Wake Co. Schools review its magnet programs
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CARY - Wake County's magnet schools are getting a thorough evaluation, which could lead to the school board cutting, adding, or changing some magnet programs.
Magnet schools offer special classes not available at most schools.
Historically, Wake County put magnet programs in its inner city schools to attract motivated, high achieving students to lower income areas. But now the county is up to 34 magnet schools spread all across the county.
The Wake County School Board met Wednesday to start evaluating how well the magnet program is working.
“[We're] asking the questions about which schools should remain magnets, what's the overall arching purpose of our magnet program, and how are we doing with our magnet program,” said Superintendent Tony Tata.
But some board members said the school system should evaluate all schools, not just magnets.
“A lot of the questions about achievement, graduation, how effectively we're utilizing our schools, these are things we should be looking at across the system,” said board member Jim Martin.
As Wake County implemented its new school selection assignment plan this year, some parents and board members have suggested creating magnet programs at under-performing or under-enrolled schools to make them more desirable.
Other parents worry school leaders could cut magnet programs at over-enrolled schools.
“Some of the possible outcomes [of the magnet review process] would be no change to the [magnet] program if that's what the board decides,” said Tata. “Some [outcomes] could be adding magnet programs, some could be reducing some of the magnet programs. I think everything is sort of on the table with the magnet review.”
The next magnet review meeting is scheduled for June 13.
School leaders plan to start making decisions on magnet programs in August.