Wake County school board member Debra Goldman is accusing the board majority of firing Superintendent Tony Tata at the behest of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition.
As noted in today's article, Goldman and other Republican board members were angry in their remarks about Tata's firing by the Democratic majority. Goldman used part of her time at the meeting to go after Great Schools.
"Now a partisan board majority is choosing to dismantle our school system to remove him from the Wake County schools," Goldman said of Tata's firing. "Why? You just heard not for cause, not for any documentable or viable reason. They didn't pick him. It's just that simple.
Because he had done what's best for the county and not what their special-interest group wants. I foresee that this same board majority will go on to fill every vacancy in the school system, from board appointments and leadership team to staff, with those who are associated with this political faction. Perhaps you've forgotten this is supposed to be a non-partisan board."
After the meeting ended, Goldman noted how school board chairman Kevin Hill had threatened to have security remove audience members who spoke when the Democratic board members spoke. Goldman contrasted that with how GSIW members weren't threatened with such actions when they speak from the audience over board members.
Goldman had defended Tata back in February when he had questioned the ties of new board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner to Great Schools.
In the complaint filed last week with AdvancED, the Wake County Taxpayers Association had also alleged that GSIW had undue influence on the board majority. Jennifer Oliver, a spokeswoman for AdvancED, said Tuesday that they are still in the process of reviewing the WCTA complaint so she can't comment on ir.
After the meeting, Great Schools tapped former school board member John Gilbert, a Democrat, to speak on their behalf.
Gilbert called Goldman's allegations "total nonsense" and "absolute nonsense."
"Great Schools in Wake is a great group and I certainly applaud what they've done," Gilbert said of the group's advocacy work over the past two years.
Gilbert said Tata has given “ample reasons” to be discharged, such as forcing out longtime school employees. He accused Tata of having forced out Don Haydon over the bus problems.
“The morale of people in the school community — principals and teachers — has been really low because of this man’s behavior,” Gilbert said. “I would have fired him long ago.”
"He was just not up to the job," Gilbert also said of Tata. "Being a general is not anything like being a superintendent. They can’t give orders to teachers, for example, and have them jump."
(I'm on a previously scheduled vacation for the rest of the week. I've written blog posts for the next few days but won't be back until Monday.)