Tata addressing assignment plan complaints

May 27, 2011 11:03:28 AM PDT
Wake County School Superintendent Tony Tata says he is getting a lot of complaints from parents about a perceived lack of details in the newly released student assignment plans that are being outlined online.Tata says he understands parents want more details, but he wants to remind people that it is still fairly early on in the whole process. They're not making a recommendation to the board until next month, the board won't approve it until the fall, and then it won't go into affect until February.

Click here to read the plans

When it comes to Wake County Schools' student assignment plans, the superintendent says he's realized there are three things people need to remember.

"First, they're controversial," Tata said. "Second, we need data and input, and third, we must be transparent."

But, he says, that means putting up preliminary plans and ideas before they're fully developed.

"The sample elementary schools we have listed, and the middle and high school you will see in the near future are preliminary examples of what parents' choices might be," Tata said.

The superintendent says finding the best plan possible is a months-long process.

There's a task force that has considered nine courses of action, studied 22 different school districts, and modeled those concepts against 18 different criteria, then came up with two different plans - the blue and the green plan.

They've been conducting in-depth research on how student assignment will affect achievement. The rough models posted online reflect what they've come up with so far. And officials say going forward, they want more public input.

"I've read through many of the 826 comments that we've received so far in the last four days and I want to thank the public for their earnest and well thought out feedback," Tata said.

There have been close to 170,000 page views on their website that outlines the plans.

In the meantime, there are public meetings set up to walk people through the plans. The next one is on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Enloe High, Millbrook High and Athens Drive High School.

Two others will be held at the same time on Wednesday at Panther Creek High and Knightdale High School and Thursday at Wake Forest-Rolesville High, Garner High, Sanderson High, Cary High and Holly Springs High School.

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