The Wake County school diversity fight will be the focus of today's State of Things show on WUNC.
Supporters of the old diversity policy will make up the majority of guests on today's show. Host Frank Stasio will talk with the Rev. Nancy Petty, senior pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church; Gerald Grant, author of ""Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh;" and Marie Garlock, a former Wake student who was among those arrested at the July 20 school board meeting.
On the other side, Terry Stoops, director of education studies for the conservative John Locke Foundation, will also be on the show.
The show airs live locally at noon on 91.5 FM and is streamed live online. You can call in at 877-962-9862.
Click here to listen live online
If you miss it, it will be rebroadcast at 9 p.m. Plus, they should be posting the podcast later today.
Stasio said none of the members of the school board majority accepted invitations to appear today. He also said they were unable to get on the show families who disagreed with the policy.
Click here to download the podcast.
Here are a few excerpts from today's show:
Gerald Grant and the Rev. Nancy Petty defended the academic and social benefits of diversity from interacting with different groups of people. Petty said that education goes far beyond the test scores.
"A child is not receiving the best education that they can receive if they're sitting in a classroom with other students who look exactly like they look, think exactly like they think, live in exactly the same neighborhood that they live in," Petty said. "That's not the best quality education we can provide for our children. As Dr. Grant has said, it's not just about what happens in the classroom in terms of student achievement. Yes, student achievement is vital, but what we're trying to do is to nurture and train and teach responsible citizens to live in this world."
Stoops found himself under the gun repeatedly by Stasio.
"Aren't we required to fix the social engineering horror of Jim Crow with a social engineering project?" Stasio asked Stoops.
"When it comes to education I think that the approach, rather than Raleigh choosing where these students go, a Central Office in Raleigh using algorithms, is to let the parents choose themselves the schools that best meet the needs of their individual children rather than taking huge swathes of students who fit a certain category and move them to a school with students who fit another category," Stoops responded.
Petty found herself facing tough questions from blog regular Joe Ciulla. He called in to question Petty about the old 54.2 percent graduation rate for low-income students.
"Was it okay to have failure of these students as long as they failed in a diverse environment?" said Ciulla, a leader of the Wake Schools Community Alliance.
Petty responded that ending the diversity policy will resegregate schools, which she said isn't the answer.
"Why take away diversity as one of the key components of fair equitable schools to address these other issues?" Petty said.
Earlier in the show, Garlock talked about having gone to Carnage Middle and Enloe High, where she was student body president. She said she had entered the magnet program after having not received enough offerings for academically gifted opportunities.
"I did have the opportunity to those more excellent classrooms and even more excellent teachers because those teachers were being given resources and these schools were mindfully made to give opportunities to every child who walks in the door," she said of the magnet program.