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Wake County school board members debate math placement policy

Supporters and critics of Wake County's proposed math placement policy both sought the moral high ground during this week's school board discussion.

Critics of the policy argued that using too low a placement standard would do students a disservice and give them a weak math foundation. Supporters of the policy argued they were trying to promote equitable access to rigorous courses.

School board member Jim Martin got the discussion going Tuesday when he proposed a motion to indefinitely postpone the policy in favor of implementing this charge.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

Looking at the start time and number of Wake County regular school board meetings per month

Should the Wake County school board go back to meeting at 3 p.m. for action meetings?

The school board will vote Tuesday on first reading of a policy revision to restore the use of two action meetings a month, which would both offer public comment. The prior board majority cut it to one action meeting a month with the second meeting becoming a work session with no public comment section.

The board is also going back, at least for tomorrow, to its old regular/action meeting time of 3 p.m.

1330987319 Looking at the start time and number of Wake County regular school board meetings per month 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 members quarrel over student assignment plan

It's not an understatement to say that internal Wake County school board emails showed a lot of suspicion in regard to how the student assignment plan review process has played out.

On the Democratic side, you have board member Jim Martin expressing suspicion that staff was trying to discourage them from changing the plan. On the Republican side, you have several board members expressing suspicion that the Democrats were moving to delay the plan.

You have Democratic school board chairman Kevin Hill trying to reassure both sides.

Wake County school board member Debra Goldman accusing Susan Evans and Christine Kushner of violating their oaths

Wake County school board member Debra Goldman is defending Superintendent Tony Tata and accusing board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner of having violated their oaths.

In an interview Tuesday on the Bill LuMaye Show on WPTF, Goldman tell the conservative talk show host that Tata was "completely correct here" in emailing Evans and Kushner because "they've refused to disaffiliate from special-interest groups," namely the the Great Schools in Wake Coalition.

Goldman points to Evans and Kushner accepting the award last month for GSIW and attending the recent GSIW student assignment forum to dispute their statements that they're not involved with the group. She said it's "highly inappropriate to be out there championing a fringe group like this."

1347252718 Wake County school board member Debra Goldman accusing Susan Evans and Christine Kushner of violating their oaths The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

New Wake County school board members discussed draft resolution for delaying student assignment plan

The new Democratic members of the Wake County school board were working behind the scenes on delaying the new student assignment plan.

As noted in today's article, a public records request shows that on Dec. 12, board member Jim Martin emailed this message to fellow board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner. It contained this draft resolution on delaying the assignment plan by one year.

Martin asked the other two board members to keep the resolution quiet so they could "bat ideas around ourselves without the outside pressure."

1347252868 New Wake County school board members discussed draft resolution for delaying student assignment plan The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Debra Goldman saying she "led the fight for reforming" the Wake County school system

Wake County school board member Debra Goldman is touting herself as being a reformer in her bid to become state auditor.

"First elected to the Wake County Board of Education in 2009, Debra led the fight for reforming the 16th largest public school system in America, and the largest in North Carolina," says Goldman's website. "Her decisions challenged a long, unfortunate tenure of failed policy decisions and ushered in a new era in which parental involvement and school choice began a return to their rightful role as the primary driving force in education.

She has been continuously praised by educators, administrators and students alike for her focus on fortifying and strengthening the role of the primary link in education—the threefold relationship between parents, students and teachers."

Goldman sent out a press release that she was officially filing the paperwork today to run in the May 8 Republican Party primary.

Wake County school board member Debra Goldman objecting to private briefings before budget is released

Is it appropriate for Wake County school board members to hold private meetings with staff to go over the budget before it's publicly presented?

As noted in this online article by Thomas Goldsmith, school board member Debra Goldman is objecting to board chairman Kevin Hill's request that Superintendent Tony Tata set up private meetings between board members and Chief Business Officer David Neter before the budget is made public March 6. In addition, board members must agree not to publicly share the information before March 6.

It's a practice that was typically done by prior boards. But it was not exercised by Ron Margiotta when he was board chairman in 2010 and 2011.

"We should be having these discussions as a Board, together, transparently and publicly!" Goldman writes in an email to Hill. "Why the secret meetings and information embargoes?  It all just begs to ask one question... WHY would you want to hide this from the public?"

1351217426 Wake County school board member Debra Goldman objecting to private briefings before budget is released 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 members to juggle board duties and running for higher office

The filing period kicks off at noon today for candidates aspiring for state and federal office, including Wake County school board members Debra Goldman, Chris Malone and John Tedesco.

All three Republican school board members have indicated they don't plan on resigning their board seats unless they win in November. Some critics have called on the trio to resign now, which would allow the Democratic board majority to expand their margin without having to wait to see if the the candidates win their new seats.

The fact that a third of the school board plans to seek higher office drew attention at last week's school board meeting.

Wake County school board approves design money for Athens Drive High stadium project

Wake County school board member Jim Martin flexed some of his political muscle at Tuesday's school board meeting.

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, Martin got the board to amend the plan to reallocate $130 million in unused bond money to cover the cost of design work for renovations to Athens Drive High's stadium. Staff is projecting they'll have $500,000 left over, which Martin noted would cover the design costs for the stadium.

The design work would jump start the renovation project. The actual funding for the $7.4 million in renovation work would come from the next bond issue.

Wake County school board gives preliminary approval to reinstating standing committees

Late Tuesday night, the Wake County school board voted 5-4 along party lines to pass on first reading the reinstatement of the student achievement, finance, policy and facilities committees.

Under the vote, which will still require a second reading for adoption, the committees would be reevaluated after six months. Left unresolved Tuesday was the future of the economically disadvantaged student performance task force.

Democratic school board chairman Kevin Hill proposed keeping the ED task force but rolling it into the student achievement committee. That proposal drew opposition from Republican school board member John Tedesco, who has headed the ED task force since its formation in 2010.

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