Wake parents to protest student assignment plan
Updated: 04/23/2012 09:41 PM
By: Heather Moore
CARY -- The Wake County Public School System said all students should know by Thursday where they'll be assigned to school next year.
The second round of school selections wrapped up nearly two weeks ago. But some parents say the student assignments are flawed.
“It's invalid,” said Wake County parent Maria Reier. “There were too many mistakes.”
She and other parents are unhappy with the new choice student assignment plan. She said the school system misled parents when explaining how the school selection process worked.
“It wasn't really even explained that priority only applied to your first choice,” she said.
Before round one opened, school leaders held dozens of community information meetings to teach parents how to choose schools and how students would be assigned.
But after the first selection round ended, parents found out the priority scale, which gave them a better chance of getting into a particular school, only applied to their first school choice.
Families who didn't get their first choice were randomly selected to fill second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-choice schools.
“They acknowledged that things were not made clear,” Reier said. “[That] leads me to believe everybody was at a disadvantage when they made their choices. I bet you the majority of people, if they knew the rules now, if they went back and did it again, they'd pick differently.”
School leaders said the more than 90 percent of families are happy with their student assignment. However, it's worth noting nearly all of them were grandfathered into the old plan.
The school system only expected about six percent of students to participate in the school selection process.
“For a few cases, a handful of cases, there were some glitches, so to speak, in the way the new plan worked and rolled out,” said school board member John Tedesco, who was one of the biggest supporters of the new choice plan. “I was one of the first to acknowledge that and we're going to work hard to do what we can to help those families.”
Tedesco said he supports changing the plan so the priorities apply to all the school selections, but said its too late to make those type of changes for the upcoming school year.
Several parents from all across the county are joining together to protest the school choice plan 5:30 p.m. Tuesday outside the school board meeting.
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