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School board members praising new student assignment plan

It looks like a majority of Wake County school board members are willing to approve the new student assignment plan.

As noted in today's article, both the Republican and Democratic members were praising the plan. For instance, school board member Carolyn Morrison said she would have voted to approve the plan Tuesday as it addressed all the concerns from District 6.

“It’s major change," said school board chairman Ron Margiotta. "It’s a major improvement. It’s something we should have done 10 years ago.”

Progress NC says Ron Margiotta shoud apologize for using Tony Tata's photo in campaign mailer

Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta says he has no intention of apologizing for including a photo of Superintendent Tony Tata on one of his campaign mailers.

Progress NC Action issued a press release today calling on Margiotta to "issue a formal apology" for using the photo. The group says the photo "is a clear violation of school board policy that prohibits the use of school resources for campaigning."

Margiotta said the photo was taken by a campaign supporter at a recent press conference in Apex to discuss the use of a unspent bond money to build new schools. He said there is no violation for him to use the photo.

1347338185 Progress NC says Ron Margiotta shoud apologize for using Tony Tata's photo in campaign mailer The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Progress NC questioning whether Tony Tata endorsed Ron Margiotta

Progress North Carolina Action is questioning why Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata's image was used on a campaign mailer for school board chairman Ron Margiotta.

In a press release this evening, the liberal advocacy group says "Tata has said he repeatedly warned school employees of the board policy not to engage in political activities." Pointing to Tata's image next to Margiotta on the mailer, the group asks "does he think he is above his own policy?"

"Superintendent Tata: Did you endorse Ron Margiotta or authorize the use of your image for his campaign mailer?" says Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress NC Action, in the press release. "The public has a right to know."


Tata says he hasn't endorsed Margiotta and didn't know his photo was in the mailer. Margiotta says the photo was never meant to convey an endorsement. See the end of post for more details.

Looking at the District 3 school board race

It's the self-described "principled principal" running against three challengers who all think they can do a better job of representing District 3 on the Wake County school board.

As noted in today's article, school board member Kevin Hill is emphasizing his education background in his re-election bid. With the departure of Carolyn Morrison in December, Hill says he would potentially be the only board member left with experience as a teacher and principal.

"As a Board of Education, it's important to have some perspectives from an educator with both my experience as a teacher and principal," Hill said.

Jim Martin defends Enloe High Key Club's actions for his campaign

Wake County school board candidate Jim Martin is challenging Superintendent Tony Tata's decision to shut down Enloe High School's Key Club website.

The Key Club had put on its website links for members to volunteer for the campaigns of Martin and fellow school board candidate Susan Evans. Tata said at today's press conference that the club's website, which has a link on the high school's website, was inappropriate so he had it shut down and had the Human Resources Department investigate the club's two advisers for potentially violating board policy on electioneering.

In this press release today, Martin argued that Enloe's Key Club should be allowed to post those volunteer opportunities because Key Club International is independent of the school system. He also says that the  Key Club website's, while accessible from the school website, is hosted by a service not affiliated to the district.


Wake investigating school board electioneering at Enloe High

Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata said today that an investigation has been launched into whether an Enloe High School teacher improperly solicited support for two school board candidates on a school-linked club web site.

Tata said they had shut down a link on Enloe’s Key Club website soliciting campaign volunteers for school board candidates Susan Evans and Jim Martin.

He said using a school website to advertise for specific candidates is improper and that the Human Resources Department is investigating whether the club’s advisor knew about the posting.

Tony Tata says new student assignment plan is ready for adoption

Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata said today that the new student assignment plan is ready for adoption on Oct. 18, and delaying it would only hurt parents and students as they try to implement it for next school year.

Also during today's press conference, Tata repeatedly pointed to how the student assignment task force has spent seven months on developing the new plan. He compared it to how the magnet school program was approved by the board in 1982 only three months after presentation by staff.

On feeder patterns, Tata said he's looking at more adjustments, citing the concerns raised this week by Jeffreys Grove Elementary parents. In response to a question about Brassfield Elementary, he pointed to how parents would have priority if they wanted to go to their closest secondary school. He said he expected to be able to honor those requests in the lottery.

Click here for the online story. I'll go into more detail.


Click here for a handout from today's press conference listing the 12 highlights of the new proposal.

Timing of the Oct. 18 vote on the student assignment plan

The timing of the vote on the new Wake County student assignment plan is drawing some varied reactions.

As noted in today's article, school board chairman Ron Margiotta and vice chairman John Tedesco said they need to adopt the plan next month to meet the timetable to get it implemented in the 2012-13 school year. Both board members set the Oct. 18 vote after meeting with Superintendent Tony Tata this week.

“It’s not going to be rushed, but neither does it need to be delayed,” Margiotta said. “Staff needs time. It’s a major change.”

School board to vote Oct. 18 on student assignment plan

Pencil in Oct. 18 as the scheduled date for the Wake County school board vote on the new student assignment plan.

In addition to telling them the date of the scheduled vote, Superintendent Tony Tata also told board members today that a public hearing on the plan has been scheduled for Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. at Broughton High School. If the board adopts Oct. 18 then it's set for implementation next school year.

Once the plan is approved, staff would need to market the plan to the community so that people would know to participate in the lottery if they want to change schools or if they are new to the district. The magnet selection lottery could be held as early as December followed by the application process for other schools..

In the meantime, staff will still present the final plan to the board on Tuesday. But school officials say that there won't be a vote that day.


Click here to view the online story. Click here for Wake's press release.

If you want to speak Oct. 13, online registration will begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 8 at You can also register at the door at the day of the hearing from 4 to 4:50 p.m. You'll have two minutes.

CCCAAC criticizes adoption of single-gender leadership academies

It looks like we have a split between Wake County school board member Keith Sutton and the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children over the newly created single-gender leadership academies.

In a press release today, CCCAAC calls the creation of the schools "a troubling decision" with "the hurried approval of the academies (as) another example of the reckless decision-making by the board majority." It questions the academic effectiveness of single-sex schools that Sutton joined the majority in backing.

CCCAAC doesn't buy Superintendent Tony Tata's argument that the schools will be cheaper than the ones they're modeled on from Guilford County. Also citing how those Guilford schools are almost all black, CCCAAC calls them "costly schools to resegregate and reassign without community input."

CCCAAC also complains about how the academies will displace special-education students. They also complain that the money spent making the academies ready "means that other school projects, such as repairs to existing facilities, are being placed on hold."

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