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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Weakening the diversity policy

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Tuesday could go down in history as the first step toward the dismantling of Wake County's school diversity policy.

As noted in today's article, the calendar choice resolution adopted by the school board doesn't just call for the end of mandatory year-round assignments. It also calls for amending the application process for year-round calendar schools to remove the usage of diversity as a selection criteria.

Opponents of the resolution complained it would weaken efforts to keep schools healthy. But supporters of the resolution countered it would improve choice by giving more parents access to year-round schools.

The application criteria for year-round schools has been weighted to give priority to applicants from higher-needs neighborhoods. That's because most year-round application schools have relatively low numbers of high-needs kids.

“That’s an effort under existing policy to result in schools which are comparable with one another," said Asst. Supt. Chuck Dulaney on Tuesday.

Historically, few low-income students have voluntarily applied for year-round schools.

Click here for the latest year-round application criteria and results, which show that 23 percent of the 3,887 applicants couldn't be placed.

School board member Kevin Hill complained that the resolution was an attempt to "negate" sending a revised student assignment policy to the policy committee. The revised policy eliminates all current references to diversity.

School board member Carolyn Morrison said eliminating the use of diversity in filling year-round schools could lead to "have's and have not's."

School board member Keith Sutton said the resolution should have been sent to the new student assignment advisory committee for proper vetting.

But new school board members Debra Goldman and John Tedesco stressed how the change in the selection criteria will make it possible for more families to attend year-round schools.

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Your question was rhetorical right?

It has to do with ED tending to prefer traditional calendar. I know you know how the thinking goes: ED=have not, NED=have; schools with too many of those ED kids can't...

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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