Wake Ed

July 1, 2014

North Forest Pines Eleven asks Wake County for student assignment change

A group of parents is lobbying to go to Heritage Middle School, saying their children are the only ones from North Forest Pines Elementary School who are assigned to Durant Road Middle School.

A group of Wake Forest parents has been lobbying the Wake County school board, Wake County Board of Commissioners and state legislators for help in changing where their children are assigned to go to school.

The parents call themselves the “North Forest Pines Eleven” because they say their 11 children are the only students from North Forest Pines Elementary School in the Wakefield area who are assigned to Durant Road Middle School in North Raleigh. They want their kids to go with their peers to the closer Heritage Middle School in Wake Forest.

“In the 2013-14 school year, out of 128 fifth graders attending North Forest Pines only 11 of the students attending year round school went to Durant Road MS instead of with their peers to Heritage MS,” the group says on its Facebook page. “It is shameful that the Wake County Board of Education has been so negligent in their oversight of the student assignment process as to allow this to happen.”

Heritage Middle is the year-round calendar option or these families. Wake Forest Middle is the base traditional-calendar option.

According to the school system, Durant Road has been the year-round option for Node 301.3 since the 2008-09 school year. This would predate both the current Democratic board majority and the prior Republican board majority.

In a letter to state legislators, the group charges the school board is engaging in “social engineering” by not assigning them to Heritage.

“Please consider sponsoring legislation to limit a school board's ability to arbitrarily pick winners and losers based upon politics and instead allow parents to have control over the situation through their choice of home ownership,” the group says in the letter to legislators. “Neighborhood schools are what is best for North Carolina.”

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The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.

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