The cat will be out of the bag today, but was there a conspiratorial reason behind efforts by Wake County staff and the Republican school board members to get out the draft assignments now?
In a blog post Thursday, Bob Geary of the liberal Independent weekly writes that the changes that the Democratic board majority plan to make to the student assignment policy should drive the assignments and not the other way around. This means changes to the diversity component of the policy.
"The only reason for putting a list of assignments out now, before Policy 6200 is addressed, would be if (Superintendent Tony) Tata wants to highjack the decision about diversity before the board majority can act," Geary writes. "That is, dictate what the policy can or can't say by putting his own plan in first."
Geary adds that "I don't know if that was Tata's intention" because "he didn't say much on Tuesday."
"But it's clearly what Republican board members John Tedesco and Deborah Prickett intended when they pushed so hard for the staff's hypothetical assignments to be made public before Policy 6200 can be considered," Geary writes. "They like Policy 6200 as is, with no diversity component. We know that because, of course, they voted to take it out."
Geary writes that, understandably, parents "may care some about whether the plan will be fair to others. But first and foremost, they care about their own family."
"But the school board's job is to establish a plan that's the best possible for the community as a whole," Geary writes. "The only way to do so is to establish fair governing rules up-front and then apply them in even-handed fashion to each of the 150,000 students in the system.
That's not to say that the rules can't allow for some adjustments on the basis of fairness to individual kids.
It is to say that unless the rules are fair to begin with, no amount of jury-rigging after the fact will make them fair."
Geary wrote the post before school board chairman Kevin Hill opted to release the info. Geary writes, in an update, "hope it works out for them."