We are not the only ones with School "Lottery" problems

A parent from Wake County (North Carolina) contacted me with questions about Alves and the Lottery program. As part of the historical context and the current environment in Wake County, the parent referenced this blog:

http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/critics-questioning-transparency-of-new-wake-county-student-assignment-plan#storylink=misearch

Wow.

One particular quote that jumped out at me while I was reading this was from Dr. Stacey Robinson:

“Basically, there is NO priority ranking for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th choices. After you made your 1st choice for a school which you were made to believe had far more available seats than was LATER PROVEN to be the case, your priority was completely wasted. Your 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th choices are now based on nothing more than your WCPSS-assigned “Random Number.” You have now been entered into our own version of the Wake County Public School System’s MegaMillions Lottery. It’s all now a game of chance.”

Wake County is significantly larger than Champaign Unit 4 (like 147,000 students!), and their lottery system is a bit more complex (they have 8 “Priorities” and several “Rounds”). But they still have the same kind of frustration and confusion we have.

A small part of me can kind of understand when people in power say things like “yes, people are complaining, but they are only a small minority”. But, man, if you ever let that drop in a racial context…. the sad thing is, people (especially anonymous cowards) say that all the time.

It is my opinion that when people complain, no matter what percentage they are, they are communicating that something is not quite right. I am thinking to myself, what if every complaint also came with a suggestion, an alternative? And what if those receiving the complaint had the attitude of “Hm… let’s think about that”.

I am reminded of a CarX Customer Representative who called our house a little while ago. “Don’t worry about telling us the bad stuff, that is what we want to hear”. Wow. How many people-facing entities have you ever heard say that?

As I dig into the Wake County system in an attempt to answer this one parent’s question(s), I am reminded that we are not alone. And neither are they.

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2 Responses to “We are not the only ones with School "Lottery" problems”

  1. Customer Service « A citizen’s blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] These examples really put others to shame. Another example I have used in the past was from CarX (https://thecitizen4blog.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/we-are-not-the-only-ones-with-school-lottery-problems…). I use these positive examples to paint a picture of what I would like Unit 4 to be. I cringe […]

  2. The Dilemma of Controlled Choice – community dialog requested « A citizen’s blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] 6 April 2012 – Wake County has their own issues with Controlled Choice ShareShareEmail Pin It Posted in Community, research. Tags: consent decree, controlled choice, index, Judge McDade, kindergarten lottery, michael alves. Leave a Comment » […]


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