Police removed protesters last week from a heated Wake County, N.C., school board meeting in which board members voted to abandon a student-assignment and diversity policy with roots dating back three decades. The district had been known as a leader for its approach to achieving socioeconomic balance in schools.
The 5-4 vote reflected a shift in the board in recent elections. Its majority voted to end busing students for diversity purposes, instead favoring a strategy that returns students to neighborhood schools. The assignment plan had relied on socioeconomic diversity rather than race. Superintendent Del Burns announced last month that he would resign at the end of the school year, saying he could not in “good conscience” continue to work for the district. He was put on administrative leave by the board through the end of the year. A new assignment plan could take more than a year to complete.
A version of this article appeared in the March 31, 2010 edition of Education Week as Wake County, N.C., Board Rejects Diversity-Based Assignment Plan