Chris Fitzsimon is bashing the Wake County school board majority for Tuesday's votes on the voluntary desegregation resolution and the budget.
In a column Wednesday, Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch,criticizes the "Gang of Five" for rejecting board member Carolyn Morrison's amendment about making every effort to avoid minority group isolation.
"For some reason that was too much for the Gang of Five who all voted against the resolution," Fitzsimon writes. "Maybe they wanted only a half-hearted effort, or more likely, no effort at all."
Fitzsimon mocks school board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman's insistence that she would be for anything to strengthen the magnet schools. He notes that she backed Ron Margiotta's election to board chairman even after he had mentioned last year the idea of abolishing the magnet program.
"She also supports (John) Tedesco's rich zone, poor zone scheme which will significantly change the magnet program," Fitzsimon writes. "And the magnet program is the foundation of the diversity assignment plan that Goldman voted to end. That's all true, whether she wants it to be clear or not."
Fitzsimon has praise for one school board member from the minority camp. He says that Anne McLaurin "has emerged as the outspoken conscience of the board."
Fitzsimon notes that McLaurin had complained that the board hadn't spent enough time reviewing the budget. He also notes how she had brought up the board majority's decision to abandon Forest Ridge High despite warnings of the financial cost.
"That would be the Gang of Five who also campaigned as fiscal conservatives," Fitzsimon writes. "Better to fire teachers and expand classes than reconsider a foolish decision about where to build a new high school."