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Fitzsimon on the "consistently wrong" Gang of Five

Chris Fitzsimon is bashing the Wake County school board majority for Tuesday's votes on the voluntary desegregation resolution and the budget.

In a column Wednesday, Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch,criticizes the "Gang of Five" for rejecting board member Carolyn Morrison's amendment about making every effort to avoid minority group isolation.

"For some reason that was too much for the Gang of Five who all voted against the resolution," Fitzsimon writes. "Maybe they wanted only a half-hearted effort, or more likely, no effort at all."

Fitzsimon accuses school board majority of rewarding "well-connected political donors"

In his latest attack on the new Wake County school board majority, Chris Fitzsimon takes shot at them for Tuesday's student assignment changes.

In a Wednesday column, Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch, points to decisions such as "sending some children of well-connected political donors back to Lacy Elementary and moving some students from Garner High to Southeast Raleigh with no notice or public hearing."

Fitzsimon calls Wake County school board vote "madness"

Chris Fitzsimon is painting last night's vote by the Wake County school board majority in stark racial terms as he labels their actions as "madness."

In a column today, Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch, notes how Tuesday's vote in favor of community-based schools was by "an all-white majority." He said he's hoping their decision "will not stand."


It's not actually part of the post, but this is the easiest way for people to see the info. Click here to view the reassignment changes and grandfathering rules that were approved by the school board on Tuesday. 

Fitzsimon questions today's student assignment committee meeting

Chris Fitzsimon is putting a lock of stock in Wednesday's Great Schools in Wake Coalition press briefing and questioning why the Wake County school board's student assignment committee is meeting this afternoon.

In a column today, Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch, says the 14 reports presented Wednesday show "that concentrating poor students in schools is a mistake and makes it far more difficult for the students to learn." He argues that's just what would happen under school board member John Tedesco's community zone model.

"This week's presentation of the research gives the Gang of Five another chance to show what's more important to them, making thoughtful decisions after understanding and discussing the vast body of research about student assignment and academic achievement, or continuing their blind allegiance to an ideological agenda regardless of the consequences for the students and the community," Fizsimon writes.


I'll go into more detail tomorrow. But for now, here's the online story recapping the meeting.

N.C. State students to protest Art Pope's ties to school board majority

Critics of the new Wake County school board majority are again hammering the connection between board members and conservative businessman Art Pope.

A group of N.C. students sent out a press release today announcing plans to protest tonight's on-campus speech that's organized by a group funded by the John W. Pope Foundation. According to the press release "protesters will voice their concerns about the role this ideological foundation has played at their University and as a force behind the new Wake County School Board majority."

"How much influence have [Pope']s dollars had on my education, and how much money are he and his buddies spending to install misguided puppets who are set on dismantling Wake County's nationally recognized diversity policy and sending us back to the Jim Crow segregated South?" said Vidya Shankar, an NC State undergrad, in the press release.

NAACP complaining about Ron Margiotta's "animals" comment

The state NAACP is objecting to Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta calling people "animals" during Tuesday's heated meeting.

Margiotta said “here come the animals out of the cages” in response to the booing that Bill Randall, a black conservative congressional candidate, received Tuesday from supporters of the diversity policy. Randall was among the speakers who had supported the community schools resolution.

The Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, has scheduled a press conference for Friday to address Margiotta’s comments.

Fitzsimon, Geary and Hood on Tuesday's board vote

Since some of you guys have concerns about there being too many posts, I'm consolidating into one post by alphabetical order the takes on Tuesday's Wake County school board vote by Chris Fiztsimon, Bob Geary and John Hood.

In a column today, Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch, calls the adoption on first reading of the community schools assignment resolution as a "vote for resegregation." He writes that the board majority showed a "refusal to thoughtfully consider the ramifications of their decisions."

"The members of Gang of Five made it clear again Tuesday night that they will let nothing stand in the way of their rigid right-wing resegregationist march, regardless of what it does to our students or our community," Fitzsimon writes.

Fitzsimon connecting "the right-wing dots"

The potential designation of the Civitas Institute as a provider of training to Wake County school board members is proof for Chris Fitzsimon that Art Pope and Bob Luddy are the puppet masters for the new board majority.

In a blog post Monday, Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch, charges that the board majority "is really speaking for a small right-wing ideological sliver of the county led by folks like Art Pope and Bob Luddy whose goal is to dismantle and privatize public education with vouchers and tax credits."

Goldman defending actions on student assignment policy motion

Wake County school board member Debra Goldman is questioning the paper's coverage of her refusal to second the changes to the student assignment policy that would have eliminated all references to diversity.

In an interview today on WPTF's Bill LuMaye show, Goldman said "there was no vote" yesterday and that "there was no breaking with the majority" during the policy committee meeting. That might be news to board member Chris Malone, who said he was surprised that Goldman didn't second his motion that would have fast-tracked the policy change.

If Goldman had voted to second the motion and approve it Wednesday, the board could have voted on first reading on Tuesday with final adoption on March 16.

Fitzsimon on taking a "step back from the resegregationist brink"

Chris Fitzsimon is calling the Wake County school board policy committee's decision Wednesday not to recommend the proposed student assignment policy changes "a small, but important move in the right direction."

In a column today, Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch, praises board member Debra Goldman for not seconding Chris Malone's motion. But he says his optimism is tempered by the "glaring omission" from Wednesday's discussion about how 94.5 percent of the parents in the calendar survey said they're satisfied with their child's school.

"That fact alone ought to give every member of the Gang of Five pause, but even Goldman continues to ignore it, at point Wednesday asking why the board should keep the diversity policy in place when 'so many people are so unhappy,'" Fitzsimon writes.

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