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Drop in test results expected shortly before school bond vote

The Friends of Wake County will likely have some bad news to try to counter just days before the Oct. 8 school bond referendum.

On Oct. 3, the state Board of Education will release the new statewide test results based on the common core curriculum. Scores are expected to be much lower than they were last year under the ABCs program.

The Wake County school system, like everyone else, will take a hit under the new exams. While school leaders and bond supporters will try to explain the reasons for the decline, don't be surprised if bond opponents point to the results.

Seeing if Wake County Republican Party will oppose the school bond issue

Will the Wake County Republican Party oppose the $810 million school construction bond referendum?

In September, then-Wake GOP chairwoman Susan Bryant said that if the school board fired Superintendent Tony Tata that she "will immediately move, as chairman, to put the full force of our organization against its [bond] passage."

"Who can possibly believe the money, no matter how much it may be needed, will be wisely spent by such a gang of unprincipled radicals?" Bryant warned at the time.

Tata is now long gone as superintendent. But Donna Williams, the current Wake GOP chairwoman, said the group has made no decision yet on the Oct. 8 bond referendum.

(I'm in vacation for the next two weeks. I have some blog posts to cover that time period but won't be answering questions until I return.)

Friends of Wake County hire school bond referendum campaign consultants

The Friends of Wake County is bringing back a familiar face to help persuade voters to back this fall's $810 million school construction bond referendum.

This week, the group hired Democratic political strategist Brad Crone to be one of the campaign consultants. Crone, the head of Campaign Connections, has worked on the last three successful Wake school bond campaigns in 2000, 2003 and 2006

The group rebuffed Crone’s offer of assistance in 1999. That proved to be a mistake as Crone was hired by the group that helped defeat the bond referendum.

The Friends of Wake have also hired Republican political strategist Chris Sinclair, who is considered to be an expert on digital campaigns. Sinclair hasn’t previously worked on Wake school bond campaigns. But he's a partner at Cornerstone Solutions, which has worked on bond referendums in Florida.

Wake County school board member John Tedesco not running for re-election

It's official now that Wake County school board member John Tedesco will not run for re-election this year.

In this statement, portions of which will appear in a letter to the editor Thursday, Tedesco said that “at this time it would be best for our family if I refocused my efforts at home and work during the next few years.” Tedesco, 38, goes on to praise the changes made since 2009, saying “we turned the attention away from a child’s demographics and turned it towards their academic success.”

“Today we are a stronger system and our schools are better than they were in 2009, even if the public image of our board is not,” Tedesco says. “If our children are to succeed we cannot let our schools slip back into a quiet complacency with greater care given to the image of the overall system than the needs of each individual child.”

Friends of Wake on passing the school bond referendum to unite the community

Has the recent tumult in North Carolina made you think the state is like the Kardashian clan?

As noted in today's article by Martha Quillin, the co-chairs of the Friends of Wake County all made pitches to the Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday about why the $810 million school bond referendum is needed. Phil Zachary, one of the co-chairs, argued passing the bond would help improve the state's reputation and bring healing to the community.

"Ladies and gentlemen, working together with our school board you send out a powerful message to every man and woman in Wake County that some promises, some priorities are just too critical to compromise," said Zachary, president of Curtis Media Group. "Let’s seize the opportunity of this bond referendum to show the world we’re the proud and visionary North Carolinians, not the bumbling self-absorbed North Kardashians wrongly depicted by the national press.”

Co-chairs announced for Friends of Wake County bond campaign committee

The new leaders of the Friends of Wake County bond campaign committee were unveiled today as they urged commissioners to put the $810 million school construction bond on the Oct. 8 ballot.

The three co-chairs of the Friends of Wake are Billie Redmond, CEO of TradeMark Commercial Properties; the Rev. Marion Robinson, pastor of St. Matthews AME Church; and Phil Zachary, president of Curtis Media Group.

The names should be familiar to those familiar with the Wake County school system.

UPDATE

Click here to read the Friends of Wake press release on the new co-chairs. Click here to read the Friends of Wake press release on the comments made by the three co-chairs.

Tony Gurley still wants written proof that Wake County school board backs the fall bond referendum

Will the Wake County Commissioners unanimously vote today to put the $810 million school construction bond referendum on the Oct. 8 ballot?

Joe Bryan, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said he's expecting a unanimous vote. But there's some question whether all the commissioners, namely Tony Gurley, will vote yes.

Gurley, pointing to earlier public statements from some school board members questioning having a bond this year, is still asking for a written document from the school board saying they support this fall's bond.

UPDATE

The commissioners voted to unanimously put the bond on the ballot.

1373915459 Tony Gurley still wants written proof that Wake County school board backs the fall bond referendum The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Impact on bond issue of turning Wake County school construction to commissioners

Will the issue of who will be in charge of school construction in Wake County affect the outcome of this fall's $810 million bond referendum?

As noted in today's article, supporters of Senate Bill 236 say the bond's chances of passing will improve if control is transferred from the school board to the county commissioners. But critics argue that removing it from the school board will put the bond in danger of being defeated.

"I still feel very strongly that the bill will have a negative impact on the bond," said school board member Jim Martin, who calls the bill "reckless legislation."

Garner leaders now backing building new schools in town

Six years later, Garner leaders are doing a 180 about the prospect of a new high school and elementary school opening in their town.

As noted in Wednesday's article in the Garner-Cleveland Record by Kyle Jahner, Garner Mayor Ronnie Wllliams says the new Bryan Road Elementary School and the new high school are needed.

Contrast this to 2007 and 2008 when Williams and other town leaders tried to block efforts to open new schools in Garner because of concerns the campuses would be overpopulated with low-income students from Southeast Raleigh.

Wake County school construction bill referred to House Government Committee

There's some signs of life on the school construction bill that would allow the Wake County Board of Commissioners to take over all facets of school construction from the school board.

Senate Bill 236 was referred Monday from the state House Rules Committee to the House Government Committee. The Government Committee could tackle the bill as early as Thursday.

You could have an interesting scenario on Monday.

On Monday afternoon, the commissioners will hold the public hearing and final vote to put the $810 million school construction bond referendum on the Oct. 8 ballot. In the evening, the House could vote to pass the construction bill.

UPDATE

The House Government Committee will review Senate Bill 236 on Thursday. The committee meets at 10 a.m. in Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building.

The committee meeting agenda was officially released Wednesday morning. The school construction bill is one of 10 bills on the agenda for consideration.

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