Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Déjà Vu All Over Again: NC, Politics, and Education | The Patiently Impatient Teacher

Déjà Vu All Over Again: NC, Politics, and Education | The Patiently Impatient Teacher:

Déjà Vu All Over Again: NC, Politics, and Education

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Here is a lesson in public education and politics in North Carolina. Late last week, a news report from one part of the state started being noticed elsewhere. It would appear that buried in the 187 pages of the NC Senate’s version of the budget (a bill that was whisked through committee and floor votes in a matter of days) was a definition that would eliminate year-round schools that operate on a single track as opposed to a multiple tracks effective for the 2016-17 school year. For schools that start in mid-July, that provides families and schools less than a month’s notice to rearrange work and childcare arrangements, change bus routes, rearrange staffing, etc. There are dozens of single-track, year-round schools in the state. In my district at least, year-round is a choice option for families and they enter a lottery to be placed in those schools. Many families prefer the year round option and some research suggest that all students can benefit academically from the schedule; specifically economically disadvantaged students and some students with disabilities show the most benefit.
Strangely, the same GOP lawmakers who espouse school choice, less government, and more local control have snuck in language that will eliminate these school choice options for families and override the decisions of local elected school boards. Those of us in single-track, year-round schools in the state were left puzzled. Where did this language come from? What is going on?
The first clue was the use of the terms multi-track and single-track. Wake County is the primary district that uses a multi-track system to reduce overcrowding in their schools. The new story also included this quote: “According to Senator Michael Lee, the language in the budget was not intended to impact New Hanover County Schools, but address another issue in another part of the state.” Hmm…so the language in the bill was clearly intended to target only one school district. Well, a quick Google search provides us with this news report. I am no Sherlock Holmes, but those dots seem to connect.
Apparently Wake County Public Schools wanted to explore the option of moving some low performing elementary schools with large percentages of disadvantaged students Déjà Vu All Over Again: NC, Politics, and Education | The Patiently Impatient Teacher:


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