Things have taken a dramatic shift today in the development of the new student assignment plan for Wake County.
School board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman has added to the agenda a revote on the resolution calling for community-based school. Kevin Hill seconded the motion. Goldman says she still supports community schools so the vote could be over changing who is in charge of developing the new plan.
The agenda item was added after a heated exchange between Goldman and other majority members during the committee of the whole meeting
During the COW meeting, Goldman voiced her concerns about being shut out of the development of the new student assignment plan. Board member John Tedesco, chairman of the student assignment committee, accused Goldman of grandstanding in front of the cameras and called her a “prom queen.”
“I have grave concerns about the way this plan is being presented,” Goldman said. “It’s not taking the viewpoint of the people serving on the committee.
Goldman complained that the only voices being heard in the student assignment committee are Tedesco and committee member Chris Malone.
Goldman has objected to not being a voting member of the student assignment committee and that the plan does away with guaranteed school assignments for every address.
“Every time you have a meeting the temperature in the community rises,” Goldman said to Tedesco,
Goldman accused other members of the majority of holding private meetings in the hallway that excluded her.
“It wasn’t a question, it was more grandstanding in front of the cameras,” Tedesco shot back at Goldman’s question about the committee process.
Goldman said that every step of the new plan should go before the full board instead of waiting until the end when they’re told they don’t have time to make major changes. There’s a push from some members to have a plan in place for the 2011-12 school year.
“We’re making a draft a little tighter to present to the board,” Tedesco said of the changes that were made to the line boundaries at a committee meeting last week.
“You’re spinning the wheels of everyone in this county without getting feedback from the board,” Goldman responded.
Majority member Deborah Prickett defended Tedesco, accusing Goldman of not speaking up for residents of the Lochnere section in Goldman’s Cary district at last week’s committee meeting.
“For the people in the Lochmere area, even though I don’t have them in my district, I’ll be very glad to represent them,” Prickett said.
Malone urged his colleagues to “calm down a little bit.”
“Nobody should think what they see in the maps is the end all be all,” Malone said. “Stick with us. Pay attention. Things will be alright.”
Goldman said they don’t have to tear apart the current assignment plan to make a new one work.
“You’re building on a foundation that hasn’t been approved by the board,” Goldman said.
The complaints continued even on to the next discussion about the search for a new superintendent. Goldman heads that committee.
Tedesco complained that they still don’t have criteria for a new superintendent at this late date.
Now, John don't get all upset,” Goldman said. “Calm yourself down."
“You calm down, prom queen,” Tedesco shot back at Goldman.
Goldman won't say what wording will be in the community schools resolution. She could call for the elimination of the student assignment committee to be replaced by the full board working on the plan..
Goldman also confirmed that Tedesco and school board chairman Ron Margiotta had gone to her home last week to ask her to not voice her complaints publicly. It's not illegal because a majority wasn't present but could draw fire from critics.