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New Wake County school board members discussed draft resolution for delaying student assignment plan

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The new Democratic members of the Wake County school board were working behind the scenes on delaying the new student assignment plan.

As noted in today's article, a public records request shows that on Dec. 12, board member Jim Martin emailed this message to fellow board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner. It contained this draft resolution on delaying the assignment plan by one year.

Martin asked the other two board members to keep the resolution quiet so they could "bat ideas around ourselves without the outside pressure."

In an interview Monday, Martin called the email an example of good governance because it allowed them to discuss what steps might be needed if the plan was delayed. He said the concerns raised in the resolution, such as the cost of the plan and impact on demographics, are still legitimate issues that need to be addressed,

Martin said the resolution, which he said was never shared with anyone but the three new members, never went forward because of two issues.

One, Martin pointed to the notices of initial assignments that went out in November. Two, he said they wanted to work in good faith with Superintendent Tony Tata and staff to address their concerns.

"Telling 100,000 students, oops the assignments aren't real wouldn't be right," Martin said.

Kushner said it was decided soon that the resolution shouldn't be implemented.

“We talked about it, and it died pretty quick,” Kushner said in an interview Monday. “I think it would have been the wrong decision to have done that.”

Evans did not return calls Monday.

Tata pointed to the Dec. 12 message and resolution in his Sunday email message to Kushner and Evans. He called it a "recent revelation" because he wasn't informed that it had been worked on.

Republican board member Debra Goldman was particularly critical.

"It's becoming clear that the three new board members and the chairman had knowledge of a secret draft resolution and the intent was to keep it private from us Republicans," Goldman said. "So, I can certainly understand Supt. Tata's concerns."

Martin said he disagreed with calling the message or the resolution "secret."

"I challenge the assertion that somehow it was secret," Martin said. "By that definition, any message sent between two or three board members would be secret. That's baloney."

1347252868 New Wake County school board members discussed draft resolution for delaying student assignment plan The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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"I challenge the assertion that somehow it was secret," Martin said. "By that definition, any message sent between two or three board members would be secret. That's baloney."

Derr. The email was titled "Confidential Draft". In other words, a secret.

So, Martin calls Evans after he speaks with Hill -- and then sends an email to Evans and Kushner saying "Right now this should be kept just to the three of us" and now he is trying to claim it wasn't a secret?

What's with all the lying?


Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/new-wake-county-school-board-members-discussed-draft-resolution-for-delaying-student-assignme#storylink=cpy

Good point...

With regard to this email, they thought they could keep it secret and evidently discounted the public records request. With Tata's email, they were certain it would be public.  Bizarre.


Bizarre indeed.

Well, they know they won't

Well, they know they won't be called out on it by the N&O, by WakeEd, by Rev Barber, by CCAACCC.   What's stopping them.  They even got elected after lying.

"Evans did not return calls Monday"

Is she taking cues from Goldman now? Susan is a joke, just a ridiculous joke. She seems to have a problem "telling the truth" and now she is going to play the "avoid them" card.

As for these puppets of GSIW and Billy Barber still doing their best to derail this plan before the first round ends this Friday, they don't have the collective nads to tell an already PO'd public that all of the stress, headaches, redoing and worry has been and is for nothing. They certainly don't have the nads to tell the public they have no idea how their children will be assigned next year. Or the year after. Or the one after that.

ASK BOB if he thinks there is enough time to stop everything now that it's basically done.


It's clearly too late now.  The train has left the station.  School starts in 4 months.

Great job

Dem board members for putting responsble governance back into the board.   If you live in Wake you can easily see and hear there are unanswered questions all over the county about this assignment plan.  It should be fully vetted before it is implemented, but that is not logic that is acknowledged by those responsible for the plan.

Lots of unanswered questions

Lots of unanswered questions but most important question is how are they going to determine who gets their "choice"? There are 150-250 applying as their first choice to all 3 of our high school "choices". Over 600 students trying to get 1 of 152 spots. If your child doesn't have a sibling (they really do but they aren't a "current" student because they are only "current" for 3 more months), you don't live within 1.5 miles (you live 3 miles away and that high school has been the high school for your neighborhood since it was built), you don't live in a low-performing area, you don't...all the other "priorities". Short of having a sibling who will still be at that school next year and living within 1.5 miles, how are they going to determine who gets one of the handful of spots? Does the child who lives 3 miles away get the spot before the child who lives 4 miles away? Does the child assigned to a magnet school with a long waiting list get the spot ahead of a child assigned to a less desirable school without a waiting list? Do current WCPSS students get priority above those not currently attending a WCPS? Is it a lottery? Have searched all over the WCPSS website and cannot find this information.

They don't take any of those

They don't take any of those other factors into account.  Yes, a person who lives 6 miles away could very well get a seat while a person who lives 2 miles away is denied.  Within the rounds that they have already specified (1.5 mi, closest school, low performing, etc), everybody is assigned a random number.  If there aren't enough seats for all who have applied then they go by those random numbers. 

These issues have been brought up for months with no answers given.


Responsible governance means doing business in an open environment. Having secret email campaigns to determine how to undermine a policy is the opposite of responsible governance.

Calling a discussion that

Calling a discussion that went nowhere a "secret email campaign" is dishonest.  A little over the top, don't you think?

To call it responsible

To call it responsible governance is way over the top. Sending emails you hope no one will see labeled "Confidential Draft" and containing the statement "Right now this should be kept to just the three of us". I would consider this someone trying to keep something secret. But in your world this is "responsible governance", it would appear the Nixion administration was all about responsible governance....

What do you expect

What do you expect ?  For board members not to talk to each other outside of the public meetings ?  Do you really think the GOP members kept to themselves during their two years in the driver's seat.  If a couple of the board members want to meet and bounce things off each other then great, it violates no laws or moral code. heck the GOP held small group meetings with Tata before he offical took the reins for the sole purpose of avoiding public disclosure, I didn't see you complaining about that.  

What do I expect? Well

What do I expect? Well honesty would be nice but I doubt I will get it. Please give examples of small meetings and secret emails from the old board. Everyone knew about the meetings with Tata and they were part of the normal hiring process of a Super. 

To complain about the way the old board governed then to govern in the same manner makes them a hypocrite. Why can't their ideas be spoken about in a public forum? Why must it be "Confidential" and "kept between the three of us"?

One example

Since you asked, one example was when Mr. Margiotta and Mr. Tedesco met with Ms. Goldman at her house to discuss certain aspects of student assignment.   Ms. Goldman mentioned this meeting in interviews and, I believe, during a BoE meeting.   The meeting was subsequently acknowledged by Mr. Tedesco.

In addition, there were a series of BoE meetings where select information was only shared via email with the Republican majority but which the Democratic members did not receive until just before a given meeting.   I believe this was discussed as one of the issues cited by AdvancED in their criticisms.   Which is likely one of the reasons Ms. Goldman is sensitive about this particular issue.

So Martin, Evans and Kushner

So Martin, Evans and Kushner made a campaign issue out of the AdvancEd investigations and as soon as they are elected do they do the things AdvancEd said the board should not be doing?

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.