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Claude Pope says intraparty discord led to loss of GOP majority on Wake County school board

Former Wake County Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope isn't pinning most of the blame for the 2011 loss of the GOP majority on the Wake County school board on Democrats.

Instead, as noted in today's article in the Wilmington Star-News, "Pope says the Republicans lost the majority mainly because of intraparty discord among members of the board." Pope, now running for state Republican Party chairman, says he's hoping this kind of discord won't repeat itself at the statewide level.

The article doesn't go into detail on what the discord might be. But things you could point to include the fighting between Debra Goldman and her fellow Republican school board members.

1367864847 Claude Pope says intraparty discord led to loss of GOP majority on Wake County school board The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Black leaders and the situation at Walnut Creek Elementary School

There's a heated argument about what position the leadership of the African American community should take about Walnut Creek Elementary School in Southeast Raleigh.

A message posted on the Coalition for Concerned Citizens for African American Children's listserv questions why school board vice chairman Keith Sutton and some other black leaders "support the opening of Walnut Creek, a segregated school." The writer also criticizes the recent school board decision to offer signing bonuses and performance pay for the school's staff.

It's unclear who's the author of the message. The person forwarded it to CCCAAC President Calla Wright for her to post on the listserv.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST FOR CCCAAC'S RESPONSE TO DAN COLEMAN

Determining if a Wake County school is "healthy"

How has the Wake County school system determined if a school is "healthy?"

David Holdzkom, assistant superintendent for evaluation and research, gave the school board's economically disadvantaged student performance task force a rundown on Thursday as he presented Wake's 2009-10 Healthy Schools Report.

The repot looks at academic performance, school populations, facilities, technology, climate, resources, staffing and programs at individual schools. The report is a carryover from the old days of the socioeconomic diversity policy.

UPDATE

For those who are having problems viewing the PDF links I put up, the ED task force has now posted them on its website. Click here to view the Healthy School Report. Click here to view the report with the staffing data.

Implementing the middle school math placement guidelines in 2011-12

The placement guidelines are staying the same but the training and explanation of the role of teacher judgment is changing for advanced middle school math classes in Wake County in the 2011-12 school year.

Ken Branch, senior director of middle school programs, explained today to the school board's economically disadvantaged student performance task force that they don't have the data yet to make changes to the placement guidelines. But they are putting more details into the placement guidelines to make it clearer to teachers, parents and students.

But Branch also said that they're making it clear to teachers that professional judgment will only be used to place students into the courses who might not be considered ready by EVAAS. That could address concerns that some teachers have used their judgment even under the new guidelines to keep kids out who are considered by EVAAS to be ready.

UPDATE

Click here to view the 2011-12 placement guidelines. You'll see how much more detailed they are than the 2010-11 guidelines.

School board members and county commissioners to watch "Waiting for Superman"

Wake County school board members Ron Margiotta and John Tedesco and county commissioners Tony Gurley, Joe Bryan, Paul Coble and Betty Lou Ward are slated to attend a special showing tonight of the documentary "Waiting for Superman."

Those elected officials are among the nearly 200 people that Parents for Educational Freedom in N.C. says have agreed to attend tonight's free screening and post-film discussion. The Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association is partnering with PEFNC in sponsoring the screening at 6 p.m. at Regal North Hills Stadium 14 in Raleigh.

"The discussion will allow parents and community leaders — including members of the Wake County School Board and the Wake County Board of Commissioners — to share questions and ideas about local educational issues and solutions for reform," according to a PEFNC media advisory.

John Tedesco to speak to RWCA tonight

Wake County school board member John Tedesco is potentially walking into a hostile crowd this evening.

Tedesco will be a guest speaker at tonight's meeting of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association. While RWCA President Dan Coleman has been supportive of Tedesco and critical of the old diversity policy, you can't necessarily say the same for the membership, which had endorsed Horace Tart last fall.

Tedesco will discuss the work of the student assignment committee and the economically disadvantaged student performance task force. He'll be joined  by the other guest speaker, school board member Keith Sutton, who will give his observations on Tedesco's remarks.

UPDATE

I'll post more in the morning. But in short, Coleman and Tedesco were both verbally beaten up by a largely hostile crowd.

Dan Coleman calls magnet schools "separate and unequal"

Dan Coleman, president of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, is stepping up his pointed criticism of Wake County's magnet school program and the old diversity policy.

In a letter to the editor today, Coleman complains about how Southeast Raleigh students are bused out of magnet schools that "are loaded with extras to attract affluent families from other sections of the county." Instead of those extras, he says those Southeast Raleigh kids are attending "just plain old traditional schools in other sections of the county."

"The magnet school component of our diversity school assignment policy is nothing more than the repackaging of separate and unequal," Coleman writes. "All children should expect the same equal access to an extraordinary education."

Wake's future 50 years after beginning of integration

Where the Wake County school system stands days away from the 50th anniversary of the integration of Raleigh's schools depends on whom you ask.

As noted in today's article, those who fought for integration in 1960 and today's supporters of the discarded diversity policy say Wake is heading in the wrong direction with the move to community schools. But the school board majority says they're trying to fulfill the dreams of those who wanted integrated schools to give children a better education

“I am disappointed that – with so many seemingly having endured so much for so long to get to what was a terrific school system in Raleigh – it would be dismantled without any consideration of the long-term detrimental effects,” said former Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell, who became the first black child to attend a white Raleigh city school on Sept. 9, 1960.

CCCAAC accuses Dan Coleman of being out of touch with African American community

Dan Coleman, president of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, is getting fallout for his public criticism of the old Wake County socioeconomic diversity policy.

In a press release today, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children accuses Coleman of making "uninformed and misleading statements" about the diversity policy's impact on student achievement. CCCAAC President Calla Wright is accusing Coleman, the head of a group that's represented Raleigh's African American community since 1932, of supporting resegregation that will harm student achievement.

"It is shocking that Dan Coleman is so out-of-touch with the thoughts and feelings of the African American community and the academic needs of our students,” Wright said in the press release.

RWCA leader criticizes diversity policy

Dan Coleman, president of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, is speaking out against the old Wake County socioeconomic diversity policy.

As noted in today's article, Coleman's public criticism of the diversity policy is putting him at odds with the rest of the leadership of the local African American community. But Coleman said the test data shows that the diversity policy hasn't helped Southeast Raleigh students.

The passing rate on state reading exams for Southeast Raleigh students was 46.7 percent in elementary schools and 48.6 percent in middle schools. None of the other zones in the plan being considered by the board had passing rates below 60 percent.

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