Tedesco warns of ‘unholy trinity’ of liberals–Source: News & Observer

Wake County school board member John Tedesco has what he calls his own version of a liberal "unholy trinity."

During a recent speech to the Northern Wake Republican Club, Tedesco said the members of the unholy trinity are the NAACP, the Great Schools in Wake Coalition and Raleigh FIST, a self-proclaimed anarchist group. All three groups have been fiercely critical of the school board for eliminating the use of socioeconomic diversity in student assignment. (Read more)

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L.A. billionaire’s money and ideas may leave mark in Wake – Source: News & Observer

RALEIGH — The fortunes of Wake County public schools in future years could rise or fall on the educational theories and donated dollars of a California billionaire who is devoting chunks of his fortune to education reform.

Los Angeles magnate and philanthropist Eli Broad, 77, made bundles in both home construction and insurance before funneling nearly $400 million since 1999 into programs designed for urban school districts. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools

[CoalitionofConcernedCitizensforAfricanAmericanChildren] Updates

Hello! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. Here is the latest BOE news.
 
More on the AdvancED report
Here are dueling posts about the AdvancED report: one conservative, from Bob Luebke for the Civitas Institute, and the other liberal from Jim Horn at School Matters.
 
In the News

So Edgecombe County Ann Kent and Joe P. Tolson is Wake County Not Working On Their Budget Proposal

Hell Yeah I Said It, Now What? Edgecombe County Public Schools I Am Pissed Board Meeting Drama Tonight That Will Be Continued On March 21, 2011 – In this link Kent said Tolson said

Tata prioritizes teachers, classroom in Wake budget proposal

Raleigh, N.C. — Superintendent Tony Tata presented a "very creative" budget proposal to the Wake County Board of Education Tuesday, prioritizing teacher retention and classroom investment in the face of a projected $2 billion to $3 billion state budget shortfall next year. (Read more)

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[parentsfordiversity] Wake County Public Schools Updates

Greetings! Here is the weekend BOE news.

Exam rules under review

"Wake County high school seniors may no longer have to drag themselves to school when they have the flu or some other ailment in order to retain their exemptions from some final exams," according to the N&O.

NAACP contesting school lunch data

The NC NAACP says the USDA has misinterpreted the law regarding use of free and reduced price lunch data with regard to student assignment, according to the N&O and WRAL.

Goldman’s daughter gets midyear transfer

BOE Vice Chair Debra Goldman requested and received a midyear transfer for her daughter to an out-of-zone school, complete with door-to-door bus transportation, according to the N&O and the WakeEd blog. Goldman is getting a lot of criticism for this move; however, at least the decision only affected her child. When Deborah Prickett wanted her son to attend a different high school, she had entire nodes moved.

LTEs/opinion

Memo to Wake teachers: don’t be a slob

Thanks for staying engaged with WCPSS.

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Wake County Public Schools

Goldman’s child sent to out-of-zone school – Source: News & Observer

RALEIGH — Using a rarely-exercised Wake County schools policy, Debra Goldman, school board vice chairwoman, received a midyear transfer for her middle-school-age daughter to an out-of-zone school, complete with door-to-door bus transportation. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools

NAACP’s Response to Developments to the Wake County Title VI Complaint

Letterhead

For Immediate Release

March 11, 2011

For More Information: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President, 919-394-8137

Amina Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

RESPONSE TO THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WAKE COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM 

TITLE VI COMPLAINT

The Wake County Title VI complaint is an ongoing investigation requiring a full vetting. After consultation with our attorneys the North Carolina NAACP has taken the following positions regarding recent developments with the Wake County School case.

The NC NAACP believes the USDA’s position regarding the use of Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) data in school assignment is a misinterpretation of the law and of how data is being used as it pertains to the socioeconomic diversity criteria in Wake County’s former student assignment policy. Wake County uses FRL data in an aggregate form to assess the overall percentage of economically disadvantaged students in student assignment nodes. No student is individually identifiable by this aggregated data; therefore, our attorneys believe that this use does not violate the privacy rights of any student. USDA’s limited interpretation of how FRL data can be used impacts over 70 districts across the country that incorporate this information in assignment plans to promote socioeconomic diversity in schools. We will continue to investigate all available options to engage the USDA on this matter.

Wake County school officials have claimed they do not have records indicating how many students were moved under the socioeconomic diversity student assignment plan. We are currently analyzing the reassignment data provided by the school district and have a number of questions regarding how it is collected, collated, and presented, particularly as it relates to racial, socioeconomic, and performance demographics within nodes and at individual schools.

The opening of Walnut Creek Elementary School this fall epitomizes the direction in which Wake County Schools are moving as they drop the student assignment plan based on socioeconomic diversity. This new school is expected to open with 81% of its students eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch, 53% of students performing below grade level, and nearly 100% minority students. Our positions on education are rooted in constitutional law which still says segregation and discrimination are illegal; the lessons of history that tell us segregation and resegregation are wrong; and the findings of sound research conclusively and overwhelmingly say high poverty, racially identifiable, resegregated schools are the antithesis of student achievement and deny children a high quality, constitutional, diverse, well-funded public education.

Representatives from OCR will be visiting Wake County next week on Wednesday to continue their investigation into the Title VI complaint. The NAACP looks forward to engaging with OCR investigators at that time on these and other issues that pertain to the Title VI complaint.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization whose mission is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. For more information, call the StateOffice at 866-626-2227 or e-mail us at execdirnaacpnc@gmail.com.  # # #

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Wake County Public Schools

Cash Michaels accuses Wake of not having a plan for high-poverty schools – Source: News & Observer

Cash Michaels is hammering the Wake County school board for not planning ahead of time for the financial costs of high-poverty neighborhoods schools while also warning that the budget cuts in Charlotte could be a sign of things to come locally. (Read more)

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Wake schools didn’t keep busing for diversity records – Source: WRAL

Raleigh, N.C. — School district leaders in Wake County are turning over hundreds of documents to federal investigators in response to a charge that a controversial new student assignment policy will create unequal, high-poverty schools, but some requested data was missing. (Read more)

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Superintendent Tony Tata today announced the staff members who will be serving on the student assignment team

  • James Overman, senior director, Elementary Education (Task Force Leader)
  • Brad McMillen, senior director, Evaluation and Research
  • David Ansbacher, senior director, Magnet Programs
  • Tamani Anderson Powell, director, Magnet Programs
  • Susan Pullium, director, Growth and Planning
  • Susan Andrews, senior administrator, Staff Development

 
In February, after the Wake Education Partnership and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce presented their Wake School Choice plan, Tata asked the Board of Education for permission to take over the responsibility of developing a student assignment plan, which they unanimously agreed to do.

“I have developed a team of staff members who are going to be temporarily reassigned from their current position with the new responsibility to work 100 percent of the time on a student assignment plan that meets Policy 6200 and uses the input that I’m getting from the community,” he said. “We’re going to come up with the best plan that we can that satisfies the board and that satisfies the community.”

Tata said he and the student assignment team will take into consideration the ideas contained in the Wake School Choice plan, other previous proposals and information that he has gathered through his listening tour as they work to develop a new plan for WCPSS.  The team will begin work immediately and will be assisted, as needed, by staff and resources from other areas of the school system including Finance, Growth and Planning, Transportation, Special Education Services, English as a Second Language, and State and Federal Programs Departments.   Once the team has the core of a plan, the team hopes to begin sharing their work with key community stakeholder groups to discuss core concepts of the plan. The goal is to have a plan ready to present to the Board of Education by late spring.
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More Events and Links…..

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
7 pm, "Civil Rights and the Wake County Public School Policy," Rev. Dr. William Barber III, speaking at the annual meeting of the ACLU; NC Advocates for Justice, 1312 Annapolis Dr, Raleigh, NC

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
6:30 to 8 pm, "What is the Alves Plan? What Does it Mean for My Child’s School Assignment?" a presentation by Wake Education Partnership VP of Communications Tim Simmons; Martin Street Baptist Church, 1001 East Martin Street, Raleigh; free and open to the public; sponsored by Great Schools in Wake and the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children.

Links of Interest
The Wake County Board of Education
Economically-Disadvantaged Task Force has a website, including all the handouts and materials presented at those meetings.

Independent reporter Bob Geary has a summary of Superintendent Tata’s presentation to NC HEAT last week on Indyweek.com, titled "Tata: ‘Am I Gonna Value Diversity? Of Course.’ "

A study on Teacher Merit Pay by Harvard economist Roland Fryer published in the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that teacher incentives may decrease student achievement, especially in larger schools.

The U.S. Department of Education is opening an investigation of Boston Public Schools, under allegations that the school system is disproportionately targeting schools with high concentrations of minority students in its school closure decisions.

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Wake County Public Schools

Tata announces creation of new Wake student assignment task force – Source: News & Observer

RALEIGH — Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata announced today the members of a task force he’s forming that will begin working on a new student assignment plan. (Read more)

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Give me a chance, Tata pleads – Source: News & Observer

RALEIGH — Wake schools Superintendent Tony Tata urged critics Thursday to give him a chance as he tries to develop a new student assignment plan that he hopes will avoid creating high concentrations of low-performing students.

Tata, who was hired by the Republican school board majority in December, has encountered skepticism from some in the community over his time as a political pundit. Parents are watching to see how he’ll implement a new assignment plan now that the school board has eliminated socioeconomic diversity as an underlying goal. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools

[CoalitionofConcernedCitizensforAfricanAmericanChildren] Updates

Hi! Here is today’s BOE update.

Death to public schools?

Even before the BOE majority was elected in 2009, many believed that businessmen Art Pope and Bob Luddy, along with BOE Chair Ron Margiotta, were being motivated by a plan to destroy public schools in Wake County. Now, the N.C. Association of Educators has made its suspicions public in a video that links Pope, Luddy, Margiotta and N.C. House Majority Leader Paul Stam, according to the N&O. You can watch the video, Money & Privatization: A Love Story, on NCAE’s website.

Summary of yesterday’s BOE meeting

Courtesy of a Great Schools in Wake colleague:

Giving the Chair a vote

Breaking a tie, Chair Ron Margiotta was the deciding vote in approving a legislative priority that will give the Wake Board of Education chair the chance to vote on each Board action.  Currently, the Board chair only votes in case of a tie, which has happened repeatedly since December 2009.  The proposed change in current policy will still require legislative approval but tonight the item was added to the Board of Education’s 2011 Legislative agenda.  (The original proposed list is online.)  Carolyn Morrison, Deborah Prickett, Chris Malone and Debra Goldman voted for the policy change, while John Tedesco, Kevin Hill, Keith Sutton and Anne McLauren voted against, with Chair Margiotta breaking the tie. 

Earlier at the Board’s Committee of the Whole, Keith Sutton and other Board members noted that the Board Chair does wield considerable influence over the Board, setting the agenda and guiding the process of the Board’s work, but others such as Debra Goldman said she thought it was important for the Board Chair to represent and vote on behalf of the Chair’s district.  Former Chair Kevin Hill noted that traditionally, the Board chair works to build consensus and remain neutral.
Lifting the charter school cap, dissing Public School Forum

In addition to the item on the Chair voting, the Board approved a legislative agenda that includes lifting the cap on charter schools, reviewing the state accreditation process and having the Department of Public Instruction provide clarification to school systems, giving school districts greater flexibility with calendar and with instructional time, and increasing flexibility to use State funds for teacher performance pay models.  The Board voted 3-5 against a proposal by member Keith Sutton to adopt the legislative priorities of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, a nonprofit that works to strength en public schools in the state, with Hill joining Tedesco, Malone, Goldman and Prickett against adding those items.

Additional coverage about the legislative agenda, as well as video archives of yesterday’s meeting, are on WRAL.
Capping Cedar Fork

The Board also voted to maintain the cap on enrollment of Cedar Fork Elementary School in Morrisville at 843 students.  The overflow school is Weatherstone Elementary.  About 100 students who are assigned to year-round schools like Alston Ridge, who have Cedar Fork as their traditional calendar choice, will now be steered toward Green Hope Elementary as their traditional calendar choice.  Cedar Fork is one of two schools in the District that is currently capped; the other is Forest Pines Drive Elementary in northern Wake County.
Teacher of the Year finalists

Superintendent Tata announced the 24 semi-finalists for the 2011-12 Teacher of the Year award:
The semi-finalists are Leslie Bailey of Baileywick Elementary, Debra Baize of Holly Grove Middle, Kevin Boynton of Dillard Drive Elementary, Kathryn Caggia of Olive Chapel Elementary, Priscilla Chappell of Enloe High, Ashley Cooper of Underwood Elementary, Kristen Curley of Oak Grove Elementary, Rhonda Dunn of Zebulon Middle, Matthew Garcia of East Wake High School of Health & Science, Henry Hammond Jr. of Athens Drive High, Kyle Hamstra of Davis Drive Elementary, Catherine Hantla of Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle, Mary-Kathryn Hixson of Broughton High, Shireen Mehl of Fuquay-Varina Elementary, Alicia Miller of Wake Forest Elementary, Saswati Mukherjee of Farmington Woods Elementary, Julie Oliver of West Millbrook Middle, Stephanie Rhodes of Sanderson High, Shannon Russell of Carpenter Elementary, Amy Scheffel of Joyner Elementary, Daniel Strain of East Garner Middle, Patrick Tart of Banks Road Elementary, Kate Whittier of Daniels Middle and Maia Wirth of Wendell Elementary.
The semi-finalists will be honored April 13 at a ceremony where the 12 finalists will be named. The 2011-12 Teacher of the Year will be named May 12.

In the News

Senate committee votes to dump high school tests

Hunt defends pre-kindergarten programs against cuts

Wake superintendent to meet with NAACP

LTEs/opinion

Testing fills in the blanks

Fix Hilburn, now

The new normal (NY Times)

Thanks for staying engaged with WCPSS.

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Wake County Public Schools

Wake superintendent meets with NAACP – Source: WITN

Raleigh, N.C. — The Wake County Public School System’s new superintendent met with the state NAACP on Wednesday afternoon to talk about diversity and the school board’s controversial move away from the district’s longstanding practice of busing students. (Read more)

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Wake schools blog: March 1 school board meeting – Source: WRAL

The board moves to approve the 2011 legislative agenda with a few changes.

One is to exclude an item supporting existing rules and regulations by the State Board of Education and the North Carolina School Athletic Association on students participating in public school athletic programs. The reason is that some of the rules and regulations have changed. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools