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Press conference in support of Wednesday early dismissals

Speaking of the weekly Wednesday early dismissals, Wake NCAE is holding a press conference today on how professional learning teams are helping improve student performance

At the press conference, Wake NCAE "will invite invite parents, community leaders and school board members to celebrate American Education Week by joining educators at local schools during a PLT Wednesday session."

"Educators want to keep this important time to communicate, cooperate, and help ensure that all children's educational needs are met," according to the press release.


Wake NCAE leader apologizes for attacking new school board members

Wake NCAE President Jennifer Lanane is in damage control mode after having sent an e-mail message accusing the new school board members of not caring about children and teachers.

As noted in today's article, Lanane sent an apology letter on Monday to the new board members, who weren't happy about the tone of an earlier message sent to Wake NCAE reps. She says that the first message was a draft that was never meant to be sent, pointing to the multiple grammatical errors.

Lanane is in a difficult spot as she wants to try to get along with the new board majority. The problem is Wake NCAE didn't endorse any of the new members.

Truitt fell short with supporters of diversity policy

In the two weeks that have marked Cathy Truitt's school board runoff election campaign, one challenge that she couldn't overcome was the inability to pick up the backing of people who supported the diversity policy.

Truitt had said she could be the swing vote against resegregation. But the Independent was the only diversity policy supporter to back her in the runoff, with columnist Bob Geary urging moderates and progressives to rally behind her.

But Truitt struck out with other groups. In particular, Wake NCAE chose not to make an endorsement in the runoff. The group had backed Horace Tart originally.

WSCA sends out school board campaign mailers

The Wake Schools Community Alliance has weighed in with campaign mailers for all for its endorsed school board candidates.

Each mailer mentions that only 54 percent of Wake's low-income students are graduating from high school and that the district didn't make Adequate Yearly progress under No Child Left Behind in 2008-09. (Wake is one of the state's 60 districts that are in school improvement status for not meeting NCLB for at least two years in a row.)

But most of the mailers also mention material specific to that individual district.

District 1 school board candidate mailers

The three District 1 school board candidates are hitting on familiar themes in their campaign mailers.

In Rita Rakestraw's mailer, she wants voters to know that she was "endorsed by Wake County's teachers!" That stems from her endorsement by the Wake Count chapter of the N.C. Association of Educators, whose membership includes 5,000 Wake school district employees.

The front of Chris Malone's postcard touts that he "supports community schools." The back of the card lists his resume.

The front of Debbie Vair's postcard tells voters "it's time for a change," and a vote for her will assure school stability. The back of the postcard lists her resume.

Debating Wednesday early dismissals

Today's face-off columns about the Wednesday early dismissals has drawn plenty of reaction.

On the pro side, Jennifer Lanane of Wake NCAE says "students become the real beneficiaries of time dedicated to their teachers' professional growth, and clearly, our students deserve nothing less than the best we have to offer!"

On the con side, North Raleigh News Editor Matthew Eisley says "this is a big hassle for many dual-income households at all economic levels, which apparently doesn't register with the school board."

Stimulus dollars and large class sizes

Calls for Wake to do more to use federal stimulus dollars to reduce class sizes have only increased since traditional-calendar schools opened last week.

As noted in today's article, the reality of many classes with more than 30 students because of fewer teachers on the books has set in. You've got classes of more than 40 students in some rooms.

Gov. Beverly Perdue, State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison and the N.C. Association of Educators is contrasting how Wake used stimulus dollars with districts such as Winston-Salem/Forsyth that jumped all in to use the money to save jobs and keep class sizes the same at Title I schools.

Etta Wilson applies for Wake school board vacancy

An out-of-work special education teacher wants to fill the Wake school board District 6 vacancy.

Etta Wilson filed her application today to seek the position created by Beverley Clark's resignation from the school board. Wilson was most recently a special education teacher at Southeast Raleigh High School until June.

Wilson said she had resigned her job there in hopes of working at an elementary school or a middle school but hasn't been picked up yet. She's like a lot of other teachers who are hoping to get hired after the 10th day of traditional-calendar schools.


Wake teachers announce school board endorsements

Wake NCAE announced today its endorsements for this fall's school board elections.

The group is backing Rita Rakestraw in District 1, Horace Tart in District 2, Karen Simon in District 7 and Lois Nixon in District 9. With 5,000 school employees in the organization, Wake NCAE's backing could be a major factor in the elections.

Jennifer Lanane, president of Wake NCAE, said the group "will work hard this election season to help each of these pro-public education candidates get into office."

Julie Nau applying for Wake school board vacancy

Julie Nau, a retired teacher and the former head of the group representing Wake's school employees, has applied for Beverley Clark's vacant District 6 school board seat.

Nau filed her application earlier this week but it's incomplete and is missing some of the necessary paperwork. In what's in now, she stresses her years as a teacher, her experience at Wake NCAE and her community service.

Nau wrote that her three strategies for advancing the board's 100 percent graduation goal would be to promote success for all students, healthy schools and an involved citizenry.

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