The Wake Education Partnership is asking if a middle ground can still be found in the debate over how to assign students in Wake County's schools.
In last week's issue of In Context, the WEP's electronic newsletter, the group comments on the heated nature of the last school board meeting. The WEP noted the angry words used by school board members and the public over the community-based schools resolution.
"Critics and supporters of the board arrived early and spilled into the hallways carrying placards and passing out stickers," the WEP writes. "In public comment sessions lasting more than three hours, they resorted to calling each other racists and apologists. A few isolated calls for compromise drew only tepid support."
The WEP brings up the thorny issue of what will be done with the magnet schools under the new zones, including how several school PTAs have passed resolutions in support of the current assignment policy.
The WEP also includes the text of the statement read by school board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman before the vote. Some speakers were extremely critical of her for having co-written the resolution after having said a week earlier that more research was needed before she could approve changes to the student assignment resolution.
The WEP noted how the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, called opponents together for an impromptu rally following the board vote.
"Under the glare of TV lights, they chanted and sang in solidarity. Barber threatened court action," the WEP writes. "And at that moment, the middle ground in this debate seemed like a faraway place.
(I meant to blog about this last week but things got a bit hectic.)