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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Staff and school board praise for the blue plan

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The blue plan appears to be the favorite over the green plan for Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata and several school board members.

During Monday's news briefing on the plan, Tata spent the majority of the time talking about the blue plan. Relatively little mention was made of the green plan.

"The blue plan seems to be a better fit but I don’t want to prejudice anybody," Tata said when asked if he had a favorite. "The public may have a different perspective.

The research shows that the real issue is growth. Growth has broken the boundaries. We’ve had to reassign children from schools year after year. The blue plan seems to give you a little bit better stability and elasticity to growth. The key is can we get the math right.”

Tata said that the blue plan has also gotten a more favorable response when it's been shared with teachers and school administrators.

None of the school board members who are publicly talking about the plans is saying either option is bad.

But all the GOP school board members, except for Debra Goldman, are saying a lot more positive things about the blue plan than the green plan. Goldman isn't yet commenting on whether the lack of base assignments in the blue plan is a deal breaker for her like it was in October.

"The blue plan to me seems more visionary, kind of looking ahead, being more proactive instead of a reactive plan," said GOP school board member Deborah Prickett.

Prickett said the green plan is workable. But like other choice plan supporters, she says base assignments like those in the green place make it less able to provide stability and deal with growth.

GOP School board member John Tedesco said that while the green plan would give some guarantees up front with a base assignment, there are no guarantees at the back end about not being reassigned.

"I do think that the problem we’ve had for a long time is growth and to manage stability in the face of growth I think can sometimes be challenging when you have to make the base assignments initially, because you have to sometimes trigger reassignment which was causing the problems in the past here," Tedesco said.

Tedesco said the blue plan provides more choice for families.

"The tradeoff is you have to be a little more flexible on the front end," Tedesco said of using a choice plan. "A few won’t get their first choice or second, but once they are in, they can stay in if they want and won’t be reassigned."

Republican school board member Chris Malone said that he likes the blue plan more than the green one even though he said the latter is more familiar to people.

"The blue plan puts the parents in charge," Malone said.

But Malone said that if they adopt the blue plan they'll need to address a point raised by Goldman that Policy 6200 requires base assignments. The one reference to base assignments in the policy is under the choice section where it says "students may apply for a school other than their base assignment."

GOP school board chairman Ron Margiotta said he'd lean toward the blue plan but that changes need to be made before a final plan is adopted.

It was the Democrats who backed Goldman in October when she pointed to the lack of base assignments to kill the plan that was being developed by Tedesco.

Democratic school board member Keith Sutton said both plans have good points but he prefers the green plan. He said that the green plan provides more predictability for parents and schools.

In the case of schools, Sutton said the green plan would make it easier for schools to know how many students they'll have when it comes to determining teacher staffing.

While not reflected in the October vote, Democratic school board member Carolyn Morrison has been more willing to abandon the use of base assignments than the other Democrats. She said she liked the stability that would come from the blue plan and the resulting impact on student achievement.

"As a former principal I know that if I could have children for three years, I could teach them, I could make them a family," Morrison said. "You could know the children, know the families and they could achieve better. But if you’ve got children coming and going, coming and going all the time and you never really get to know the families, it’s hard."

Democratic school board member Anne McLaurin said the blue plan was "more interesting" than the green plan but she likes both. She said they'd need to do a better job of educating parents of rising kindergartners if they switched to a choice model.

"You could make either plan work very well," McLaurin said.

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Measuring the right level

Measuring the schools for success and balancing children with regard to that number still seems as dangerous to me now as it did when it was called the Diversity Policy. 

Choice is good. Stability is good, but in the end if the children are not improving and being educated its the programs in the school that need to be evaluated for improvement. This is an assignment policy. Maybe the programs and achievement should not be associated with assignment? Assign the kids and give choice. Then, when they are there evaluate them and give them the programs they need to succeed. The fact that achievement is the new way of balancing schools to be healthy just seems really really dangerous. 

Attending one of the CCCAAC meeting long ago Dr. Dudley Flood spoke about the motivation of high expectations. Thinking about that here, if the children are targeted for painful shuffling because they are not achieving, or they are put into a remedial class even if they are achieving but they are ED, then they get the message that they are not expected to achieve. Kids are not stupid. They understand when they are just being put through the motions. Why can't we provide programs that encourage kids and get them excited about what they can do? Get the excited about learning?

Assign them. Expect them to achieve. Give them the tools to succeed. And if they don't, for goodness sake don't rip them out just for the sake of balancing the school! That's what I'm afraid of. Instead, if they are not achieving evaluate what programs and tools might be available either where they are or someplace else to help them achieve. Make the achievement aspect child-centric, not school centric. 

I don't think its the teachers. I don't think its the kids. I don't even think its disadvantaged backgrounds as much as our culture attributes. Somehow the system is getting in the way and/or our culture of low expectations for ED or minority kids is getting in the way. It seems our blind recognition of that painful truth results in the half baked guilty solution of trying to average everyone to the middle. That may make it SEEM that everything is ok from a sales point of view. But it won't be. Why can't all students be stretched and encouraged to do the very best with what God's given them? Maybe it means going to a new school, but for Pete's sake you don't have to lead with that assumption. 

I just really don't like the underlying premise of either of these plans, sadly. Its still all about healthy schools. I'm kind of depressed about it. 

a foundation for building

Trying to avoid high poverty schools is a way to avoid spending lots of $$ just for the minimum public school requirements, teacher retention, discipline, ...so that any new programs to can be the focus & built into our schools. Shila made a good point as well in an earlier post that there are varied teaching needs for high needs children that needs focus. This, I believe, is the next page. It will take a village. WC business, organizations, and citizens coming together to help build possibly mentoring, tutoring into our school system. Faith-based preschool may be willing to sponsor a handful of children to get them school-ready. Teachers may help our classrooms with crossing curriculum in arts and science. And continue to draw only the best into teaching by paying them salaries that will draw them into this field ...
My hope is continue on this path of sharing ideas, researching, discussing, and please, only constructive debate. May we all void the brick walls.

"Trying to avoid high

"Trying to avoid high poverty schools..."

See, here is the problem, that is not the mission, it is just another brick wall that creates a barrier to progress. The mission is to educate students. You do that with education reform, not transportation and social engineering.

...

In some ways, it isn't about healthy schools either. They can keep juggling teachers and students around to fudge the system average so that the "within 10%" benchmark is easier to attain for most schools.

Incentives....

I think the book "Freakonomics" explains the concept of incentives very well. And the incentives for "achievement"- however that is going to be measured - are going to cause weird side-effects.

Your point about school-centric achievement measurements is correct - it will cause the focus to be taken away from the children. You will see kids being reassigned and teachers moved to other schools. Which will defeat the very purpose of the model.

Also, I see a great potential for abuse in the reassign-for-achievement process.

Abuse

"Also, I see a great potential for abuse in the reassign-for-achievement process"

yes, B - this is what I see as well

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"The key is can we get the

"The key is can we get the math right."

No, you can't......and therein lies the problem.  Don't get me wrong, I hate the green plan. 

"As a former principal I know that if I could have children for three years, I could teach them, I could make them a family," Morrison said. "You could know the children, know the families and they could achieve better. But if you’ve got children coming and going, coming and going all the time and you never really get to know the families, it’s hard."

Can't believe I'm saying this, but Morrison is 100% correct with this statement.  The "coming and going" absolutely needs to be avoided.  Tht causes all kinds of issues, not the list of which is accountability.

Another implication....

Schools need to be smaller.   I suspect she was talking mainly about the elementary level --  you can't get to know 1000 students and their families. 

OT-for Bob- Kay Hagan on mortgages

Bringing this forward so we don't have to keep going back to the old thread.

Re Kay Hagan on mortgages (in her own words).

hagan.senate.gov/newsletter/qrm_newsletter.html

Why to we need "regulators"

Why to we need "regulators" involved in the mortgage process at all?  Why not let a private bank decide what its appropriate lending practice is?  KH is proposing that the banks take on a larger share of the risk AND let bureaucrats decide the standards by which they should lend.  The second part is exactly what caused the housing crisis which many economist agree was the main catalyst for the current economic crisis and the main reason we are still stuck in the mud.

Banks want to lend money, that's how they make money.  They, not bureaucrats in Washington, know better than anyone else what the best lending practice for their bank is.

All these low interest rates for years, coupled with 0% down, etc. led to the housing bubble and inflated housing prices.  That has hurt the middle class more than anyone else.   It also caused poor and rich alike to dig themselves into deep holes and mortgage themselves to their earholes just so they could live in a decent house.  The only winners were the developers, the realtors and real estate attorneys, and the banks because the gov't bailed them out.

How 'bout this idea.  Stop keeping interest rates artificially low, let banks develop their own lending practices and retain 100% of the risk.  Housing prices will fall to a natural level where it doesn't take 9 years to save up 20% (if you're disciplined). 

Stop the gov't meddling....

What World Do You Live In?

Why not let a private bank decide what its appropriate lending practice is?

Um, because those private banks dont bear the risk - they bundle up the mortgages and sell them off to (private) investors after (private) financial companies transform them into highly leveraged exotic instruments  that then get dubious AAA ratings from (private) ratings agencies with skin in the game  That chain of transactions - all by deregulated private parties - brought the world economy to its knees less than three years ago.
 
let banks develop their own lending practices and retain 100% of the risk. 
That would require *regulation* because no bank is going to voluntarily *choose* to retain risk that it can easily get rid of....and the only way to stop them from coming up with clever ideas (ie, "innovation") to offload risk is to write and enforce regulations PREVENTING them from doing so.  Otherwise shareholders will demand the higher returns that come with risk-shifting.
 
You guys never even stop and think about this stuff .....you just spit out ideological preferences utterly divorced from reality.

I love how split apart my

I love how split apart my two quotes as if they weren't linked....

Of course it makes no sense to allow a bank to set its own policies and then shift the risk somewhere else.  I never said that.   I also realize that my statements would a major change in regulation, that is probably not going to happen.  It's not going to happen because you liberals can't stop meddling and the bankers (many of whom are liberals connected to the Democrat Party) aren't going to go back to the days of being responsible when the crony capitalistic system they've created is working so well for THEM, but not us.

Still waiting on you to produce the deregulation put in place during the Bush era.

You left off the final and

You left off the final and most important links in the chain (1) the GSE's, Fannie and Freddie, and (2) the precedents of government bailouts.

It would not have been rational for the banks, etc, to create this risk and participate in this chain without government guarantees at the end of it.  

That is 100% correct. 

That is 100% correct.  Remove the government (i.e. taxpayer) guarantees and the game changes completely.

Silly...

The change doesn't mean that they can't get mortgages at less than 20% -- it just means that they have to pay higher rates for them.  And that makes sense -- the lender is taking a bigger risk of default.

I love the complaint about how people will have to actually SAVE money to afford a downpayment, like that's a bad thing.  

Didn't I read that the

Didn't I read that the banking industry doesn't even support the 20% demand?

I thought it was the conservatives who were against regulation?

Of course they don't....

The 20% requirement means that they make fewer loans, which means making less money.

I am generally against regulation, and would prefer a system where we got rid of the idea that the government will bail out the losers.  (Which we are still doing, incidentally -- Fannie and Freddie just got another big infusion from the gov't).    

I think they should start over: if you have a bank that does less than, say, $10B annually then it can sell whatever mortgage-backed securities it wants to any willing investor, provided that the investor itself is not a big bank, and then make it clear that the gov't won't be bailing out any of those small banks or investors.  That way, you keep these securities out of the hands of the "too big to fail."

When you read the word,

When you read the word, "Affordable mortgages", that's code for "The tax payers are on the hook."  Kay's trying to have her cake and eat it too.  Push more risk onto the banks while requiring them to give out cheaper, higher risk loans.  If she is successful, the banks will be required to make up that revenue elsewhere or find other ways not to loan money.

I don't know how you can

I don't know how you can read that and say she was "demanding" anything. 

The legislation that passed apparently had bipartisan support, which is usually a good thing.  The 20% down payment requirement would render that legislation useless and prevent many people who are perfectly capable of making payments on a home unable to get a mortgage.

The Education of Little Tree

Dan (and chaboard for that matter),

Bob is so much more knowledgeable and better at explaining this than I am.  With his education, are you beginning to understand how the govt's meddling in the financial system to "bring affordable mortgages to people" etc. could have played a major role in the current financial crisis?  Government regulation doesn't just punish the "evil, rich greedy CEOs", it leads to unintended consequences for all of us.  While KH will run around and say how she's fighting to bring affordable mortgages to NC, what's she's really doing is spurring another housing bubble that WILL burst splattering egg all over the taxpayers faces once again.  BTW, that housing bubble prevents people from being able to afford housing (even renters) more that it helps.

Not Even Plausible

With his education, are you beginning to understand how the govt's meddling in the financial system to "bring affordable mortgages to people" etc. could have played a major role in the current financial crisis?

 

Um, no....that theory fails every basic test of plausibility.   It fails because default levels were much higher at institutions NOT subject to any such meddling than it was at those that were.    It fails because only a very, very small portion of the troubled mortgages went to those on the lower end of the income scale, default rates were higher UP the income ladder.   It fails because the scale is all wrong  - the crash was caused by financial uncertainty behind $60 trillion in uncertain assets, the uncertainty behind the (at most) $0.5 trillion in actual bad mortgages wasn't big enough to do so. 

But most obviously - it fails because the timeline is all wrong.  There were no serious expansions of regulation in the mortgage market for *decades* prior to the crash.   On the other hand there were, of course,  significant DEregulations of the systems that had prevented such crashes for 70 years. 

churp.....churp......churp

churp.....churp......churp

chaboard, While I'm waiting

chaboard,

While I'm waiting for you to come up with just one piece of financial DEregulation legislation passed under the Bush era that could possibly be responsible for the financial crisis, I thought I'd throw out some FACTs in the meantime.

- In 2008, there were 115 federal government agencies regulating the financial industry.

- In 2001, annual spending in the agencies as $27 billion/year.  In 2007, annual spending was up 44% to $45 billion/year.

- During the Bush years, 4,500 pages of NEW federal regulations were ADDED to the Code of Regulations over the financial industry.

- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, signed into law by Bush, added an estimated $1.4 Trillion (with a T) in compliance cost on the financial industry.

Speaking of talking

Speaking of talking points.....

First, I never said that the crash was solely due to troubled mortgages from the lower income scale.  In fact, I said lower income and rich alike.  Just look at California, Las Vegas, Arizona and Florida if you want to see that.

Finally, back to talking points...were you aware that the last significant DEregulation of the financial markets took place in 1999 and was signed in to law by Bill Clinton?

No, zero, nadda significant DEregulation occurred during the 8 years Bush was president.  Some MORE regulation did take place but NO DEregulation.

Welcome to reality chaboard.....How 'bout trying to get you info. from somewhere other than MSNBC and the Huffington Post?

Talking points...

The so called "conservatives" on this forum never get past their talking points. There is no use presenting evidence or debating with them. For all their talk about "individual responsibility" etc., it is very surprising 9and funny) the way they swallow the bs handed out to them by their leaders.

There is even a talking point put forth by the right wingnuts about how "the banks are owned by the middle class" - because they have 401ks and stock ownership.  But what they don't mention is that the bottom 90% (in 2007) owned just 12.2% of total investment income. I do not have figures for 2009-2010 but I suspect that number eroded with the last recession.

On the topic of "talking

On the topic of "talking points"....see my response to chaboard above.

Perhaps you too should turn off MSNBC every now and then.

FYI, just because the "bottom 90%" own just 12.2% of total investment income doesn't mean that that money is not important to those individuals.  Sure, a Warren Buffet my have 10 Billion in investments while I only have 100K but that 100K is critical to my retirement.  Whether you like it or not, we are all dependent on corporations making profits.  No profits, no jobs, no revenue to the government, no retirement for any of us, no healthcare, no defense, no nothing.  If a corporation does not make a profit, there will be no investments and no progress.  Investments, whether from you and me or WB, are what fund progress and future prosperity. 

You do know that the government doesn't actually produce anything, right?  The government, in one way or another, is 100% funded by profits (corporate and individual).

So...

It's hardly true that the downpayment requirement would make the legislation useless.  Banks can still make nothing/5%/10%-down loans, but they can't fully divest themselves of the risk from making those loans.

One of the perceived troubles in the financial crisis was that banks were making crappy loans and then repackaging them into mortgage-backed securities which were then sold off to third parties.  Once the MBS was sold, the originating bank no longer had any risk on the mortgages.  So, they didn't have any real incentive to make sure that the mortgages were any good.  Dodd-Frank attempts to fix that by saying "Hey -- you can't get rid of all of your risk like that.  You can still do MBS's, but you still have to keep 5% of them on your books -- you can't get rid of them entirely."  

That shouldn't really be an issue -- for centuries, banks made loans and kept 100% of them on their books.  Naturally, they were careful about who they lent to and how much skin the borrowers had in the game.  And that's where the 20%/28%/35% rule came from (At least 20% down; no more than 28% of your monthly income to your mortgage payment, and no more than 35% of your monthly income to debt).   That rule was good enough for the banks when they couldn't pawn the risk off on somebody else.

But, the banks even complained about having to have that 5%.  So, now there's a rule that says "Ok.  If there's some other way to make sure those mortgages are good, then you don't need to hold onto 5%."   How do you know if the mortgages are good?  Well, that's true if they adhere to the rules that the banks used before they could pawn off risk on others -- the 20%/28%/35% rule. 

So, in the end, the rule is "You can make risky loans, but if you do, you have to have skin in the game.  But, if you want to make those good old-fashioned safe loans that you used to make, we know those are safe, so you can sell those off."

I was assuming she was

I was assuming she was talking about ES.  I think that is when the type of stability/personal "customer focus" she is referring to is most important.  By the end of 6 grade, the "lost and found" categories are pretty well set up.  Not that a kid can't be "found" in the 7th grade or later but that's a difficult ship to turnaround at that point.

Base + grandfathering

There is one way to provide stability to the student in the Green plan. Can they grant Morrision's wish to stop the coming and going in the Green plan by grandfathering students K-12 + siblings? Yes.  If stability is the issue for Green, then don't move anybody already in a school, unless they choose to go to, say the new school closer to their home, or choose to transfer or magnet out of an overcrowded school.  Yes, the transportation costs will be higher, a new school may open more underenrolled than it would have been with a forced move, increasing per student operating costs on the short term, but it looks like the transportation costs will be higher, blue or green, anyway.  Stability + bases cost money.

...

I totally agree. Morrison is correct. The shuffling of children year after year for diversity was horrible.

As a former principal I know that if I could have children for three years, I could teach them...

3 years? I say let's shoot for all 6.

 

Red letter day

Sideburns and I said essentially the same thing at the same time.

One of the signs the world is indeed coming to an end.

...

Or a sign that you're getting smarter. :)

Our differences

Except you only want students in your zip code in your zip code's schools. I see all Wake County's children as all our responsibility, and understand how much high poverty schools cost. Are you ready to pay for them, even at the expense of your low poverty school's resources being transferred away for equity?  I think not.  You can't have it both ways, Wake being one of the lowest per pupil spending at the county and state levels.

If ED kids cost more and WC

If ED kids cost more and WC has one of the lowest ED populations in the state, why would you not also expect WC to have one of the lowest pp spending levels?

WC is huge and diverse.  You're trying to force a one size fits all approach that just won't work.  In education, the more local you get the better.  The most local is the individual kid, the least local is the entire freaking county.  If we could better tailor our schools to the individual population they serve, everyone would be better off.  I for one would be ok with the pps being lower for a lower poverty school than for a higher one.  Everything doesn't have to be "equal" all the time.  Trying to balance everything out just leads to the mediocrity we have now.  It’s just like medicine. You don't walk into a room of sick people and just start handing out the same medication.  They may not all have the same illness and need different medicine, or even if they have the same illness, they may not need the same dose.  That level of specificity is what is required to reach a high achievement level in our schools.  You will never get to that point pretending everyone must be treated the same.

Instead of playing

Instead of playing percentages, why not talk raw numbers?

There are 46,456 ED kids in WCPSS this year.  A quick scan (which could be off, but probably not by much) shows that only 5 districts in this state have more students than that.

I grew up in Edgecombe County.  Their district has a little over 7000 kids this year.  Does it matter if 70% of them are ED?  The sheer numbers in WCPSS make it immaterial.

I mentioned this before, but

I mentioned this before, but I still find it very, very difficult to believe that 1/3 of the students in Wake County are ED. I just don't buy that. And, even if they technically are ED, how many are truly in a situation where their ED status is a an actual issue in their educational pursuits? We make ED the be all and end in the approach to education. Until we stop that nonsense, I am not sure how much progress will be made in addressing the individual needs of students.

not in touch with reality

This comments suggests that you're really out of touch with schools.  Talk to teachers and principals of ED students and find out the truth.  I just spoke to a teacher yesterday who had a student that moved frequently and came to school hungry every day.  There were MANY needs to be met that affected academics.  This is not an isolated issue.  Your comment here makes me understand some of your posts better.  You really don't have a clue about the needs and challenges our educators are facing and will have a much harder time with if our schools are not balanced by SES or some other system.

"I just spoke to a teacher

"I just spoke to a teacher yesterday who had a student that moved frequently and came to school hungry every day. "

Any student that needs it can get free breakfast and lunch at school, so this seems like a challenge that could easily be overcome, and if the child is not getting fed at home, social services need to be brought in. There are systems in place to deal with these issues.
 

My main point, however, was that the data supposedly shows that 1/3 of students live in poverty or near poverty. I don't believe it. Not in Wake County. I think the numbers are cooked.
 

Why not?

Because you're talking about per-pupil spending.  You can't mix averages and totals like that; makes no sense.  We may have 46,456 ED kids (out of the 143,000 total kids that Perry mentioned), but that means that a relatively smaller portion of spending goes towards educating them.

I'm not arguing that our funding level is adequate -- it's not.  Just making a math point.  

Bob, I understand how the

Bob,

I understand how the math works....thanks though.  TS is trying to justify our spending levels by pointing out our relatively "small" ED population.  Wake County gets a lot of bang for its buck through what amounts to a volume discount.  That doesn't change the fact that we aren't spending enough.

Instead, reality states that our massive ED population should make our per-pupil spending higher.  In 2008-09, WCPSS had 18,300 "Exceptional Children" (special education).  Harnett County had 18,291 students, and was the 22rd largest district in the state (the ADM is from 07-08...not sure why two different years' numbers are in the same report).

Justifying our per-pupil spending means ignoring the fact that we don't have small class sizes in high F&R schools, which would help immensely.  Justifying our per-pupil spending means NOT recognizing that it isn't cheap to have so many high schools offering 15-20+ AP classes.  The brightest students aren't cheap to educate in high school.

If we were meeting the needs of our ED students with the same spending numbers, and he was using his assertion as a rebuttal against someone taking credit for the low number, I'd feel differently.  But, he's acting as if we are doing a good job of educating our ED kids for our current per-pupil costs, and we're not.

The sheer numbers involved (not percentages) should drive up our per-pupil averages if we are doing what we should be doing in our classrooms.  We're not, and they don't, so TS's point is incorrect.

WEll....

If we were to break WCPSS into 20 smaller districts, giving each of those districts 1/20th of  each population group and cash, then you wouldn't have a district with massive ED numbers, but you'd still have the same per-pupil funding.  So, I just don't see how the raw number means anything.

I'm not at all convinced that AP classes cost much more than regular classes -- either way, you need a teacher, textbooks, desks and so on.  It's not like AP physics classes go on a bunch of field trips or something.  In any case, we need to do right by the advanced kids, too -- they're the ones who will be tomorrow's leaders; we shortchange them at our own peril.  We cannot work only on getting ED kids to pass their EOGs to the exclusion of meeting the needs of other kids.

Conflation error

"We cannot work only on getting ED kids to pass their EOGs to the exclusion of meeting the needs of other kids."

I like you, but need to point out your conflation error -

It should state that we cannot work only on getting Level I and Level II kids to pass their EOGs to the exclusion of meeting the needs of other kids.

In fact one of the things that needs to stop immediately is conflating low income and low achieving. There's been far too much work done on getting ED kids who can already pass their EOGs to pass their EOGs because of the assumption that if they are ED, they must be low-achieving and need remediation so they can pass their EOGs. It ends up damaging the kids (they end up with negative academic growth results). We could have more kids in AP if we stopped treating all ED kids like they are expected to be low-achieving.

The thing is, you wouldn't

The thing is, you wouldn't necessarily have the same per-pupil funding if the district was broken up into 20 pieces.  Wake County gets a discount because of it's size.  You're assuming that the monetary requirements would stay the same, and that is definitely not the case.  Saving money is, in large part, why the state pushed so hard to consolidate districts long ago.

The smaller districts in NC have fewer schools and smaller schools.  But, those schools and those districts still require administrations.  

Watauga County was close to WCPSS in F&R percentage last year.  37.16% to 37.14%.  In the last numbers I found (07-08) Watauga was 41st in per-pupil spending and WCPSS was 93rd.  Vance County was 48th in spending (07-08), and they were 96%+ F&R last year.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro, which I don't think anyone would say is a poor district (25.61% F&R last year), was 13th in spending in 07-08 at over $10,500 per student.  Now, since I'm pretty sure that CH-C has been in the news for its outstanding advanced programming, it seems that the same simple logical math that shearer used would apply to make what I said about educating advanced students true.  Either we're both right or we're both wrong, because the numbers work out exactly the same.

By the way....I don't think there is as much of an expectation to meet the needs of advanced students.  Who is in worse shape?  A kid that didn't graduate because he was in a regular math class with 30 kids and got lost when he could have been in a class with 20 kids and gotten more attention OR a kid who goes to college as 2nd semester freshman instead of starting as a sophomore because his school didn't have a few AP classes?

Ideally, you'd be able to do both.  If you have to choose, I think the choice should be obvious. 

Thanks for clearing that up

Thanks for clearing that up for Dan.  I simply could not get to it fast enough.  Dan's math is about as good as my spelling/grammer.  

Actually, we have over

Actually, we have over 143,000 students and we are the largest in the state.

...

First it was -- you don't want poor kids. Then it was -- you don't want black kids. Now it's -- you don't want kids from another zip code? Really? Maybe I was wrong about the getting smarter comment.

Sideburns, You know what

Sideburns,

You know what this is about.  They don't want poor black kids in DT Raleigh.  Period.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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