Wake County choice plan questions balance for diversity
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RALEIGH--The last school year marked the first time Wake County parents could select their child's school under the choice plan.
The impact the choice plan has on the make-up of students in the district has caused protests, arrests and federal civil rights complaints.
The process of how Wake County assigns students to public schools has been one of the hottest education issues in recent years.
“What research definitely shows is the more you can balance socioeconomics, the healthier the district will be as a whole,” said Will Huntsberry, an education reporter for the Raleigh Public Record.
Huntsberry spent more than a week analyzing Wake County's student demographics data. He looked at the number of low-income students who qualified for free or reduced lunch to determine what impact the choice plan is already having on school populations.
School board member John Tedesco defends the choice plan he championed.
“You put that choice on the parents. You didn't allow the bureaucrats to say we're going to shuffle your kids for some quota system. Our goal shouldn't be just distribution for the sake of distribution. Our goal should be academic performance for our children,” said Tedesco.
Tedesco says the school system should focus on academic achievement instead of diversity, but the new majority on the board believes the two are linked.