New Wake County school board members Susan Evans and Jim Martin are denouncing as "absolutely false" a rumor being spread by Republicans that they browbeat Superintendent Tony Tata and staff about the new student assignment plan.
In an issue of the Elephant Express sent today, Wake County Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Bryant says "there's a rumor floating around" that Evans and Martin "barged" into a student assignment task force meeting "and ordered him (Tata) to take no steps toward implementing the plan." Bryant writes that "we understand their yelling was so loud it could be heard out in the hall."
"I don't know how she can completely fabricate something like this," said Evans, in an interview today, about the charges from Bryant.
In en e-mail response, Tata said "we had a meaningful, frank, and sometimes spirited discussion" at the Oct. 21 meeting. I haven't gotten back a response from him clarifying what that means.
While I don't think shortening Tata's response changed anything, here's the full reply he gave me yesterday:
"I had not heard any rumors and had not seen the newsletter until you emailed it to me. As I announced two press conferences ago, I invited Dr. Martin, Ms. Evans, and Ms. Kushner to attend an update on the assignment plan so that we could answer their questions and provide more information in order to begin their transition as individual board members. The assignment task force was present along with some other senior staff personnel. Over the course of about two hours, we had a meaningful, frank, and sometimes spirited discussion. Our transition plan calls for more information exchange in the coming weeks leading up to their taking office. We have a full agenda and fixed timelines, making it vital that we share as much information as early as possible so that we can remain firmly focused on students and parents. Thx, Tony."