The Wake Education Partnership is offering today its analysis of the possibility of year-round magnet schools and removal of diversity from the student transfer policy.
In this week's issue of In Context, the WEP's weekly newsletter, the group mentions how the possibility of converting magnet schools to a multi-track year-round calendar has been proposed by school board chairman Ron Margiotta. The issue came up at last week's student assignment committee meeting.
Margiotta asked the committee to consider converting magnet schools to year-round calendars in 2010-2012. He said the move would increase capacity, parental choice and educational opportunities.
The WEP says "there are a few obvious issues that will need to be considered."
For instance, the WEP says that a multi-track year-round calendar "might be a poor match" in smaller magnet schools or one that offers a variety of electives such as the Gifted & Talented program.
With course offerings of 300 or more electives at GT schools, it would be hard to offer them all to all four tracks.
On the transfer policy vote, the board voted Tuesday to remove diversity as a factor in student transfer requests. That was the last remaining vestige of diversity in school board policy.
Normally it takes two votes to pass a policy. A second reading can be waived if there's a two-thirds majority.
Going ahead with two votes would have meant rescheduling the appeal hearings that were scheduled over the next two weeks. To avoid holding up the hearings, board minority members Keith Sutton and Kevin Hill voted to waive the second reading even though they opposed the policy change.
"Faced with the inevitable, the minority relented and the policy was approved 6-2," the WEP writes. "The vote drew a quick and repeated 'thank you' from board Chair Ron Margiotta. If anyone said 'You’re welcome,' it wasn’t audible."