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Questioning the level of changes that should be made to the new student assignment plan

There's really not much doubt that if the new Wake County student assignment plan is implemented for the 2012-13 school year that it will be changed from what was adopted in October.

But, as noted in today's article, the jury is out on how extensive the changes would be. The starting point will be the Jan. 3 work session in which board members will go through their concerns in detail with staff.

"We’ve got one chance to make it right and for everyone to feel a strong level of comfort,” said Democratic board vice chairman Keith Sutton. “The problem is we’re not getting that comfort level. To raise that level of comfort will require some give and take.”

AdvancED begins interviews today for accreditation review

The review team from AdvancED will begin today the interviews that will help determine whether Wake County's high schools remain accredited.

The interview schedule for today includes seven current school board members and the three newly elected board members. Also on tap today are Superintendent Tony Tata, teachers and high school principals.

Wednesday's interview schedule includes two school board members, Deputy Superintendent Cathy Moore, the chief officers, area superintendents, the student assignment task force and the student body presidents.

Tomorrow's interview schedule also includes several community members and groups, including the state NAACP, the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, the Wake Schools Community Alliance, the Wake PTA Council, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Wake Education Partnership.

Civitas Action says Kevin Hill shouldn't support "long bus rides"

In a near duplicate of its robocall, Civitas Action is urging voters in this campaign mailer to tell Wake County school board member Kevin Hill to support the new student assignment plan.

The mailer from the conservative advocacy group says Hill voted no "on a bipartisan plan for stability, proximity and academic achievement." It also says he voted no "to parents having choice in where their children go to school."

The mailer also says that "Democrats, Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce and Wake Education Partnership support the choice plan."

"Tell Kevin Hill he should support the bi-partisan plan and parental choice — not long bus rides," according to the mailer.

Civitas Action asks people to complain to Kevin Hill about voting against student assignment plan

A new conservative Civitas Action robocall designed to hurt Wake County school board member Kevin Hill in the runoff election is drawing complaints from the liberal N.C. Policy Watch.

In this Tuesday robocall, Civitas Action charges "liberal Kevin Hill voted to return to the days of constant reassignment and bureaucrats deciding what school your children attend" when he voted against the student assignment plan.

In a blog post today for N.C. Policy Watch, Rob Schofield charges it's a "scurrilous and inaccurate call."

1347336586 Civitas Action asks people to complain to Kevin Hill about voting against 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.

Greater Raleigh Chamber and WEP say don't delay adoption of student assignment plan

Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata and the school board are getting support from the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Wake Education Partnership to vote on the student assignment plan on Tuesday.

In an op-ed piece today, leaders of both groups say the plan will empower parents, produce stability, create a culture of competition, efficiently use facilities and create a natural diversity. While the plan isn't perfect, they say it's  "a logical blueprint for moving beyond the divisive issue of reassignment."

"Delaying a decision at this point would only prolong the corrosive debate and further distract from pressing classroom issues and needed discussions about how to handle future enrollment growth," according to the piece written by Jim Brown, chair of Wake Education Partnership's board of directors and Jim Beck, chair of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Questioning whether the school board should vote on the assignment plan Tuesday

Should the Wake County school board hold off on adopting the new student assignment plan on Tuesday?

As noted in today's article, the recent election results could mean a new Democratic majority would take office Dec. 6 whose members have raised concerns about the details of the current plan. If Republicans still maintain control, four new members would take office in less than two months.

School board vice chairman John Tedesco said he, board chairman Ron Margiotta and Superintendent Tony Tata agreed Wednesday to leave the vote on the plan on the Oct. 18 agenda. Tedesco said they need to follow Tata's timetable to have it ready for implementation in the 2012-13 school year.

Cash Michaels on impact of high-poverty schools on property values

Cash Michaels is raising the possibility of property values being hurt by the Wake County school board majority's decision to end the diversity policy.

In a blog post Thursday on the sixth part of his series in The Carolinian on the new Walnut Creek Elementary School, Michaels looks at the Quarry Point subdivision near the school.

"With an average selling price of $144,410 per single-family unit, the clean, attractive, relatively new middle-class housing development where, according to, the median income is $46,185; 69 percent of the homeowners are married couples that are both working; and over 25 percent of families there have children, 3 years-old and above, who are enrolled school K-12, the last thing this young community needs is anything that would drive down its collective property values," Michaels writes.

Northern Wake Republican Club snubs Debra Goldman

It's not an oversight that Debra Goldman is the only GOP member of the Wake County school board who isn't a speaker at the April 14 Northern Wake Republican Club meeting.

A Monday afternoon press release promotes how school board chairman Ron Margiotta and board members Chris Malone Deborah Prickett and John Tedesco "will discuss the current state of the board’s reassignment policy, along with other important education issues." It's open to the public.

In a brief interview Monday, NWRC President Heather Losurdo said Goldman, the board vice chairwoman, wasn't invited to attend. Losurdo explained that the group wanted to hear from the school board members who supported moving ahead with community schools.

New York Times compares Wake County school board meetings to Cartoon Network

What do Wake County school board meetings and the Cartoon Network have in common?

The New York Times thinks both have a lot in common according to this article that was posted online Sunday night and will appear in Monday's print edition. The Times article notes the more recent developments in the Wake school diversity controversy and how the Wake School Choice Plan could be the solution.

"The (school) board is split five Republicans to four Democrats, and for the last 15 months meetings have looked like a Cartoon Network special, featuring in the lead role Mr. (John) Tedesco, 36, the most verbal member of the majority," according to the article. "He is single with no children and has lots of time on his hands to stir things up."


No front page this time. The article appeared on pg. 11 in the A section of Monday's New York Times.

Richard Kahlenberg praises Chamber/WEP student assignment model

Add Richard Kahlenberg to the list of those who are praising the student assignment model for Wake County that was proposed by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Wake Education Partnership.

In a guest blog column in today's Washington Post, Kahlenberg writes that the new controlled-choice plan "presents a credible third way between the constant reassignment of students under the old system and the tea party’s proposed re-segregation of Raleigh’s schools." He also calls it a "a politically palatable model for preserving diversity in our schools."

Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the liberal Century Foundation, was one of the most outspoken national supporters of Wake's old socioeconomic diversity policy. After the 2009 school board elections, Kahlenberg called for using controlled choice as a way to still maintain diversity in Wake's schools.

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