Critics of the new Wake County school board majority and their plan to end the diversity policy just hate John Tedesco.
As noted in today's article by Lynn Bonner, Tedesco's name was invoked by protesters at Saturday's 4th annual Historic Thousands on Jones Street rally organized by the state NAACP. Fears about resegregation caused by neighborhood schools was a major theme of the rally.
“Hey-hey, ho-ho, John Tedesco’s got to go,” some shouted, as Duke University historian Tim Tyson led marchers in a chant aimed at Tedesco.
Tyson, a member of the executive board of the N.C. State Conference of NAACP Branches, had praised the diversity policy in a January op-ed piece.
News about the community-based assignment resolution coming out a day before the rally was like waving a red flag at the marchers.
Tedesco is in the spotlight because he's both one of the most outspoken members of the new board majority and the chairman of the new student assignment committee.
It's Tedesco's vision of community-based assignment zones that forms the backbone of the resolution that will be voted on by the board on Tuesday.
Tedesco, reached by telephone, said he values diversity and that his detractors misunderstand his intentions.
“Some of the current practices unjustly hurt the low-income community rather than help them,” said Tedesco in the article.
He pointed to low-income parents who do not have transportation to schools their children attend miles from home. He also pointed to the SAS EVAAS report's finding that black and Hispanic eighth-graders had a lower participation rate in Algebra I than white students.
Tedesco said community schools will put the focus on improving results for low income students rather than moving them from school to school to disguise problems.
“We’re trying to help a community that’s been ignored for too long,” he said in the article.
The Enloe High contingent was represented at the rally.
Jocelyn Wilson, an Enloe High junior, told the crowd that resegregating schools will hurt all students.
“Students raised in an environment that doesn’t go beyond their own reflection cannot be fully equipped to succeed in society,” Wilson said.