Margiotta defeated; Wake school board’s power to be decided in run-off – Source: WRAL

Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County voters on Tuesday elected four Democratic-backed candidates to the Wake County Board of Education, but one race will likely end in a run-off next month.

That race – between District 3 incumbent Kevin Hill, a Democrat representing north Raleigh, and Republican challenger Heather Losurdo – will determine whether there will be a shift in power for the governing board of the state’s largest school system. (Read more)

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Margiotta out, but runoff will decide school board control

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Wake County Public Schools

New Districts drawn for Board of Education seats

The proposed precinct and map delineations for the new Board districts were presented today and are online.  They were developed by the law firm of Kieran Shanahan, who was hired for $10,000 by a 5-3 vote of the Board to develop and redraw the maps.  A full precinct map is online on the WakeGov site, to locate a specific precinct.  Voters also can look up their own precinct and voting location online as well.

The Board will hold a public hearing on the new Board of Education districts on Tuesday, May 10.  Time and place to be announced.  Chair Ron Margiotta proposed voting on the redistricting plans at a special called meeting, at 3 pm, on Tuesday, May 17.

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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 schools catch Bill Clinton’s critical eye – Source: News & Observer

Former President Bill Clinton has become the highest-profile figure to wade into the controversy involving the future of Wake County’s public schools.

Clinton chose the opening of an exhibit in his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark. on one of the nation’s most dramatic school integration events to criticize Wake County’s change in direction on keeping schools’ populations balanced by students’ socioeconomic backgrounds. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools

Wake County – Neighborhood Schools Now But What About Long Term

I was talking to someone today and they were saying that the neighborhood schools thingy sounds good in the now but what about in the long term? They went on to say that it will be great now because the resources will be at the school but what will happen when the resources begin to move out in a couple of years. The excitement and the resources will be gone and what will you have? It is sad to say but the school will end up being ghetto.

So those who are preaching neighborhood schools are they concerned about the now or are they concerned about the long term effect?

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Wake County Public Schools

WOUNDED WAKE SCHOOL BOARD CONCEDES TO AGENCY PROBE by Cash Michaels

         When the Republican-led Wake County School Board came out of its 50-minute closed door session with it attorneys Tuesday morning, it was clear that the majority had a dramatic “come to Jesus” moment.

            By a 6-2 vote, which included two of the GOP majority, the board did a 180, and agreed to cooperate with a probe conducted by the school accreditation agency AdvancEd, a probe that just two weeks ago, it fought against tooth and nail. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools

Billionaire Koch Brothers Fulfill Father’s Campaign to Segregate Public Schools, End Successful Integration Program in Wake County North Carolina

Today in the Washington Post, reporter Stephanie McCrummen detailed how a right-wing campaign in the Wake County area of North Carolina has taken over the school board with a pledge to end a very successful socio-economic integration plan. The integration plan, which created thriving schools in poor African-American parts of the school district along with achieving diversity in schools located in wealthy white enclaves, was a model for the nation. However, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the Tea Party group founded and funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, worked with local right-wing financier (and AFP board member) Art Pope to fundamentally change Wake County’s school board

CLICK•> Read more

By Lee Fang | Think Progress
Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Note: Now this is very, very interesting. The struggle continues. And some people are shocked. Not!! You see this is the long lasting effects of how black have suffered but some don’t think that reparations is in order especially some need to grow Negroes. You see those from these families mentioned in this article continue to reap the benefits of their heritage, the almighty dollar and calling the shots politically. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

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Republican school board in N.C. backed by tea party abolishes integration policy – The Washington Post

WakeEd

Wake County Public Schools

(New Wake Co. Schools Superintendent) Tata touring Wake next week–Source: News & Observer

RALEIGH — Anthony J. Tata, Wake County’s newly named schools superintendent, will make public appearances next week before schools staff, the board of education and other groups, including the conservative Wake County Taxpayers Association, board Chairman Ron Margiotta said Thursday.

Tata, 51, a retired Army brigadier general, will arrive Thursday and make as many as 16 appearances over two days, Margiotta said. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools

Read The CAROLINIAN real story by Cash Michaels about the Tedesco/Margiotta scheme to get over 6,000 SouthEast Raleigh students re-assigned back to their neighborhoods. The school system’s own documents prove it:

THE TEDESCO SCHEME
By Cash Michaels, Editor

The agenda for the Nov. 30th Student Assignment Committee (SAC) meeting, chaired by Wake School Board member John Tedesco, was simple.

The committee would review and approve the minutes from the prior meeting.

The three board members, and nine citizen representatives appointed by all nine school board members, would get a staff overview and update on where they were per the third year of the multi-year assignment plan they were supposed to fine tune.

And the last agenda item listed, “An opportunity to share concerns related to school assignment issues in the 2011-12 school year.

As it happened, all but one of the Republican board members and citizen representatives knew exactly what that last agenda listing meant, and they were ready. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools

Wake County Public Schools BOE News

Hello! Here is the weekend’s BOE news.
 
Federal investigators grilling WCPSS
Why did the current BOE drop the diversity policy? That’s one of the questions being asked by federal civil rights investigators, according to the N&O. More than $70 million in federal aid could be at risk, pending the investigation’s outcome.
 
Diverse schools, healthy neighborhoods
Steve Ford expounds on how diverse schools can foster more integrated neighborhoods in this editorial. He concludes stating, "…the fact that school quality (in Wake County) has been maintained at a fairly consistent and high level throughout the county has stabilized neighborhoods by reducing incentives to move away from markedly poor schools. Wake is economically sounder because, with diversity as a guiding principle, educational opportunities have been safeguarded for all students – setting a standard for today’s leaders to uphold."
 
Intent for magnet, calendar students
There seems to be some confusion regarding the deadline for magnet and calendar (year-round) applicant students to indicate whether they want to continue with their current school assignment for the 2011-12 school year. In a previous update, Jan. 10 was the indicated deadline. However, postcards received during the weekend list midnight on Mon., Dec. 20, as the deadline for indicating intent. I recommend using the Dec. 20th date. Then, apparently, you have until Jan. 10 to change your mind. Here is the link. Sorry for the confusion.
 
LTEs
 
Thanks for staying engaged with WCPSS.
 

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Wake County Public Schools

[CoalitionofConcernedCitizensforAfricanAmericanChildren] Updates

Updates

Greetings! Hope you’re staying warm and dry during this wintery blast of weather. Here is today’s update.

Margiotta blames Goldman – again

Yesterday, I posted a link to BOE Chair Ron Margiotta’s WPTF interview this week with Bill Lumaye. You can read some of Margiotta’s comments, blaming the BOE’s lack of progress on student assignment on Vice Chair Debra Goldman, here on the WakeEd blog. I don’t know about you, but the PR spin Margiotta is weaving [to demonize Goldman and build public outcry against her for "switching sides"] makes me dizzy. Please consider emailing Mr. Marg iotta and the rest of the BOE to remind them that Wake County’s BOE is supposed to be nonpartisan. This "us vs. them" mentality is not productive for anyone, least of which the children of Wake County.

Sutton on WAUG-AM today at 4PM

BOE member Keith Sutton will talk about the Republican BOE members’ failed attempted to reassign 6,000+ minority students to Southeast Raleigh schools on "Make it Happen." The show will air at 4PM today, Dec. 16, on WAUG (750 AM).

Raleigh among least segregated

I sent the link to this story earlier this week, but wanted to highlight that it lists Raleigh as one of the least segregated cities in the country. Much credit for this is due to WCPSS’s diversity policy — which is no longer in effect as of 2010, thanks to the current BOE. Here are some additional observations on this topic, courtesy of a Great Schools in Wake colleague:

"Folks in Wake County don’t have to worry about avoiding certain parts of town (due to) high-poverty schools. A lot of "white flight" or "middle-class flight" in other cities gets started because people are worried about the schools. And once the "flight" starts, the worries come true — tragic for those who "flee" and also for those who are left behind!

(John) Tedesco has argued that we don’t need a diversity policy because our towns are relatively integrated. He is wrong about this in (at least) two ways:

1. Even though we are not as segregated as most cities, we are still somewhat segregated. Many neighborhoods are COMPLETELY segregated.

2. The diversity policy is the REASON we are not segregated, and eliminating it will CAUSE segregation, over the years."

Snow make-up days

WCPSS has altered its schedule for snow make-up days. Please refer to the website for the latest info.

In the News

Wake teachers set records in earning national board certification

LTEs/opinion

Steadier on schools

Innovate and educate

Exclusive charters

Equalizing schools

Thanks for staying engaged with WCPSS.

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Wake County Public Schools

We need a 5th vote, Wake schools bloc says–Source: News & Observer

RALEIGH — Most Republicans on the Wake County school board are bemoaning the loss of their majority for neighborhood schools, a serious blow to their mission to phase out the former board’s diversity-based student assignment plan.

The lamenters, who include Chairman Ron Margiotta, said it will require gaining a new majority next year in elections to break the panel’s stalemate and push through the changes they’ve promised in the state’s largest school district. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools

Wake school board’s move will delay big changes – Source: News & Observer

RALEIGH — With the Wake County school board now operating with no majority bloc, massive changes in the way students are assigned to schools are unlikely to occur for nearly two more years.

That’s the only certainty that emerged Wednesday, the day after board Vice Chairwoman Debra Goldman split from the panel’s Republican majority by joining Democrats to kill a plan that would have divided Wake into 16 community school zones. That blueprint had been in preparation for months. Goldman said Wednesday that taking more time to listen to a broad range of ideas and people will make for a better plan than the one that had been shepherded by Republican board member John Tedesco. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools

Goldman: Dump the assignment plan, start over – Source: News & Observer

RALEIGH — The Wake County school board has just thrown out its controversial, zone-based assignment plan on a motion by vice chairwoman Debra Goldman.

A directive passed out by Keith Sutton, a member of the former board minority, calls for the following action:

"Any and all efforts to create a zone-based assignment model will cease effective immediately." (Read more)

Note: I knew it would work out. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

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Wake County Public Schools

School discipline changing in Wake – News & Observer

RALEIGH — Wake County school leaders are rejecting the strict zero-tolerance student discipline policies that swept across the nation this past decade following deadly school shootings.

In a rare sign of near unanimity, school board members on Tuesday embraced plans by school administrators to overhaul discipline policies that are among the strictest in North Carolina. The goal is to reduce the length and number of student suspensions. Policies will be rewritten so that most offenses will be eligible short suspensions. That will keep students in school, improving academics and the graduation rate. (Read more)

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Wake County Public Schools