Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Wake schools v. CMS, by the numbers

Chris Fitzsimon, a former newsman, advisor to former House Speaker Dan Blue and now policy analyst and blogger for N.C. Policy Watch (www.ncpolicywatch.com) at the N.C. Justice Center in Raleigh, looks at some interesting numbers as voters in Wake County go to the polls today in an election that could change the county school system's diversity policy and require more neighborhood schools and less busing.

Here's part of Fitzsimon's latest blogpost:


139,599-number of students in Wake County schools in the first month of 2009-2010 school year

128,072-number of students in Wake County Schools in the first month of 2006-2007 school year

79.71-percent of Wake County students in 2008-2009 who attend a school within 5 miles of their home

79.57-percent of Wake County students in 2006-2007 who attended a school within 5 miles of their home

107,970 number of Wake County students who attend specific school by assignment

30,150 number of Wake County students who attend school by choice

86.6-percent of Wake County students who attend school within 5 miles of their home due to school assignment

55-percent of Wake County students who attend school within 5 miles of their home due to choice of school

8,117-amount in dollars of spending per student in Wake County in 2007-2008 school year

8,595-amount in dollars of spending per student in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in 2007-2008 school year

35-amount in millions of dollars that budget of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools exceeded budget of Wake County Schools last year

71.7-percent of students statewide who graduate from high school as reported in 2009 AYP results

78.4-percent of students in Wake County schools who graduate as reported in 2009 AYP results

66.1-percent of students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools who graduate as reported in 2009 AYP results

63.4-percent of African-American students in Wake County Schools who graduate

55.5- percent of African-American students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools who graduate.

54.2-percent of students in Wake County Schools who receive free or reduced lunch who graduate.

52.0- percent of students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools who receive free or reduced lunch who graduate

100-number of points the average score on the SAT in 2009 in Wake County was higher than the average score in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

5,935-amount by which student enrollment in Wake County Schools exceeded enrollment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

17-percent that spending on busing by Charlotte Mecklenburg exceeded spending on busing by Wake County Schools in 2008-2009 school year.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

this makes me so mad!! I would love to plug all those raleigh folk. than maybe they'd learn a thing or two.

Anonymous said...

did you really just say you'd like to plug all the raleigh people. hahah no wonder we got the better school system

Anonymous said...

So, let's get this straight. You want to "plug those Raleigh folk?" Why? Because they get less money per student than CMS, yet still seem to have it together when getting their students through school successfully. CMS really needs to take a cue from Wake County. It's no wonder so many families in Charlotte choose to send their kids to private school!

Anonymous said...

This article conveniently ignores the significant demographic differences between the two counties. CMS has a much larger free and reduced lunch population and those students are much more costly to educate.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the voters in Wake County did not fall for this list of numbers--perhaps they recognize the demographic differences between our two school systems. Or perhaps they are concerned about the test scores of minority and high poverty kids (the fact that they have been flat for several years while CMS's have been rising--numbers conveniently ignored by Fitzsimon). According to News Observer 3 out of 4 candidates who support a change in assignment policy won outright (and in large numbers). The 4th candidate also won but will have to compete in a runoff. Looks like policies will be changing in Wake. Hope our board is paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Hi, from (I fear) newly re-segregated Wake County. I agree with that there are basic differences in the socio-economic/racial balances in our two school systems. But it seems that folks in Charlotte aren't any happier with their neighborhood schools. Why would you want your board to pay attention? Don't you have what all of our pro-neighborhood school, winning suburbanites want?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous at 10:55: A few on our school board still long for the good old of busing and have recently attempted to force us back into it. That has created a huge uproar here, the likes of which hasn't been seen since the late 90's/early 2000's. So the board needs to take note that there can be repercussions for attempting to force policies that the community does not want. As for your resegregating comment: which do you value more: having kids learn or having diversity? Take a careful look at minority and FRL scores in Wake--do you honestly think the diversity policy is helping those kids?

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Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that one of the reasons for the difference in the socioeconomic mix in the two systems is white flight since the end of diversity busing in CMS. The school district used to be almost 60% white students, which makes sense since Charlotte area is 60% white according to census data. That hasn't changed. What's changed is a 25% drop in the number of middle class families - both black and white - who have dropped out of the public school system.

That certainly makes "neighborhood schools" look like a big failure for Charlotte.

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