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Looking at the technology component of the Wake County school bond issue

The politics of technology in Wake County school bond issues is playing out again this year.

As noted in today's article, the $939.9 million capital improvement program that would largely be funded by the school bond includes $64.9 million for technology upgrades. But school leaders are emphasizing more the technology infrastructure upgrades the bonds would fund as opposed to the new devices that would be acquired.

During his speech Friday to the League of Women Voters of Wake County, Superintendent Jim Merrill stressed that the bonds would provide “technology upfits” for schools with some “limited equipment” purchases.

Discussing the curriculum audits for the four Eastern Wake schools

The challenges facing high-poverty Eastern Wake schools came into play during Thursday’s discussion of curriculum audits of four Knightdale schools.

The outside audits of Hodge Road and Knightdale elementary schools, East Wake Middle School and Knightdale High School found problems affecting how students are being educated. It also brought attention to the issue of inequitable distribution of district resources among Wake County’s 170 schools and the challenges of providing remediation at multi-track year-round schools.

Click here for the PowerPoint presentation of the audits at the school board’s student achievement committee meeting. Click here for the executive summaries of the audits.

Todd Wirt chosen for superintendent training program

The Wake County school system is touting how Assistant Superintendent Todd Wirt has been picked for a new program that trains would-be superintendents.

n today's press release, Wake says Wirt has been chosen to be in the inaugural class of Aspiring Superintendent Fellows, created by the non-profit Strategic Leadership By Design.

Upon completing the two-year program, Wirt has to apply for superintendent’s positions or positions leading to a superintendency.

Wake County school system looking at $90 million in technology for next bond issue

Should the Wake County school system spend as much as $90 million in the next school construction bond issue on technology?

At Wednesday's school board facilities committee meeting, staff outlined proposals for $54 million to establish a "classroom baseline" and $36 million in network systems. Click h here for the network needs.

A lot of the discussion was around the classroom technology piece, where the goal in the next bond is to reach a ratio of one device (laptop, iPad or tablet) for every three students. This would involve 50,000 devices for $25 million.

Wake County schools concerned about state legislature's education changes

The education reform package passed last year by the state legislature drew plenty of red flags at Thursday's Wake County school board student achievement committee meeting.

As noted in today's article, school board members said that issuing an A through F grade for every school will humiliate schools and won’t have much value. School leaders also say now requiring districts to hold summer reading camps for third-grade students who fail the state reading exam is an unfunded mandate.

“We are charged to make sure we have the best education system for our students and teachers," said school board member Jim Martin. "If something is coming down the track that doesn’t help students and teachers, then we have the obligation to get off the track before the train hits us.”

Conducting a review of the Wake County school system's academically and intellectually gifted program

It looks like the Wake County school system may soon hire an outside firm to conduct a review of the district's Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) program.

During last week's school board student achievement committee meeting, staff reviewed different options for how to conduct the review that would help influence revisions that may be made to the AIG program. Click here on this handout.

One option would be to have the state Department of Public Instruction perform the review, possibly during the spring.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST

1353036971 Conducting a review of the Wake County school system's academically and intellectually gifted program The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board appoints three area superintendents and a principal

The Wake County school board appointed three top administrators and a principal last week.

Howard "Todd" Wirt was hired to become the assistant superintendent for academics with a salary of $120,000. Wirt has been the executive director for secondary education for the Mooresville Graded School District since 2011.

Clinton Robinson will become the southwestern area superintendent with a salary of $120,000. He had been principal of Wake Forest-Rolesville High School since September.

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