Fred Mills: System's message

November 30, 2012 

System’s message

The Nov. 24 headline “Wake revisits early dismissals” and accompanying editorial “School needs” finally drove me to comment.

We are newcomers to Raleigh and Wake County, with a current sixth-grader who arrived in the fifth grade immediately after spring break. Let me be clear: Our direct experience with first his elementary school and now his middle school has been wonderful, justifying the reputation for Raleigh schools that we’d heard of anecdotally and determined privately from our research prior to moving here.

Our experience with the larger school system, however, also justifies a reputation – that Wake County is a dysfunctional disaster in the making.

From the overheated and oftentimes bizarre political bickering that makes headlines on a weekly basis; to the byzantine process of selecting our son’s school (a process that made clear that new arrivals to Wake County reside at the bottom of the list for any euphemistic “choice”); to the ongoing tinkering, tweaking and torching of existing assignment procedures. This is a school system that, to paraphrase the old Monty Python adage about certain stomach-churning antipodean table wines, comes with a message: Beware.

Is that really the message Wake is trying to send?

Fred Mills


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