The website offering details of new Wake County student assignment plans has received almost 170,000 page views since it went live Monday afternoon.
The Wake County Public School System released unfinished versions of nine student assignment plans in order to solicit feedback from the community before hammering out the final details.
The public has also offered 829 comments and downloaded more than 5,800 items.
So far, comments have greatly favored the Blue Plan — one of the two frontrunners, along with the Green Plan, identified by Superintendent Tony Tata’s student assignment task force.
Two hundred eighty-two comments expressed a preference for the Blue Plan, compared to 70 comments siding with the Green Plan.
The Blue Plan does away with the current system of nodes and base schools and offers several school choices in close proximity to a child’s home.
The Green Plan keeps base schools — the closest school to a residence.
Both plans maintain the system of magnet schools and calendar options. Both plans also offer use student performance rankings to determine school choice.
At a press briefing Friday, Tata acknowledged the public’s desire to see details such as feeder patterns so that parents would know their children’s options throughout their schooling years. Tata hopes to get the feeder patterns out within a week to 10 days.
“This is a very good process that we’re going through right now,” Tata said. “You could debate and say, ‘Let’s give a 99.9 percent, shrink-wrapped plan at a later date.’ That doesn’t give a chance to comment on it. It’s already fully cooked and baked.”
Tata said a number of comments questioned the role of academic achievement in the plans, expressing concern that shuffling low-performing kids is tantamount to shuffling low-income kids. The student assignment task force did not consider race or socioeconomic status in its process.
“I want to be clear that it’s not an option not to have [a student achievement component],” said Tata. “Academic achievement is a fundamental driver in these plans.”
“You can get into a debate about socioeconomic status being a proxy for student achievement, what came first,” he added.
Tata and his team have set up eight public information sessions for the student assignment plans next week.
Tata plans to present a “framework” — not a completed plan — to the Board of Education in mid-June. Final board approval of a new plan is set for September or October.
All information sessions begin at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, May 31
- Enloe High School, 128 Clarendon Crescent, Raleigh
Wednesday, June 1
- Panther Creek High School, 6770 McCrimmon Parkway, Cary
- Knightdale High School, 100 Bryan Chalk Lane, Knightdale
Thursday, June 2
- Wake Forest-Rolesville High School, 420 W. Stadium Drive, Wake Forest
- Garner Magnet High School, 2101 Sprin Drive, Graner
- Sanderson High School, 5500 Dixon Drive, Raleigh
- Cary High School, 638 Walnut Street, Cary
- Holly Springs High School, 5329 Cass Holt Road, Holly Springs