WakeEd

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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Both sides gearing up runoff election efforts

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Local Democrats are pulling out all the stops to help Wake County school board member Kevin Hill defeat Heather Losurdo in the runoff election.

As noted in today's article, you've got groups like Common Sense Matters hiring The Strategy Group, a Washington political consulting firm, to develop mailers attacking Losurdo. Past clients for this firm include President Barack Obama, former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and current Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

You've also got the Wake County Democratic Party mounting, for them, an unprecedented field operation in an off-year election.

Before Oct. 11 alone, an $82,000 get out to vote effort allowed Wake Democrats to open offices and staging locations throughout the county including downtown Raleigh, North Raleigh, Apex/Cary and Fuquay. They had five paid field organizers, more than 1,000 volunteer shifts and more than 500 volunteers cycling through the field offices.

"We had a plan and early on we had a target of how many people we were going to reach and we exceeded that target,” said Mack Paul, chairman of the Wake County Democratic Party.

Wake Democrats reloaded and raised more money for the runoff election. For instance, all the paid full-time staffers are working on Hill's behalf now.

A Democratic field office in Apex will remain open through the runoff, despite having achieved its goal of helping Democrat Susan Evans defeat Republican school board chair Ron Margiotta.

“A lot of volunteers who worked on Susan’s campaign will be working out of that office,” Paul said.

As for Republicans, they're being tightlipped. Wake County Republican Party  Chairwoman Susan Bryant did not return multiple requests requesting comment.

Whether this means the Republicans think they've got a winning strategy or still don't know what to do after being swept on Oct. 11 remains to be seen.

Over at Losurdo's campaign, former school board candidate Donna Williams said they're going grassroots because they can't compete financially against all the forces working directly and indirectly on Hill's behalf.

"We’re just going to have to do what needs to be done, talking to as many people as we can,” said Williams, who is helping organize Losurdo's volunteer efforts.

Losurdo's campaign is reusing signs and encouraging volunteers to call voters from their homes.

Losurdo suggested volunteers call The Morning Rush Show and The Rush Limbaugh Show on WRDU to build buzz about the campaign. She gave the call-in numbers and suggested dialing on Fridays when both shows open up the conversation topics.

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OT:: School Bullying

So, here's a question for those with more experience than I do.  At my kids' school, there was evidently a bullying incident that some parents find a bit disturbing.  Students have evidently been told that they are not to talk about it and that they will be suspended if they do.  Further, parents in the school have not been formally informed about the incident or what's being done to make sure this doesn't happen again.  (However, when a couple of kids come home with the story, naturally, it doesn't take long for it to spread through the coconut telegraph.)  My child was worried about being suspended for telling my wife and me, but opened up when we assured that no school is going to suspend our kid for telling us anything.

I recognize that schools can't say much about discipline matters involving students, that this sort of incident happens occasionally among kids at all schools and that parental gossip tends to distort facts.  But, is "you're not allowed to talk about it" a commonplace way for schools to address these issues? 

don't talk

I do find it a bit strange that they would tell the kids they can't talk about it, and certainly haven't heard of that approach before. On the other hand, it may be that the kids are taking something a little more seriously than the administration meant. It may be that the gossiping at school about the incident was getting disruptive and they are just trying to get the kids to focus. If it were me I'd probably call to find out the whole story.

bullying

At the risk of saying something obvious to a fellow parent, my experience with my kids is that they often don't have the full story and I've had to clarify what was going on with a call to the principal. My daughter was the recipient of bullying twice (that I know of) - once in elementary school and once in middle school. Both times the principal/vice principal took care of it quickly and quietly to the extent that she had no further problems with those kids. My experience is that the WCPSS has a strict no-bullying policy that they take very seriously (although that was just one ES and one MS out of the entire district). 

Heh...

Yeah, I'm not really concerned with the full story -- that's why I didn't mention details.  I'm just looking for an understanding of how schools deal with uninvolved kids.  Personally, if it were me, I would have sent a note home that said "There was a bullying incident which a number of children in the school are aware of.  For privacy reasons, we can't talk about it, except to say that we take these incidents very seriously and will be adhering to the district bullying policy, a copy of which is enclosed.  We have also told students not to talk about the incident at school because ----------------- [?].  The physical and emotional safety of your children is very important to us.  Please review the bullying policy with your kids and encourage them to report bullying to a teacher.  Sincerely, xxxx"

I agree completely

Yes, if it were a serious incident I'd hope the principal would send home the same note. I'd still contact the principal to get the full story, and suggest such a note. Some of the principals still seem to need some on-the-job training. 

You will findout the school

You will findout the school is more concerned with the bully being able to attend school than they are about your childs safety.

If your principal said 'don't tell anyone'

he/she should be fired!

Your board rep should have been fired long ago.

If one of my kids came home

If one of my kids came home and said something happened at school today but they told us not to talk about it, I could very well show up at school with the police.

That is a bad, bad precedent to set in an age where teachers/adults are constantly taking advantage of small (and not so small) children.

So...

While I recognize that I'm on one end of several games of 'telephone,' one thing seems clear: kids have been told not to talk about the event.  However, I have not heard that kids were specifically instructed not to tell their parents -- that would have brought pretty much the response you suggest.

I think the district does a good job of not tolerating bullying.  Even so, it's just going to happen in any school -- I've heard about it from kids at Wake Christian, Cardinal Gibbons and Cary Academy.  So, even though the facts are a bit disturbing, I'm not that concerned that the incident happened.  I'm more interested in whether the school's response vis-a-vis other kids was appropriate.

Bulling

Call Central Office Security and tell them you are concerned about your child's safety and they will perform a school security audit. District superintendents are useless. I requested this audit once when on of my children was in a similar situation and they were at my child's school the same day - I called Central Office at 8:15.

I know you don't like Mr. Hill but I would contact him as well.

 

I'm dealing with a bug right

I'm dealing with a bug right now so updates to the blog may be erratic for a day or so. I had planned to do some posts today on the campaign pieces. I'll get to them when I can.

People Get Sick When they stalk people late at night.

Keung,  Your Editor should give you hazzard duty pay for making you stalk Candidates after 9:00 PM at there homes.....   The Friday night air was brisk....  

It wouldn't have happened if

It wouldn't have happened if said candidate had answered our questions.

Really

It's official HUI is 100% lock step with the Liberal Machine....  

Here is a actual Quote from Keung E-mail "We're finishing up a story that will run Sunday showing that the Dems are confidently talking what they're going to do for the runoff while the Republicans seem to be in a bunker mode. The story is heavily tilted toward the Dems because neither Susan Bryant or anyone else from the GOP is willing to talk to us ." 

So since the WAKE GOP would NOT tell the N&O Everything that the Party is doing to Help Heather Losurdo get Elected we got the Above e-mail.  

Hello.......  So do you think General Patton talked to the Deutsch Zeitungen  before we fought a battle?   Really......  

As you well know, I sent you

As you well know, I sent you that message because as a higher up in the GOP I was impressing on you how much we wanted to get the GOP perspective to balance the story.

I just caught the first part of your message. "100 percent lockstep with the liberal machine." That's garbage from you, and you know that. 

No

No you kept asking what the GOP was doing since the DEMs were Telling you everything that they were doing.   Why would anyone tell their opponet what the game plan is going to be?   I am 100% positive if Susan Bryant would of told you anything about the game plan you would of called Perry Woods, Jeffrey Mallare, and Mack Paul in short order. 

 

Instead your Editors sent you to stalk Heather Losurdo's house and knock on the door after 9:00 PM?  Kind of Creepy.....   Very similiar to Derek Brenner calling Wakefield School to inquire about Losurdo's Children.   Maybe Two Reporters(self proclaimed) cut out of the same Cloth.   After all the News and Distruber did endorse Kevin Hill.  Just another part of the "Coordinated campaign" that the Dems are running.  Keung what time do those Conference calls happen with the Dems?  

And for the record I am Just a Volunteer. 

If you guys would quite trying to cover up a flawed candidate

Perhaps Keung will not have to work so hard to do his job.

For the record, Keung has never called me, Mack or Jeff about anything Susan, you and the GOP are doing and it would not matter if he did.  Time is short.  We would be executing our own plan regardles of what you guys are doing.  As well, we have done little but complain to Keung that he is being more a repeater than reporter.

Face up to it Jeff.  You guys are going all in with a seven/deuce of a candidate.   I understand the feeling.  

Interesting...

I thought the Sunday article tilted against the Democrats -- pointing out that they're bringing in the Obama machine isn't really a good public impression for them.  That, combined with today's article, makes it seem like they're trying to buy the election.

I totally agree with you

I totally agree with you Bob. I have thought that the Sunday article and todays was heavily slanted against the dems.  Frankly I get pretty tired of all of the whining from the right. Blaming the press. the judiciary, Hollywood...geesh. Those who preach personal responsibility seem least likely to ever accept it. And as for having reporters show up at your home when you are running for office and not talking to the press...... if you can't take the heat....

Sunday

I wondered why is was not brought up how much Civitas Action is spending. I received several mailers paid for be Cicitas Action.
 

Civitas had reported

Civitas had reported spending $6,800. That's compared to the $52K from Common Sense Maters pre-Oct. 11 so that explains why the latter is mentioned more.

Civitas Action

Is that $6800 from Civitas or Civitas Action or the two combined as we now know that they are two highly related but different entities?

Yep. Should have said

Yep. Should have said Civitas Action.

gee

The Campbells, pharmaceutical industry consultants and registered Democrats, are not first-time political contributors. But their big checks in the schools race surprised many top party officials and fundraisers

 

 

The couple is being compared to other political big spenders, such as Art and Katherine Pope and Bob Luddy, Republicans who gave money to candidates who supported the school board's direction.

In the October election, the Campbells put more money in the race than Pope or Luddy did individually, according to the campaign finance reports filed so far

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/10/31/1608547/couple-fuels-school-races.html#ixzz1cNwuPUMp 

I'll be blogging about the

I'll be blogging about the article shortly.

Did you really just say

Did you really just say that?!!! So, answer your questions or else? You HAVE to be kidding me. Does the N&O think they are the Gestapo?

If the questions are such

If the questions are such that you wouldn't want the candidate to claim that they weren't aware you had made the request to the campaign staff, then you do show up in person to ask.

After 9:00 PM on there Door Step?????

And with the excuse that my Editor MADE me do this.....   Really the Audio is very funny.   I love it when Her Husband asks you to leave....  The Video is OK quality Gotta Love deer Camera's    Stalker Caught in the Act.....

Hey

Post the video.  It may be entertaining and enlightening.

If we hadn't shown up you

If we hadn't shown up you would have argued we didn't give her a fair chance to respond to the questions. You can keep attacking the messenger but the fact of the matteri is that her campaign won't respond to the questions.

If that helps you sleep at

If that helps you sleep at night, I suppose that is as good a rationalization as any. And, I am sure your questions are very important.

Sorry...

Hope you feel better soon.

AgentPierce...

will be waiting breathlessly for your next update.

How does it feel to have such a devoted groupie? :-)

Has anyone noticed....

Run your spellcheck on your cut and paste rhetoric from the Republican Party, Woodie. You are posting the same typos over and over.  

The left is trying to appeal to the frothing-at-the-mouth crowd

Folks may want to pay attention to the fact that the far left radical wing of the Democrat Party -- Barber, Brannon, the mysteriously funded PACs, the unions, etc. -- who support Hill and his return to forced busing are not discussing policy because they cannot win on that front. They are resigned to using fear, demonization and character assassination... it is all they have. This is why the left is appealing to the frothing-at-the-mouth radicals to get out and vote.  

The truth is, the public likes the new fanily-friendly policies, the new Superintendent, rising graduations rates, and the myriad of other positive changes that the new board has orchestrated and that Losurdo would help to advance.

You are...

one angry poster.

Angry? Try truthful.

Angry? Try truthful.

Rudestuck, too bad for you

Rudestuck, too bad for you (and all of us, if we care to listen) that for you, the truth ends up being a never-ending series of psychotic breaks.

Is see you are with the

Is see you are with the frothing-at-the-mouth club... no surprise there.

"Is"? LOL Try typing

"Is"?

LOL

Try typing slower...

Typos - the last bastion of

Typos - the last bastion of those with no argument.

Plenty of argument

Plenty of argument, Woodie.  Leaving it to LocalYank lately. Just feel like pokin' fun at ya today.  Looking forward to your recap rhetoric in 9 days and, oh - about an hour.

"Plenty of argument?"

"Plenty of argument?" Really? LOL Are you saving it for later? I haven't read a rational comment from you ever.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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