The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Twitter feed heated up recently. A lively discussion between WCPSS and parents showed brewing frustration over the district’s low bar on school closures.
In response to inferences that the district might be too large, WCPSS said the effort to desegregate propelled the decision to merge the Raleigh City Schools and Wake County Schools. According to WCPSS, proposals to divide the district, would weaken and resegregate the schools.
A variety of questions certainly emerge from such thinking.
First, WCPSS seems to have no or very little faith in parents. Without the ability to control economic and racial diversity, WCPSS says schools would resegregate. Is there another way of saying our policies to desegregate aren’t working? If not, why continue the policy?
Second, if every business or organization has an optimum size, so too does a school district. When entities get large they become less efficient and more impersonal. WCPSS believes that the larger the system; the better. That’s not the case. Large systems frequently have higher costs for such things as land, labor and services. Finally, larger districts frequently have higher costs because they enroll a larger percentage of higher-needs students, such as at-risk, special needs, limited English proficiency, Title I, or ESSA.
WCPSS says the county integration plan prevents segregation and is the key to providing opportunity and better schools.
“It’s the foundation of our success as a community. It is the reason our community has prospered. It’s why our taxes are low. It’s what attracted many of you to move here. It’s why all of our schools are good schools.”
Excuse me if I think the rhetoric bloated. It’s what you might expect out of a big bureaucracy. All the more reason why parents deserve a bigger say on decision-making at WCPSS.