Regarding recent criticism of the Wake County Board of Education for its practices in student assignment: What has happened to our beliefs about the importance of diversity in our schools?
During my time on the board, I have challenged my colleagues not to follow the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, which about 10 years ago abandoned diversity busing and as a result increased racial and economic segregation in their schools.
I have been much less vocal in light of the unilateral changes some of my colleagues made to assignment in 2010. But neither this board nor future boards will unilaterally reverse assignment policy like the WCPSS board did five years ago.
What will it take to bring change? Maybe now is the time to follow Charlotte’s lead. The OneMECK Coalition is organizing parents, community groups, business groups and municipal leaders to begin discussion about “the well-established link between diverse schools and academic success for all children.”
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It is time for Wake County to have these discussions. Once the residents of Wake County stand up and direct the Board of Education to look at student assignment practices tied to diversity, we may once again be the model other school districts look up to.
Kevin L. Hill
Member, Wake County Board of Education