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Wake County school board members and Superintendent Tony Tata have frank discussion

Jim Huge was mistaken when he said he wasn't trying to make Tuesday's Wake County school board retreat a counseling session.

As noted in today's article, school board members traded heated words with each and with Superintendent Tony Tata. In turn, the superintendent didn't hold back either in his feeling that some board members were trying to undercut staff.

In the end, board members agreed to meet one-one-one with Tata to start things anew. Whether those meetings and the two-hour discussion Tuesday helps remains to be seen.

Wake County school board members to talk about improving communications with one another and with staff

The strategic plan, improving board communications and honoring students and employees will be on today's Wake County school board agenda.

The board will open today's retreat by spending two hours discussing the strategic plan that AdvancED wants the district to complete. The board had a lengthy discussion on it at the December retreat.

The next two hours of the retreat will be spent on board communications and protocol, detailing what should happen between board members and board members and staff. The tense exchanges in recent months are what prompted school board chairman Kevin Hill to make his call for proper decorum last week.

1338073475 Wake County school board members to talk about improving communications with one another and with staff The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

School board modifies core beliefs

It took a lot of discussion on Saturday before the Wake County school board finally agreed to modify the district's core beliefs.

The board made two changes from this original document approved by the old board in February. This new set modifies the wording about academically challenging students and the role of teachers and principals in student achievement.

The impetus for the changes came from the new school board members.

School board on board committees and governance since 2009

It doesn't look like there's much doubt that the new Democratic majority on the Wake County school board will restore the standing committees.

But, as noted in today's article, the discussion during Saturday's retreat came with some recriminations. Members of the new majority complained about how they felt things had been governed over the past two years by the ousted Republican majority.

Interestingly enough, things had been relatively smooth heading into that part of the discussion after the discussion on amending the core beliefs.

School board to discuss Tony Tata's strategic plan for Wake

The Wake County school board will dive into the details of Superintendent Tony Tata's draft strategic plan during today's all-day retreat.

AdvancED required Wake to develop a strategic plan as one of its seven action steps when it put Wake's high schools on accreditation warned status in March. The old board started the process when it adopted the mission, vision and core beliefs for the district.

Now it's up to the new board to finish the process.

Discussing today whether to keep school board committees

The new budget being released this afternoon by Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata will understandably get most of the focus at the school board work session.

But another topic that will get discussion is whether the school board should keep its current committee structure. Much of the issue revolves around whether it's a drain on staff time for them to be involved in the various committees.

It's the latest chapter in the debate over whether the board should operate with committees, or at least the standing ones.


Supt. Tony Tata is recommending eliminating all the standing board committees and dealing with issues instead at the committee of the whole.

Tata cited all the time staff spends preparing for and recovering from committee meetings.

More details later.

Talking about consensus during the school board retreat

Wake County school board members might still sing Kumbaya after all during the two-day retreat today and Saturday with Superintendent Tony Tata.

As noted in today's article, Tata says a big chunk of the retreat will be focused on how to build consensus. He said the retreat will also provide an opportunity for board members to better get to know him and each other.

“I’m not saying that we’ll agree on everything,” Tata said. “My intention is to discuss with them the best practices for high-functioning boards.”


The Friday meeting has been moved to a third-floor conference room.

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