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Forcing a vote on not segregating schools

The Wake County school board majority may have passed its community schools resolution but it may have been boxed into a bad PR position by the board minority.

As noted in today's article, the board passed the resolution by a 5-4 vote after rejecting most of the amendments proposed by the minority. But one amendment that was turned down could be a PR nightmare for the board majority.

Board member Carolyn Morrison put the majority in the position of having to vote for, or against, “a plan that ensures that schools will not become segregated.” The amendment was voted down 5-4.

Debating the cost savings of eliminating the diversity policy

Will there be any money saved from school transportation costs if the Wake County school system abandons the socioeconomic diversity policy?

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, supporters of scrapping the policy are predicting that going to community-based schools will lead to savings. But supporters of the diversity policy are skeptical about savings and warn that it could cost more to have transportation under community-based schools.

Wake says $45 million of its $56 million transportation budget comes from the state.

Two school board members at Civitas training session

Three days after approving the Civitas Institute as a vendor for training, two Wake County school board members will be at one of the conservative group's training sessions today.

But the names of the school board members who will be attending could surprise you. It probably won't surprise people that Chris Malone, one of the members of the board majority, is one of the board members who Civitas says has signed up to attend.

But the other school board member who will be present is Carolyn Morrison, a member of the minority faction on the board.

CORRECTED LINK FOR BOARD HANDOUT. UPDATED TO INDICATE THAT DEBRA GOLDMAN ALSO ATTENDED TODAY.

A potential Tuesday vote on calendar conversions

The issue of calendar conversions for the 2010-11 school year could be decided as soon as Tuesday.

As noted in today's article, members of the new Wake County school board majority say they plan to vote Tuesday after they get the recommendations from staff earlier in the day on which schools to convert. They're not planning to wait two more weeks until March 16 for the vote.

"If it's on the agenda, I'm ready to go," said school board member Chris Malone on the conversion of some year-round schools to a traditional calendar.

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.

Debating the changes in the student assignment policy

Wednesday's Wake County school board policy committee discussion had a lot of emotion and some colorful statements.

As noted in today's article, the committee rejected proposed student assignment policy changes that would eliminate all references to diversity in favor of making neighborhood schools a priority. The action came after a good deal of discussion on the role of diversity in student assignment.

It culminated in committee chairwoman Debra Goldman getting applause from the crowd, which had several members of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, after she didn't second the motion to recommend the changes.

Policy committee rejects recommending student assignment policy changes

Here's a quick recap of the highlights of today's Wake County school board policy committee discussion.

New school board member Chris Malone didn't get a second for his motion to recommend approval of changes to the student assignment policy that would eliminate all references to diversity while making neighborhood schools a priority.

Debra Goldman, chairwoman of the committee, was again the swing vote. She said she coudln't second the motion because there needs to be more discussion about the policy before they make a recommendation.

SEE END OF POST FOR SUTTON'S COMPROMISE POLICY. CORRECTED TO REFLECT THAT POLICY DIDN'T PASS BECAUSE OF A LACK OF A SECOND

Accusing the new school board majority of being "schoolyard bullies"

Carol Love is waging a one-woman battle against the new Wake County school board majority.

Love has created an online petition called "Stop Wake County School Board Bullies" in which she expresses "a no confidence" vote in and demand for censure, resignation, and/or recall" of the new members. Many of the same concerns are raised in a complaint she says she filed with N.C. School Boards Association and the Wake school board.

"While some of us agree with one or more of the policy positions of these aforementioned members, we object to the MANNER in which they conduct themselves--which is akin to schoolyard BULLIES," according to the petition.

Strained relations between school board majority and Wake Education Partnership

It would be an understatement to say that relations are strained between the new Wake County school board majority and the Wake Education Partnership.

As noted in today's article, school board members are questioning such recent WEP publications as the school assignment analysis and the assessment of Del Burns' resignation as superintendent. It's a departure from when the WEP worked closely with the old school board majority.

“They seem to be going against everything we want to do," said school board member Deborah Prickett. "I feel like a salmon swimming upstream against them.”

Signs pointing to Forest Ridge High site being dropped

All signs are pointing to a 5-4 vote later this afternoon by the Wake County school board to scrap the Forest Ridge High School site in favor of pursuing alternatives in Rolesville.

During today's COW discussion, members of the new majority seemed to be united in the idea that building the school there would be a mistake based on the traffic impact on residents. They're also talking about the need to carry out their campaign promises to drop the site.

On the issue of staff saying that switching sites could cost $15.5 million, two counterarguments are coming from the new majority. On one hand they say that they have to think about more than just cost while on the other they're saying they think the $15.5 million figure is too high an estimate from sraff.

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