Monday, March 1, 2010

Wake schools to end busing policy?

The Wake County Board of Education is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to end Wake’s nationally recognized income-based busing policy, the New York Times reports.

"At stake is the direction of the 140,000-student school system — the largest in America to consider family income in school placements. Wake has long been the most prominent example of a district that dropped race-based busing, which courts have ruled unconstitutional, in favor of trying to achieve economic diversity in the schools."

Click here to read the full story.

Charlotte gets a mention in the story for its decision in 2002 that "eliminated busing for diversification, leading to rapid repolarization of schools by race and income.

“My feeling is that it’s very important for people in Wake to drive over to Charlotte and see what’s happened,” said Gary Orfield, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies school busing."

In the comments section, a few thoughts from Charlotte readers, who support or take issue with Orfield's view:

- I am a graduate of and currently a teacher in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. When I was growing up Charlotte had a wonderful, diverse, equitable school system that produced highly-educated students. We had busing for desegregation coupled with very strong magnet programs. Just living in a "good" part of town did not entitle you to any better a school than any other family in the county. In the late 1990s some residents (I will suggest that many of them were recent arrivals in Charlotte) started clamoring for our system to be dismantled. Now we have become a very divided district. There are many "poor" schools and many "rich" schools and not a lot in between. ...Raleigh would be wise to not start down the road that Charlotte is on.

- Things were not so rosy here under busing, with a wide achievement gap (of course all schools looked "good" because the high achieving students balanced out the low achieving students). But that did not mean that minority students were receiving a good education. In addition the population of the district more than doubled over the past twenty years--more traffic, more schools, more diversity, and more poverty. Busing was no longer serving the community well. Currently we do not have "pooor" schools and "rich" schools, as Margaret says. We do have schools that are serving predominately high poverty children; however, these schools receive far greater funds than the schools serving low poverty students. The many needs that our high poverty students bring with them to school are being addressed in their neighborhood schools, which does not happen under busing.

- Doug Miller


therestofthestory said...

It is a shame folks like Margaret only look at some surface thing and not look at the richness of educational program being offered all children in CMS. The biggest issue we are having now is the school board is continuing to cut programs to serve the more advanced students. But once, what do you expect from the class envy crowd. CMS is spending over $10k per student in these "at risk" serving schools while spending less than $5k in these other schools. CMS is providing many programs (like AP) in schools who do not have the student population to support a class yet they continue on. In the voice of equity, it looks like the schools with more eligible students will lose their classes. CMS at risk population does score better than Wake's as you can see on the DPI site. And we have 3 to 4 times the number of at risk students than they do. So who is doing a better job?

Anonymous said...

Funny how LIEberals don't want any diesel engines running except ones taking black noses to schools with "too many" white noses.

And they don't mind robbing those kids of sleep or a sense of community, and they want their parents to have to drive all the way across town (again wasting gas and time) in order to participate in school programs.

Anonymous said...

If the New York Times praises a plan, you can be pretty sure that the plan is stupid.

Wake County voters threw out the bums running their schools - why can't Mecklenburg be as smart?

Anonymous said...

It's about time.

Desegregation is a miserable failure.

Too much money and effort is wasted on underperforming students who just don't care.

This was easily foreseen 50 years ago.

If anything, a sense of entitlement has made it worse.

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