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Civitas Action says Kevin Hill's policies "belong in the past"

Can you imagine Wake County school board member Kevin Hill as a hippie?

That's the approach in this new campaign mailer sent late last week by Civitas Action that works on the theme that Hill supports failed policies of the past. The group photoshopped an image of Hill wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt and making a peace symbol. It also shows a drawing of a VW bus.

"Just like shag carpet and leisure suits, Kevin Hill's policies were bad, and belong in the past," says the mailer from the conservative advocacy group.

Looking at Kevin Hill and Heather Losurdo

Tuesday's District 3 runoff election between Wake County school board member Kevin Hill and challenger Heather Losurdo pits two very different candidates with differing life experiences and views.

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, Hill is the long-time Raleigh resident and career educator who has made some decisions that he feels are data-driven even when they've been unpopular with constituents.

As noted in today's article, Losurdo is the relative newcomer who had a challenging childhood and early adulthood that she says has helped shaped her into a better person.

Heather Losurdo calls WSCA "Wake County's leading independent education reform organization"

Wake County school board candidate Heather Losurdo is promoting her runoff endorsement from the Wake Schools Community Alliance in this new campaign mailer.

In the mailer, Losurdo quotes from the WSCA endorsement which had blamed incumbent Kevin Hill for "failing graduation rates," "600 teachers fired," "26,000 students reassigned," "'Wacky Wednesday' PLTs" and "mandatory year-round schedules." The mailer quotes how WSCA said Losurdo "has consistently supported neighborhood schools, advocated for the use of EVAAS" and "called for civility and consensus-building on our School Board."

"Wake County's Leading Independent Education Reform Organization Supports Heather Losurdo," says the mailer. "So should you."

The mailer is interesting considering how Losurdo's supporters were dismissive of the WSCA before the runoff when the group endorsed Jennifer Mansfield.

1320411668 Heather Losurdo calls WSCA "Wake County's leading independent education reform organization" The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

N.C. GOP calls Kevin Hill "unfit for office"

The North Carolina Republican Party is calling Wake County school board member Kevin Hill "unfit for office" in a recent campaign mailer.

Calling it a 2011 School Board Candidate Report Card, the state GOP gives Hill "unfit for office" grades on listening to parents, getting along with others and putting children first.  They also give him "F" grade on neighborhood schools, saying he "will revive forced busing."

He gets an "F" on Superintendent Tata for voting against hiring him. They also give him an "F" on common sense, saying he was "a leader in the Majority on the school board when 'Wacky Wednesday' and having school on Memorial Day were allowed."

"Summary" Kevin Hill is failing us," says the front of the mailer. Click here for the back of the piece.

N.C. GOP spending nearly $11,000 to help Heather Losurdo

A campaign finance report filed Monday shows that the North Carolina Republican Party has spent $10,858.23 in campaign mailers to help Wake County school board candidate Heather Losurdo.

One example is their "Wake County Voter's Guide for School Board," which says that Losurdo "supports using proximity as the #1 priority for the school choice plan, supports neighborhood schools, and believes in listening to parents." The mailer also says Losurdo "supports Superintendent Tata and his leadership effort" and "will use family friendly and common values on school board issues."

It says that Kevin Hill "will revive forced busing: voted against the Bi-partisan School Choice Plan" and "voted against hiring Superintendent Tata." It also says he was "a leader in the Majority on the school board when 'Wacky Wednesday' and having School on Memorial Day were allowed."

Click here to view the front of the mailer. Click here to view the back.

Wake GOP accuses Democrats of overlooking school board's accomplishments

Republicans and Democrats are going after each other in another round of squabbling about the Wake County school board elections.

In this week's issue of the Elephant Express, Wake County Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Bryant responds to state Democratic Party Chairman David Parker's Aug. 20 call to action to his party's members.

Parker blames the changes in Wake schools on the "vicious fanaticism" of those carrying on Jesse Helms' legacy. In the process, Parker invokes the Tea Party, the Koch brothers and Wake County Commissioners Chairman Paul Coble.

Wake NCAE announces school board candidate endorsements

Wake NCAE, which represents 5,000 Wake County's school employees, is citing school funding in announcing its reasons for its school board candidate endorsements.

In a press release today, Wake NCAE announced it was endorsing Kevin Hill in District 3, Keith Sutton in District 4, Jim Martin in District 5, Christine Kushner in District 6 and Susan Evans in District 8.

In the release, Wake NCAE faulted the current school board majority for not having backed a motion to ask county commissioners for enough funding "that could have prevented" cuts this year such as laying off custodians and cutting pay for teacher assistants.

Donna Hargens and the busing controversy in Jefferson County Schools

Wake County Schools Chief Academic Officer Donna Hargens is sticking by her position that decisions about using diversity in student assignment are a school board issue.

As noted in an article that will appear in Thursday's Louisville Courier-Journal, Hargens said that decisions about using a diversity-based assignment policy are “public value choices” best left to “the board's governance role.” It's the same stance she took as Wake's interim superintendent.

“She's like Switzerland — she's neutral,” said former Wake County PTA Council President Liza Weidle in the article. “But she's had an incredible impact.”

UPDATE

The Courier-Journal is reporting online today that the Louisville chapter of the NAACP is calling on the Jefferson County school board to reopen the superintendent search. The NAACP says they're not satisfied with the responses from both finalists about desegregation issues.

Ron Margiotta on blocking a return to socioeconomic diversity in student assignment

Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta issued a call for help in this fall's elections during last Thursday's Northern Wake Republican Club meeting.

Most of Margiotta's speech focused on the actions initiated by the board since December 2009. But Margiotta closed his speech by pointing to the stakes for this fall's school board elections when he will be running for re-election while also hoping to pick up at least one of the Democratic seats.

"I think it's important that we recognize that the campaign from those that will be out there again will be an attempt to return to the old practices of moving kids around for the sake of socioeconomic diversity," Margiotta said. "And we can not go back to those programs. It's important that we elect candidates that are committed and will stay with their commitments and remain committed and follow through with the programs we've been able to initiate."

Carolyn Morrison calls school board withdrawing accreditation a "disturbing blow"

Wake County school board member Carolyn Morrison has released a statement explaining why she will vote tonight against withdrawing from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the local arm of AdvancED.

In her statement today, Morrison says that Wake should work with the accreditation review team and "not hinder them in their investigation." She lumps the potential loss of accreditation with dropping the diversity policy, eliminating Wake/Wacky Wednesdays, withdrawing from the N.C. Schools Boards Association, eliminating the requirement that the superintendent be an educator, giving speakers two minutes now instead of three at board meetings and cutting public comment to one meeting a month.

Here's Morrison's statement:

UPDATED TO MENTION CUTTING TIME FOR INDIVIDUAL SPEAKERS AT BOARD MEETINGS

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