I presented another variant of my analysis of the SAC's zone-based reassignment proposal at the Ligon PTA meeting on October 27, 2010. This one focused on magnets and Southeast Raleigh. The slides are here.
Entries in SAC (6)
Dr. McLaurin and her District 5 representative on the Student Assignment Committee (SAC), Anne Cooper, held a District 5 Forum on student assignment tonight at Dillard Drive Middle School. I gave a revised presentation on the SAC's now-in-limbo zone plan, and Tim Simmons of the Wake Education Partnership spoke about the "controlled choice" plan being developed for the Partnership and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce by Dr. Michael Alves. All presenters fielded questions.
I never posted the reassignment "directive" adopted at the last Board meeting. Since it should govern the Student Assignment Committee proceedings Tuesday, I am posting it now. Click here.
1. "The Wake County Board of Education abandons its effort to establish Community Assignment Zones. Any and all efforts to create a zone based assignment model will cease effective immediately."
2. The current reassignment plan, which applies to next year's assignments, will continue in place for the time being, subject to node-based adjustments, calendar conversions, and "school designations." These 2011-2012 adjustments are to be made in conformity with Policy 6200—which no longer includes diversity as a goal—and considerations of stability, proximity, growth, and "other factors that may be relevant."
3. Relevant Board and administrative committees and WCPSS departments are "directed" (i.e. required) to provide recommendations for each school that consider parental choice, proximity, stability, capacity, "equity and equal opportunity for a sound, basic education for all students, as provided in our [State] Constitution."
Although there no longer appear to be five votes for any particular reassignment proposal, and no significant assignment changes are likely for 2011-2012, John Tedesco still controls the Student Assignment Committee, and he plans to have it discuss magnet schools at its next meeting.
The meeting will be held THIS TUESDAY, October 12, 2010, at 11:30 a.m. in the Board Meeting Room. It will last until 2:00 pm. The complete agenda is here.
Two presentations are of note: one, by Superintendent Hargens, will discuss so-called Program Equity, which means the availability of traditional and year-round options and magnets across the county; the other, by David Ansbacher, is about a concept for "additional magnet programs."
This concept will be Mr. Tedesco's concept. His zone plan—at least temporarily off the table—would have eliminated many magnet seats in Southeast Raleigh, and he would not answer questions about its impact on magnets when I asked him earlier. (See post on October 1.) It will be worth considering this concept for "additional magnet programs" carefully.
The day after the September 28 SAC meeting, I sent John Tedesco this email about the magnet program. So far, he has ignored it:
At yesterday's Student Assignment Committee meeting, you presented for the first time (I think) a page called "Starting Points Student Assignment Plan Components To Be Considered for Upcoming Meetings." On that sheet, you list as a "Key Component" "Identify East Raleigh Zone as County Application Schools and set aside a number of seats for applicants—40%."
I had a few questions about that, and I was wondering if you would answer them for everyone on your committee and elsewhere before they become an issue at some future SAC meeting.
(1) There is no "East Raleigh Zone." Does this mean the "Southeast Raleigh/Enloe Zone" in your HS Base Zone Proposal? If not, what does it mean?
(2) If you are talking about the SE Raleigh/Enloe Zone, 40% of the projected 2012 capacity is about 4,600 seats, or 1,100 magnet seats fewer than we currently have in that zone, right?
(3) More importantly, the data provided by the school system in connection with the HS Base Zone proposal suggests that there will only be room for 1,600 or so magnet students there after the HS Base Zone plan revisions return all of the kids to Southeast Raleigh who are now bused out (The assumptions I made are in the attachment and below my signature block. Feel free to correct me if you think they are too pessimistic.) Where will the system get the extra 3,000 seats to get to 4,600?
(4) Do you contemplate that magnets in other zones will continue at or near their current levels?
You have said in the past that this project has a number of moving parts, and that some must be addressed before others. While true, this does not imply that it is best to establish zone lines before addressing those other issues. If establishing zone lines will destroy a major existing program, as seems likely, it is difficult to see why the SAC would not address the handling of that program first. In that spirit, I am hopeful that you will give the committee (and interested bystanders like me) an opportunity to do that by answering some of these questions.
Neil Riemann (contact info provided in original)