It is interesting to note that even the lure of a magnet education is not enough to bring some people to put their children in some of eastern Wake County’s schools.
Hodge Road Elementary, Wendell Elementary and Zebulon Elementary were among five Wake County schools that received the fewest applications from students outside their assignment area. All five of the schools – which also includes Fox Road Elementary and Stough Elementary – have free and reduced lunch populations well over 50 percent. Hodge Road reports nearly 80 percent of its students are on free and reduced-lunch programs, an indication of the economic status of families with children in those schools.
It is perhaps time that Wake County really focus on what it considers to be the mission of a magnet school? Are they intended to create racial equilibrium? Socioeconomic equality? Improved test scores at underachieving schools? Whatever the school board decides, they must remember that magnets can be helpful in resolving some of those challenges, but they can’t fix everything.