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School board votes 6-2 to cooperate with AdvancED

By a 6-2 vote, the Wake County school board has voted today to fully cooperate with the AdvancED accreditation review.

The four Democrats were joined by Republicans Debra Goldman and John Tedesco. Before the vote, Tedesco read a statement urging the board to vote unanimously to welcome AdvancED in and show the community is more united than it is divided.

But Chris Malone and Deborah Prickett voted no. They objected to the scope of the review.

UPDATE

Click here to read Tedesco's statement.

Civitas president says Wake should sever relationship with AdvancED

Francis DeLuca, president of the conservative Civitas Institute, argues that the Wake County school system doesn't need accreditation for its high schools from AdvancED.

In an op-ed piece today, DeLuca criticizes AdvancED for accrediting low-performing high schools and accuses the group of trying to usurp the school board's authority. DeLuca also argues that Wake high school students will still do well without accreditation.

"Continuing a relationship with an organization that demonstrably fails to guarantee academic quality and wants to second-guess local voters underscores why the Wake system should sever its relationship with AdvancED and if necessary seek alternative accreditation," DeLuca writes.

Arguing about going into closed session to discuss AdvancED

The opening of today's AdvancED accreditation discussion turned into barb trading between Wake County school board members Ron Margiotta and Debra Goldman with each accusing the other of being "condescending."

Today's meeting, which is now in closed session, opened with a 5-2 vote to reject the agenda. Goldman voted with the Democrats.

Goldman's explanation was that as board vice chair she should have been consulted beforehand by Margiotta, the board chair, about what the closed session would be about. She objected to the agenda only saying going into closed session to protect attorney-client privilege.

Quick recap of tonight's reassignment hearing at Cary High

Here's a very abbreviated recap of tonight's public hearing at Cary High School, which drew 75 speakers.

Among the biggest contingents were those calling for Salem elementary and middle schools and Highcroft Drive Elementary to be converted back to a traditional calendar. You also had a smaller group from Highcroft urging that the school stay on the year-round calendar.

You also had a lot of people supporting reassigning Carpenter Village to Davis Drive Middle and Green Hope High. There were also several speakers who asked that Breckenridge be allowed to stay at Cedar Fork Elementary.

NAACP holding prayer vigil Tuesday on Wake County schools

The state NAACP has announced that an interfaith prayer vigil and community mass meeting on Wake County schools will be held Tuesday night.

The event will run from 7-8 p.m. at Martin Street Baptist Church, 1001 E. Martin St. in Raleigh. The last event was postponed because of the snow.

The prayer vigil will take place after the school board will likely have decided Tuesday on whether to cooperate with the AdvancED accreditation review that was sparked by an complaint from the NAACP. The board will also have spent the day working on the 2011-12 student reassignment plan.

According to a statement Friday from the Rev. William Barber, president of he state NAACP, the purpose of the prayer vigil is to bring people together "to renew the broad commitment to constitutional, well-funded, diverse public schools for all children in Wake County and throughout North Carolina."

Dealing with the large number of speakers at Cary High tonight

The Wake County school board will have to decide tonight how to handle what could be more than 100 speakers at the student assignment hearing at Cary High School.

With 96 speakers registered in advance and more expected to sign up at the door,  the hearing will likely go past the scheduled 8:30 p.m. end time. Will the board let it run to the end or split the speakers into two groups?

On a related note, school board member Keith Sutton says he will be at Cary High tonight. He had planned to speak at WakeUP Wake County's annual meeting tonight but is backing out because the Cary High meeting was rescheduled after snow postponed the first meeting.

UPDATE

School board chairman Ron Margiotta announced he's not splitting up the speakers. But he's asking people who aren't speaking on the 2011-12 plan to hold off from talking tonight.

Margiotta is also asking that if people have already made the argument for a group that others not come up.

Margiotta also said he'll be more strict about enforcing the two-minute time limit tonight.

Also, signs praising Goldman for her stance on accreditation have been hung up around the school auditorium.

Discussing the layout for the new school board meeting room

Would you be offended if Wake County school board members sat with their backs to you during board meetings?

That's what the blueprints now have in place for the school board room that will be located at the Crossroads complex in Cary that will be the new home for Central Administration. That design can be changed but it would cost money and further delay the move from Wake Forest Road in Raleigh.

But the changes could occur because some board members don't like the design of the new board room.

UPDATE

The discussion of the board room layout has been added to Tuesday's work session agenda before the discussion of the student reassignment plan.

AdvancED will be discussed at special board meeting Tuesday

It looks like AdvancED will be discussed by the Wake County school board on Monday.

School board chairman Ron Margiotta has just scheduled a special called board meeting at 4 p.m. Monday at Cary High School before that evening's public hearing on the student reassignment plan. The agenda calls for a closed session to protect "attorney-client privilege," the same reason used at last week's special meeting to discuss AdvancED.

The only reason the issue wasn't discussed by the board this week was because of scheduling conflicts with board attorney Jonathan Blumberg.

UPDATE

The meeting has now been rescheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday at 3600 Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. It will take place before the student reassignment work session that's scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

They've now confirmed that AdvancED will be discussed in closed session. There will be a public comment session at 8:30 a.m. on AdvancED before a potential board vote.

New study ranks Wake County as highly efficient school district

A liberal national think tank that has praised Wake County's old socioeconomic diversity policy has released a new report giving the school district high marks for educational productivity.

The Wake County school system earned high productivity marks in a report released Wednesday by the Center for American Progress. Other North Carolina districts receiving high marks include Caldwell County Schools, Wilkes County Schools and Burke County Schools, whose high schools are set to lose accreditation from AdvancED at the end of the school year.

The center released an interactive website that evaluates more than 9,000 school districts in 45 states. Districts were evaluated by comparing their academic achievement with their educational spending, while controlling for factors like cost of living and students in poverty.

Debra Goldman says she'll support cooperating with AdvancED

It looks like Wake County school board member Debra Goldman will join the Democrats in forming a majority to cooperate with the AdvancED accreditation review.

Here's a statement that Goldman released this afternoon through Wake's communications department:

Statement from Debra Goldman Regarding the Accreditation Review Process

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