZZZZZZZZZ Saying it over

ZZZZZZZZZZ

Saying it over and over again does not make it true. Can't you at least dream up a new fairy tale?

Slinging the Right Arrows

An interesting meeting indeed Keung, considering that area mayors—especially Keith
Weatherly—are largely responsible for the redistricting that has happened in the
Wake County Schools over the past ten years. 

Their willingness to approve new
subdivisions at a blinding pace in an effort to rake in new tax dollars put
unprecedented demands on the school system’s resources and led to the need for
seat capacity that the county just didn’t have. 

The result:  Mandatory year round schools and students being shuffled to fill
new schools and to backfill existing schools. 

Want to know why your child was moved six times in their school career? 
Chances are it’s because they live in an exploding community (Cary, Apex, North
Raleigh, Wakefield, Leesville) where the school system had to build ten new
schools to keep up with growth. 

Someone’s kid has to be moved every time a new school opens, right?

Want to know why mandatory year round schools were needed?  Because our only
other option was to build dozens more schools—at a cost of $35 million each—in
order to find seats for the kids filling the new homes being built in
subdivisions approved by local municipalities. 

Let’s start slinging arrows at the right target:  Town government officials
that create growth policies without considering the eventual impact on the
school system and then sit back and watch while our schools are destroyed and
our community is divided. 

These guys are the real culprits, y’all.  Had they been willing to control
growth in their own towns, we wouldn’t be wrestling with the issues that we’re
wrestling with today. 

I'd like to see you write more about this, Keung. 

The community doesn't seem to understand that the actions of local governments have a direct impact on the school system.  The recent school board election will have little impact on changing our system for the better if mayors continue to approve new growth without considering the consequences of their actions.  

No matter how determined Ron-John and the gang really are to end mandatory year round assignments and to stop redistricting, that's impossible in a community where thousands of new homes---which mean thousands of new kids---are approved by Keith Weatherly every year!

Ending MYR is impossible?

I think not!  All you have to do is be we willing to make the stand and say, IT'S OVER!  Are we there yet?  Doubt it!

To address another of your points, simple, don't build schools you can't fill with all the "new homes". Don't expect a new school to be full its 1st or 2nd year, that should be understood!  You don't dump kids out of other schools, not replace those kids, hmmm, sounds very familiar, to fill new ones, if that's your solution then it doesn't sound like we needed the new school in the first place!  Yes, Apex will need more schools if the Mayor is going to allow a Zillion new homes to be built and that should be factored in from moment one or the projects should not be approved!  Do you think people will want to live there if they know their kids will be bussed to schools 5-10-15 miles away?  I doubt it.  Oh yes, complacent parents will because to them it's just a daycare holding tank anyway and they don't have time to be bothered with a survey or anything else, but I would never consider moving to an area that is going to operate under those conditions.

As for the meeting with the Mayors, Mr. Hui, which 2 Mayors didn't show up?

so all we have to do is SAY

so all we have to do is SAY MYR is over and it will be so? no regard or thought for cost, capacity, utilization, crowding. etc.? you sound like a new BOE majority member, or someone from the Bush/Cheney administration.

And you sound like Patti or Lori!

Apparently no regard or thought was given to any of those aspects when they forced these schools into calendars most didn't want!  We have spent too much for 3 years now on under utilized YR's, and as for capacity, ha, that's been a joke and at MANY schools.  Crowding, what does that word even mean?  There are so few kids in many classes, tracks have collapsed!  Tracks don't collapse in schools that are "crowded"!  We have 17, 18, 19 and 20 in our classes.  How many do you have in yours?

I support the NEW majority to the fullest, although this past week has me concerned a great deal, yet either way, they aren't moving nearly fast enough for me and many others!  I say stomp on that gas!  20 million in cuts has to come from somewhere and I'd rather it NOT be from sending the teachers packing!

Pack Up and Move!

G88KY07 wrote:

You don't dump kids out of other schools, not replace those kids, hmmm, sounds very familiar, to fill new ones, if that's your solution then it doesn't sound like we needed the new school in the first place

 

If new schools aren't going to be filled with students already going to other schools, G88KY07, how would you suggest that they be filled?  And if the spaces created in "other schools" aren't backfilled, wouldn't our system be wasting money by not using it's capacity?

Here's an alternative solution for people bent out of shape when their children are "forced" into new schools because of growth:  MOVE BACK TO WESTERN NEW YORK!

There hasn't been a new school built there in 30 years because it's a miserable place to live---cold weather, crappy universities, struggling economy----but your child will never have to be redistricted again.

Can you tell that I'm really getting tired of people moving here, creating all kinds of growth related issues, and then complaining about the consequences of those same issues.

 

Let me help you out a tad

New schools need to be filled with that mass of growth you are complaining about!

"And if the spaces created in "other schools" aren't backfilled, wouldn't our system be wasting money by not using it's capacity?"

I guess you didn't get the memo then, our system is wasting a bunch of money, because at one school ALONE this past year 150-200 kids were moved out to go to a new one and NOT ONE KID was "back filled"!

AND, incase you have heard, most MYR schools aren't near capacity! 

Sounds like if you're tired of "New Yorkers" maybe you should take off yourself, cause the area is full of 'em and I don't see them going anywhere!  My dearest Penelope.

One More Thing....

G88KY07 also wrote:

I guess you didn't get the memo then, our system is wasting a bunch of
money, because at one school ALONE this past year 150-200 kids were
moved out to go to a new one and NOT ONE KID was "back filled"!

 

This is another example of the simple thinking that is destroying our school system, G88KY07.  WCPSS has 140+ schools and you're worried about the redistricting plan for one. 

Do you really believe that county leaders who have been battling against explosive growth for over a decade now are just flipping coins when they move students from building to building?

Let's see how much you know about the school you refer to:

 1.  Was it over capacity before students were moved?  If so, wouldn't it make sense for the district to not backfill any students to take the seats of the students who left?

2.  Is it in a corner of the county that is growing rapidly, making it likely that more seats will be needed in the upcoming year?  If so, wouldn't it make sense for the district to hold those seats in reserve to handle new growth?

3.  Is it in an area slated to get a new school in the next year?  If so, wouldn't it make sense for the district to wait until all of the filling patterns for the new school and the feeder neighborhoods had been determined before moving any more kids?  Could it be that the district is trying to prevent a second move for students by waiting to backfill the existing school?

I'll bet that you haven't thought through any of those questions, right?  Instead, you're content to harp without fully understanding the sophisticated decisions that go in to filling schools efficiently in a county where growth has gone unchecked because of the irresponsible actions of mayors and town councils. 

Why don't you go and sign up for one of the community groups that helps with student assignment decisions and then get back to me.  By then, you'll have an informed opinion worth listening to.

So..

This question hasn't been answered yet:

Do you really believe that county leaders who have been battling
against explosive growth for over a decade now are just flipping coins
when they move students from building to building?

Flipping coins, no.  But, I don't believe that they're making decisions solely on growth patterns and minimizing disruption to families.  If they were doing that, then they would not have moved students out of the example school until they had kids to move in.  You can't, for example, justify moving kids out of a school this year because you may need the space in a few years.

 

...

"Do you really believe that county leaders who have been battling against explosive growth for over a decade now are just flipping coins when they move students from building to building?"

lovingpenelope...

Who exactly are these leaders that are battling against growth?

 

oh Penelope

Indy is struggling so I thought I'd answer more direct, I thought it might help
1:  NO!
2:  NOPE!
3:  And that'd be another no.
Info that you can build on!

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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