Barber, Tedesco face off at WRAL

Posted August 12, 2010
Updated August 13, 2010

— The debate over Wake County public schools moved to the WRAL studios on Thursday when two men most often associated with the school assignment controversy – N.C. NAACP president Rev. William Barber and school board member John Tedesco – faced off.

“Be very serious, John. This is not a game,” Barber told Tedesco in a heated exchange on the set of WRAL-TV program N.C. Spin.

The two had just participated in an episode of the half-hour program.

“You can’t just overlook all of this ground and suggest the socio-economic diversity is the problem,” Barber said.

Barber and Tedesco joined N.C. Spin host Tom Campbell for a discussion on the board's move away from the school system's current student assignment plan, which buses students in an effort to try to balance socio-economic diversity.

Barber, Tedesco face off on NC Spin Barber, Tedesco face off on N.C. Spin

Tedesco explained why the new majority on the school board scrapped the policy in favor of neighborhood schools.

“We talked to thousands of people and we felt confident of the direction of where they wanted,” Tedesco said.

N.C. NAACP president Rev. William Barber and Wake County school Web only: Barber, Tedesco talk after N.C. Spin

Barber was quick to criticize their methods saying they were going to “dismantle a plan without a plan.”

Since the board’s decision, there have been protests and arrests from those fearful it will re-segregate the system.

NC Spin airs at 8:30 a.m. Sunday on Fox 50.


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  • rixida Aug 13, 2010

    Barber is giving the naacp a bad name. Instead of coming up with some suggestions, he just keeps complaining.

  • com_mon_sents Aug 13, 2010

    Barber called for a meeting longer than 45 minutes???? How much time does this man need? NOBODY does enough in this man's eyes. I guess since he is the only RIGHT one in this whole thing....nobody will do the right thing. SHEEEEEW!!! If I were John T...when the interview was over for program, I would have shut my mouth and simply said thank you to everyone, and showed his appreciation for their time and concerns, and walked out, got in my car and drove home. I wouldn't give Barber any extra second of my life.

  • ruthpauly Aug 13, 2010

    harden up folks

  • Lickad Aug 13, 2010

    Why is it that every conversation Barber participates in is so one sided... he never lets the other side speak and never gives a direct answer.

  • mmmdonuts Aug 13, 2010

    It is much easier to hold up signs and make noise than it is to roll up your sleeves and make a difference.

    Barber and crew take the easy way out. I think it's great that WRAL showed this exchange. It exposes Barber's lack of substance and legitimacy. And shows Tedesco's commitment to the families who elected him to the board.

  • emmajane Aug 13, 2010

    to finish my statement

    ...wouldn't that mean the high-poverty schools his plan will create will be failures. Why is he intentionally creating schools likely to fail?

  • emmajane Aug 13, 2010

    One more thing. Someone asked how we know that the plan won't have a budget attached to it? Because the majority voted 5-4 against an amendment requiring a financial analysis accompany the plan.

  • emmajane Aug 13, 2010

    Don't you love Tedesco. He seems to think if he says it enough time it will make it true.

    Like this ridiculus statement about WCPSS having 50 high poverty schools. Not so. Using the generally accepted definition used by gov't and researcher, Wake currently only have 1 or 2 high-poverty schools. Under the plan John has described we will have 10 - 12 schools, maybe more over time, that meet the definition. John has publically acknowledged that and said he's okay with that.

    His claim that he won't create more than 50 high-poverty is laughable. He's right, there won't be 50 schools with more than 40% F&R. There will instead be 10 schools that are 90-100%. That will happen very quickly since any middle income students assigned to those schools will leave.

    Here's where John is a joke. One one hand he is sayng that the 50 schools we currently have with more than 45% ED students are a sign of a failed assignment plan and that they are unfair to poor students. Wouldn't that mean

  • ruthpauly Aug 13, 2010

    thank you

  • ruthpauly Aug 13, 2010

    can you please post I really think that these folks need to see this. I asked for this in the am but you would not post it. Really do you think that these people can't handle this? Would love to see what you wonderful folks in charge of this maddness thinks!