Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Quick change at Wake ed board

For those who have kept an eye on how Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools have changed since a 1999 federal court decision altered CMS' race-based school assignment policy, the recent Wake County Board of Education election resonated with the same concerns. Many Wake County parents have been unhappy with school assignment policies and have been seeking more neighborhood schools. Opponents of the Wake County diversity policy, which sought to balance school assignments on socio-economic levels, won a 5-4 majority on the board in the fall election and wasted no time getting on with their change agenda in Tuesday's first meeting.

As N&O reporters Thomas Goldsmith and Keung Hui report here, the new majority replaced the board chairman and put a number of items on the immediate action agenda -- including an end to a controversial Wednesday afternoon early-release policy that many parents and caregivers found disruptive, and targeting the diversity policy for change in 2010. The state NAACP has threatened a lawsuit to limit how much change the new board can bring about. The group Tuesday charged in a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice that Wayne County had in effect changed its schools back to a racially segregated system.

It's a reminder, if anyone needed one, that elections are important and that local elections are critically important. They can change everything, for better or worse.



Anonymous said...

You should also have mentioned that people voted for change because achievement levels for poor and minority students in Wake County lagged far below those of whites (and below those of poor and minority students in CMS), despite (or perhaps because of) the diversity based assignment plan. The previous board, the school system, and diversity supporters attempted to hide this fact from the public. The previous board also forced year round school on many unwilling families. There were many reasons for the community to be angry with that particular board.
Some in Wake County have attempted to paint CMS as a failing system, doing much worse under the current assignment plan than it did under busing. However, if you have kept an OBJECTIVE eye on how CMS has changed you would see that test scores have risen across the board since busing ended and that most facilities are now in much better shape than they were under busing. High poverty schools receive extra financial support, as well as extra supplies and staff. Are things perfect? Of course not--this is a huge system dealing with a myriad of issues. But we are doing very well in many areas compared to many other systems (including Wake). Unfortunately some in Charlotte (including many at The Observer) remain enamored with the idea of busing and apparently have no interest in letting the public know the positives about CMS.
It is clear that the Raleigh News Observer (the Observer's sister paper) will be fighting this change tooth and nail, despite the clear evidence that minorities have not been making progress in their school system. Makes you wonder why they value diversity (their concept of diversity) over academic achievement and student success.

Anonymous said...

Look, a new majority was voted in. That sort of implies change, doesn't it? Wouldn't it be odd if a new majority was seated and there was no change?

Please spare me unctuous phrases like "there should be a dialogue," "they should take time to understand the issues"(I think they understand the issues very well) and "we should move slowly so as to allow all stakeholders a chance to be heard" (that was what the ballot box was for.)

Maybe Raleigh's schools will start to look more like Charlotte's and then we won't have to endure your smug haughtiness about how much better your schools are. Because they're not.

Anonymous said...

"Makes you wonder why they value diversity (their concept of diversity) over academic achievement and student success."

I couldn't agree more.

diggndeeper said...

Libs, democrats, and NAACP love to push this agenda so they can keep this ever increasing segment of population under their control because they will never learn of the better life. It is the new type of slavery. Enslaved to the libs for their vote in exchange for low level subsistance payout each month.

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