Wake County Schools

All but Hill, Sutton vote to approve Wake student assignment plan

Posted October 18, 2011

Wake County Public School System
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— The Wake County school board voted 6-2 Tuesday evening to approve a new choice-model student assignment plan proposed by Superintendent Tony Tata that includes four key elements – proximity, choice, stability and student achievement.

The plan, developed by Tata and a special task force made up of staff members in the state's largest school district, will allow parents to rank their top school choices and keep students closer to home.

Keith Sutton and Kevin Hill were the only board members to vote against it.

"Where we are today is with a plan that certainly will not satisfy 147,000 children's parents, everyone of them, (but) I think is on target to help us deal with the most pressing issue of our community, which is growth," said Vice Chairman John Tedesco.

The vote follows nearly two years of controversy, debate and protests after a newly elected Republican-backed board majority took office in 2009 and threw out the district's longstanding practice of busing students for socio-economic diversity.

Tata and his task force spent several months developing a choice-model plan, testing it and gathering community feedback before presenting the proposal two weeks ago to the school board.

John Tedesco Wake school board approves student assignment plan

During a series of public hearings on the plan, parents and community members urged the board to delay voting until newly elected board members, who will ultimately be responsible for implementing the plan, take office in December. They also questioned why the board was "rushing the vote."

Debra Goldman, however, said the board took its time with the plan.

"This has been a solid two years in the making, not to mention all the discussion in this county for years prior to that," she said.

Tata stuck to his schedule and asked the board to approve a resolution Tuesday evening putting the assignment plan in place for a minimum of three years.

"We are confident it is ready to move forward," he said.

The resolution passed after Deborah Prickett, Debra Goldman, John Tedesco and Carolyn Morrison praised Tata's efforts in going "above and beyond" to deliver a plan that takes board and community feedback into consideration.

Sutton, who won the election Oct. 11 to keep the District 4 seat in east Raleigh, said he wanted to postpone the vote for 30 days to build consensus on the board and in the community.

"(Building) more support than what we saw tonight would have been worth the wait," Sutton said.

Hill, who faces a runoff election Nov. 8 against Republican challenger Heather Losurdo for the District 3 seat in north Raleigh, said he thought it was a good plan, but could not support it because it doesn't guarantee spots at high-performing schools for students from historically low-performing areas.

Tata said approving the plan on Tuesday was imperative in order to move forward with implementing it, which is estimated to cost more than $700,000, in time for the 2012-2013 school year. 

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  • All the People Oct 19, 2011

    "Calling someone whos screen name is lineofduty "liaronduty" is a bit more personal, at least to me it read pretty personal as your complaint about "liberal mouth piece" is more aimed at your behavior and posts, not your person."

    Honestly, given the context of the liberal mouth piece comment I think that there can be a valid argument that it was intended to be an attack on the persons political beliefs. Does it warrant the response? No. But I don't think that it was such a huge jump from one to the next.

  • Nancy Oct 19, 2011

    "Again, nancy, the person I was responding to me directed comments at me, calling me a liberal mouth piece, asked me about protesting on Wall Street and wanting money that didn't belong to me. " - forautumn

    Calling someone whos screen name is lineofduty "liaronduty" is a bit more personal, at least to me it read pretty personal as your complaint about "liberal mouth piece" is more aimed at your behavior and posts, not your person.

    Calling someone a liar is always personal, as you intended. That seems to be often the style you choose, caustic and personal and certainly presents a looking-down-my-nose at you attitude.

  • JustAName Oct 19, 2011

    "The low voter turnout indicated general satisfaction with the system"

    Funny, you didn't feel that way when the other 4 members were elected back in 2009. I seem to remember a bunch of hollering and gnashing of teeth with proclamations that the small percentage of those who voted didn't represent the entirety of Wake county.

  • Screw WrAl Oct 19, 2011

    "and my fears? fears of what???"

    Your fear of what you truly see when you look in your mirror every day.

  • slappywhite Oct 19, 2011

    sutton = the problem

  • haggis basher Oct 19, 2011

    "those comments are from your own fears. Especially when you don't even know if I'm a minority -- of which I absolutely AM."

    Big deal, so am I :) and my fears? fears of what???

  • Zorg Oct 19, 2011

    ++++"These foks earn their living by keeping racial issues alive whether they exist or not,"

    Heather Lasurdo is certainly doing her fair share in keeping racial issues alive.

  • haggis basher Oct 19, 2011

    "forautumn - the majority was "the people" whom were polled for their thoughts on the school plan ... the majority of "the People" wanted the choice plan."

    Not at all. The low voter turnout indicated general satisfaction with the system as it was and had been for 40 years. Your so called majority was just a tiny activist minority.

    "remember, "We The People ... " ... that start of that thing ... humm, "The US Constitution"

    its not "we 10% of the people".....

    " Now I question the job thing, you on a break flipping burgers"

    No some of us have good jobs.....but the burger job might explain why you sound so bitter and twisted.

  • forautumn Oct 19, 2011

    " so you haven't served. one never hides this as a fact of proof or not as it is an honor thing. else man up a knowledge of a ddto14. good luck"

    Nor does one brag about it as a way of making themselve appear to be something more than they are.

    I have no idea if you served. You have no idea if I served. But a phony name and bragging on the Internet leads me to believe you are a Keyboard warrior. Pretty sad.

  • bombayrunner Oct 19, 2011

    forautumn - so you haven't served. one never hides this as a fact of proof or not as it is an honor thing. else man up a knowledge of a ddto14. good luck

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