Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The Wake County Public School System (Wake County) in Wake County, North Carolina has approached the student assignment process in different ways over the years. In 2000, Wake County instituted a policy designed to integrate schools based on socioeconomic status. In 2010, Wake County returned to assigning students to neighborhood schools. After a negative reaction to the 2010 policy, Wake County implemented a controlled choice student assignment policy for the 2012-2013 school year.

This thesis examines the three student assignment policies used by the Wake County Public School System over the last twelve years to answer the questions: Are any of the Wake County student assignment policies designed to contribute to social mobility--the reinforcement or potential improvement of a student's social position? Specifically, what rationales are provided for each of the three student assignment policies? Are the provided rationales focused on improving a student's social status or reinforcing it?

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.