The reactions from Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday night to the Wake County school board election results was about as different as you could get.
As noted today in this article and this article, Democrats were hailing the results as a step forward. Republicans who face four years of being in the minority were warning about a return to the days of forced busing and possibly even Superintendent Tony Tata leaving.
Speaking to reporters after the results came in, GOP board vice chairman John Tedesco said he hopes the new board majority won't try to rehash old battles.
Tedesco said he's concerned about Democratic board member Kevin Hill's support for setting aside seats at high-performing schools for students from low-performing nodes.
"That sounds benign when he says it," Tedesco said. "It's not. It's a quota system. That significantly changes the choice model."
Tedesco predicted the new board majority will install Hill or Keith Sutton as the next chairman.
"Those are the only two on the opposition side with any experience," he said, adding that he is not yet ready to make his choice.
"We'll see if they can show me a vision that's worth fighting for," Tedesco added. "If we're moving forward, I'll work with either one. If they want to go back, then I'm going to put up a fight."
GOP school board member Chris Malone, who still plans to run for a seat on the state House next year, said he sees difficult times ahead for Wake County schools under the new majority.
"It means that we're going to go back to where we came from — to the old ways," Malone said. "We're going to go back to forced busing because of set asides. Maybe not right away, but eventually."
Malone added that "the argument (over student assignment) is still going to be the same. It's who wins that's going to change."
As referenced in a previous post, you also had Heather Losurdo warning that Tata might go the way of Del Burns and quit.
Now let's contrast it with the Democratic reaction.
Hill again voiced Tuesday night his desire to have the seat set-asides, noting that Tata "himself has said we need to do some tweaks."
"This is the plan the board voted on and we need to work on it together as a board," Hill said.
Other Democratic board members downplayed the possibility previously raised by Susan Evans of delaying the new assignment plan by a year.
Sutton said he does not see a need to delay the plan to make changes.
"I think we will take our time to make some good data-based decisions, make decisions that are best for the community," Sutton said. "Not that we haven't made some before.
More than anything I think we'll be able to improve the process by which we move things along."
New Democratic board member Christine Kushner echoed Hill in saying she expects the board to move forward with the new plan while making revisions.
“This is the plan,” Kushner said. “We’re going to go forward with. it. We’re not going backward.”
Kushner said they'd avoid the actions taken by the GOP majority after taking office of rushing into action.
"We will be very deliberative,” Kushner said. “I expect us to exercise good governance.”
After all the acrimony of the past two years , Kushner said "my goal is to return the school board to dull and boring.” She said she looked forward to working with the now GOP-minority members to end the 5-4 votes.
“I’m very hopeful we’re going to have some strong governance on the school board,” Kushner said. “We’ll have our focus on students and teachers.”
Over at Milton's Pizza & Pasta on Six Forks Road in Raleigh, the crowd at Hill's celebration was like a a cast party for a movie of the last two years.
Attendees at Hill's party included Tim Tyson, Rita Rakestraw, Congressman Brad Miller, state Rep. Rosa Gill and Lois Nixon.
"I'm great. greater than I have been for two years," said Nixon, who was defeated when she ran for school board in 2009.
Miller was equally jubilant.
"We turned back what happened two years ago to take over the schools and take them back 50 years," Miller said.