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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Wake County school system promoting STEM program

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Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata will attempt to turn the focus today to the school district's STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) program.

Tata is holding his weekly press briefing this morning at Southeast Raleigh High School, where it's expected that most of the questions from the media will be about the new student assignment plan and Peace University backing out of the leadership academies. But Tata is holding the event at Southeast Raleigh to highlight Saturday's first ever countywide STEM expo.

After the press conference, school administrators are encouraging reporters to remain at the school "for interviews and video/photo opportunities of STEM programs at work in the classroom."

Tata has expanded the STEM program since he became superintendent. This week, he announced that four more schools will be added for the 2012-13 school year.

During Saturday's expo at Southeast Raleigh, parents and students will learn more about STEM opportunities that connect students with the skills and knowledge to be college- and career-ready.

The new STEM programs were announced a few days before the close of round two of the school selection process.

Yevonne Brannon, chairwoman of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, questioned the district's ability to sufficiently train teachers in the STEM model to have it ready at the new schools this fall.

"Parents aren't going be fooled by adding a new program," Brannon said. "All they're going to create is a program with a label slapped on it."

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Are

they sure that this is really going to happen for next year? 

Really, really, really sure?

Really?

How is he going to pay for

How is he going to pay for these new STEM programs.  They are very expensive requiring special teacher training and facility improvements. 

We cant even buy school supplies (see the 2.1MM cut in this year's budget for that) and now he wants to launch new programs?  Interestingly, the new programs are going to the schools no one wanted under his new "choice plan."  So Tony "wait until next year" Tata is going to put programs we cant pay for in schools that are underfilled order to make the public think that the reassignment plan that we never needed is working.

You got to give it to this guy. 

they are going to open a

they are going to open a third round of choice because the 2 days of opening up the 2nd round after announcing new STEM schools was not enough to make undesirable schools picked by parents.   Parents are stupid and need more advertising and propaganda to pick those schools and hence a need for a 3rd round of choice.

Saying things like this in

Saying things like this in jest is not a good idea. It might make people think there is a third round.

I think what people are

I think what people are calling a "third round" is the May 1-June 30 choice selection period for people who are not yet enrolled in WCPSS. The online choice selection will be re-opened for them only - parents who are unhappy with their assignment cannot participate in that but instead have to go through the transfer process.

?

Really May 1 - whenever, right?  After all, the district isn't going to turn away somebody who enters the district on July 1.

I wonder how that works with multi-child families.  Let's say that a family had two students in private school and wanted to put them in public for next year.  They wanted to go to school X, which has space for the 2nd grader, but not the 4th grader.  So, they applied for the 2nd grader to get into the school.  Then, in a few months, they'll say "we changed our mind on the 4th grader and want to put her into public schools."  In theory, they could bypass the entire waitlist (which dissolves on 6/30) and, if there's space, they're in.

(Note: WCPSS' assignment policies have always caused people to act strategically.  THis is just a case of how it can happen under the new assignment plan.)

They might not turn them away

but at that point you certainly will get the leftovers.

That alone will help control that "evil growth" Beverley Clark and her bunch always complained about. 

I guess round 3 is May 1 -

I guess round 3 is May 1 - June 30. June 30 is the date the waitlist dissolves. I guess round 4 will not have a waitlist?

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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