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Wake CARES founders host campaign event for Ron Margiotta

Wake CARES is touting its support of Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta's re-election bid in District 8.

In a press release today, Margiotta's campaign points to how the three co-founders of Wake CARES — Kathleen Brennan, Patrice Lee and Dawn Graff — hosted a Family Fun Day on July 17 to support Margiotta.

“It is no surprise that so many people support Ron in his re-election to the School Board,” said Brennan in the press release. “Ron has worked tirelessly to respond to the frustration of parents throughout Wake County at the former status quo that resulted in years of policies that resulted in frequent reassignments, mandatory year round schedules and a failure to innovate or achieve the academic potential of students throughout the system."

Calla Wright responds to Kathleen Brennan's Washington Post letter

More words are being traded in The Washington Post over last month's article on Wake County's school diversity fight.

In a letter to the editor in Saturday's Post, Calla Wright of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children challenges a recent letter submitted by Kathleen Brennan of Wake CARES.

Wright accuses Brennan of "scapegoating" by blaming the diversity policy and not growth for reassigning 60,000 students over the past 10 years.

Going from African American male achievement to the diversity policy

A discussion Thursday about how to help improve the performance of African American male students turned into yet another fight over school diversity in Wake County.

School board member Keith Sutton gave a presentation during Thursday's ED task force meeting highlighting the racial achievement and graduation rate gaps between black and white students. Click here and here to see what was handed out.

The ensuing Q&A turned into a discussion of the elimination of the diversity policy, with some shouting and heated words.

Kathleen Brennan on Washington Post article and Arne Duncan

The Washington Post has published Kathleen Brennan's sharply worded response to both this month's front-page article and to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's letter to the editor criticizing the Wake County school board.

In a letter to the editor today in The Post, Brennan, a co-founder of Wake CARES, complains that the Jan. 12 article "reflected preconceived notions about the situation in Wake County." She argues the reality is the diversity policy "created nontraditional calendar assignments, widespread parental discontent and great instability, with over 60,000 students reassigned over 10 years."

While the diversity policy influenced some of the assignments, supporters of the policy will counter that it's growth that played the larger factor in reassignment.

UPDATE

Link added for Brennan's letter.

Kathleen Brennan is amplifying on her letter to the editor with this Tuesday night post on the Wake CARES website.

Large turnout by diversity policy critics at Garner High public hearing

Supporters of community schools had a much better turnout at Thursday's student reassignment hearing at Garner High School.

As noted in today's article, it was sharply different from Wednesday's hearing at Southeast Raleigh High when the biggest group was supporters of the Wake County's old diversity policy. It was a lot more evenly mixed Thursday.

Wake County Commissioner Phil Matthews set the tone as the first speaker.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

Accusing The Washington Post of bias in article on Wake County schools

A conservative website has given a pretty harsh review of Wednesday's Washington Post article on the Wake County school diversity fight.

In a a blog post Wednesday, Newsbusters managing editor Ken Shepherd argues that the Post article unfairly paints Tea Party conservatives in North Carolina as being opposed to racial integration and diversity in Wake. Newsbusters is a project of the Media Research Center, which describes its mission as exposing liberal bias in the news media.

"In truth the Wake County, North Carolina, school board is simply moving to reverse decades of busing that shuttled some students to schools farther away from their homes in an effort to artificially engineer the socioeconomic and racial diversity of the county's individual schools," Shepherd writes.

The State of Things to discuss hiring of Tata today

The State of Things will tackle the Wake County school board's hiring of Anthony Tata as superintendent on today's radio show.

Among the guests expected on the show will be N&O reporter Thomas Goldsmith, Kathleen Brennan of Wake CARES, former school board member Beverley Clark of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition and Steve Parrott of the Wake Education Partnership.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

CORRECTED TO SAY THAT STEVE PARROTT WILL APPEAR FROM THE WAKE ED PARTNERSHIP

CORRECTED TO SAY THAT BEVERLEY CLARK AND NOT YEVONNE BRANNON IS REPRESENTING GREAT SCHOOLS IN WAKE

Telling the feds how many students were assigned for socioeconomic diversity

We could finally get an up-to-date number on how many Wake County students were assigned for socioeconomic diversity under the school district's old student assignment policy.

As noted in today's article, stats on the number of kids bused for diversity are one of the many things that the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights requested in this Dec. 7 letter to Wake school officials. Wake is crunching the numbers and will turn the info over next week.

OCR wants to know "for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years, the number of students by race/national origin and socioeconomic status (SES), as measured by a student's qualifying for free and/or reduced price lunch (FRPL), who were assigned to schools for SES-diversity purposes."

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."

Supporters of new school board say Burns needed to go

Aside from the need for a national search, it looks like supporters of the new Wake County school board majority thinks it's for the best that Del Burns resigned as superintendent.

As noted in today's article, supporters of the new board questioned whether it was realistic to expect Burns to carry out the sweeping changes that were being proposed. It's in contrast to the wailing and gnashing of teeth from critics of the new board over the resignation.

"Dr. Burns has devoted 30 years of his life to Wake County schools and has done a lot of good things," said Kathleen Brennan, a founder of Wake CARES. "But in his tenure as superintendent, I don't feel we've seen much forward growth and there's been a lot of dissatisfaction."

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