Just how much impact will the ability to apply to high-performing schools (formerly called achievement-choice schools) have on Wake County's new student assignment plan?
As noted in today's article, members of the student assignment task force promoted to the audience Wednesday how every family would have access to high quality schools via the high-performing school choices.
But Susan Pullium also said a number of times that no decision has been yet whether firm set asides need to be established for the high-performing schools. This comes after talk about using as much as a 20 percent set aside drew complaints from people such as school board chairman Ron Margiotta.
On a related note, one of the questions from the audience was whether a child could lose a seat to a student applying to a high performing school option.
Brad McMillen replied that current students won't be asked to give up the seat at the school they're now at for any reason. For those who will be entering the lottery process, he also pointed out families who live closest to a school will have greater priority than those who don't live as close.
Another person asked whether they'd know at the "front end" how much diversity a school would have in the choice plan. McMillen's answer was no because "parents are going to choose how they're going to choose."
McMillen also pointed out that the expectation is most students in 2012-13 will stay at their current school. He said the diversity levels won't likely change much next year because the only people expected to go through the lottery process in elementary schools in large numbers are rising kindergartners.
This could mean it would take a few years before any noticeable change would be seen.
One of the questions was whether the course offerings were considered when determining which high schools to be used as high performing options. McMillen said the course catalog wasn't considered but Pullium added that Superintendent Tony Tata has talked about looking at course offerings to make sure all schools are desirable.
Wake will soon be posting info online on the high performing middle school and high school options.