What I have heard about proponents of neighborhood schools is an almost "back to a simpler time" argument, back to a time where you could count on your school always being the same and not having to face constant reassignment. While it may seem like a majority of students are being shuffled around, it's actually only about 3% of the student population. Most students attend schools very close to their neighborhood.
To me, this seems like the true motives are slightly more sinister. It seems more like parents are trying to control the populations of the schools their children will attend, and don't agree with Wake County's policy of assigning students based on economic diversity.
It's not a perfect system.
But Wake County is a model for counties around the country, and I don't think it's an accident. Charlotte-Mecklenburg abandoned their diversity policy, and Wake County has them beat in test scores and teacher turnover rates. I doubt this is a coincidence.
I'm really concerned about the implications:
-Schools who draw from a poorer base population will have less PTA funding (which, let's be honest, helps more than you know).
-There may be higher teacher turnover in those poorer schools.
-EVERYBODY benefits from a diverse classroom. I have seen my poor kids learn a lot from the experiences that students who have had more resources can share. But ALL of my students are learning how to relate to people from very different walks of life. This isn't fluff. I've seen it happen firsthand. And it's a wonderful thing that could very well be lost. There aren't boundaries in my room. Why are there boundaries being formed in the county? This seems more like a euphemism for segregation, maybe not in the intentions of all who voted for this policy, but in the consequences of such a change.
I am terrified about the change that may occur in my classroom. I think about the diversity I have in my room, and how students from completely different socioeconomic backgrounds are extremely close friends. I think about the community that is forming during our Friday Family Meetings and what it would be like without those students that are being bussed in from other parts of the county. I know they won't be reassigned this year, but I can't imagine what my class would have been like without them.
What do you think?