WakeEd

The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

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Tedesco still lobbying for the Middle Creek High to Garner High moves

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Wake County school board member John Tedesco says he hasn't given up his quest to bring home to Garner High the students who live in town near the school.

Earlier this year, Tedesco had unsuccessfully proposed the reassignment to Garner High of students who live in historic downtown Garner but who now go to Middle Creek High near Apex. You're likely to see a renewed push at today's board work session.

"I'm asking for hundreds of kids who live in the poorest part of Garner to come back home to Garner and I know what those nodes look like," Tedesco said at last week's board meeting. "They look like 80-90 percent African American families and you know what they say to me all the time, 'Mr. Tedesco I just want to go to school across the street.

I just want to go to school in my community. I can't take a bus to Apex.' So I do know what they look like and they want to come home and I told them I'd sit here and fight for them and that's what I'm going to do."

Tedesco had brought up the race of the people after board member Keith Sutton had charged that the proposed Southeast Raleigh moves from the last student assignment committee meeting were being made by people who want the black kids out of their schools.

School board member Deborah Prickett replied that she didn't know or ask the race of the people in her district who were requesting node moves. But Sutton responded back it's their "responsibility to know what they look like," such as the Southeast Raleigh kids in the areas affected.

Part of the reason Tedesco's proposal didn't go anywhere for this school year was that there wasn't enough space at Garner High to take the kids. Tedesco only wound up getting approved the reassignment of some 100 students out of Garner High and into Southeast Raleigh High, sparking charges of racism that are part of the NAACP's civil rights complaint.

During last week's board work session, Tedesco objected when the Democratic members insisted they should only look at for 2011-12 the moves recommended by staff. Tedesco argued an exception should be made for them to discuss the Garner/Middle Creek moves he proposed last year, which the other board members granted.

But the same capacity issues could be in place unless the board reverses its decision from last week to not consider the recently proposed reassignment of Southeast Raleigh students out of Garner High.

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Mysterious

I find it mysterious how we are at the same time to notice and not to notice a person's race. How can we be equivocal and segregate at the same time? I'm confused. 

"School board member Deborah Prickett replied that she didn't know or ask the race of the people in her district who were requesting node moves. But Sutton responded back it's their "responsibility to know what they look like,"

And so we are to regard race when it has to do with location, but we are not to regard race when it comes to academics?  The system does regard race - secretly, silently -with regard to academics. Loudly and demonstratively they give a big show that race doesn't matter - and moves us all around to some hidden formula. But, according to the data where it really matters - academically -  for the system's formulas race has mattered fundamentally.  Another mystery is why the CCAACC and NAACP don't see how they are being played and don't object. 

But the WCPS System will never admit it. Its a double standard.  Data shows that after 10 - 15 years of diversity 'training' the system is still decidedly riveted by race. Worse, it has been slanted dramatically for all those years by race, while still giving the 'happy, party face' of goodwill and charity. Tthe whole formula was based on race, and a factor of superiority and inferiority. It was unfair in its whole construct. And it has failed. 

But since race has been over-regarded in the past, though we know more now, we are not to notice now a person's race. Even if we celebrate it, we are not to notice.  Even if we see the benefits and value, we are not to notice.  People are uniform, according to the doublespeak, and yet the system will treat us differently according to superficial variables. And, when we do see -with clear eyes-  an unfairness  due to race it is called racism because we saw it. We saw it and said something overt, outright, and that was our mistake. We said it. We were loud and uncomfortable. I think we should celebrate that. 

And then what

"School board member Deborah Prickett replied that she didn't know or ask the race of the people in her district who were requesting node moves. But Sutton responded back it's their "responsibility to know what they look like,"

And after she did notice 'it', what then? Is Ms. Prickett supposed to do something different if a child is a certain race? What are those parameters? What if a child is mixed race, or white? Do they get the same consideration? I wish Mr. Sutton would explain.

Once she understand

Once she understand additional facts like race or income and how a policy could adversely affect that group, she should see if there are solutions to mitigate the impact.  So, for example, when she learned that Algebra placement was be denied to poor and minority children, the BOE made changes to fix that problem.  I know that Ron is of the school, "we did not INTEND to screw black kids" but a good leader is aware of the impact of policy changes and works to address the negative impact if possible.

This was in regard to

This was in regard to student assignment.  The board voted to not consider SES status in assignment, and they certainly don't consider skin color.  Again - what is she supposed to do by inquiring about the race of each student?

But you don't find it

But you don't find it paradoxical that skin color needs to be looked at in a society where such practices are frowned upon? To me it appears rather strange especially coming from Sutton. It appears acceptable to drive decisions based upon skin color as long as the identified people derive benefit. Beneficial racism is welcome? Rather strange indeed.

"I'm asking for hundreds of

"I'm asking for hundreds of kids who live in the poorest part of Garner to come back home to Garner and I know what those nodes look like," Tedesco said at last week's board meeting. "They look like 80-90 percent African American families and you know what they say to me all the time, 'Mr. Tedesco I just want to go to school across the street.

I wish JT had started the conversation with this goal of consolidating City of Garner kids in Garner schools when he first started.  I don't have any problem with JT wanting to help his constituents consolidate into Garner schools.   That seems like a request a politician works for.   What has been maddening is the path we took to get to JT true purpose from moving SE kids in the night because it was good for them, to a new assignment policy for the entire county, to comments that academic achievement was his motive .... all that led to question of racism on how things were applied since the action and explanation did not seem to align.... Just like Deborah is a Leesville advocate and Goldman a magnet advocate, JT can be a City of Garner advocate ... just be truthful.  .

Uhh...

So, I think if you actually go back to the very beginning, during and shortly after the election, you'll see that he did start with it.  The community-based schools plan was just an attempt to solve the problem more generally, for everybody in the county.

As somebody who's frustrated that his board representative has not been representing his district, I find this sort of commitment encouraging and I hope my next rep will as well.

My board representative has

As someone who is frustrated with the wrecking ball that has recently been applied to one of the best large school districts in the nation and one of the major economic driving forces in one of the best places to live in the country ..... my board representative has been doing just what he said he would do. My district elected him knowing he supported diversity. My representative was so effective that he was elected to the position of Board Chair and many of us in our neighborhood were thrilled that our representative had this level of  influence. But... we were robbed when the new board terminated his tenure prematurely.

Hopefully the next Board will have a more tempered approach than this last one.

(I guess our district has a "diversity" of opinions in this matter! lol)

eh, he wasn't even elected

eh, he wasn't even elected by a majority of voters in his district.  You must have had a direct line to Hill to be thrilled with his level of influence.  Many people in our neighborhood couldn't get a response from him.

Really???

My view would be completely different... wonder how "concensus" was determined within the district. 

School board member Deborah

School board member Deborah Prickett replied that she didn't know or ask the race of the people in her district who were requesting node moves. But Sutton responded back it's their "responsibility to know what they look like," such as the Southeast Raleigh kids in the areas affected.

When you live in a mostly white community, race is rarely an issue.  Deborah needs a bigger view, county wide outside her neighborhood.

Meanwhile...

The staff assignment proposal sends half the Sunset Ridge neighborhood in Holly Springs to Middle Creek -- the other half stays at Holly Springs HS.  Really messes up the feeder patterns for Holly Ridge Middle -- 85% would go to HSHS, 15% to MCHS.

Bob, it looks like they just

Bob, it looks like they just carved out an area that naturally comes out from the intersection of Bass Lake and Holly Springs Roads. 

If anyone from the HSHS assignment area was going to be switched to MCHS, those are the ones to switch.  It's probably a shorter trip to MCHS from most of those nodes. 

I don't think it's necessarily fair to complain, since the only reason it's taking "half the neighborhood" is because developers decided to capitalize on the name and go with Sunset Ridge North instead of coming up with a new name.  I think they are taking all of SR-South to MCHS.

The intersections of Bass Lake & Sunset Lake, Sunset Lake & Holly Springs, and Holly Springs and Bass Lake form a triangle.  The nodes being reassigned to MCHS are the only ones in that triangle that weren't already assigned to either MCHS or FVHS.

I probably can't convince you it's fair, but it does leave the affected nodes with a logical, proximate assignment and it also eases space concerns at HSHS.

Well....

I don't know how to define 'fair.'  It certainly breaks what I consider to be their reasonable expectations -- they live pretty close to HSHS and pretty much everybody else at HRMS will go to HSHS.  And, IIRC, many of those parents fought to have a high school in Holly Springs.  I do agree with you, though, that if that reassignment was going to be made, they're the closest. 

Anyway, I just posted to point out the similarity with Garner.

Even with 4 new Southern Wake high schools in the last decade or so, there's still a shortage of high school space there.

Four new Southern Wake HS? 

Four new Southern Wake HS?  I know of HS and MC.  What are the other two?

If the people of that particular area want to complain, they should complain to the town and county leaders who allowed so much development that they are now "spaced out" of HSHS.

Of FVHS, HSHS, GHS and MCHS, the only one without a contiguous assignment area is MCHS.  MCHS' assignment area is shaped oddly, but it's area is carved out between HS, Apex, Cary, Garner, Fuquay, and even a little SER, so it almost has to be shaped a little funny.

A similar thing will probably happen when Rolesville High opens.  It's assignment area will likely start thin and then spread as it head south and east, so that it avoids the Heritage and WF-R areas without getting too far into East Wake's area.  It could basically come down Louisburg Road.

4...

I said "about" the last decade...  I was thinking of Green Hope, Panther Creek, Middle Creek, Holly Springs.  I may be compressing time a bit....  Wasn't too long ago that the only schools in the area were SER, F-V, Garner, Apex & Cary.

As to Rolesville, It can take a big chunk from Knightdale (which, IIRC, is closer than East Wake.)

what about the "trailer -

what about the "trailer - teria"??  When the Garner -> move was proposed everyone (Goldman included) was wringing their hands about this "trailer teria" and the outrageous crowding at Garner HS....How could the school handle additional kids if they were being genuine about crowding concerns? 

Tedesco should organize all these 80-90% AA kids that he claims he "knows what they look like" and have them come to a meeting.  Seriously, that would probably get the moves done no problem, no matter what Sutton said. 

when are we going to start

when are we going to start addressing student achievement?

My guess... when everyone

My guess... when everyone has the same skin color.

so, "never" -- why am I not

so, "never" -- why am I not surprised?

In WCPSS, the obsession is

In WCPSS, the obsession is over skin color and busing. The lucky few in the magnets will fare better while the rest go through the motions of receiving an education. So, any focus on achievement is sacrilegious (unless it is about ED/ AA/ magnets/ etc.).

Sutton and others like him

Sutton and others like him can help the AAs better by going after the reasons why some people would want AA students out of their schools.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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