The X-factor in the year ahead is the role that Wake County school board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman will play in the major decisions facing the district.
As noted in Sunday's article, Goldman's former board allies want to pick up seats in the board elections so they won't need her vote. School board member Chris Malone said that Goldman's recent votes on student assignment have created “unpredictability” on the school board.
“We’re having to deal with unpredictability now," Malone said. "It’s the reality we have to live with. We’re going to work as best we can and work for all parents and families.”
One of the questions is who Goldman will work with on the board now.
Goldman's former GOP allies say she hasn't given them an indication of what she intends to do, mirroring her recent stance of not giving media interviews. Goldman has said she'll only officially speak through her comments at school board meetings.
The Democratic members of the school board have been harder to pin on whether they've been in recent contact with Goldman outside the meetings.
Board member Kevin Hill said he can’t predict how Goldman will vote. He also said he doesn't feel that there's a new majority on the board. But Hill was a lot more complimentary about her than some other folks.
“I see Mrs. Goldman trying to look at matters independently and trying to decide upon the merits," Hill said. "That’s something we should all do."
Contrast this with the assessment made by Joe Ciulla, a leader of the Wake Schools Community Alliance. He called Goldman the "the biggest disappointment" that the group has had with the school board this past year.
"I don’t know what to expect from her in the way of an assignment plan because I don’t know if she knows what she wants," Ciulla said.
Goldman could provide the swing votes on issues such as adopting a new student assignment plan and the boundaries of the new board election districts. She could also become the new board chair when Ron Margiotta's term expires in June.
School board member John Tedesco reiterated his feeling that there's now a 4-4-1 split on the board because of Goldman's actions. He said he's not sure where she'll vote.
“I’m not going to be surprised by anything," Tedesco said. "If board members vote in different ways, I won’t be surprised.”