We are volunteer tutors at a Wake County elementary school in Raleigh. The school is a pleasant place with its new building and friendly, well-disciplined students. One thing, however, has surprised us: There are few white students in any classroom we have visited.
We have assisted with several regular classrooms and special events at various grade levels, and overall the racial distribution is anything but what we thought we would find in a Wake County school. When we asked for statistics on this school, we learned that 63 percent of the students are on free or reduced-price lunch and that white students make up fewer than 1 in 5 of the school’s enrollment. We were surprised by these statistics, given that the surrounding neighborhoods appear to be mostly middle class and not dominated by one race.
While we are impressed by the dedication and focus of the teachers and the discipline in the school, we are nonetheless concerned that school assignment changes in recent years have moved our schools away from the commitment to achieve reasonable racial and economic balance throughout the system.
Hugh and Sara Stohler