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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Wake Democrats on Tom Oxholm, Stephen Colbert and the school board elections

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The Wake County Democratic Party is promoting the words of former school board member Tom Oxholm and comedian Stephen Colbert to bolster their school board candidates.

In a press release today, Wake Democrats point to Monday's N&O op-ed piece by Oxholm in which he criticizes the board majority for trying to implement neighborhood schools. Oxholm, a former Republican turned unaffiliated voter who has given money to Democratic candidates, asks people to "vote Oct. 11 to preserve our school system - it is critical to our future."

The Wake Democrats also point out how Colbert's scathing "Disintegration" segment on Wake schools was played nationally Sunday night on the Primetime Emmy Awards.

"If you agree with Tom Oxholm, that it is time for a change and that this election is critical, then we ask you to volunteer to help our efforts," says Wake Democratic Party Chairman Mack Paul in the press release. "If you are ready to move Wake County forward, and stop the jokes, then head over to http://movingwakeforward.com/ and find out more about our effort."


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"As you know however, as an

"As you know however, as an educator, he (Hill) is always going to do what's best to challenge all our students to be high achievers."

If that is true, then why, as BoE chairman, did Hill continue to support policies that discriminated against low-income and minority students by denying them access to advanced math courses?

Colbert again! LOL What's

Colbert again! LOL What's next, is Oxholm going to quote Janeane Garofalo and Rosanne Barr to make a point?

Just when you think the left can't get any goofier -- or depserate -- they prove you wrong.

Not Played

I watched The Emmy's on Sunday and the Colbert thing was not played again.It must have been the episode that was nominated to get an Emmy because when his name was called as a nominee for a split second one could see the Wake County school story called Disintergration.We laughed hard at our house when we saw it.

My thought was Micheal C Hall was in the audience and is thinking oh that s where my mom works!

Took long enough for somebody topost about it.I was beginning to think our house was the only one that caught the split second picture of the story.

Some more news about Tom,

Some more news about Tom, circa 2000:

But even if the children targeted in the original plan remain on the reassignment agenda, Tom Oxholm, a North Raleigh school board representative, has introduced a safety net that would protect some area children from unwanted moves. Last week, Oxholm volunteered the schools in his constituency to be a "test market" for a stability policy discussed by the previous school board. The policy would allow children of all ages to stay in their current school, even if they had been targeted for reassignment, as long as they provide their own transportation. Right now, only rising fifth-, seventh-, eighth-, 11th- and 12th-graders have that option … "It became evident that we were making major moves of children with very little impact," Oxholm said. "We should be making as few moves as possible unless it's a real crisis situation." That is precisely why Oxholm thought the North Raleigh area would be a prime test market for the stability clause, as well."


Ah, the famous words of Tom Oxholm from just a year ago...

"Our assignment decision was never designed to help any particular student," Oxholm said of the board's vote in 2000. "Test scores for any one individual were not taken into account because of their school assignment and we knew it wouldn't make them any better a student. We also knew it wouldn't make them any worse of a student."

And that's what they want to go back to?


No one is advocating 'go back' except perhaps you.  You and Ron insist on ignoring the Superintendent, and driving us to a situation like virtually every urban district in the country of isolated high poverty schools that lose students and cost more money.  Why do you not agree with the Superintendent when he says, "it costs more to fix a broken school, than keeping it healthy.'. We should insist on both individual student achievement and excellent schools.

Obviously change is needed, just not this kind of change we have been getting.  We can do better.

Please define healthy

in detail for me. I need to understand your version of what healthy is, I already know what Tata's version is.


Then perhaps you can explain it to the rest of us what his version is. 


I have to second this as it isn't clear to me how Tata defines a "healthy" school either.   In contrast, Tata does have a very clear focus on facilities management.

yes he does

Tata does indeed appear to grasp the essesntials of facilities and capacity management.  And he's obviously learned a lesson from those who had the job before him.  They understood it I believe, what they failed to do is sell it to the public and make reassignment look attractive. Tata is trying to make changing schools look like a good thing, and a choice parents made. 



I received a call from the Wake County Democrats this past weekend for Evans' campaign. I was clearly told that Evans wants to "bring back some of the original busing program". (I'm sure they wouldn't have said that if they knew who I was.) Sutton stated at the D4 forum that he would "push to add [diversity] back" to the student assignment policy. 

Quit trying to paint this as anything different than what it is. Besides, I don't think anyone believes a thing you say anymore.



I don't know anyone

who has ever believed a word he's said. It's always been one-sided politics for the fish.

Everything Superintendent

Everything Superintendent Tata has said and indicated about new assignment policy indicates that ballancing student achievement in schools will be a goal, yet you and Ron insist that is the 'old busing program'.  It is not. 

The 'Lie' is 'neighborhood schools.'  Even John T. has said that some schools have to many neighborhoods near them, and some neighborhoods are not near any school.

We saw Charlotte this year close several 'neighborhood schools.'

No one, not even a volunteer working for the democratic party, and especially not Susan Evans, has advocated going back to the previous policy 6200.

We need no leadership to move us forward, and find a 3rd way, not continue down this abyss Ron has been leading us down.

yeah, that Charlotte....boy

The 133,600-student Charlotte-Mecklenburg district, which was recognized by the foundation for its work in reducing achievement gaps, is about 33 percent white, 41 percent black, 16 percent Hispanic, and 10 percent Asian, American Indian, or multiracial. About 53 percent of its students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, a commonly used measure of student poverty, and 10 percent are designated as English-language learners.

Like the other districts that were finalists this year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg had been singled out by the award program before. The district was a finalist in 2004 and 2010.  




oh come on

You know quite well that the current demographics of CMS  have changed radically, with a 25 point drop in the number of middle class families, since they went to a proximity model.  So please stop claiming that you can't compare CMS and WCPSS.  You can't now, but just ten years ago they were very similar.  Sad that so many are eager to follow them down the same road.

It's great that they are getting awards, but you have to ask from whom?  I remember a bunch of people here ridiculing WCPSS for the awards it's been given.  Why are some awards a sign of success and others ridiculed? 


you find it "sad" to want to find ways to close the achievement gap as Char/Meck appears to be doing but ...whatever.

"claiming" what?  that phrase doesn't make sense even if I *was* trying to "claim" something...I posted an article (with links!) so uhm....again....lest I repeat myself...whatever.

That's a popular fallacy

CMS' assignment plan had nothing to do with the demographic changes.

If you look at the numbers, you see that the changed in CMS' demographics reflect a similar change in the demographics of the entire county which started well before the change in their student assignment plan.  Further, based on Dept. of Education data, the white population of the county increased over those years while decreasing as a percentage because more black and hispanic students move into the district than white students.   That hardly seems consistent with the hypothesis that the change in demographics caused a change in demographics. 

See the graphs here:  http://projects.nytimes.com/immigration/enrollment/north-carolina/mecklenburg/charlotte-mecklenburg-schools  .  The demographic information comes from the Department of Ed, here: http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/sdds/index.aspx


Seems you made argument before with some cherry-picked facts.  Are you saying there wasn't massive middle class flight out of CMS in the last decade?  Are you saying that CMS demographics mirror the county's?    



Did you say Charlotte?


No one, not even a volunteer working for the democratic party, and especially not Susan Evans, has advocated going back to the previous policy 6200.

About 2 weeks ago, there was a campaign worker, presumably a volunteer, for Kevin Hill at the Wakefield YMCA not only advocating exactly that, but saying that if Hill were re-elected, he would make it happen.

Now, you and I know that's not Hill's official position. But, campaign volunteers are often not particularly well-informed.  And, in this case, the worker was long on enthusiasm but short on sense.



Kevin has said repeatedly policy 6200 is 'water under the bridge', and we have to move forward.  As you know however, as an educator, he is always going to do what's best to challenge all our students to be high achievers.


His being an educator by profession does not mean that he is "always" going to do what's best to challenge all our students to be high achievers.  In fact, on that count, he has done quite poorly in his own backyard:

  • Durant Rd ES: School of Progress
  • Durant Rd MS: School of Progress
  • E. Millbrook MS: No Recognition
  • Forest Pines ES: No Recognition
  • Fox Road ES: School of Progress
  • North Ridge ES: School of Progress
  • Wakefield ES: School of Progress
  • W. Millbrook MS: School of Progress

Of the other 8 schools in his district, only one -- Brassfield ES -- is a School of Excellence.

Exactly which students has he been "doing what's best to challenge" to be high achievers?  Where has Kevin Hill been on helping the students at THESE schools -- the students whose parents' votes he's now soliciting?

In any case, I know what Hill says about 6200.  I was pointing out that there's a big gap between that and how his volunteers are selling him.

"As you know however, as an

"As you know however, as an educator, he (Hill) is always going to do what's best to challenge all our students to be high achievers."

If that is true, they why, as BoE chairman, did Hill continue to support policies that discriminated against low-income and minority students by denying them access to advanced math courses?

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.