It's pretty clear from Rita Rakestraw's campaign kickoff event that she really likes the diversity policy and folk music.
Rakestraw told the crowd on Thursday that a main part of her platform for the school board is protecting the diversity policy. She later ended the event by pulling out a guitar and playing a pair of folk tunes.
"I want to make sure all our schools are socioeconomicially diverse," Rakestraw said. "That is really important. In terms of academic achievement, diversity is what we need."
...The lower income kids do better on their test scores and the higher income kids do as well if not better. It's a win-win situation for everybody."
Rakestraw later took aim at her two likely opponents for the District 1 seat, Chris Malone and Debbie Vair.
"My opponents, they want to get rid of the diversity program and that's a real shame because that is our foundation for our academic success for the Wake County Schools for the past 30 years," she said. "And we can not let them get away with that."
Rakestraw did acknowledge the concerns of critics.
"I've heard from a lot of people who have problems with the school system and they're upset about different things and I know we do need change," she said. "...When I'm on the school board I'm going to make it one of my top priorities to try to reduce the busing and reduce the reassignments and try to make it so that kids don't have to go as far. But I will not leave any child behind to get there."
She then talked about supporting changes in the state curriculum to increase the study of world history and to decrease the time spent on N.C. history. That's one of the recommendations from the Wake Education Partnership's "Suspending Disbelief" report.
The last act of the event was Rakestraw's musical performance. The first song she played was one she'd written about her 2-year-old adopted son from Korea. For the second song, she asked the crowd to join her in singing "Old Blue."
"I bet you've never heard a school board candidate play folk music," she said after the applause.