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Accrediting group to review Wake's change in student assignment policy

The original somewhat general state NAACP complaint against the Wake County school system has now turned into a wide-ranging review of all the major decisions made since December.

A "special review team" from AdvancED, the parent organization of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, will be coming to Raleigh soon to review the complaint filed by the NAACP. They've asked for a wide range of documents.

For instance, AdvancED want to know who developed the new community based assignment initiative and what studies and info was used to justify the move from the socioeconomic diversity policy.

SEE END OF POST FOR ADDITIONAL LINKS, INCLUDING WAKE'S PRIOR RESPONSE TO NAACP COMPLAINT

County commissioners heed Margiotta's call that Forest Ridge High is dead

Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta laid down the law at Tuesday's commissioners meeting before the vote approving the Rolesville High School site.

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, Margiotta came to the meeting to make a public pitch for purchasing the Rolesville site. He told commissioners that any thoughts of rejecting the site to try to force the school board to go back to the Forest Ridge High site would fail.

“Wake County Public Schools will not build H6 on the Forestville Road site,” Margiotta told commissioners.

Showdown today over Rolesville High site

Whether the Wake County school board can stick with the Rolesville High School site or has to go back to the Forest Ridge High site will be decided today by county commissioners.

Supporters of the Rolesville site are mobilizing for the public comment section of today's meeting before the commissioners vote. They'll be joined by opponents of the site, urged on by County Commissioner Stan Norwalk's call to draw a line in the sand against the school board majority.

One of Norwalk's arguments for going back to Forest Ridge is that the traffic concerns about the site have been resolved. The residents of Chesterfield Village strongly disagree.

UPDATE

County commissioners approved the Rolesville High School land purchase. The vote was 4-3 with Lindy Brown breaking ranks with her fellow Democrats to back the deal. Click here for the online story.

Norwalk's call to "stop the madness" of the Wake school board majority

Wake County Commissioner Stan Norwalk is arguing that rejecting the Rolesville High School land purchase would be a case of drawing a line in the sand against the Wake County school board majority and stopping their "madness."

In a message posted Wednesday on Curmilus Dancy's blog, Norwalk calls locating the new high school in Rolesville and not the Forest Ridge site in Northeast Raleigh the latest example of politics by the school board. He said rejecting the Rolesville site is "about stopping the death of WCPSS by a “thousand cuts."

"If the line in the sand is not drawn here, future cuts will be harder and harder to stop," Norwalk writes. "The H6 vote is the first opportunity for the Board of Commissioners to take action to stop the madness, the meanness and the eventual death of diversified public education in Wake County."

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

Norwalk accuses school board of engaging in backroom politics over high school site

Wake County Commissioners Stan Norwalk hurled some pretty serious allegations at today's meeting about why the school board wants to build a high school in Rolesville instead of on Forestville Road in Raleigh.

"It stinks of politics being carried on behind closed doors," Norwalk said. "It's not logical."

Pressed by Commissioner Joe Bryan, Norwalk said he didn't have any evidence except that it was illogical that it happened any other way.

GSIW accuses school board majority of disregarding community and family values

The Great Schools in Wake Coalition is accusing the Wake County school board majority of putting "special interest politics ahead of the values of the community" with the votes taken at last week's meeting.

In a press release today, GSIW complains about the 5-4 votes on hiring Heidrick & Struggles, eliminating the requirement that the superintendent be an educator and dropping out of the state and national school boards associations.

Yevonne Brannon, GSIW chairwoman, said the board actions taken last week "demonstrates reckless disregard for the community and for our family values.”

Questioning the merits of Rolesville High over Forest Ridge High

A political battle is looming over the Wake County school board wanting to buy the land off Rolesville and Quarry roads for the new Rolesville High School.

As noted in today's article, Wake County Commissioner Stan Norwalk and Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker are leading the effort to get the commissioners to reject the land purchase. They want the school board to go back to the Forest Ridge High site.

Norwalk is calling the abandonment of Forest Ridge for the Rolesville site a case of rewarding people who support the new majority's ideology. (He's talking about Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles and school board member Chris Malone and not the owner of the site being purchased, St. Lawrence Homes.)

Wake drops out of NCSBA and approves land for Rolesville High School

It was a busy night for the Wake County school board once the protester were arrested.

I'll go into more detail in another post about the 5-4 votes to allow the board to hire a non-educator to be superintendent and to hire Heidrick & Sruggles to be the search firm.

This post will focus on the board's decision to drop membership from the N.C. School Boards Association and to buy land for a new high school in Rolesville to replace the Forest Ridge site.

CORRECTION

The new high school site is not one of the ones proposed by Frank Eagles. It's across the street from one of the sites he proposed.

Savings of moving school HQ to Cary

Wake County school board members and administrators are stressing the potential financial savings from moving the district's HQ from Raleigh to Cary.

As noted in today's North Raleigh News article, the estimate is the move to consolidate most of Wake's admin space to Crossroads Corporate Park will save $29 million over 20 years. In addition, most of the savings, around $20 million, would come in the next five years by selling three buildings, including the main admin building on Wake Forest Road.

"It's a good professional deal that will save the taxpayers money during a difficult time," said Chris Malone, chairman of the school board's facilities committee.

GSIW urges school board to suspend work on community-based assignment plan

The Great Schools in Wake Coalition is calling on the Wake County school board majority to abandon any work on the community-based school assignment plan to focus on budget issues.

In a press release today, GSIW Chairwoman Yevonne Brannon complains that the board majority isn't making student achievement its top priority. Instead, she cites the board's votes to layoff staff at Project Enlightenment, reassign students this year without public hearings, convert school calendars, abandon Forest Ridge High and "limiting public access to their meetings."

"The Coalition is calling for the Board to suspend any further consideration of reassignments, including work on the Community-Based Assignment Plan, and instead focus its efforts on the budget crisis and work to secure the resources and teachers our students need for the coming school year," Brannon says.

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