The Great Schools in Wake Coalition is arguably taking out of context some of the criticisms leveled against the Wake County school system.
In a press release today, GSIW says that private school supporters are calling the school system "unpopular" and a "failure." It says these remarks "appears part of an orchestrated plan to discredit and undermine the award-winning Wake County Public School System."
“The public schools are the crown jewel of our local economy. We should be advocating for them—not condemning them,” said Yevonne Brannon, GSIW Chairwoman in the press release. “It is an insult to the intelligence of our educators and students when we suggest that one of the top school districts in the nation is a failure. If our schools are so bad, then why have they been held up as a national model of success?”
As the press release notes, "this false attack" was "repeated by a conservative pundit in a recent televised debate and endorsed by members of the School Board's narrow majority."*
They're talking about how John Hood, president of the conservative John Locke Foundation, was saying the diversity popular was unpopular and a failure during the recent NC SPIN show. He pointed to the test scores, graduation rates, poll results and last fall's elections results.
Below is Hood's monologue during the show:
"Wake County's system failed. That's why it's unpopular. The test scores and the graduation rates demonstrate that Wake County's poor students do worse than the state average, They do worse than Charlotte-Mecklenburg students. They do worse than most of the other urban systems in North Carolina. They have lower graduation rates than the state average.
"It is a failure. That's why it's unpopular. There's no point in playing around, redefining the English language. It failed."
GSIW didn't provide those qualifications in the press release.
GSIW also took Wake County school board member John Tedesco to task for saying on the show that the majority "talked to thousands of people and [we] felt confident of the direction of where they wanted."
GSIW says Tedesco's statement "contradicts" how 94.5 percent of the 40,000 parents in the calendar survey said they're satisfied with their child's school.
“These unfounded attacks are reminiscent of the behavior of the schoolyard bully,” Brannon said in the press release. “It seems like the Board majority and their supporters are trying to tear down our system, so they can take credit for any improvements we may see in the future."
"The good folks at GSIW are out with an excellent statement this afternoon that rightfully denounces a local right-wing pundit for his false statements about the Wake County schools," Schofield writes.