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James West warns about dismantling school system

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Raleigh City Councilman James West spoke out about the changes going on in the Wake County school system on Tuesday after being tapped to take the vacancy on the Wake County Board of Commissioners,

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, the leadership of the Wake County Democratic Party tapped West to replace Harold Webb, who resigned last week. It's pro forma for the commissioners to confirm West's appointment on Monday.

"We have a world-class school system compared to other school systems throughout the country," West said in his acceptance speech. "We certainly don't want to see the school system dismantled."

The question is how far West will go with Democratic commissioners, should they remain in the majority after this fall's elections, to hold up the Republican school board majority. By resigning last week, West would fill out Webb's term through 2012 instead of being on this fall's ballot.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, no friend of the school board majority, has called West his closest ally on the City Council. He nominated West on Tuesday.

But school board member John Tedesco has also praised West for his willingness to be involved in the economically disadvantaged student performance task force.


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I think West meant to say

I think West meant to say "county". The following makes (some kind of) sense once the "r" is removed from "country":

"We have a world-class school system compared to other school systems throughout the county," West said in his acceptance speech.

Surely you are joking as we

Surely you are joking as we only have one county-wide school system?

Joking? I think it makes

Joking? I think it makes perfect sense that WCPSS is a system par excellence when compared to itself. It is obvious the mayor has chosen wisely. :)

Sorry red, little slow this

Sorry red, little slow this morning....All this talk about providing linked sources for carson, writing summaries for user and detailed analysis with commentary from all sides with a reference section for magnetparent just has me double checking everything.  :-)

I did not ask for any links,

I did not ask for any links, I don't even think the blog allows that, which is why she copy/pastes everything into the comment box.  Just needed the source.

LOL TS - if you actually

LOL TS - if you actually provided factual information you might understand the importance of providing links to your source ;-)

MP, I think you may have me


I think you may have me confused.  Not to I post facts and sources and have even gone the extra mile to provide all of the raw data for everyone to have access to and analyze for themselves.

Just keep in mind that just because something makes you uncomfortable or doesn't fit with you ideology, doesn't mean it is not a fact.

just don't

just don't bother....really....it just is so ridiculous.  (trust me, I won't do it anymore...)

Oh, so you DO know the

Oh, so you DO know the importance of providing links to your sources?  Whatcha complaining about then?


How would we know if WCPSS truly offered a "World-Class" education?  It seems to me that we'd look to world standards.  Yet, the nearest equivalent -- the International Baccalaureate program isn't even offered in most WCPSS schools.

Or, we'd look to the quality of our output and see how it's recognized on a world stage.  Yet, our graduates do not attend world-class universities (Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Stanford, etc....) in any significant numbers. 

Pehaps we'd look at how our students perform on international exams.  Yet, our students don't even take nationally recognized tests, instead substituting these home-grown EOGs/EOCs. 

This "World-Class" statement is only a political throw-away line that does not match reality.  Sure, WCPSS does reasonably well compared to other North Carolina districts or other extremely large districts, but those other districts are generally lousy -- they're Single-A teams when WCPSS claims to compete in the Major Leagues. 

How can you say this Bob? I

How can you say this Bob?

I mean, our rich magnet kids are scoring higher on the SAT than Charlotte's poor kids.  Doesn't that mean we must be "world class"?

ot (emphasis mine)

Unintended Consequences of School Choice
Walt Gardner on September 15, 2010 8:19 AM
In theory, parental choice of schools is supposed to assure educational equity. But in practice, the strategy has not always worked out that way. Reports from Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York City, for example, illustrate why the devil is always in the details
For starters, the system is terribly confusing to even the most sophisticated parents. In an attempt to provide all parents with the opportunity to enroll their children in schools that best meet their needs and interests, officials have created rules worthy of a Solomon to decipher. Los Angeles uses a points system for parents who don't want to enroll their children in neighborhood schools. But separate programs have different application forms, processes and deadlines that are maddening.

Disaffection with rules is also seen in Philadelphia, where parents younger than 30 are among the district's "most dissatisfied customers," according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts that was released in June. But parents of all ages charged that the sea of choices was bewildering. Despite spending days studying the regulations, they often wind up no closer to a satisfactory answer. This frustration first leads to anger and then to cynicism.

For another, school districts continue to be under enormous pressure to diversify their student enrollment. When the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007 ruled that assigning students to schools based primarily on race was unconstitutional, districts began moving toward the use of socioeconomic status. The trouble is that it has resulted in many children of middle-class families being rejected by the schools in their neighborhoods because they constituted a disproportionate presence. Rather than remain on waiting lists in the hope that the next time they apply will mean acceptance, parents have enrolled their children in private and religious schools. In San Francisco, the district is losing 1,000 students a year, according to a 2008 report from the Mayor's Policy Council for Children, Youth and Families.

In New York City, living in a particular neighborhood once was a sure ticket to enrollment in a school in the same neighborhood. In fact, real estate agents routinely advertised the existence of good neighborhood schools as a powerful selling point, and parents willingly paid a premium. But since the high court's ruling, they've been shocked to find out that their decision either to buy or rent apartments in pricey areas offered them no assured entry whatsoever. Instead, they too have been placed on waiting lists. As in San Francisco, parents have bit the bullet and enrolled their children in private or religious schools.

What is so troubling in the entire scenario is that middle-class parents of all races constitute the ballast public schools desperately need. If these parents are barred from enrolling their children in the public schools they want for one reason or another, they will continue to flee the system. That is their right, of course, but it defeats the purpose of integration.

In an attempt to make admissions fair, some districts use a lottery when demand exceeds supply. Since it relies strictly on chance, it favors no one. But it is not without its problems. Children living next to a coveted school could be denied admission simply because their number was not randomly chosen. By the same token, siblings could be separated. In short, critics make a strong case that a lottery involves the kind of uncertainty and lack of control that parental choice is supposed to eliminate.

So what is the solution? In the final analysis, fairness is in the eyes of the beholder. What satisfies one family unavoidably will fail to satisfy another. That's why some reformers have insisted from the start that the only solution is to improve all neighborhood schools. If that goal were ever achieved, it would provide a strong disincentive for parents to look elsewhere. That would indeed be cause to celebrate.

Source please....

Source please....


is it THAT hard?

same question to you !

same question to you ! lol

Seriously, people have asked you repeatedly.  You are the only one who dumps on the blog like this constantly....why not add the source, so that all 50 or 100 of us that read it have the source rather than us having to go look it up on google 50 times? 

"dumps on the blog"

if that's how you feel about it then it would seem there are two choices (why does it feel as if I am addressing my 2nd grader)

1) don't read it

2) JGI

if I won't "spoon feed" my own children information they chatter for ( I tell them how to look it up) why in the world would I waste time on you?

and thus I am back to not ever responding to you and your incessant questions.

"if I won't "spoon feed" my

"if I won't "spoon feed" my own children information they chatter for ( I tell them how to look it up) why in the world would I waste time on you?"
I don't think anyone here was "chattering" for this information.  I'm pretty sure that's why you put "OT" in your subject line.
It's information that you provided, I assume because you thought people would be interested.  In posting such information, it's generally accepted practice (and perhaps legally, too, as jeffrey pointed out) to provide a link.
I know you say that you're busy and sometimes you forget, but since you've hardly ever posted the link without being asked that rings a little hollow. 
If you were reading your kids a story (of your choosing) and they asked who wrote it, would you really tell them to google it?  That's what you did here.  You said "Hey kids, here's a story I think you might like (even though the kids were talking about something else..hence "OT")"  Then, you read the story (copy and paste).  After that, one of your kids asked "Mom, who wrote that story?" and you said "Google it!  I can't do everything for you!"

I appreciate that you take the time to post education news

I appreciate that you take the time to post education news that otherwise doesn't get covered.

By definition, since she's

By definition, since she's copying it from other sources, it IS getting covered. 

Seriously, there is a better time/place/method for her to bring up points like this.  Just refer to the article and reference the points you want to make. 

Don't dump the entire multi page article into the blog where people are actually commenting on a topic and trying to keep up with that topic. Or at the very least since sometimes you are short on time, include the source.  It doesn't take any additional time.  why not post the source?

information=knowledge=power to learn/educate

Thanks, TPG, you and I both know there's a big ole "education" world outside of the "world-class" WCPSS and we could ALL stand to learn something from it...whether or not "we" choose to....well that's up to us, isn't it?  ;>)

guess you'll have to ignore

guess you'll have to ignore the posts from the 8 or so other people who've asked for your sources too :(

Yeah, I don't really read your stuff much but judging by the very few posts after your "dumps" - not too many people are that interested either. 

Let me clue you in, a lot

Let me clue you in, a lot more folks read and care about what AngelaW has to say than pay attention to your incessant questions. Judging from her consistenly excellent posts and insight, there are few very, very few folks in Wake County  -- including elected officials -- who know more about WCPSS than she does.

I guess you are referring to...

you, CC, Bob, red balloon, etc who don't know jack about what's going on on a daily basis within WCPSS. For example...no doubt you think all principals think about is test performance, when in fact they deal with EVERY F.....G day they deal with

a. pierced nose (ala Johnston County) or similar every day parent/student rights issues

b. shooting  this weekend - Capital Blvd so therefore it's either Millbrook or Wakefield.. maybe WF or remotely Knightdale. So you come in Monday wondering whether it's going to carry over into the school, so the admin team calls RPD gang squad and they and counselors spend all day revewing the "gang book" and trying to track down whose siblings, friends, etc who were shot, wounded, etc. hoping no one freaks out and starts a fight because (a.) gangs ARE involved (because every prin knows this) and (b) this is only the beginning because there WILL BE retaliation at some point so you drag in the "known" Bloods, Crips, Asian and Latin, gang members and spend another day or so playing everyone off against each other to find the "truth." That's the life of a EVERY hs principal. Then you go to the PTA meeting and smile and say yes SAT scores were up (or down) and say we will do better next year.

 As far as Angela..she is very good about copying sources..anything else I'm not certain.

Thanks ... listening to my

Thanks ... listening to my wife who teaches and people here who think they know something about the schools, I am thinking that the ones here must never enter a classroom except for open house and depend on research papers and and rumors to form their opinion... or maybe they volunteer at some affluent , all white school that is radically different than "normal" schools the rest of us know.

What to do

I see this as a community problem.

What can the community do from the ground up to fundamentally change the community so that every hs principal doesn't have to deal with issues like this every bleeping day for eternity?


When did I say that?  Or are you just projecting your biases?

Hey Woodstock, thanks a lot,

Hey Woodstock, thanks a lot, but really don't bother.....people have spent more than enough time trying to "catch up" Carson who apparently misses all sorts of things only then to have her grill them about irrelevant stuff (usually including asking personal info such as how many children and what schools) or insulting people when she knows nothing about them that no one pays attention to her anyway....

Insulting someone? Please

Insulting someone? 

Please do not spread accusations against me that you cannot back up.  Please give me examples where I have insulted anyone. 

All I asked was "source please."  There have been numerous other times you have been asked for sources and did not respond in this way. 

"Please give me examples where I have insulted anyone"



I'm looking but so far I've

I'm looking but so far I've found someone calling me ignorant, someone saying I am a waste of time, someone calling me an idiot, and yes, a one occasion of me calling out someone's snark attempts, and then said snark poster and I having a normal conversation and resolving our differences. 

The 3rd one there is absolutely nothing that could be construed as an "insult" by either side. 

The 4th is just me straight quoting someone, no insult possible unless they were insulting themselves?

there's also an example of you posting "snort" when another poster insulted me! 

Again, all I asked for was the source, as many other posters have asked you for. 

Oh, so yo DO know how to cut

Oh, so yo DO know how to cut and paste links....  ;-)

I agree with carson - It is

I agree with carson - It is important to understand the context of an article by knowing where the article comes from.  If one is able to copy an entire article from some web page, it does not take any more effort to copy the link from the address bar and paste in here.

Just like when a student writes a report, if they do not reference their sources, they have not completed their rubric and will not get a "A". ;-) 

"I agree with carson" and that's a surprise...not

good grief, follow closely....it's your CHOICE ( you must know that word) to read or not, if it's interesting and I forgot a link, then JGI, if not then don't read..it's that simple...and either way it's no skin off....

Good golly, Angela, what is

Good golly, Angela, what is your problem?  I am not complaining about the posting of these articles, and am at times interested in the subject and actually, at times, CHOOSE to read them.   It takes no effort to add a link and it is a good habit to get into.  We are not asking for the link because we think you are making them up (these articles are way too long for that) but sometimes these articles might have references to other valuable pieces of information from their webpage.  Your refusal to follow that practice makes me wonder... why?

refusal?  hardly....are you

refusal?  hardly....are you one of those conspiracy theorists too?

I often have posted links to articles as well.....simply oversights when I don't...no more, no less....unlike some, I have nothing to hide.

What kind of conspiracy are

What kind of conspiracy are you implying? I am just wondering why you are getting so defensive over a simple request to provide sources for your information.  Yes, you have posted links once in a while - I did not say that you didn't.  So why be so argumentative when asked for a link?  You really are making more of this than needs to be.

You really are making more

You really are making more of this than needs to be.
I have to admit, Angela, I agree. You are a very much admired by many of us for the effort that you have put into understanding and reporting on a vast array of subjects related to education in Wake County and around the nation.
However, it is generally accepted as good practice to give the source of articles that you repost here. In fact, you may be violating copyright laws by reposting the article instead of providing a link to the article. Many years ago when I authored a web site on student assignment reform, I would routinely repost articles from the News and Observer archives (back when it was free) on my site. Then one day, I got a call from some legal folks at the N&O who requested that I remove the reposted articles from my site, or pay them a fee (unreasonably large, if I recall) for the privilege of reposting N&O articles on my site.
In this case, I understand that you may have forgotten, but perhaps if you make it a practice to copy and paste the link from the address bar at the top of your blog post, then copy and paste the article after it, it should satisfy everyone here.
Thanks again for all those very insightful posts.

gotcha, thanks! ;)

gotcha, thanks! ;)

Could I also ask that you

Could I also ask that you create a summary sentence .... you must be on some education distribution list which you copy and paste to the blog ... that is a lot of information to copy and paste... I appreciate your bolding areas but it would be helpful at the begriming of all these copy and pastes to give us a sentence or two on why this copy and paste is important to the specific entry and any nuances we might miss.  Thanks,


You're kidding, right?

Well if it isn't our

Well if it isn't our friendly blog schoolyard bully come to police us!   

Now, you must have angela confused with another poster - her posts are rarely on topic, rarely even her own, are mostly just dumps of articles from other websites, and of late, they don't even have anything to do with WCPSS. 


Please do not spread accusations against me that you cannot back up.  Please give me examples where I have insulted anyone!

Here's an example....see above post!



How is this an insult? 

How is this an insult?  It's facts...Did not mean to offend, so apologies if I have but this is my perception of her posts and after she told me to "stfu" (well before any of the posts she referenced or the one you've construed as an insult) I've pretty much not considered her worth my courtesy.  I'll try harder.

after she told me to

which was AFTER you insulted (a post about) Venita Peyton......a person that I am quite confident you are "not worthy" of commenting on.

Woah woah woah - she is a

Woah woah woah - she is a public figure Angela - a little different than you or I!! 

Hence the reason people don't get all that mad when Dulaney and Del took constant beating from people on the blog... and if you are talking about where I called out her post as racist - I stand by that - I actually received the link from a friend who could not believe what she was reading and she is definitely "worthy" to comment on Miss Peyton. 

"I actually received that post from a friend"

a friend?  source, please.

The source is Venita

The source is Venita Peyton's blog - I already posted the quote when it was mentioned. 

You know, you still haven't made your point.  Just because someone says they disagree with someone you admire doesn't mean you should tell them to "stfu"...


I've taken to putting a few lines of these reposts into google to find the source. In this case:


thanks, sometimes I post on

thanks, sometimes I post on the fly and have a hard enough time with the article and removing links...

I figure is someone is interested enough, they'd look it up, just like you did! :)

Head in the sand?

Thanks, lferrari, for the NAEP website to compare state scores. This was edifying - and frightening. Its worse in some cases than I thought. I had thought we were relatively close to national average, and maybe a bit below in some cases. Turns out NC is scraping the bottom in a couple of key areas. It seems from this that our 8th grade F&R students are of the most concern - in both Math and Reading. 

This website has a lot of ways you can slice and dice the data, but I picked a couple of sorts that seemed potential significant to this audience, based on recent posts. And not all data was available for a single year so I picked most recent Math and Reading only. (for instance, Science was most recently tracked in 2005 - which is worrisome in and of itself)

Respectfully, Mr. West, this does not appear to be what I would call World Class Ranking. See for yourself. We can disagree on what to do, but no one is doing ANYone any favors by pretending this does not exist!



NAEP State Comparisons - 2009 results


Comparing results in Math for 4th graders


sorted by F&R eligibility

National AVerage difference was  -22.49

NC: difference was -22.43 

         (very slightly above the national average - certainly not 'global rank')

NC: Ranked 19 out of 51 (32 states did better)


sorted by white/black

National average difference was 25.86.

NC: difference was 27.47 - 

         (a higher number means below the national average)

NC: ranked 37th state out of 45 (as in: 36 states did better)


Comparing results in Reading for 4th graders:


sorted by F&R eligibility

National Average difference in scores was - 26.10

NC: difference in scores was -27.89 

         (better than national average)

NC ranked 13 out of 51


sorted by white/black

National average was 25.25

NC: difference was 26.32 

         (higher number is below the national average)

NC ranked 34 out of 47



Comparing results in Math for 8th graders


sorted by F&R eligibility

National Average difference in scores was -26.94

NC: difference was -30.24

         (the gap here is larger than the national average - significantly)

NC ranked 4th out of 51 (in this case it means only three states did worse - OUCH!)


sorted by white/black

National average was 31.74

NC: difference was 34.30 

         (below the national average)

NC ranked 33 out of 43 (again, not good. Only 10 did worse)



Comparing results in Reading for 8th graders


sorted by F&R eligibility

National Average difference in scores was -24.04

NC: difference was -25.65

         (poorer than the national average - significantly)

NC ranked 6th out of 51(another big OUCH! Only 5 states did worse.)


sorted by white/black

National average was 25.90

NC: difference was 27.61

         (below the national average)

NC ranked 30 out of 42 (as in: 29 did better)

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.