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Calling the Wake County school board election bill a "power grab"

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The new bill that would change the way Wake County school board members are elected is getting opposition from liberal groups.

In this blog post today, Rob Schofield of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch writes that S325 "would change the rules of how school board members are elected in the capital county in a way that is clearly designed to alter the board’s power structure and move things in a conservative direction."

"It’s hard to believe that anyone could advance such a blatant power grab with a straight face," Schofield writes. "...Given their record thus far in the 2013 session, however, it appears that neither shame nor embarrassment are conditions that tend to afflict the conservative ideologues running the show on Jones Street.

One clarification on the comments that Schofield writes about Joe Bryan, chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. What Bryan was surprised about Wednesday is that the bill didn't go as far as they wanted to let voters pick a majority of school board seats.


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Neal Hunt's response on why the bill

Even the right-wingers that populate this blog know the statement is far from the truth about why this bill is proposed. This is a flat-out lie. This is his automated message if you write him about the bill:

"Voter, my motivation for offering SB325 was to try to alleviate a problem with our current 9 member single school board districts. Currently, a family may live in one district and their child could go to school in another school district. Parents I heard from complained the school board representative for their children's school seemed less responsive to their concerns because the parents lived in another school district. With SB 325 parents will be able to vote for two school board members, one from the 7 smaller districts and one from either the larger suburban area district or the larger central city regional school district. Their children will be almost certain to be covered by the larger district if not in the small school board district where they live."

Neal Hunt's message

Are you kidding me? An official elected FROM A DISTRICT would write something as ridiculous as that about other district-elected officials? Our General Assembly is one rubber nose short of Bozos, for sure.


It seems clear that Hunt had different goals in mind when drafting this bill. Joe Bryant said that it wasn't what he would have done. And, this does seem consistent with the view that "I need somebody whose district encompasses both my home and my kid's school."

I think your side is having trouble putting your finger on exactly why you think this is a bad thing. Sure, the board minority gets a little bit of a short-term gain: Prickett and Tedesco get a few more months without having to run for election, and most of the board majority get a year less. But, that's really just a temporary thing -- if the GA is going to change how the school board is elected, there has to be some sort of transition, and this transition isn't horrible.

The problem your side has, I think, is that you don't think you'll be able to win the elections after this. You previously thought "We have until 2015 to get the district set up how we want it, and then we lose control." Now, you're thinking "oh, crud, we only have until 2014."

Of course, you can't admit that, so you have to trot out this whole "power grab" idea without being able to point to any group of people who get more power.

[The other bill -- school ownership -- is clearly a power grab. This one? Don't see it.]

Candidates win election

Bob, since you are the only one of your group that makes cogent arguments, I wanted to respond to your statements.

I am not afraid of not being able to win again in 2014. The reason we won the 5 seats in 2011 was that our candidates were better informed and made more sense. Several of the GOP candidates had not been involved in school issues, like Losurdo and Williams, and were running agains people who knew things other than talking points. I also think that Goldman and Malone have tarished your brand by their antics and affairs. So the Dems worked hard and knew the issues. I know in Kevin's race, Heather had $30,000 more in campaign funds so you can't say we outspent her. If Donna Williams can't get any better candidates than she was, your side will be in trouble again in 2014.

Another thing

The old policy was used as a shell game. A large part of the bused population in some schools were from areas with poor test scores. They were moved out of Title I schools to non-title I schools to avoid having to spend money on these children. These children were denied access to Title I money (which is money that was suppossed to help them) and sent to more affluent schools for "osmosis" learning. Data indicated these children did worse in those schools than if they were left in the Title I school. It IMHO was a outrage and liberal racism displayed for all to see.

a different perspective perhaps

I lived in district 3 until Kevin advocated for chopping off our area and putting it in district 7, which gave him 6000 fewer angry households to deal with in the election (we are force bused into the rim) and gave him the slim 4% margin he needed to defeat Heather. He is an a$s but he is not stupid.

As far as tarnished brand and lack of understanding about the issues, I agree. But the dems don't understand the real issues either. The voters honestly think it is about racism and equity, etc... because their party leaders market things that way, those are not the issues. The issue is preserving ITB neighborhoods and property values from urban blight - and "urban blight" are Yevonne's and Perry's own words.

Will the republicans do any better in 2014? Unlikely. As with the democrats the party higher-ups are so skewed in their thinking that they will NEVER understand the issues.

I am a democrat by the way. I just despise our local representatives.

Are you for urban blight?

Can you shed light on the positive effects of urban blight? Seems something a progressive city would want to keep from happening....

your perspective

I don't know about the district change issue, but it was my understanding the majority at that time had the maps drawn.
As for you description of him, your name came up several time during our conversations and he never said anything negative about you. I know you were on his advisory council at one point. The only thing he ever said was that you are smart lady and very passionate about the things you advocate. It was obvious to him that you did not like him, but he kept it at that. Your name came up concerning the event you organized at Baileywick Park and he wanted me to make sure we had plenty of our supporters there.
My observation from reading your posts on this blog for the last 2 years is that no matter what room you are in, you know you are the smartest person in the room.

I give you credit for sticking to the message

that Kevin is a gentleman principal who does what he does "for the children." I did work with him for 2 years, so I know the truth. We had many, many conversations about the data and our reality. And don't forget the email conversation between he and Diana Bader about me that one of his friends spoofed to me so that it looked like it came from his email address. I called him on his cell and said "Kevin, did you just send me an email?" He said "no." So I responded to he and Diana Bader about their very flattering comments about me. Stop trying to BS these people who read the blogs, have a legitimate conversation. You know what he did during the gerrymandering, we all did. You were part of it no doubt.

I also sat and listened to him tell Baileywick parents that the reason Pleasant Union has so much more is because of their PTA. I called him on that complete and utter lie and he backed off but still did not tell the truth to those parents in that meeting. The reason that PU had more at the time was 1) they were at capacity and we have an enrollment-based funding formula and 2) they have an afterschool program.

Which gets me to your comment about thinking I am the smartest in the room. You know I am not like that, everyone who knows me knows I am not Jim Martin. For one, I keep good company, I choose to surround myself with women who are incredibly bright. And second, there are two kinds of people - those who see numbers and see nothing, and those who see numbers and see the world. Kevin preys on those who see nothing. No one is going to deconstruct the budget school-by-school and normalize numbers on a per child basis like my friends did. No one is going to mine disaggregated data like my friends did. We don't think we are smarter, we just look at the numbers and understand them. If that makes me arrogant then shame on Kevin for not doing the same and being able to have an informed conversation.

so are you saying?

Do you actually believe that racism doesn't play a role in the "neighborhood schools" voucher and charter movements? You'd have a hard time convincing most people of that.

And you are okay with Raleigh going the way of Richmond, Atlanta, Norfolk, Washington DC, Hartford, Newark, Charlotte, etc...cities with aging rotting cores with few businesses and decaying schools surrounded by crowded, thriving, suburbs with good schools.

How ironic that the anti big government, anti-activist government, hands-off-let -the-locals-run-their- schools party is the one looking to usurp the will of the voters, micro-manage local school systems.

I have no doubt that if they go through with their plans the Repub domination of the general assembly will be short lived. Apparently they feel the same way. Why else this ridiculus rush to shove through this legislation. They haven't done a thing about jobs...but thank God they took care the state's huge nipple problem!

The bottom line is that

The bottom line is that income integration is more zero-sum than win-win. For less-advantaged children in malfunctioning schools, or with parents who just don’t care, the only viable option is to reduce the need to escape. Far better to improve education where it’s happening than to lean on strengths found elsewhere. If parents and community leaders want good schools, they have no choice but to create them. Unfortunately, it is not enough to will the ends. They also have to will the means. School quality depends on children who behave well, work hard, and want to learn — and who are prepared to do so. Schools cannot create good students. Only parents can. There is no substitute for building them from the bottom up.


racism does not play a role in this

Classism does. What we fail to do is allow ED kids (the majority of whom are AA or Hispanic) to be smart. We fail to accelerate them from Kindergarten on, we put them all in remediation as a subgroup because they are ED. Your beloved Holdzkom stood in front of a very public meeting with Keung in the room and said "there is a difference between qualified and capable." You (hopefully) know the data by now. It is ongoing - THIS YEAR. I watch level 3&4 achieving AA kids from Washington Terrace be denied access to AIG, to chess club, to lego club. I have personally asked everyone from the school level to central office to give these kids access. I get NOTHING back but silence. I am told it is about money. How much money? $400/month. We had an excess of $32 million and it is about $400/month???
I welcome the GOP at this point, it can't get any worse for these children, it really can't.
Do I support neighborhood schools? No. Have I ever? No. Did I participate in policy 6200 and advocate for my Title I ES for 8 years? Yes. Will I go back? No. I want my own children to have access to enrichment.
Until these people are wiped clean from our public school system we will never have equity for our ED families. So bring on the GOP.

Not snordone but no, I don't

Not snordone but no, I don't think it has to do with racism. Of course there are racist people who would like to get "others" out of their schools but they are certainly not the majority.

It is absolutely about property values ITB. I agree with you that it is important to maintain our city center as a safe, livable place. But in no way do affluent ITB neighborhoods need all of those magnet schools. When I suggested to a Dem board member that perhaps we could demagnetize one or more of those magnets, this person's response was "Those people paid a premium to live in those neighborhoods so they could go to those schools, and I'm OK with that." Nice. Please tell that to the thousands of families who live in solid working class neighborhoods whose schools are underfunded, underenrolled and have F&R over 50%. Their schools can't afford extras (some barely have the basics) and they are discriminated against in the magnet lottery. But if you can afford to live in an affluent ITB neighborhood, you're golden. Delightful.

I think people are afraid to admit the harsh truth that even after all of these years of desegregation, central Raleigh is still one of the most segregated places in the county. The affluent whites don't want "too many" of the low income minority children in "their" schools so they ship them off to the suburbs. When suburban families get upset that they are displaced from their neighborhood schools, they are called racist and elitist. Meantime, those affluent ITB schools are all under 40% and many of them are also magnets. Some of those magnets have F&Rs in the 20s. That is just ridiculous and a misuse of our very limited funds.

When one of those magnet schools get overcrowded, the surrounding affluent neighborhoods are *never* considered for reassignment. They either reduce the number of magnet seats or move more of the poor kids out. Never would they deny the affluent families those magnet extras, because hey, as that board member told me, they paid a premium to live there. They might leave for charter or private if they don't get all of those extras or if they have to deal with too many poor black kids, and we can't have that. Screw everybody else.

Sorry for the rant and I don't mean it as an attack on you although I'm sure it sounds like it.

Another perspective

I do remember a meet and greet we had in Bedford during the campaign when 2 ladies came and kept saying "Why do THOSE kids have to be in our schools? Can't they just go to their own schools?" I agree it is not all about racism and most people don't have those feelings, but it is out there.

heard it many times

I've heard the same comments many times from people in my area Raleigh, and at community engagement meetings and public hearings. At least at the public hearings they were smart enough not say those words, but everyone knew what they were saying.

Well now...

Be careful there...

Suppose somebody asks the question at an engagement meeting "What's up with that little node down in the mini-city area being assigned to this school when you're reassigning local students away?" Is that a case of "everyone knew what they were saying?"

I'm asking, because there are still people in Wake County who believe that anybody who opposed the diversity policy must be racist.

Perhaps it's a Raleigh

Perhaps it's a Raleigh problem! After all, it's Raleigh that is shipping the poor kids out so they can have magnet schools. In the suburbs, they don't want to bus anyone out. They just want to go to schools close to home and with whomever else lives there too. There are plenty of poor children that live near my kids school and I'd have non problem having my kids in school with them. I don't, however, want inner city kids bused to my kids school...poor or rich. If I wanted to have my kids grow up in an inner city environment, I'd move there.

Yes, what kills me is that

Yes, what kills me is that sort of racist attitude exists ITB too, but they get rewarded for it with magnets. One ITB magnet had a mass exodus of white, middle to upper income base families after the Washington Terrace kids were assigned there. WCPSS put a new principal in that school and significantly beefed up the magnet program, then later boasted that they "brought the base back".

Please don't. I don't want our hard earned money as taxpayers going to fund magnet offerings to people who refuse to go to public schools unless they are given multiple extras and don't have "too many" low income or minority kids. The school in question was never over 41% F&R.


You make a good point. I wonder why Raleigh hates their poor, black children? How do those children that are "allowed" to stay in their neighborhood treated by the magnet parents? Something tells me they are pitied. And that pity helps those parents sleep at night. It's all very disgusting.

I Met A Very Engaged Mother...

whose son was a base student at Enloe. She said she was treated very differently because there were a lot of assumptions being made about her child because of his race and the fact that he was a base kid. She had to fight tooth and nail to get him into the Advanced classes he was qualified for. Her comment to me was she see the school within the school attitude, but she is not going to let that stop her son from getting the education he deserves. She said it's ironic that so many people want to get into Enloe and she can't wait until her child is finally out!


It's OK if "those students" are in the same school, but just don't put them in the same classes. Allows them to feel nice and warm about diversity without having to get "poor all over them," as Colbert would say.


I still remember the Enloe student who was home from college for the holidays speak at a BOE meeting about how diversity helped her in school. She then spoke how she never would have been exposed to the girl whose locker was next to hers who was 16 and pregnant if she hadn't gone to Enloe. It was disgusting then, and I still wonder at all the folks at the meeting who applauded the fact that they were talking about this girl like an animal in a zoo - someone to be looked and wondered at, all for the good of the magnet students.

She also implied that she flew in from CA just to speak at the board meeting, which got a big cheer ... when it was obvious she was home for the holidays. Unreal.


That meet and greet must have been for Hill. I'm sure Kevin happily nodded his head and took their votes.

I think you are cherrypicking comments

that bias in your favor. Maybe it is confirmation bias and is unintentional, maybe it is purposeful so you can stay on message.
I have been in plenty of meetings where there is one lone parent that talks about the "browning" of their school, their racism is evident. But the room is full of 25 other parents who are talking about wanting foreign language and lego club and field trips and who are totally unconcerned about the color of the kids in the school. Those 25 other parents are all about some "Undie Mondays" and school supply drives. There are no better parents than those in Base Title I, hands down.

Again, if you guys would acknowledge our reality and work with it you might actually accomplish something other than perpetuating the 3 ring circus called the BOE.

How do you know?

I'm curious - how do you know that THOSE referred to their race rather than their socioeconomic class? Did the 2 ladies say something specific about race?

I don't think it is racism as much as

Thugs, trashy behavior, and drug culture is what they are complaining about. The same is said about any kids that fit that mold no matter what their skin color. Yes it is more prevalent behavior among poor children than more affluent. Liberals say we should embrace the diversity and our children are stronger far it. A lot of other people disagree and don't want that culture influencing their children. I don't really think it is about skin color at all. I can tell you one thing, the children seem to be more, not less, racist because of it. Guess what.... this is not unique to here or even the south. It is prevalent worldwide. If a rich, white kid acted this way they would be shunned too.
Yes it is no secret that people live in more affluent areas to avoid these types of behavior. Is that wrong or just looking out for their family?...or do you call it racism?

Actually, relative prevalence is debatable

The relative level of prevalence, certainly for the drug issue, is debatable. My understanding is that Green Hope's nickname is Green Dope for example.

Although drug sales are more visible in poor neighborhoods, drug use is equally distributed across poor, middle class, and wealthy communities (Saxe, Kadushin, Tighe, Rindskopf, & Beveridge, 2001). Chen, Sheth, Krejci, and Wallace (2003) found that alcohol consumption is significantly higher among upper middle class white high school students than among poor black high school students. Other studies showed that alcohol abuse is far more prevalent among wealthy people than among poor people (Diala, Muntaner, & Walrath, 2004; Galea, Ahern, Tracy, & Vlahov, 2007).

As far as trashy behavior - I recall during the Cooper trial there were reports of some pretty trashy behavior going in Lochmere, which certainly isn't poor. I've witnessed all sorts of trashy behavior from people who aren't poor.

What seems prevalent to me is society often giving those who are not poor a free pass on their questionable behavior - almost like selective amnesia. It not a matter of prevalence, it's a matter of how it is viewed and judged. Society seems to stereotype the poor based on the bad among them while stereotyping the rest based on the good among them and writing off the rest as "exceptions" within the respective group.

I went to Ravenscroft for a year

and have never seen more drugs in my entire life - ever. Money brings more opportunity than poverty for drugs.

nmoskal - I don't disagree with most of what you say

There are a lot of drug problems in affluent schools, even private ones [Ravenscroft is one]. IMHO it is more prevalent in upper class than middle class. From what I hear from my public high school student is that the difference is that the poorer kids don't hide it as much. And I don't care how much a family income is as far as bad behavior, I don't give it a pass anytime. I was commenting on prevalence, and it doesn't apply to all elements of that group. It should also be said that bad behavior WILL affect the way you will be judged after you leave school....it is not racism....IT IS REALITY. If you want to talk about giving people a free pass, I would like to point to the tolerance we have given bad behavior in schools (and in some homes) in the past has a direct effect on today's society. Let's be honest, most problems are caused by bad parenting in any socio-economic class. Unfortunately our schools are left to pick up the pieces and they do a terrible job [partly due to liberal policies mandated to them].

I would also like to comment on this statement: "Society seems to stereotype the poor based on the bad among them while stereotyping the rest based on the good among them and writing off the rest as "exceptions" within the respective group." I don't totally disagree since this is BASIC human psychology found WORLDWIDE, but in this country I do believe that is an obstacle that can be overcome by education and self respect. IT IS NOT HEALTHY FOR SOCIETY TO ADAPT BY LOWERING STANDARDS. As a job applicant screener I would never look at a person's socio-economic status as a discriminator. That said, I would not extend that to appearance and behavior that would effect how customers perceive the company. The latter is controllable by the individual even though some children make mistakes with their appearance that are hard to reverse. You will never change that; even our government does this when they hire people.

You don't need to shout at me about not lowering standards

I'm not advocating for lowering standards - quite the opposite. IMO the bigotry of low expectations (I refuse to put the word soft in front of it as there is nothing soft about it) has done more to damage the ED than anything else. Thankfully, I grew in an area that didn't suffer from the bigotry of low expectations. Also, I never used the word or suggested it was racism.

All that I was trying to point out is that on the whole society (not talking about any one person specifically) judges similar behavior differently based on existing biases. Similar behavior by the NED and ED is often judged differently. The dominant culture has a positive bias toward NED and a negative bias toward ED. I didn't mean to suggest that means the ED should get an across the board free pass, but neither should the impact of biases be overlooked.

As for tolerance for bad behavior in schools - it seems a mixed bag and like most aspects of education often varies by school. IMO while most people see addressing behavior as being two buckets - having a tolerance for bad behavior or not having a tolerance - I see it as three buckets. 1) Tolerance, 2) Non-tolerance addressed negatively and 3) Non-tolerance addressed positively. Only 3) is generally truly successful and IMO overall 2) isn't any better than 1). 3) tends to take more skill and effort than 2) or 1), so unfortunately isn't as prevalent.

As for bad parenting, while there's plenty of that to go around, I think there's a long history of plenty of bad parenting although the predominant style of "bad" changes with time. However, bad parenting can be overcome and certainly not all bad behavior at school is driven by parenting. There's been research done where students were followed throughout the school day and their behavior recorded by an observer. It was noted that the same student often behaved differently classroom to classroom, which would indicate their behavior was driven by something other than just parenting. Had it been parenting one would expect the student's behavior to be consistent throughout the day.

It sounds like you are saying social class bias can be overcome by education and self respect. I would say it depends. One has to be given the opportunity for education and self respect to develop in order for that to happen - key word being opportunity. Isn't equal opportunity for what Republicans advocate?

Unfortunately, under a bigotry of low expectations or deficit model culture, ED students simply aren't given equal opportunities for education or to develop self respect that NED students are given. If denied opportunity - how does one overcome? It's difficult to overcome lack of opportunity, which creates a cycle that just keeps going.

Recall the whole math placement issue. If a Level IV ED student isn't recommended for the higher math track because the recommending teacher has a deficit model mentality how is the student supposed to overcome that, not only from an opportunity to learn perspective but also from a self-esteem perspective? Several principals who did place qualified ED kids who'd been tracked lower onto the higher track noted that the students behavior improved. In other words the students self esteem, self respect and behavior improved once they were no longer subjected to low expectations. If their 3rd grade teacher rarely assigns homework or teaches the ED student at a dumbed-down level, how is the student supposed to overcome that? Teach themselves? That would only be possible if the student had been taught independent learning skills, but from what I've seen that hasn't been a skill taught in most schools.

I think we are on the same page in many aspects. However, until ED kids are no longer assumed to be deficient just because they are ED, I'm going to keep pointing out the societal bias and having some understanding for the kids' responses to it.

Yes I believe we are -- nomoskal

I bet if we talked over coffee we would agree about most of this. My trouble is that I don't understand the mentality of people with the bigotry of low expectations. I do think that some people have greater talents than others, but every child should have the same shot at advanced classes if they want them. My biggest problem with high school education is that there is too much emphasis on college since not all children are cut out for it. I would love to see a much better vo-tech system for those that want to go that route. My biggest problem with WCPSS is the way they use the magnet program as a propaganda tool to make them look better. The magnet programs are to biased to help out an afluent ITB crowd robbing the rest of the school system of valued resources.

societal norms

are different. The kids I worked with are urban AA kids. I don't want them to be white middle class kids, they would lose who they are, their culture, their language. We need to differentiate between what is bad (rudeness, drugs, etc...) and what are cultural differences.
When the kids are in my car we battle over music, I hate their music, I tell them I am old and hate their music. They don't like my music. Then we compromise on G105. I don't want them or need them to be like my own white suburban kids. I just want them to behave and show the world how smart and capable they are. We talk about commanding respect vs. commanding attention. It is not about lowering standards, it is about respecting cultural differences. I think that children would be far less rude if they were not always on the defensive about who they are and what they like. It is amazing how respectful they are when they feel valued and respected.

This is not what I am talking about snordone

Sure music changes, but I invite you to listen to words and compare them to the past. Not all of the popular music is bad, but some is quite disturbing. I don't agree that all changes in culture is a good thing. Deviant behavior should never be celebrated or you actually destroy culture. I consider myself very tolerant of peoples customs and differences. I would even go on to say that I have experienced many more than most people since I have travelled extensively in my life. Yes, there is much to gain understanding and respecting cultural differences, but I can't say that all differences are worthy of liking. I will use an extreme example: In some cultures cannibilism was considered acceptable, does that mean I (and society) would be strengthened by accepting and respecting it? If I did, maybe I might be respected by them but at what cost to society as a whole? The same could be said about radical Islam. Do you think we should celebrate stoning women to death for adultery or cutting the hands off of thieves? Tolerance can be taken too far and I don't apologize for my sticking with my values even if I discriminate against people because of their deviant behavior. It really is about lowering standards, not celebrating "culture."

BTW- I understand part of gaining respect can be by understanding and respecting others differences. I would never (or could) try to mold anyone into anything they didn't want to be. Cultural differences are different from deviant behavior. I can only point out to them that living outside of cultural norms in the population at large carries consequences and they must understand that when they try to get ahead. Right or wrong in your mind, that's a fact of life. You aren't doing them any favors by acceptance of their deviant behavior.


So, five years ago, there was an incident at WHS where a group of three students beat up another student so badly that he went to the hospital and had to have reconstructive surgery. IIRC, one of them was an 17-year-old freshman who was built like a linebacker. All three of the students were black. (http://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/story/3593352/ )

The interesting thing was that I heard almost exactly that exact line from a friend of ours who at the time lived in the neighborhood. This friend, however, was black. Hard to accuse her of racism.

Point being that the attitude may be about race, or class, or just generally "we don't want thugs in our schools."

And the child was Asian

I also know a black family that sent their child to private school because of that incident.


Bob, these ladies said nothing about fights. Their meaning was clear. They just believed their children need not be in the same school with poor kids because those kids needed to be in their own schools. Again, this was an isolated incident, but it did sadden me.

Never mind my question above

Based on your statement, "They just believed their children need not be in the same school with poor kids...," it seems you aren't sure and it may have been "classism" rather than "racism".

In your previous post you used the word "racism" but here say it was about "poor kids." Racism is about race, "poor kids" is about socioeconomic class - it's classism. So, which is it - race or class? Would the 2 ladies be o.k. with affluent students of color in their school? What about poor white kids?

I keep wondering why racism and classism are so often conflated. Even the government does it. I've found numerous government sources stating that those on FRL can't be discriminated against because no child can be discriminated against based on race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, or handicap. However, FRL is not a reflection of a child's race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age or handicap. FRL is a reflection of a child's family income level, which is not a listed protection against discrimination.

I don't think people can begin to resolve issues until the issues are properly identified.


"Most people," or most people you know? Recognize that your crowd may be more liberal than the average.

Do racists play a role in those movements? Sure -- they play roles in nearly every modern political movement, both conservative and liberal. Recall, for example, the "Effectiveness Index," which was supported by your side and effectively institutionalized the "oh, you're black, so we don't expect you to do as well" approach, which George Bush termed "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

Those ideas -- neighborhood schools, vouchers and charters -- should be judged on their merits, not the attributes of various people who support them.

The problem with your examples is that there's no reason to believe busing students in/out of "cores" will have a substantial impact on whether those cores 'rot' or not.

What the Effectiveness Index directly institutionalized

What the Effectiveness Index directly institutionalized was the "oh, you're on free-and-reduced lunch, so we don't expect you to do as well" approach. However, given about 50% of black kids are FRL and with the whole conflation of class and race, it also indirectly institutionalized what you said.


I was under the impression that one of the inputs to the EI was the child's race. (F&R status was another input)

Here's a description from a wcpss report


WCPSS Effectiveness Index
For several years, WCPSS has computed residual scores for all state End-of-Grade (EOG) and
End-of-Course (EOC) tests taken by WCPSS students. These residuals give a measure of how
students performed compared to other WCPSS students, adjusting for a number of factors,
including prior EOG/EOC test performance, special programs status (i.e., academically gifted
status, disability status, and free or reduced-price lunch status), and the overall poverty level of the
school as measured by the percentage of students in the school eligible for free or reduced-price
lunch (FRL).

I think you need a reality

I think you need a reality check....

In 2011, 4 of 5 of those races took place in liberal strongholds and many of those races were tighter than anyone expected. The ONLY race that was a real win for the Dems was Evans over RM. That win took a NATIONAL smear campaign against Ron and 10's of thousands of out of county money and still is was very close. I think what you are concerned about (if you were honest, and I don't expect you to be) is that those liberal strongholds are going to be diluted. The Dems will NOT win the suburban seat meaning the Reps only need to win 3 of the remaining 6 seats to carry a majority. I haven't seen the maps but I'm willing to bet at least 4 of those 5 district seats (the urban seat excluded) have large suburban sections. That's what is scaring you to death and its completely understandable.

you should run

you just have to promise to follow John's lead with the issues with ED children and real equity. I have a massive amount of data to share with you if you run for an at large seat.
And you have to keep the liberal bashing to a minimum so you don't become a party hack like the rest of them.

You don't have to be a party

You don't have to be a party hack to bash the Democrats when it comes to WCPSS. Not one notable representative of the Democrat Party--NOT EVEN ONE!--has stood up to oppose the extreme radicalism being perpetrated by the likes of Sutton, Hill, Kushner, Martin,and that crazy one that led to dismantling the choice plan and firing Tata. In my view the Democrats deserve all the criticism -- you call it "bashing--that anyone can dish out. It is all justified; they are taking our school system backward and that should not be tolerated. I say bash away, they deserve it.

I appreciate the call to run

I appreciate the call to run and have to say that it does surprise me (if you're serious). I've not always been the best behaved person on this blog...passion has overtaken my fingers at times. Believe it or not, I'm a lot nicer in person.

I don't take the lead from too many people but I don't think JT and I are too far off in that respect either. Interestingly, we both have a background in working with troubled youths....I wonder if that's why?

I don't consider myself much of a politician but I would consider a run for school board if it were at all possible to do that job and maintain my current one. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's possible and contrary to what dannc and Solon77 think, I'm not independently wealthy and still have to work for a living.

I'd love to see your data anyway...I still owe you a tour!

Well... Ok..

So, then why is your side so upset? If you're going to win anyway, your real argument ought to be about whether the proposal is a good idea.

I can think of pros and cons -- I like the idea of having a say in more than one race. I'm not sure about the idea of moving the elections to even-numbered years -- seems to me that you'll get a lot more voters, but that will dilute the pool of the people who actually know something about the schools, and you might end up with a bunch of seniors who take an "I got mine and I'm not going to pay for yours" attitude. On the other hand, I think that the hullabaloo over the top-of-the ballot races will end up meaning that the school board races will be lower-key affairs than they were in 2011.

Your real complaint, I think, is going to be once the maps come out -- it seems clear that those were really gerrymandered. Tedesco and Hill in the same district when they live in opposite corners of the county? As a former campaign manager, can you imagine the work of just trying to figure out where to put signs?

Why upset

Bob, I can only speak for myself, but what bothers me is that he is trying to undo what the voters decided in 2011 and rig the maps so that his people win. You know why the commissioners asked for this and to take ownership of the school buildings and future construction. I believe it is strictly retribution for Tony Tata's firing, but that is only my opinion.

it is retribution for sure

and I agree that they are trying to undo the mess of 2011. But give credit where credit is due - to both parties for manipulating the maps. One party was better than the other because Kevin is a seasoned veteran of reassignment issues and he knew where the pissed off parent lived. He would say "call off your dogs" when they would get in his face about assignment, and we were the dogs of D3.

So come on, be fair and honest about who is crappy here. All of them are crappy.

Oh yeah...

Whether you agree or not, a lot of people believe that firing Tata was a purely partisan move. The commissioners are playing a tit-for-tat game. I can't say that Tata's firing was the only reason, but it was clearly a big one.

But, frankly, the SB majority should have known that this was coming -- when 'they' are looking for reasons to claim you're partisan, it's really foolish to give them one, especially when 'they' have the ability to make your job unpleasant.

Personally, I worry that this won't end all that well for the Republicans. When political parties take control, they usually over-extend themselves, and there's a backlash in the next election. We may see a backlash against the GOP in 2014.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.