05/14/04 — Survey: Questionnaire could help schools make decisions

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Survey: Questionnaire could help schools make decisions

Every Goldsboro family that got a questionnaire from the public school system should complete and return it.

The survey can be useful to the Board of Education in solving what board members and many others in Wayne County consider to be a huge problem — the desegregation of most of Goldsboro’s schools.

The schools have become virtually all-black for many reasons, including housing patterns. These patterns are influenced partly by the establishment of public housing within the city, partly by the trend among middle-class families to move to suburbia and, some believe, by white flight from the schools.

Many white and black families who live in Goldsboro take their children to schools outside the city for various reasons. Often the reasons involve family convenience — the location makes it easier for parents to drop off and pick up the children. Others go to private schools.

The county has devoted extra resources to the so-called central Goldsboro schools, and test scores among their pupils are improving.

Still, many take the segregation as a sign of racist attitudes.

Among the solutions that have been proposed has been the enforcement of a strict policy against transfers by pupils to schools outside the districts where they live.

One of the questions on the survey is, “If the Board of Education could place your child in a class with a 50/50 racial mix, would you consider moving your child to a Central Attendance Area school?”

The questionnaire went to Goldsboro homes where children have transferred to schools outside of the city, and to homes within the city that are not within the districts of the central Goldsboro schools.

It is unlikely that the school board would immediately redraw the district lines on the basis of the questionnaire replies, but the answers could still be helpful in considering the issue. And as in any survey, the greater the number of replies, the more credibility the results will have.

Published in Editorials on May 14, 2004 12:28 PM