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CCCAAC accuses Dan Coleman of being out of touch with African American community

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Dan Coleman, president of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, is getting fallout for his public criticism of the old Wake County socioeconomic diversity policy.

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.
Dan Coleman
President, RWCA


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Wow I must be psychic...I

Wow I must be psychic...I predicted this would happen last night as I read the articles yesterday.  I knew that this group would be out and ready to pounce on Dan Coleman.  YOu can see how "racist" Calla Wright is...in her mind ALL BLACK citizens should think the same way!  That's just down right sad!!!

I hear what you are saying,

I hear what you are saying, but considering that about 98% of blacks voted for Obama (literally) as much as I hate to admit it, she may have a point ...a lot of blacks apparently DO think alike. 


That doesn't mean they agree on every single issue down to a T, anymore than all the white people who voted for McCain think exactly alike about everything.

Interestingly, President Obama supports the concept of community schools and promise neighborhoods. He seems to get that they are about something deeper than just reading, writing and arithmetic.

I know...just making the

I know...just making the point how incredibly unusual it is for 98% of any group of people to agree with anything. I could say the sky is blue and more than 2% of folks would disagree with that.

I was surprised to see that

I was surprised to see that the CCCAAC even still existed. I thought they were absorbed into the GSIW/Pullen Memorial PAC.

Unfair to Danny Coleman

I've known Danny Coleman for nearly 20 years. While he and I have disagreed on a few matters, it would be impossible to suggest that he is 'out of touch' or not committed to Southeast Raleigh. Ask anyone with the Raleigh City Council, Raleigh Planning Commission,  Community Development Department, Community Services or any of the 15+ Citizens Advisory Councils.

Perhaps he and I are free to disagree with members of the Wake County Democratic Party because we are self employed business people.  The operative word is 'free'.

At least now people see that most of the noise has been about the November elections and not about the children of Wake County. 

Clark County Association of Armchair Coaches?

For more information about the CCCAAC, please visit our website at www.ccaac.com . """ """""


I am guessing Wright's

I am guessing Wright's strategy to stay relevant in her community is to denigrate and debilitate people like Coleman and Peyton. This is about as sensible as her beliefs that AA children can get educated only in the suburbs.

What's the Real Deal?

At this point I'm not sure what the CCCAAC agenda is, same goes for GWIS..  Here's a recent update the CCCAAC sent out.  Check out the areas I highlighted in bold.  It appears to me that both CCCAAC and GWIS (which is part of Wake Up Wake County) are endorsing candidates in the upcoming county commissioner races.  Both are registered as non-profit corporations, so I'm a little surprised to see them doing candidate endorsements since they are forbidden by the IRS.  I thought that groups which raised money and advocated for candidates had to register with the Board of Elections as a PAC.  If WakeUP has already decided who they are endorsing, why are they bothering to host a forum?

And when CCCAAC news updates delve into questions about tea parties and such, it seems like their agenda is not just education.  Just my two cents.  Here's the news update:

Greetings!  Here is today's BOE news.


Actvity buses return

As reported in the N&O and WRAL, the BOE decided yesterday to reinstate activity buses to transport students home after extracurricular activities.


County Commissioners election in November

Nine weeks until election day and the opportunity to exercise your right to vote! The campaigning has begun, as evidenced by a bright red billboard on the beltline, just south of the Hillsborough St. exit, supporting the re-election of Republican Tony Gurley. Please stay tuned into the campaign as it heats up and consider voting for Jack Nichols (running against Gurley), Steve Rao, Lindy Brown and Don Mial.  If you're willing and able, consider volunteering for their campaigns. This is a county-wide race so everyone in Wake County will have the chance to vote for all four seats.


Note from a Great Schools in Wake colleague: "What happens with these County Commission races will send a big message about what direction we are heading, and can quiet the G5’s (BOE majority) talk of a mandate. These races are very winnable, but very close and we are going to need everyone’s help to be successful."


And mark your calendar for the Wake County Commissioners' candidates forum on Mon., Sept. 27, from 7-8:30PM at Temple Beth Or, 5315 Creedmoor Road in Raleigh. The forum is sponsored by WakeUP Wake County and the League of Women Voters of Wake County. Discussion will focus on local public policy issues. 


Connecting the dots to Art Pope

As you may know, Art Pope is a local businessman, and one of the top two donors supporting the election of the current BOE majority. Pope also serves as Director of Americans for Prosperity (aka The Tea Party). This allegedly grassroots organization has recently been revealed to be a deliberate movement funded by the U.S.'s second largest corporation, Koch Industries. You can read more about AFP, the Koch brothers and Pope in this article from the New Yorker. So, now we know how John Tedesco gained speaking rights at the AFP's rally in Raleigh several months ago.


Embracing diversity ~ in New Orleans

Parents in New Orleans want to bring diversity to their schools. Hear and read more on NPR's "All Things Considered."

The Untouchables in

The Untouchables in Education ReformBy Walt Gardner on September 3, 2010 8:50 AM

Right now, teachers are under the microscope in an attempt to identify which ones are effective based on the value-added model. There's no question that better ways need to be developed and implemented to make that determination. But what is lost in the debate is the role that other figures play in educational outcomes. Strangely, parents have so far evaded similar scrutiny. This oversight is cause for deep concern as the new school year begins.

Parental involvement in the achievement of students is well supported by a broad body of empirical evidence. The most recent data come from the Harlem Children's Zone under the leadership of Geoffrey Canada. Paul Tough described how and why the strategy works in Whatever It Takes (Houghton Mifflin, 2008). What stands out is the way Canada has made parents partners in the education of their children.

But this emphasis on parental commitment has application to all schools. In its most fundamental form, parents imbue their children from infancy with the importance of education. School is seen as a place where learning is sacrosanct. Because this attitude is largely caught, rather than taught, parents need to show by example that they mean what they say.

Parents can begin by engaging their toddlers in a dialogue when they go to the park or to the market. They ask simple questions with known answers, and then reward the responses with praise or correction. Parents can then read to their children from books that feature stories having relevance to their children. They can frequently stop the reading to ask questions to determine comprehension.

When children enter school, parents need to ask what they learned each day. They should arrange periodic meetings with teachers and attend open house at school. If their schedules permit, they should volunteer. Report cards present a valuable opportunity to review comments made by teachers, whether positive or negative. Grades are important, but they are not the sole criteria of successful learning.

Unfortunately, parental involvement has gotten a bad name recently because it is often associated with parents who overly participate in their children's education. Their hovering has earned them the name helicopter parents. It is seen in their unreasonable demands for high grades and for special treatment of their children. Suburban schools that are populated by students from upper socioeconomic backgrounds are often the scene of pushy parents who drive many teachers up the wall. These monster parents believe their children can do no wrong, and are accustomed to getting their way.

The opposite extreme are parents who are totally disengaged. They ignore teacher requests for conferences, do not sign report cards, pull their children out of school for questionable reasons, and fail to prepare nourishing meals. The message unambiguously sent is that education is not a top priority. How could it be when children witness the disconnect between words and deeds?

Since reformers demand data about student performance, this is a propitious time to consider the hitherto untouchables in student outcomes. Let's not forget that education is a partnership between home and school.



I'm surprised that Calla Wright thinks that all black people should think the same.  There is no single "African-American Community" and if there were, it would be extremely presumptuous for Calla to claim to speak for it.


Yes, I had the same thought. I'm often struck by the contradictions.

Why is there an expectation by some that all African-Americans will think and feel exactly the same and if they feel differently, they are “out of touch” with the A-A community? Why is diversity of thought and opinion not acceptable? I know a number of African-Americans with views similar to Mr. Coleman’s on this issue. When two white people have a difference of opinion or thought on an issue neither is accused of being “out of touch” with the “white” community.

You and Bob are right on. 

You and Bob are right on.  It is Calla who is out of touch with her community by not acknowledging the difference of opinions that exists within it. 

I hope that Coleman's views prompt real discussion in the A-A community, and Wake County as a whole for that matter.  Honest discussion has been a long time coming on this from all players.

As evidenced by her

As evidenced by her continued neglect of math placement issues, Calla Wright is clearly out of touch with reality. She needs to take a break from issuing meaningless press releases.

Call to Action

"uninformed and misleading statements"?????? Dan Coleman lives in the real world.....He must be referring to the problem of the system preventing parental involvement in their children's education from both homes of the 56% of children who don't live with both biological parents...Calla needs some more education on this issue....The Family Court "Industry" is your culprit...Look to the damage caused.


“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

Calla's 15 minutes of fame

Calla's 15 minutes of fame are over.  She sat in that church and supported leaders who labeled school board members as "demonizing," and in doing so showed just how warped their perspective has become.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.