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peaceloveunderstanding

Wake County Public Schools....

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Unfortunately, the article was bunk. I've seen a number of explanations elsewhere on the intarweb over the last few days, but it basically comes down to this: The changes in Wake's test scores are statistically insignificant compared with changes in test scores in NC as a whole.

Wake's are still slightly higher than the state average (3pts, IIRC), but not for any clear-cut reasons such as integration. You could just as easily attribute it to a better-educated urban population comprised of a greater percentage of professional parents with higher education.

Google can find the test scores if you're interested.

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I've read more into the subject. I agree that these articles should be taken with a grain of salt, but I do think you've missed the point.

The article is not just about average test scores or percentages or what have you. The main point is that inner city schools in poor neighborhoods are not performing poorly. Rather than concentrating on expanding in the suburbs, while ignoring the schools downtown (and boarding some up, even), Wake County made a conscious decision to keep investing in every school in the system.

If Wake County had followed the national trend, newer schools in rich Cary and North Raleigh neighborhoods would have attracted all the best teachers, which would in turn drive up surrounding land values because everyone wants to live in the best school district. Everything then spirals towards a more and more "exclusive" community around that school - and the kids in the rich neighborhood get the best education and the best teachers, while kids in poor areas get left out in the cold.

Instead they built an extensive system of magnet schools, drawing from student bodies throughout the county. The concept of the "neighborhood school" is somewhat lost in Wake (there could be six fourth graders living on one street but they all go to different schools) - but parents often willingly send their kids to schools elsewhere so they can take advantage of the options available to them. I'm not clear on where the busing comes into play, but from what i've read, it's either voluntary or used to mitigate capacity issues.

The goal is (and it seems to be working) to build a school system where no matter where you live and what school your kids go to, they can be assured of a quality education. That is what they say is special about WCPSS.

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Unfortunately, the article was bunk. I've seen a number of explanations elsewhere on the intarweb over the last few days, but it basically comes down to this: The changes in Wake's test scores are statistically insignificant compared with changes in test scores in NC as a whole.

Wake's are still slightly higher than the state average (3pts, IIRC), but not for any clear-cut reasons such as integration. You could just as easily attribute it to a better-educated urban population comprised of a greater percentage of professional parents with higher education.

Google can find the test scores if you're interested.

By the way...Welcome to the Forum "only"

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The quality of the school system in wake county is overlooked sometimes. In the triangle area, you guys are lucky to have a school system that has such a good curriculum and is overall really good. Compared to alot of other places in the country/state wake county public schools can def. stand as an example. :)

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Exactly. I went to wake county schools and enjoyed every bit of it I graduated in '01 (First Class of the new Millennium.) And I thought that the whole busing issue to try and equally balance schools while an incovience to some is very beneficial to the county as a whole.

If it aint broke don't fix it. And Wake Countys system is not broke After all the superintendent won a couple of years ago for Sup of the year. And the system is the second best in the south for a large system only beaten by Austin Texas.

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When my family lived in Northern VA, I was enrolled in higher level english and math classes. As I was entering into middle school we moved to Cary and I was automatically placed in equivalent classes here. Well... I was so far behind that they had to knock me back to the basic level classes as well as provide some very brief tutoring to get me "up to speed" with other NC 6th graders. I was self-conscious at the time and it actually made me feel kind of stupid. I regained confidence in part by taking a drama/theatre elective--something that wasn't even offered at my school in VA.

Bear in mind that Northern VA schools are generally pretty good--at least the ones I attended were. When my family originally moved from the Charlotte area (Cabarrus County specifically) to Northern VA years before, I had virtually no trouble adjusting--I was more or less in sync with the other kids aside from a few minor places where I was ahead or behind. But that move into Wake County from Northern VA was quite a shock.

That of course has very little to do with test scores, but it does illustrate how Wake County had a much faster paced curriculum than a very good school system. This was back in the late 80s, so perhaps things have changed since then.

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When my family lived in Northern VA, I was enrolled in higher level english and math classes. As I was entering into middle school we moved to Cary and I was automatically placed in equivalent classes here. Well... I was so far behind that they had to knock me back to the basic level classes as well as provide some very brief tutoring to get me "up to speed" with other NC 6th graders. I was self-conscious at the time and it actually made me feel kind of stupid. I regained confidence in part by taking a drama/theatre elective--something that wasn't even offered at my school in VA.

Bear in mind that Northern VA schools are generally pretty good--at least the ones I attended were. When my family originally moved from the Charlotte area (Cabarrus County specifically) to Northern VA years before, I had virtually no trouble adjusting--I was more or less in sync with the other kids aside from a few minor places where I was ahead or behind. But that move into Wake County from Northern VA was quite a shock.

That of course has very little to do with test scores, but it does illustrate how Wake County had a much faster paced curriculum than a very good school system. This was back in the late 80s, so perhaps things have changed since then.

Interesting...I'm from Arlington, VA, and college level coursework at NC State was often easier than classes I took in high school in the Arlington public schools.

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Interesting...I'm from Arlington, VA, and college level coursework at NC State was often easier than classes I took in high school in the Arlington public schools.

I was a product of the Fairfax County, VA school system and I know they highly tout their performance on a national level. I don't know much about Wake county schools, other than the fact I hear the people on these boards say they are very good. I will say though that Northern Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, loudoun, & Prince William) has very good school systems. The Fairfax county school system is the 12th largest in the country and they have had to change a lot over the past 15 years or so with many immigrant students coming in. Apparently they have done a great job of indoctrinating these new students and are still achieving at an extremely high level.

I kind of like the idea of what Wake county schools are doing (busing to further schools), but I know when I have kids and I live in Wake county, I probably won't be so happy about it.

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Interesting...I'm from Arlington, VA, and college level coursework at NC State was often easier than classes I took in high school in the Arlington public schools.

Ironic because I found some of my initial courses at NC State much easier than some of the classes I had at Cary High School. :lol:

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I was a product of the Fairfax County, VA

My favorite county in Virginia, as well as my old home. :thumbsup:

I really love northern VA and Washington DC. If I hadn't formed so many adult ties here in the Triangle, I would probably be living there.

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My favorite county in Virginia, as well as my old home. :thumbsup:

I really love northern VA and Washington DC. If I hadn't formed so many adult ties here in the Triangle, I would probably be living there.

You forgot the reason I'm moving from NoVA to Raleigh in the first place...COST OF LIVING! I do have family ties here, but it's only a 4-hour car ride from Raleigh to Fairfax, so we'll be ok.

I really do love Northern VA, but the cost of living is really pushing my wife and me out of here. Sure we own a small townhouse now and could struggle on up here, but by moving to NC it'll allow us a better lifestyle and much if not all of the same amenities we enjoy up here. It's a win win situation. I can't wait until we cash out on our home :yahoo:

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Part of my family is from southern California, and my uncle in Glendale is experiencing the same thing you are. Each time he has moved, the dollar value of everything has risen by a large margin. At present, the house he bought for $500,000 about 10 years ago is now worth close to $1 million. By comparison, that $1 million dollar home is the same size, style, and age as a $300,000-$350,000 home in Cary--and the one in Cary has a slightly bigger yard.

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As a byproduct of the Wake County School System, and a frequent traveler to schools across both the state and the country, I can tell you that this region pretty much has them all beat. Wake pours a lot of money into its school system, but receives great results and performance in return. I started out in a magnet program and was bused 25 minutes every day to a downtown school, quite far from my home; this school however, despite being in what one might call a "ghetto," was a nationally-recognized magnet school that excelled in its educational methods. I stayed in magnet schools throughout the entire K-12 process. Several of Wake County's high schools are flagships for both North Carolina and the South and are consistently recognized as such (Enloe and Broughton both come to mind).

When I look at the education I received compared to that which my friends from other cities received (not just from rural school systems, but from places like Charlotte or Florida), there is no doubt that I was given the upper hand.

Admittedly there are problems with the school system: overgrowth (try to find a public school without at least 3 trailers on its campus), occasional misallocation of funds, and continually changing redistricting plans. These often elicit complaints from the public and are headlined by the News & Observer, and while I think they are significant problems, they are usually overpublicized

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In knew a lot of people when I was an undergrad at UNC from Wake County and Chapel Hill and they were by far more advanced upon arriving at school (along with the out-of-staters). After a couple of semesters the rest of us were able to catch up though.

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It is inividual school ratings. I atteneded Fairfax High in Fairfax, VA #198. As you can see Many DC area schools are ranked very high on the list.

I'm not sure how accurate these really are, I think they basically take into account how many AP courses are offered at each school.

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I see four Triangle schools in the top 100, and some in Greensboro and Charlotte. It looks like NC is well represented, even if those schools primarily reflect what the students already had entering them.

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