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Old 01-10-2010, 05:08 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
93 posts, read 187,593 times
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Please correct me if I am wrong, but aren't Orange County, Durham County and Johnston County schools mostly neighborhood schools where parents can decide where their children will attend by living within a certain area? If this is the case, then why do some people get upset about Wake County trying to do the same thing? How come I am not hearing people getting upset that Orange County, Durham County and Johnston County schools are not busing students for socioeconomic diversity?
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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Well, start with the fact that Wake County is quite different than Orange, Durham and Johnston Counties. It's not quite an apples to apples comparison.

Remember that Orange County has two school districts that preserve a level of built-in segregation that other counties eliminated (or lessened) when they merged county and city school districts years ago.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:14 AM
 
Location: Long Island NY
7 posts, read 9,430 times
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Default Huh??

IIUC, that's exactly what Wake is NOT doing - you have it backwards.
They ARE busing kids and you have no guarantee that the school you live near is where your kids will go. And kids are being reassigned based on growth/building of new schools.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Ellicott City MD
2,270 posts, read 8,107,145 times
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That's not a simple question, but I'll try to summarize my opinion.

Wake County merged the Raleigh and Wake County systems in the mid-70s (some of us on this board were in the Wake County system at the time). Since then they have tried to balance the schools for diversity using a small amount of busing and mostly the magnet system. It has been a very effective policy that has created a network of good schools and a county where people want to move for the schools. However, the massive growth has been hard for Wake County to handle and they've had to redistrict a lot because they've had to build so many new schools. Many folks attribute this to the diversity policy, so now they want it to go even though it is one of the original strengths of the system.

Durham County is an example of what happens without a diversity policy. Some of their schools are absolutely excellent and nationally ranked. Some of them you want to steer well away from. The range of school quality in the county is much wider.

Johnston County is historically much much smaller and has only seen recent growth, so with a limited number of schools balancing them is less of an issue.

As was already mentioned, Orange County and Chapel Hill/Carrboro are separate systems and it is well known that Chapel Hill/Carrboro is the better system. There is a significant difference in funding.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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I think J_Lurk summed it up really nicely. Each system has it's strengths and weaknesses and can't really be compared side by side. It's apples and oranges (and bananas). I truly feel like the new WCPSS board is throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater, but I guess that discussion is better left for another thread.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:10 AM
 
3 posts, read 6,819 times
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Default Very controversial topic

When it comes to understanding the school systems, make sure you spend a lot of time talking to folks. This is an issue that folks are very clearly divided on, and there's a lot of passion on both sides of the argument. I have been in Raleigh for a little over a year, and have two rising kindergartners. Personally, I am horrified at the mess the Wake public school district is in, and can hardly believe folks are working so hard to preserve this system while ignoring the fact that: 1) Busing for diversity reasons was deemed unconstitutional by the supreme court, and 2) the graduation rate for non-whites is abismal (less than 60%). How can ANYONE be proud of that? The only reason our schools appear reasonably good (from a distance!!!) is that they keep shuffling both white and non-white kids around so that the overall school averages look better. But if you look beneath the surface, and start analyzing the numbers by sub-populations, you'll see how bad it really is. Don't send your kids to a Wake County public school if you can avoid it. I've accepted that, and have already been applying to charters and private schools for my kids. Thank GOD I am blessed enough to have that luxury. (See what I mean? Lots of passion around this topic!!!) Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
8,264 posts, read 21,825,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeinRaleigh View Post
When it comes to understanding the school systems, make sure you spend a lot of time talking to folks. This is an issue that folks are very clearly divided on, and there's a lot of passion on both sides of the argument. I have been in Raleigh for a little over a year, and have two rising kindergartners. Personally, I am horrified at the mess the Wake public school district is in, and can hardly believe folks are working so hard to preserve this system while ignoring the fact that: 1) Busing for diversity reasons was deemed unconstitutional by the supreme court, and 2) the graduation rate for non-whites is abismal (less than 60%). How can ANYONE be proud of that? The only reason our schools appear reasonably good (from a distance!!!) is that they keep shuffling both white and non-white kids around so that the overall school averages look better. But if you look beneath the surface, and start analyzing the numbers by sub-populations, you'll see how bad it really is. Don't send your kids to a Wake County public school if you can avoid it. I've accepted that, and have already been applying to charters and private schools for my kids. Thank GOD I am blessed enough to have that luxury. (See what I mean? Lots of passion around this topic!!!) Good luck!
I do have to correct you. Bussing based on RACE was found to be uconstitutional. WCPSS did not do this. In addition, graduation rates of minorities in similarly large districts which don't have diversity policies, like Charlotte, is basically the same (Wake's is actually a little higher). WCPSS has one of the highest graduation rates of a district it's size in the entire nation.
So while yes, people are passionate and divided, and things are in the process of change right now, I would not take to heart too many sound bytes from people who have lived here a whole year and don't even have, or plan to have, kids in this system. Do your own research, visit the schools, talk to teachers and neighbors who have some real experience with WCPSS.

Last edited by lamishra; 01-11-2010 at 09:22 AM..
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:58 AM
 
9,198 posts, read 21,177,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeinRaleigh View Post
Busing for diversity reasons was deemed unconstitutional by the supreme court
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamishra View Post
I do have to correct you. Bussing based on RACE was found to be uconstitutional.
I could be wrong, but I don't believe the U.S. Supreme Court has ever ruled school busing to be unconstitutional per se. I believe it remains permissible where it is deemed to be an appropriate remedy. I don't think the Court's 1971 decision in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education has been overturned.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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My kids attend a wake county school. So far I have been very happy with the education they are getting. I've been very happy with their teachers. One thing I am not happy about is the fact that they are limiting programs year after year. It bothers me that PE is only once a week as well as other block courses ( technology, music and art). I don't like the fact that kids spend 8 hrs a day in school only to come home and have 2-3 hours of homework. I also dislike the fact that they have assigned seating at lunch and are not allowed to really socialize during their lunch hour.

Both of my kids get great grades and are involved in their school. Busing has never been an issue for me as we have always driven our kids to school. We are currently looking to buy a house in Clayton and have been hearing some pretty fantastic things about the schools there. I also hear great things about the extracuricular activities in the school.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
8,264 posts, read 21,825,579 times
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ChTransplant is correct. It was actually not found to be unconsitutional in 1971, but has been challenged multiple times since then. WCPSS changed their diversity policy from basing it on race to socioeconimc status, which is supposed to be a better predictor.
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