The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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Arne Duncan calling Wake school board election results "very positive"

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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is calling the recent Wake County school board election results that could put Democrats back in control "very positive" and saying he's "very, very closely" watching the runoff election.

Duncan was in Raleigh today to tout President Barack Obama's jobs bill. While at a press conference at Wake Tech, Duncan was asked about Wake's newly adopted student assignment plan.

"I don't know the details of the plan," Duncan said. "I do know that there was a recent school board election in Wake County. It was very positive. I know, I think there's one more seat up in a runoff and it's something I'm watching very, very closely.

So without knowing the details, I would just say that it's so critically important that our nation's young people be able to grow up around students who look different than them, grow up in a different community and to be comfortable and confident in that environment. One of the things I was so lucky to have as a child was to grow up in a very diverse community and a very diverse school and far too few of those opportunities exist. Our country is actually becoming more segregated, not less.

And I think these are sometimes skills that are hard to learn as an adult, and they're actually hard to teach in school, but in recess and before school and after school and playing in sports teams together and just being friends in the community, I think you can cross bridges and build bridges that will help to give you a lifetime of opportunities to be successful in an increasingly diverse world. And so where school districts are supporting that diversity effort, I think that's so critically important. When school districts back off of that, I don't think that's in the best interests of children or the community.

And I wasn't thrilled with what happened here in Wake County, I was very public about that. And I think with the recent school board elections there maybe an opportunity to move in a more positive direction. Wake County was actually a national leader in diversity. We don't have enough of those. I would hate to see Wake County lose that mantle."

Not directly addressed by Duncan today is whether the new plan or next month's runoff election could impact the ongoing investigation being conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

Duncan had also criticized the school board's elimination of the diversity policy in a January letter to the editor in The Washington Post.

Duncan's latest remarks will likely escalate comments from Republicans that  the Obama Administration is helping local Democrats in the school board races.


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"grow up in a different

"grow up in a different community"

This is the line that is the most telling of Arne's and the general liberal position about everything.

I choose a community to live and raise my children in, but Arne and his liberal buddies think they know better.  They know that my children should "grow up in a different community" than the one I, their parent, choose for them. 

How freaking amazing is that!!!!?

Arnes game

Of course Arne is very interested in the runoff. After injecting himself and his opinions into our affairs while his subordinates were investigating us, he needs some direction as to what kind of findings his team will have to dream up. If the Democrats win he can pull his guys aside and tell them to offer up a few cup cake ideas (so it doesnt look overtly political) that the county can work on and presto the investigation will end. If the Republicans win he will have to sit down with his cronies and concoct a number of crimes or injudicious acts to find. Secretary Duncan needs to cover up his embarrasment at playing a major and inappropriate partisan and politically motivated role into an investigation that is supposed to be about the facts.


Hey Arnie......why don;t you ask a few teachers about the harrassment from admin types because they don't the Brown Sugar (BS) of edu-edicts......oh, and don't forget the harrassment of HR employees because of what they saw or heard!!!!!!!!! only to allow the harrassers to "retire"?  Aw come now.

"Duncan's latest remarks

"Duncan's latest remarks will likely escalate comments from Republicans that  the Obama Administration is helping local Democrats in the school board races."

What would ever lead to THAT conclusion, Keungy?  How's that "track the $$$" research coming along Keungy?  You still got your newshound nose to the grindstone on that one?

strange post Agent

I'm not sure why you keep bashing Keung Hui in your posts and saying that he's presenting a positive view of the anti-school board majority or liberals or progressives or democrats to the detriment of the conservatives, board majority, tea party folks, etc. I've thought just the opposite.  I've been at some educational events that KH has blogged about and thought he went WAY out of his way to paint the conservative view in a reasonable light - to the clear detriment of the liberal/progressive side. You have no case Agent.  KH is absolutely NOT advancing any liberal cause in this blog. His simply reporting on these events/comments does not constitute support. There are thousands of blogs he could have posted about the ridiculousness and mistruths of what the board majority and their like-minded candidates do and say. But he hasn't - to my great disappointment. Are you the new Woodstock - loose on reality checks?


All one has to do is review this blog with a critical eye and Keung's rather extensive effort are readily apparent to not only present all political sides and also report on actions taken or being considered by WCPSS staff and the BoE.

It is rather pathetic that you expend your posts on trying to make Keung appear biased to others when you are the one with the clear bias.


to think that, too! Not any more.

I hope I will be seeing

I hope I will be seeing something about this in the N&O tomorrow!! We've become way too localized as a community and losing sight of the bigger picture! Education of our children should never be so political!

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.