In a press release today, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children accuses Coleman of making "uninformed and misleading statements" about the diversity policy's impact on student achievement. CCCAAC President Calla Wright is accusing Coleman, the head of a group that's represented Raleigh's African American community since 1932, of supporting resegregation that will harm student achievement.
"It is shocking that Dan Coleman is so out-of-touch with the thoughts and feelings of the African American community and the academic needs of our students,” Wright said in the press release.
Wright argues that creating high poverty schools through the new community zone plan being developed by the school board majority will cause "skilled teachers" not to work there.
"But the data shows that high poverty schools attract less qualified teachers and principals than other schools, are very expensive to staff, and they do not achieve the academic results students need and deserve," Wright said. "Mr. Coleman and others who share his views simply wish to condemn our most vulnerable children to a second class education.”
Much of the traditional local and state leadership of the African American community has been critical of the school board majority's plans.
For context, here's the full wording from Coleman's e-mail earlier in the week that sparked today's press release:
RWCA Members and Friends,
There is a lot of data being published that deserves our scrutiny. Time and talent permitting, the RWCA is going to provide links on our web sitewww.raleighwakecitizensassociation.org to the data from both the assignment and economic disadvantage committees of the BOE so each of you can do your due diligence as you offer your suggestions into the creation of our new assignment and academic achievement policies.
The information that was published today in the N&O shows that SE Raleigh, between 1/401 north and south, 70 E and the 540 (built and proposed) reveals that our students between grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9th grade, whether they are enrolled in the local magnet school or bussed out of the area are FAILING. They are not only failing but the scores are the lowest of all scores. We have to ask ourselves where is the benefit of an assignment policy based on economic diversity when the end result produces the worse scores in the system.
I wish you would consider as the board configures the school regions that those regions mirror the electoral districts of the school board representatives. Consider that once the 2010 Census Data is published all units of elected bodies of government will be re-drawing their lines. For accountability purposes our new school regions need to have an elected official responsible to the voters for a specific region student’s performance. How this idea plays out fits the current debate on school board representation as do many other ideas that have been put on the shelf in the past.
We have the opportunity now to go from great to greater but we will not get there demonizing or sanctifying.