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Wake County school board members want more say on grading changes

Some Wake County school board members want to have more of a direct say on proposed changes to the way grades are given to students.

Most of the contentious points of a proposed change in Wake's grading practices are in the R&P that administrators would use to implement board policy. That includes the banning of the use of extra credit, allowing retests to replace scores and limiting the penalty for late assignments.

But school board attorney Ann Majestic said today that the board could move items from R&P into the grading policy revision to determine what it considers to be the "non-negotiables" for staff to consider. That caught off guard administrators who thought the changes were in their purview.

Wake County school board members and Superintendent Tony Tata have frank discussion

Jim Huge was mistaken when he said he wasn't trying to make Tuesday's Wake County school board retreat a counseling session.

As noted in today's article, school board members traded heated words with each and with Superintendent Tony Tata. In turn, the superintendent didn't hold back either in his feeling that some board members were trying to undercut staff.

In the end, board members agreed to meet one-one-one with Tata to start things anew. Whether those meetings and the two-hour discussion Tuesday helps remains to be seen.

Wake County school board debates what to do with proposed transparency policy

Does the Wake County school system need a separate school board policy on transparency?

School board member Debra Goldman has been pressing for what she says is a greater need to make the district's website more transparent. School staff has turned her memo into a proposed new school board policy.

The policy has been sent to the school board's policy committee for review. But in the process there was debate both about the need for the policy and changes in the way that committee agendas are now set.

Wake County school board on the level of bus service for preassigned feeder students

What responsibility does the Wake County school system have in providing transportation to preassigned rising sixth- and ninth-graders who don't have bus service this fall?

As noted in today's article, the school board voted to direct staff to, when possible, modify existing bus routes to accommodate students or to offer them a spot at a school on their proximity list that would give them transportation.

But that motion stops short of guaranteeing bus service to their feeder school. And that motion only extends to students who are receiving bus service this year and would lose it this fall, not transfer students who now don't get bus service.

Wake County school board debates guaranteeing transportation for all preassigned students

Should the Wake County school system guarantee bus service to all students who choose to stay on their current feeder pattern?

It's an issue in the new student assignment that the school board has been wrestling with for the past several months. The discussion got personal at times last week with board member Jim Martin, the most outspoken proponent of providing the bus service, taking shots from board members Debra Goldman and Deborah Prickett.

For now, staff is continuing to review what bus service can be provided.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

1347246807 Wake County school board debates guaranteeing transportation for all preassigned students The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board putting equity policy on hold

Does the Wake County school system need to adopt a school board policy on equity of educational resources?

The answer, at least as of last week's school board policy committee meeting, is no for now. The consensus of the majority and minority members of the committee is that they can put the policy on hold.

For now, the board will see if the mission, vision and core beliefs statement adopted last year will do enough to promote equity.

Extra-credit science assignment on creationism a no-no for Wake County school system

A Wake County middle school teacher did a no-no when he handed out this extra-credit assignment which gave students the option to write about creationism.

As noted in today's article, Wakefield Middle School science teacher Adam Dembrow gave his eighth-grade students an extra-credit opportunity last month to do a poster and paper either on “your interpretation of a religions (sic) Creation” or on “any evidence on the theory of evolution, which can be used to support the theory of evolution.”

Dembrow suggested three websites that students could go to: Answers in Genesis, the Creation Research Society and the Institute for Creation Research.

Wake County school board members talk about opening meetings with prayer

Should the Wake County school board open meetings with a prayer?

Email records indicate that the Republican board members are more receptive to the idea of having prayer to open meetings. Democratic board member Jim Martin, who was sworn in on the U.S. Constitution instead of a Bible, cautioned against the idea.

The conversations started when school board member Debra Goldman emailed the board and board attorney Ann Majestic on Jan. 19 asking what Wake's policies were in relation to prayer at meetings.

Wake County school board member Susan Evans names Great Schools in Wake leader to BAC co-chair

Wake County school board member Susan Evans has turned to a leader of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition to be one of her District 8 Board Advisory Council chairs.

Evans nominated Patty Williams, the communications director for Great Schools, on Monday to be one of the two BAC co-chairs. Williams was appointed in December to the BAC, which acts as sounding boards for board members.

The appointment comes after the controversy last week about the involvement of Evans and fellow board member Christine Kushner with Great Schools.

1347252092 Wake County school board member Susan Evans names Great Schools in Wake leader to BAC co-chair The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Speakers urge Wake County school board and DA to seek mediation instead of prosecution

Here's a recap of today's press conference in which speakers urged the Wake County school board and DA's office to use mediation instead of trials for the protestors arrested at board meetings in 2010.
 
Speakers said seeking mediation would heal the community, save taxpayer money and not tie up court dockets. You also had speakers from the Great Schools in Wake Coalition who both called for mediation while simultaneously defending the new Democratic board majority.

“I’m here to encourage the school board to take up mediation instead of ripping us apart,” said the Rev. Duane Beck, co-chair of Congregations for Social Justice and pastor of Raleigh Mennonite Church.

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