There are some pretty unhappy Wake County principals when it comes to their views on the school board and the elimination of the diversity policy.
As noted in today's article, more than 20 percent of Wake's principals either complained about the school board or ending the diversity policy in anonymous responses given to Superintendent Tony Tata. This offers a rare public glimpse at what the people who are charged with implementing the school board's policies think about things.
“The tone for the current board majority is disrespectful to school staff members,” one principal wrote. “Dec. are made contrary to the values/truths about quality education. Local examples (Char. Meck) are ignored, data are ignored and political agendas prevail at the expense of students. What was once a flagship system is now a national joke.”
One principal wrote that Wake should “not go down road of Charlotte schools where critics say they have ghetto schools.”
“Help the Board see the ‘light,’ Re. Student assignment, on the importance of diversity over neighborhood schools,” wrote another principal.
One principal wrote that Wake needs to “realize again the importance of the civil rights act & movement. Reassert the need for children to be together is a diverse atmosphere. (Read the research.)”
Another principal wrote that one thing to stop is “the SBE members from only listening to a select few to make their decisions. They have their own agenda which is not in the best interest of students & Wake Co. they need to work ethically among themselves & be our ‘models.’ They are not.”
Similar comments are scattered throughout the 3x5 index cards that the principals were anonymously asked to fill out when Tata met with them all on his first day on the job on Jan. 31.
Tata had asked the principals about the three things they felt Wake should stop and three things that Wake should start.
Tata, who said he's been reviewing the cards, downplayed the possibility of widespread staff dissatisfaction with the school board. He said both are working toward a common goal of improving the school district.
“It doesn’t surprise me that there would be a handful of them that are going to be vocal,” Tata said of the critical principals. “There are nine school board members who want what’s best for Wake County.”
School board member Keith Sutton said those principals who voiced their concerns about the diversity policy and the board's actions could represent a much larger group of Wake's 163 principals. He said the ones who spoke out to Tata may have been the ones who felt courageous enough to voice their concerns.
But school board member Chris Malone pointed out that the majority of principals didn't bring up the diversity policy or the board in their comments. He said people would be making “assumptions” on what those principals believe about the situation in Wake.
School board chairman Ron Margiotta said he expects the principals who disagree with the board’s direction to be professional enough to do their jobs.
“As long as they understand they have an obligation to follow the directions of the leadership, it’s okay with me,” Margiotta said. “That’s part of life.”.
You can read the comments for yourselves. I've broken them down into two files.
Click here for the first group of 26 pages. Many of the comments from the principals are spread out over two pages.
Click here for the last group of 26 pages. Most of the comments from each principal here are confined to one page.