Monday, April 4, 2005

Nashville school board considers socio-economic integration as zoning tool

The Tennessean reports that the Metro school board is looking at North Carolina's mix of socio-economic groups as a model for improving education in Davidson County.

"[The Wake County, N.C. school] district disregards race in student assignment and, instead, uses a prescribed mix of low-income and middle-class students to insure diversity. Last year, 91% of its students were performing on grade level."

"During the meeting, the Rev. Andrew Stephens complimented [Wake County school board Chairwoman Susan] Parry on Wake County's desire to make its schools diverse. Parry cautioned that diversity isn't a universal desire."

"'It takes strong leadership, not just at the school system, but from the business community, the parent community, in the African-American and Hispanic communities,'" said Cyndi Soter O'Neil, director of communications and research for the Wake County Educational Partnership.

Six percent of students in Wake County schools are Hispanic, compared with nine percent in Davidson County.

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