Here's a taste of what you can expect from Richard Kahlenberg at Saturday's Great Schools in Wake Coalition forum.
In a March 1 post on the left-leaning Century Foundation blog, Kahlenberg bemoans the changes being proposed by the new Wake County school board majority to end the socioeconomic diversity policy. Like local critics of the new board, Kahlenberg says Wake "is a victim of its own success" from growth and how a small percentage of voters were able to change the board's direction.
"The political debate in Wake County isn’t over yet," writes Kahlenberg, who has extensively researched socioeconomic diversity. "Supporters of the diversity policy — teachers, civil rights advocates, business leaders, and white parents who like magnet schools — are fighting back. An important forum is slated for mid-March to discuss the diversity policy."
Kahlenberg blamed the decline in district test scores on the old school board allowing some schools to significantly go past the 40 percent F&R goal.
Kahlenberg again promotes his "third choice" option.
Under Kahlenberg's controlled choice model, which had been a theme of school board candidate Carlene Lucas, all of Wake's schools would essentially become magnet schools. Parents would select from schools within a zone with the district making the final choice to promote diversity.
"If Wake County’s economic diversity plan is ultimately overturned, it will be very bad news for children in Wake County, and it could also give an excuse to timid school board members nationally to avoid doing what is right for children," Kahlenberg writes.
That's a different tone from what he took with the (Louisville) Courier-Journal. In a Sunday article, Kahlenberg said that he doubts that Wake's upheaval will spill over into other districts.