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Wake's future 50 years after beginning of integration

Where the Wake County school system stands days away from the 50th anniversary of the integration of Raleigh's schools depends on whom you ask.

As noted in today's article, those who fought for integration in 1960 and today's supporters of the discarded diversity policy say Wake is heading in the wrong direction with the move to community schools. But the school board majority says they're trying to fulfill the dreams of those who wanted integrated schools to give children a better education

“I am disappointed that – with so many seemingly having endured so much for so long to get to what was a terrific school system in Raleigh – it would be dismantled without any consideration of the long-term detrimental effects,” said former Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell, who became the first black child to attend a white Raleigh city school on Sept. 9, 1960.

CCCAAC accuses Dan Coleman of being out of touch with African American community

Dan Coleman, president of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, is getting fallout for his public criticism of the old Wake County socioeconomic diversity policy.

In a press release today, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children accuses Coleman of making "uninformed and misleading statements" about the diversity policy's impact on student achievement. CCCAAC President Calla Wright is accusing Coleman, the head of a group that's represented Raleigh's African American community since 1932, of supporting resegregation that will harm student achievement.

"It is shocking that Dan Coleman is so out-of-touch with the thoughts and feelings of the African American community and the academic needs of our students,” Wright said in the press release.

RWCA leader criticizes diversity policy

Dan Coleman, president of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, is speaking out against the old Wake County socioeconomic diversity policy.

As noted in today's article, Coleman's public criticism of the diversity policy is putting him at odds with the rest of the leadership of the local African American community. But Coleman said the test data shows that the diversity policy hasn't helped Southeast Raleigh students.

The passing rate on state reading exams for Southeast Raleigh students was 46.7 percent in elementary schools and 48.6 percent in middle schools. None of the other zones in the plan being considered by the board had passing rates below 60 percent.

RWCA concerned about lack of response to Sutton request

The Wake County school board majority may be losing the goodwill of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association by not responding to the group's request that Keith Sutton be appointed to the student assignment committee.

In a letter Sunday to school board chairman Ron Margiotta, RWCA President Dan Coleman is complaining that the group's March 31 request for Sutton's appointment hasn't been responded to yet. Coleman notes again the group's willingness to work with the board in developing the new assignment zones.

Coleman writes that the group is willing to have another member of the board majority join the committee to balance Sutton's membership.

Members named to superintendent search committee

Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta has named the members of the superintendent search committee but Keith Sutton is not one of them.

Board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman will chair the committee. She had previously been charged with looking at various firms that might be hired to help conduct the search.

Goldman will be joined on the committee by Chris Malone, Carolyn Morrison and Deborah Prickett.

UPDATE

Click here to view the school district's press release on the committee appointments. 

RWCA requests more committee assignments for Keith Sutton

The Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association wants school board member Keith Sutton to have a greater say in selecting a new superintendent and in developing the new student assignment model.

In a letter Wednesday to school board chairman Ron Margiotta, RWCA President Dan Coleman asked that Sutton be appointed to the student assignment committee and to be named co-chair of the superintendent search committee.

FYI, Sutton is the school board rep for Southeast Raleigh, which is the home for much of the RWCA's membership.

Deciding whether to fight or work with the new school board majority

What's the best course of action to take if you're a supporter of the diversity policy after Tuesday's night Wake County school board vote?

As noted in today's article, some groups are vowing to fight the new board majority's every step over the next nine to 15 months as the community assignment zones are developed. But others are taking a more conciliatory tone.

Yevonne Brannon, chairwoman of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, said they're going to vet everything the board does and point out problems to the public. She doesn't think the majority will be able to implement the new model.

Tedesco asking community leaders to join task force

Wake County school board member John Tedesco has approached several African-American leaders to be a part of the economically disadvantaged student performance task force.

Tedesco said he's contacted several people, including Raleigh City Councilman James West, Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association President Daniel Coleman and the Rev. Patrick Wooden, the pastor of Raleigh's Upper Room Church of God in Christ. He said he's been asking people who are leaders and who represent a broad section of the community.

Tedesco said he has not asked the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, to participate on the task force. Both men have had a war of words over the new school board majority's plan to end the diversity policy.

Final campaign reports for Prickett and Tart

Wake County school board candidates Deborah Prickett and Horace Tart are the first ones to file their year-end campaign finance reports.

Tart's final report shows he spent $12,306.98 during his unsuccessful bid for a second term on the board. Toward the end of the campaign, he got $150 from school board member Anne McLaurin and $150 from former Raleigh Mayor Smedes York.

The report shows Tart paid $700 to the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association's political action committee to be his poll workers on Election Day.

Great Schools in Wake Coalition launches web site

The Great Schools in Wake Coalition went live today.

According to the group's web site, its mission is to "provide accurate information to educate the public about policy initiatives that would impact the quality of education, to foster well-informed discussions about critical education issues, and to advocate for policies that improve public education in Wake County."

Based on the coalition's partners, you can tell that they're supporters of the current school diversity policy and are not fans of the new Wake County school board majority.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

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