Wake County school board candidate Donna Williams probably isn't going to win over Enloe High School supporters based on her talk of spreading programs around.
Williams hit the local conservative radio talk show circuit this week starting as a guest co-host Tuesday on The Morning Show on WRDU. She touched on Enloe during an interview Wednesday on The Rick and Donna Martinez Show on WPTF, where she also said it's not a case of the school system needing more money to raise achievement.
"I believe we need a more fair and equitable balance in our schools," Williams said on WPTF. "I'll give you an example. Enloe High School right now has 142 magnet programs in that one school. And then we have a lot of schools in this county that have zero. I just think we need to take a look at that and if we balanced it out a lot better, it would then affect and help all of our children."
District 6 in Central Raleigh has historically had something of a love-hate relationship with the magnet program. A lot of families have gone to magnet schools because of the proximity to the programs. But parents at the rim schools have complained that they've been impacted heavily by the magnet program.
Fellow District 6 candidate Christine Kushner has been a long-time magnet parent. One child will be leaving Enloe to go to the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics and another attends Ligon Middle.
Also during the WPTF interview, Williams said she expects to be supporting the policies of the Republican school board majority, especially dropping the diversity policy. She related her experiences from 20 years ago as a volunteer in her children's schools seeing children who had been bused for diversity crying because their parents and grandparents couldn't attend school events.
Williams praised the concept of a choice plan, saying she supported letting family choose to apply to attend a higher performing school. But whether this translates into support for achievement schools remains to be seen.
Wiliiams also praised Superintendent Tony Tata, saying he has "calmed" the high emotions that were going on in the district.
Williams said Wake "is doing a fair job but we can do better."
She also said she supported the use of merit pay for teachers and making public the EVAAS evaluation reports for individual teachers.
Donna Martinez asked how Williams would respond if people said Wake needs more money to raise achievement.
"I don't believe that it is an issue of money," Williams responded. "I believe we have to take a very close look at — and I know this has already begun — as to where the money is going.
I think that within the system there are more changes that can be made and I don't think money is the answer. I just think there's a lot of other, which I've already said today, pieces to the puzzle that can be improved, tweaked for a better result."
Moving to the Rush Radio appearance, host Carmen Conners asked Williams what most concerned her. Williams' response was "liberal ideas," citing groups who have been fighting the school board majority's elimination of the diversity policy.
"They want to undo what has been done in the last two years," Williams said. "In my opinion, what has been started in the last two years is just the beginning to make our school system better for our children."
Later on in the show, Conners railed against the Rev. William Barber, the state NAACP president, whom she called "Rev. Soul Glow the Buffet Slayer." Conners complained that Barber is a black man telling black youths that they have to be bused to a white school to be around white students to learn something.
"I think that's a crime," Williams said when Conners accused Barbers of telling black youth that they'll never amount to something.
Conners called Barber's actions "racism to the core," which Williams said she agreed with.
(This is a wrap for the next week. I'll be back on Aug. 29.)
UPDATE I'll now be back on Wednesday.