Second, the district operated a set of magnet schools, many of which it located in disadvantaged neighborhoods with an eye toward attracting relatively affluent families.Third, WCPSS operated a number of year-round schools in a manner that helped the district meet its integration targets.
Research shows that, together, these strategies did lead to a noticeable decline in socio-economic segregation throughout the early 2000s.
And although a change in school board composition—the result of a contentious election—brought an end to WCPSS’s SES-based assignment policy in 2010, it remains notable that the district aggressively worked to integrate its schools for more than 25 years. Did the SES-based school assignment policy result in greater levels of racial integration? On one hand, on average, racial and ethnic segregation levels were not meaningfully different under the SES-based assignment policy compared to a scenario in which all students would have attended their neighborhood school.
WCPSS’ experience illustrates just how precarious this balancing act can be.
Even a district with a storied history of diversity efforts ultimately fell victim to the political realities surrounding integration.
We’re inviting the whole community to explore our amazing new home. // Todas las Escuelas Públicas del Condado Wake estarán cerradas el viernes 6 de septiembre debido a las inclemencias del tiempo.
#The Homecoming Tour pic.twitter.com/r Pz Z58Ph CC [ALERT] All WCPSS schools will be closed on Friday, Sept 6. Power School is a fully integrated, web-based, cross-platform Student Information System.The resources provided on this site should help you with accessing and using Power School.First, and most visibly, the district would reassign some students away from their neighborhood schools to other schools in the district.Although this aspect of WCPSS’ assignment system generated the most controversy, it affected a relatively small number of students, typically only 5-10% annually.Second, regardless of whether one deems the SES-based assignment policy a success or not, WCPSS’ experience illustrates the importance of taking advantage of all possible levers in an effort to achieve integration targets. The WCPSS case makes clear that an “all of the above” strategy is almost certainly necessary if districts are going to even have a chance to achieve meaningful integration.Third, any integration initiative is ultimately a balancing act between achieving meaningful diversity and navigating the politics of this issue.The Wake County Public School System, the largest in the state, assigns students to schools not simply geography but by a calculation that balances the student bodies based on socio-economic diversity and in an attempt to avoid over-crowding some buildings while others are under-utilized.As the county population grows and new schools are built, the board re-visits student assignments and students are sometimes moved.According to board materials, student assignment in Wake County is based on four criteria: student achievement, proximity, stability and operational efficiency.In 2019-20, Wake County will open two new elementary schools, a new middle school and a new high school.