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Civitas Review says former conservative Wake County school board majority has "a legacy they can be proud of"

Former Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta is being praised for showing "what conservatives accomplished for Wake schools" in the latest issue of Civitas Review.

The magazine article published by the conservative Civitas Institute praises Margiotta and the former Republican school board majority for various accomplishments in their two-year tenure. The list includes raising the graduation rate, passing the new choice-based student assignment plan, increasing minority placement in Algebra I, lowering student suspensions and not laying off teachers.

"Liberals and their allies like to stereotype conservatives as penny-pinchers who don’t care about students," writes Civitas President Francis DeLuca, the author of the article. "But Ron Margiotta and his conservative allies showed how false that image is."

1347245180 Civitas Review says former conservative Wake County school board majority has "a legacy they can be proud of" The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Civitas Institute praises former Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta for his "courage" and "boldness"

On the same day that 21 Wake County school board protesters entered guilty pleas, former Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta is getting honored by the conservative Civitas Institute.

Margiotta is being praised for his "courage" and "boldness" as he gets tonight the inaugural Civitas Audentia Award at the Conservative Leadership Conference. Civitas also praises Margiotta for promoting "reforms."

Here is today's Civitas press release:

1330732867 Civitas Institute praises former Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta for his "courage" and "boldness" The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Civitas Institute to give Courage in Leadership Award to former Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta

March 2 could be a memorable day for former Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta.

In the morning, Margiotta will be in court as a potential witness in the case against the Rev. William Barber of the state NAACP, who was arrested on charges of disrupting school board meetings in 2010. In the evening, Margiotta will receive the Civitas Institute's inaugural Courage in Leadership Award.

"We need to respect politicians who do the right thing in the face of criticism and hostility," said Francis DeLuca, president of Civitas, about the conservative group's award to Margiotta.

1329400866 Civitas Institute to give Courage in Leadership Award to former Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Record amount spent in Wake County school board elections

The numbers keep rising in the most expensive race in Wake County school board history.

As noted in today's article, campaign finance reports filed Monday show that the candidates raised more than $470.000. The wild card though is the spending from the outside groups and the political parties, numbers which are already at $150,000 and rising.

Once the final numbers are in, the spending might hit $700,000 to $800,000 this year.

Outside groups played big role in District 3 runoff race

The groups not affiliated with Wake County school board member Kevin Hill and challenger Heather Losurdo pumped out a lot of campaign mailers.

As noted in today's article, at least $70,000 was spent by outside groups in targeted mailers in the District 3 runoff election. Some of the mailers got pretty rough.

For instance, Dean Debnam, a local Democratic activist who advocates for progressive causes, didn't see any problems with the mailers his N.C. Futures Action Fund bankrolled for Common Sense Matters.

501 and 527 groups talk about their school board campaign mailers

Thanks to Columbus Day, voters got today off from receiving new Wake County school board campaign mailers.

The groups that have been sending the various mailers say their pieces have educated voters. But you've also got some carping as well about the pieces.

For instance, Francis DeLuca, head of the conservative Civitas Action, praised his group's mailers while criticizing those sent by the other groups that linked the Republican school board candidates to the Tea Party.

Wake school board race brings record dollars and controversial ads

The most expensive campaign in Wake County school board history is leading  to a flurry of ads and charges.

As noted in today's article, reports on file show $385,909 has been raised so far by the candidates and other groups. But the number is actually far higher because many groups don't have to file yet or have only filed partial reports.

For instance, the $385,909 doesn't include the political parties and all the 501 groups and 527 groups. By the time all the numbers come in, the amount raised should easily exceed $500,000.

Civitas Action urging people to call Susan Evans

Supporters of Wake County school board candidate Susan Evans are not happy about this robocall being made by Civitas Action.

The audio uses remarks that Evans made at a school board meeting in which she said that Western Wake students who go to neighborhood schools have "a narrow view of the world" compared to magnet students. Civitas Action asks people to call Evans "and tell her that we are not 'Narrow Minded' and can decide for ourselves where our children go to school."

It looks like some people have done just that and called Evans. Her answering machine no longer picks up.

Civitas asking voters to thank Heather Losurdo, Ron Margiotta and Donna Williams

Civitas Action is entering the Wake County school board election fight by sending out mailers asking people to thank candidates Heather Losurdo, Ron Margiotta and Donna Williams.

Civitas Action, affiliated with the conservative Civitas Institute and backed by Art Pope, paid for mailers describing the three candidates as "dedicated to fighting tax increases" and a "bloated bureaucracy." It doesn't mention next week's elections, but the timing of the pieces received in mailboxes over the weekend is unmistakable.

Here's the front of piece sent in District 6. It says Donna Williams is "protecting parents, protecting taxpayers."

UPDATE

Civitas Action reported spending $6,063.99 on the mailers.

Civitas president says Wake should sever relationship with AdvancED

Francis DeLuca, president of the conservative Civitas Institute, argues that the Wake County school system doesn't need accreditation for its high schools from AdvancED.

In an op-ed piece today, DeLuca criticizes AdvancED for accrediting low-performing high schools and accuses the group of trying to usurp the school board's authority. DeLuca also argues that Wake high school students will still do well without accreditation.

"Continuing a relationship with an organization that demonstrably fails to guarantee academic quality and wants to second-guess local voters underscores why the Wake system should sever its relationship with AdvancED and if necessary seek alternative accreditation," DeLuca writes.

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