* I could adequately argue both sides of whether Broughton High School should have kept its IB magnet program. I could go through all of the twists and turns of logic and allegiances and probably land on all of the right squares. Where I come down, though, is that whatever led the school board to put a magnet program at Broughton nine years ago is only going to happen again not even nine years from now.
But here’s my question: Absolutely nothing has changed about Broughton since the school board first decided -- unanimously -- in October to allow the school to keep the program. In breaking a 4-4 tie at the school board meeting Wednesday, chairwoman Rosa Gill said, “We have to go with the criteria, so I vote to remove the magnet program.”
The “criteria” are the same criteria used in October. Nothing there has changed. I need the five board members who changed their votes to explain themselves.
Running the Wake County Public School System is a complicated, Herculean endeavor. No doubt about that. But because there’s also no doubt that there are multitudes of parents in the county who live in a perpetual state of outrage about how the school board goes about filling our schools, the board has to be particularly thoughtful and careful in its decisions.
So why in the world would the board reinforce every stereotype there is about exactly what parents it is poised to listen to? Without adequate explanations and openness about the thought processes that led the board to change its mind in two short months over Broughton’s magnet status, what are Wake County residents left to infer? That people who live on Anderson Drive (though I understand their position. I truly do) are more important than the 600 or so magnet students already at Broughton and the hundreds of others in the pipeline at IB magnet middle schools who now are in limbo during this five-year phase-out-in process?
Was that vote in October a little “oopsie”?
When the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of students and their families are at stake in nearly every decision like this the board makes, we should be able to expect more than the debacle this appears to be. What was that vote in October exactly? What was this one?
* Disclosure: I have a ninth-grade magnet student at Broughton and an 11th-grade magnet student who IS getting the IB degree. Read my other post about the magnet system here.