End of diversity policy draws national attention for Wake County schools
The Washington Post has an article out today titled, “Republican school board in N.C. backed by tea party abolishes integration policy.” The article recaps the controversial decision to end busing to promote socio-economic diversity in Wake County schools.
Concerning the fears of diversity supporters, Post reporter Stephanie McCrummen writes, “Without a diversity policy in place, they say, the county will inevitably slip into the pattern that defines most districts across the country, where schools in well-off neighborhoods are decent and those in poor, usually minority neighborhoods struggle.”
John Tedesco, the most outspoken member of the Republican majority on the board, told the Post a high concentration of poverty could present opportunities to more easily identify challenged students. “If we had a school that was, like, 80 percent high-poverty, the public would see the challenges, the need to make it successful. Right now, we have diluted the problem, so we can ignore it.”
Since a review of the school system started last year, the school board has failed to cooperate with the review. Stephen Farmer, director of admissions at UNC-Chapel Hill, said that losing accreditation probably wouldn’t hurt students applying to in state schools, but “I don’t know that any school system in North Carolina can count on colleges and universities outside our state having the same understanding.”
The board will vote Wednesday night on whether or not to allow AdvancED to continue with the review.