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End of ConsensusDiversity, Neighborhoods, and the Politics of Public School Assignments$
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Toby L. Parcel and Andrew J. Taylor

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622545

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622545.001.0001

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A Focus of Conflict II

A Focus of Conflict II

(p.51) 4 A Focus of Conflict II
End of Consensus

Toby L. Parcel

Andrew J. Taylor

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the Wake school board's implementation of ad hoc student assignment decisions up until the watershed 2009 election. As growth accelerated after 2000, citizens became increasingly concerned about the implications of this for schools. Population growth was not uniform across the county and resources were limited and the board was committed to diversity. So more children from more neighborhoods were reassigned each year. This chapter argues that this generated such deep resentment among county residents that it was eventually marshaled into a fairly cohesive and potent opposition to the board and its policies more generally. Survey data show that respondents had three main concerns about frequent reassignment: it posed challenges to parents, presented dangers to child learning and friendships, and brought unsettling uncertainty to family life. The findings reveal a role for social capital and provide some interesting racial differences.

Keywords:   Wake County, watershed 2009 election, student reassignment, annual reassignment, family life, social capital, racial differences

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