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Equating the school board majority with a "demonic presence"

The Wake County school board majority was essentially equated by diversity policy supporters to be demon possessed at this evening's prayer vigil at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh.

The Rev. Earl Johnson, pastor of Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh, asked the dozen clergy members in the audience to set aside one Sunday service in September for prayer. He urged them to pray for schools,  diversity in schools, student achievement and...

"Pray that this demonic presence that is trying to take over the school system will not prevail," Johnson said.

Opening on a traditional calendar at Leesville and Mills Park

Today marks the start of a new calendar era for several Wake County schools.

Leesville Road elementary and middle schools will open back on a traditional calendar after having operated as year-round schools. Mills Park Elementary will make the switch to the traditional calendar after opening as a year-round school in 2009.

Today's opening of Mills Park Middle School reflects the first break with the prior board's policy of opening all new middle schools and elementary schools on a year-round calendar.

N.C. HEAT selling anti-Margiotta buttons

Are you looking for an "Anti Ron Marigotta" button?

It's one of the things being sold on the new website created by NC H.EA.T., the youth group formed in June to fight the Wake County school board majority. The button contains a picture of Margiotta, the chairman of the school board, with a slash running across his face.

For a $1, you can also buy a "Anti segregation" button or a "Listen To The Students" button.

Luebke criticizing Gov. Perdue for honoring Rev. Barber

It's not surprising that supporters of the Wake County school board majority are unhappy about the award that Gov. Bev Perdue gave Saturday to the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP.

In a blog post today, Bob Luebke of the conservative Civitas Institute writes that the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award given to Barber raises questions. Luebke writes that Barber is being lauded for opposing a move to neighborhood schools in Wake that's used in most of the state's school districts.

"If Perdue finds Barber’s work so laudatory, you have to wonder why either has said little to nothing about that same policy which has been in place for years in many of the state’s other school districts. The selective indignation makes it difficult to take either’s comments seriously."

UPDATE

Click here for a WTVD story in which Kathleen Brennan, a founder of Wake CARES, said she was "shocked and appalled" that Perdue gave Barber the award. But Patty Williams, the communications person for the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, said that Barber "deserves to be noted by the community as an advocate for all chidlren."

L.A. teacher ratings challenge assumptions about teacher effectiveness

A Sunday Los Angeles Times article is challenging some popular conceptions about which teachers are effective and where they work.

The newspaper analyzed student records in the Los Angeles Unified School System to perform a value-added analysis of teacher effectiveness. The newspaper's plan to post online a database of the results of 6,000 elementary school teachers has produced an uproar, including a mass boycott from the teacher's union.

Findings included:

GSIW accuses "private school supporters" of making "false statements" about school system

The Great Schools in Wake Coalition is arguably taking out of context some of the criticisms leveled against the Wake County school system.

In a press release today, GSIW says that private school supporters are calling the school system "unpopular" and a "failure." It says these remarks "appears part of an orchestrated plan to discredit and undermine the award-winning Wake County Public School System."

“The public schools are the crown jewel of our local economy. We should be advocating for them—not condemning them,” said Yevonne Brannon, GSIW Chairwoman in the press release. “It is an insult to the intelligence of our educators and students when we suggest that one of the top school districts in the nation is a failure. If our schools are so bad, then why have they been held up as a national model of success?”

1282174876 GSIW accuses "private school supporters" of making "false statements" about school system The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake facing "rare" and "serious" review to keep accreditation

Whether or not you agree with the review, it looks like the Wake County school board majority's policies will face tough scrutiny from an accreditation organization.

As noted in today's article, AdvancED gets dozens of complaints a year about school districts but only investigates a handful. Mark Elgart, the president and CEO of AdvancED, said they felt the concerns raised in the state NAACP complaint and in informal complaints later filed by other critics of the board majority warranted an in-depth review of Wake.

"It is rare, and it is serious,' Elgart said of the pending Wake review.

Chuck Dulaney on using student assignment to help student achievement

Retired Wake County Assistant Superintendent Chuck Dulaney argued Monday night that student assignment can be an effective tool for helping academic achievement.

Dulaney, the first speaker at the Great Schools in Wake Coalition's back-to-schools forum, said that using student assignment to balance schools can provide students the opportunities and support they need to succeed. Along the way, he said the distance that students travel to school is less important than what's at the school they attend

"Student assignment has a lot to do with opportunity," said Dulaney, who oversaw student assignment until he retired March 1. "The mixture of students in schools have a lot to do with the opportunities in those schools."

Blaming Charles Meeker for high security costs at school board meetings

The conservative Wake Community Network is laying much of the the blame for the $16,197 security bill at the July 20 Wake County school board meeting on Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker.

In a press release Tuesday, Wake Community Network Director Joey Stansbury accuses Meeker and the City Council of not doing enough to help Southeast Raleigh. Stansbury argues Meeker, a vocal critic of the school board majority, is creating "two classes of society" by pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the Fayetteville Street 'Livable Streets' initiative.

"For Mayor Meeker, there are two downtowns, one for intellectuals to drink coffee and talk about how they care about poor black schoolchildren and the other one, dominated by streets such as Bragg and Bloodworth, where his rhetoric doesn't match reality," Stansbury says in the press release.

Heated words exchanged at school board meeting

The antipathy between the Wake County school board majority and their critics was extremely evident on Tuesday.

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, speakers lashed into the board majority for abandoning the diversity policy and going to only one public comment period per month. Members of the board majority fired back later on in the discussion before adopting the public comment change.

Here are examples of some of the comments:

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