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Finding an interim superintendent to replace Del Burns

If the Wake County school board does remove Del Burns earlier than June 30, someone needs to step in soon as interim superintendent.

As noted in Saturday's article, there's no obvious choice like a deputy superintendent to step in because Burns eliminated that position in 2006 when he converted it to the new slot of chief business officer.

While it's not a guarantee, three potential internal choices for interim superintendent could be Chief Area Superintendent Danny Barnes, Chief Academic Officer Donna Hargens and Chief Business Officer David Neter. Of the trio, only Neter is a non-educator.

Strained relations between school board majority and Wake Education Partnership

It would be an understatement to say that relations are strained between the new Wake County school board majority and the Wake Education Partnership.

As noted in today's article, school board members are questioning such recent WEP publications as the school assignment analysis and the assessment of Del Burns' resignation as superintendent. It's a departure from when the WEP worked closely with the old school board majority.

“They seem to be going against everything we want to do," said school board member Deborah Prickett. "I feel like a salmon swimming upstream against them.”

Working out Del Burns' potential final payout

Money issues could mark the potential end of Del Burns' tenure as superintendent of Wake County schools.

As noted in today's article, the Wake County school board could force Burns out ahead of his June 30 resignation date by paying him around $100,000. But some are questioning whether Burns should ask for the money if he's saying it's a case of him needing to leave because of his personal integrity.

"He's been well compensated for his time," said school board member John Tedesco. "If it's truly about his integrity, he won't ask for the dollars."

Is it worth paying Del Burns to leave now?

How much is it worth it for the new Wake County school board majority to get rid of Superintendent Del Burns before June 30?

As noted in today's article, the board majority says it wants to work with him through the end of June 30. But there's another option available.

In Burns' contract, there's a provision that says that once he submits written notice of resignation the board can choose to unilaterally terminate him immediately. (The contract I've posted is the original from 2006 but school board attorney Ann Majestic said the language is still there.)

Attracting quality applicants to replace Del Burns

How attractive will it be for applicants to want to replace Wake County Schools Superintendent Del Burns?

As the 18th-largest school district in the nation with a pretty hefty salary likely to be offered, you'd think there would be lot of interest in working in Wake County. But as noted in today's article, that might not be the case.

“If a superintendent knows he’ll work with a split [school] board and with the economy the way it is, it would tend to give people pause,” said Daniel Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, in the article.

Calling Burns' resignation and Forest Ridge vote "costs of the ideological crusade"

Chris Fitzsimon is calling the resignation of Wake County Schools Superintendent Del Burns and the abandonment of the Forest Ridge High site "costs of the ideological crusade" of the new school board majority.

In a column today, Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch, mocks the statements from school board chairman Ron Margiotta and school board member John Tedesco that they didn't want Burns to go.

"Surely Tedesco and Margiotta can see through their crocodile tears and understand that a man who dedicated 34 years of his life to improving public education would not want to end his career watching the school system he loves fall victim to an ideological crusade." Fitzsimon writes.

That history from 1877 thing

Curriculum changes proposed by the State Department of Public Instruction regarding American history instruction have touched a nerve. Find letters about the change on tomorrow's Other Opinion page and a Point of View from a passionate college history professor on Sunday's Other Opinion page. (If you missed the story, read it here.) Here are more letters on the history subject and on Wake County schools in general.

Bob Geary on the school board and races for county commissioner

Bob Geary is giving his take on recent Wake County school board news and the impact the schools could have on this year's races for county commissioner.

In this week's issue of the Independent, Geary writes that the new school board majority has "wildly overplayed its hand" since December. Like other critics of the new board majority, he's citing the recent calendar survey results and the Wake Education Partnership school assignment report.

Geary also takes school board member John Tedesco to task for his "intermperate" response on the WakeEd blog to the WEP report.

Rita Rakestraw may run again for school board

Rita Rakestraw may run again for a seat on the Wake County school board.

Rakestraw, who lost the District 1 race in October to Chris Malone, said Monday she's put her campaign committee on hiatus as she mulls whether to run again. One indication that she may run again is that her final campaign report shows she still has $9,670.70 left of the $29,634.74 she had raised.

Rakestraw had raised the most money of any school board candidate last year although John Tedesco spent more than her.

Praising the WEP school assignment report

Critics of the Wake County school board majority are continuing to embrace the Wake Education Partnership's school assignment analysis.

In a Tuesday column, Chris Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch, says the WEP report "shows what would happen if every student in Wake County were assigned to the school closest to them, a stated goal of the Gang of Five."

Fitzsimon also takes school board member John Tedesco to task for responding on the WakeEd blog post that the WEP analysis was "hogwash" and their staff was "waxing philosophical lies."

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