Fifteen former Wake County school board members have signed a joint letter that supports the diversity policy and urges voters to pick school board candidates Lois Nixon, Rita Rakestraw, Karen Simon and Horace Tart.
In the letter, it argues that Wake has no "bad" schools and that the "opposite of diverse schools is unequal schools." It says that '"community schools' means that 'you' can't come into 'my' community.'"
The signers include recent former members such as Rosa Gill and Beverley Clark. But you also've got names such as Tom Oxholm, Carol Parker, Susan Parry, Wray Stephens and Judy Hoffman.Here's the letter to the editor:
One of the longstanding core values of our community is that there are no “bad” schools in Wake County. The school a student attends should not define if she is rich or poor. Can our community have any goal other than every school being an attractive place to teach and learn? That core value is under attack. The so called ‘community school’ means that “you” can’t come into “my” community.
It is time to pull back the curtain. The opposite of diverse schools is unequal schools. Inequality creates isolation and barriers to success.
Diversity alone does not make schools strong. Teachers and principals make schools strong; however, teachers know that there are more challenges and less parental involvement in high poverty schools--proximity to a school does not overcome those challenges.
If education is, as we believe, one of the most compelling obligations of a democracy, then how can candidates for a board of education be opposed to the best opportunity for all students? There are candidates who expect you to believe that creating high poverty schools will improve student achievement. Wrong. There is a vast data from across our country showing that high poverty schools are costly--in financial and human terms.
As former members of the Board of Education, we urge voters to see through the false rhetoric. We commend the N and O’s endorsement of Lois Nixon, Rita Rakestraw, Karen Simon, and Horace Tart.
We strongly agree that there are continued improvements to be made in Wake County. We look to these fresh faces to make the Wake County schools better. But we trust that the changes will be positive and that those elected to the Board of Education will be advocates for all students, not only their neighbors!
Roxie Cash, Beverley Clark, John Gilbert, Rosa Gill, Judy Hoffman, Casper and Mary Holroyd, Linda Johnson,, Charlotte Martin, Tom Oxholm, Carol Parker, Susan Parry, Jean Schilawski, Wray Stephens, Roy Tilley, Jeff York