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Old 08-28-2012, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Nowhere worth mentioning
258 posts, read 302,470 times
Reputation: 172
Question Wake County Schools - help me understand

We nearly moved to Cary 3 years ago. At that time, in doing my research, we decided against it because I didn't like what was going on with the schools. From my understanding, (and I could be off, so please don't yell at me), they were taking kids from nice neighborhoods and busing them to schools in, what some would consider, undesirable neighborhoods, and visa versa.

Then I hear that they've stopped doing that, so we revisit a possible move. Now I find out that parents are able to hand pick their child's school. My first thought was about transportation. If you have 5 kids on one street and their parent's opt to send them to 5 different schools, how is that going to work? In reading the thread "General Wake County Schools discussions...", it appears my thought was a valid one. What I'm reading sounds like a lot more then just first day craziness and IMO, bus drivers don't get paid enough for what they're being asked to do.

So my question is this, what is wrong with picking one schedule, (year round or traditional), and assigning the kids to their neighborhood schools, the way they do it everywhere else? I just don't get the rhyme or reason to any of it. I've read the research and there is so benefit to picking one schedule over the other. Test scores are the same, etc. And, wouldn't it be better for the real estate market there if neighborhoods had assigned schools? If you are selling a house in a neighborhood that John Doe has his eye on, because his kids would go to the school that he and his wife have deemed to be the perfect fit for their kids, then isn't he going to pay top dollar to live in that neighborhood? Couldn't that even produce a bidding war because Susie Que and her husband want the same neighborhood for the very same reason? So, fixing the school mess could make a lot of families lives easier AND help the real estate market, which in turn helps realtors feed their families, (which is helping the local economy) AND make life easier for the bus drivers, while lowering fuel costs for the county, which in turn could mean lower taxes for residents? I am not a NC resident, so there may be things I'm not considering because, I really just don't know, but this just seems like common sense to me.

Finally, can someone tell me what counties are surrounding Wake and if they do things the same way or not? We are still interested in relocating, and my husband will still be working in Raleigh, but I've got to find a better school system in which to do this.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:15 AM
 
4,551 posts, read 4,660,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barli View Post
So my question is this, what is wrong with picking one schedule, (year round or traditional), and assigning the kids to their neighborhood schools, the way they do it everywhere else? I just don't get the rhyme or reason to any of it.
Because with people constantly moving into the county, it would be impossible to do this without creating some schools that are chronically over capacity and others that are chronically under capacity. Unless of course people are willing to spend endless money building and expanding schools, which they are not. You will find these same conundrums in any other part of the country with rapid population growth. For a lot of people moving down here from the Northeast, they're moving from school systems that are stable or shrinking so it's hard to understand the challenges that comes with a rapidly growing system.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:25 AM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
8,905 posts, read 9,991,162 times
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You should have moved here 3 years ago. Taking kids from nice neighborhoods and busing them to the mean streets never happened. Perhaps a cursory review of the situation would lead one to believe that - but no, that wasn't happening. Were kids being reassigned at times? Yes. I grew up on Long Island and was re-assigned too. Never moved, went to 3 different elementary schools.

Wake County is not the only place in the U.S. that does year round schools. There has to be a way to alleviate the problem of explosive population growth, and that's it. MANY people who are on a YR calendar like it. Many people CHOSE IT.

The county has issues with busing every year for the 1st couple of weeks. Imagine if a few thousand people suddenly moved into your district. You probably can't....so imagine a few hundred. Or even 50. I can tell you in our old district in NY even 25 kids would have been a huge disruption. We are dealing with many more new people on a much greater scale.

There are PLENTY of threads devoted to the school systems surrounding Wake County. You can do a search of the forum. Chatham, Johnston, Chapel Hill-Carrboro are the words you want to put in the search box.

As far as lowering taxes sounds good but at this point if they wanted to RAISE my taxes $100 a year to alleviate this busing fiasco I'd gladly accept it!
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,623 posts, read 3,319,135 times
Reputation: 2387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barli View Post
So my question is this, what is wrong with picking one schedule, (year round or traditional), and assigning the kids to their neighborhood schools, the way they do it everywhere else? I just don't get the rhyme or reason to any of it. I've read the research and there is so benefit to picking one schedule over the other. Test scores are the same, etc. And, wouldn't it be better for the real estate market there if neighborhoods had assigned schools? If you are selling a house in a neighborhood that John Doe has his eye on, because his kids would go to the school that he and his wife have deemed to be the perfect fit for their kids, then isn't he going to pay top dollar to live in that neighborhood? Couldn't that even produce a bidding war because Susie Que and her husband want the same neighborhood for the very same reason? So, fixing the school mess could make a lot of families lives easier AND help the real estate market, which in turn helps realtors feed their families, (which is helping the local economy) AND make life easier for the bus drivers, while lowering fuel costs for the county, which in turn could mean lower taxes for residents? I am not a NC resident, so there may be things I'm not considering because, I really just don't know, but this just seems like common sense to me.
So we can have crappy inner city schools for the poors like we do it in Boston and New York and everywhere else!

Short history:
- The South had to desegregate schools because of Brown v. Board. Racially unequal schools, National Guard escorting students to the front door, "segregation now, segregation forever!" You might have heard of it.
- Charlotte and Raleigh both undertook significant busing plans. Charlotte's became the model for Boston, where the residents did not take to African-Americans entering white schools kindly.
- Raleigh took the extraordinary step of merging county and city schools in the 1970s or early 1980s and using busing to ensure, as one Syracuse professor's book is titled in part, "there are no bad schools in Raleigh."
- Wake gained the reputation over the ensuing 20 years as being the most successful large public school system in the US.
- Plenty of transplants moved to Charlotte and Raleigh in the 1990s due to jobs and, in part, the school system rep.
- In Charlotte, transplants from up north and other places unwound the desegregation plan, leading to the mess in Char-Meck now.
- In Raleigh, a few years later, the same thing began to happen.

The fight isn't over. The neighborhood-schools movement will probably win, eventually. Meantime, you might consider other school systems that didn't have massive growth and aggressive desegregation plans. Durham's system is almost totally neighborhood based! Hope you have money to live in a nice neighborhood, though, or else you will attend a Title I school that might be 90% below-poverty line. Chapel Hill-Carrboro is local schools -- but you need to be rich, or decidedly upper middle class, to afford it.

(FWIW, I'm a transplant from the Northeast who couldn't abide how school segregation and inequality happened there. I'm also a descendant of a signer of the Tryon Resolves here in NC; of Stonewall Jackson; and of a family whose cotton gin is in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American History. So, yeah, these scars run deep in me.)
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Nowhere worth mentioning
258 posts, read 302,470 times
Reputation: 172
Please don't misunderstand me. I didn't move there 3 years ago because they were busing children to any particular type of schools, but rather because they were busing them at all. I am a person who likes her kids close by. I am the quintessential over protective parent, (just ask my 16 year old ) and I worry about being able to get to them quickly in the event of an emergency. We have always lived within a 5 minute drive of their schools; it's just a comfort thing for me. Perfect example, a child was shot on the first day of school yesterday here in Maryland. It's a crazy world we live in and I like my children close to me at all times. Yes,there is a good possibility I will have a nervous breakdown when they start heading off to college.

As for the massive over crowding problems, wouldn't putting all the schools on the year round schedule help alleviate a lot of that? I am not pretending to be an expert in any of this. I posted the original post so the fine and kind residents of the county can help to educate me in my relocation research.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:24 AM
 
4,551 posts, read 4,660,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barli View Post
As for the massive over crowding problems, wouldn't putting all the schools on the year round schedule help alleviate a lot of that? I am not pretending to be an expert in any of this. I posted the original post so the fine and kind residents of the county can help to educate me in my relocation research.
It would but there is absolutely no way that will ever happen due to politics. Too many parents would complain about losing summer vacation, not getting the track they want, etc.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,354 posts, read 17,413,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barli View Post
Please don't misunderstand me. I didn't move there 3 years ago because they were busing children to any particular type of schools, but rather because they were busing them at all. I am a person who likes her kids close by. I am the quintessential over protective parent, (just ask my 16 year old ) and I worry about being able to get to them quickly in the event of an emergency. We have always lived within a 5 minute drive of their schools; it's just a comfort thing for me. Perfect example, a child was shot on the first day of school yesterday here in Maryland. It's a crazy world we live in and I like my children close to me at all times. Yes,there is a good possibility I will have a nervous breakdown when they start heading off to college.

As for the massive over crowding problems, wouldn't putting all the schools on the year round schedule help alleviate a lot of that? I am not pretending to be an expert in any of this. I posted the original post so the fine and kind residents of the county can help to educate me in my relocation research.
I've lived here over 38 years. I have 4 children that all graduated from Wake county schools. We weren't bused BUT we live in North Raleigh and there just isn't that much new construction around us so there wasn't a need to build new schools and move kids around, that much.

I'm not sure there will ever be a time when there isn't some type of busing, in this area. The new choice plan without a base school, doesn't seem to be working. There will be some modification to that.

If you are truly concerned about this, I really hope you won't just take opinions from people but will call Wake County Public Schools to get REAL ANSWERS and not just OPINIONS.

Vicki
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Containment Area, NC
13,817 posts, read 8,768,592 times
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Bull City? That post was beautiful.

I find it frustrating that people who are new to the area and not educated about the history of the WCPSS are so flippant when they toss out ideas about how to improve it (not really directed at the OP, because she admits she's not that familiar with it, and isn't a resident here).

The logic of "houses will cost more near good schools so people will pay more for them" isn't at all incorrect. It's true. It just leaves a larger divide between the haves and the have nots.

And if one has so much cash? There's always the nicer neighborhood and private school.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:22 AM
 
804 posts, read 1,015,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evaofnc View Post
It would but there is absolutely no way that will ever happen due to politics. Too many parents would complain about losing summer vacation, not getting the track they want, etc.
not to mention that year-round schools won't work for graduating high school seniors. which is why you won't find year-round high schools.

many of the posters in this thread have given you great answers -- in short, we are the second-fastest growing metro area in the US. the more people who move here, the more strain it puts on the schools systems. doing neighborhood schools is incompatible with overcrowding.

i high recommend you do the research on other counties if you are so opposed. the WCPSS does not appear to be for the weak of heart! as others have suggested, do a search on johnston county schools, orange county schools, & chapel hill-carroboro schools. if you do not find satisfactory information, then perhaps you may wish to reevaluate your husband's job relocation?
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:09 AM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
8,905 posts, read 9,991,162 times
Reputation: 4885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barli View Post
Please don't misunderstand me. I didn't move there 3 years ago because they were busing children to any particular type of schools, but rather because they were busing them at all. I am a person who likes her kids close by.
As for the massive over crowding problems, wouldn't putting all the schools on the year round schedule help alleviate a lot of that?.
Most people have their kids at a school that's close to home. My kids are less than 2 miles away.

As far as YR schools for everyone, doesn't work on many levels, not the least of which is the tourist industry of N.C. which would suffer greatly is every child in the state was in school all summer long Also, as pointed out, high schoolers are all on traditional calendar for a whole host of reasons related to that age group.
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