Cary, N.C. — With uniformed officers at every exit, Wake County school board member Debra Goldman held a forum on the divisive issue of student assignment at Cary Town Hall on Tuesday night.
The meeting was orderly and quick, absent the heated emotions that have become staples at recent full board meetings on the topic.
Some attendees thanked Goldman for breaking with the board majority last week and voting to pull the plug on a plan to put a community-based assignment policy into effect by creating a series of school assignment zones. The plan would have dropped socio-economic diversity as a criterion for student assignment.
“I just want to thank you very much for standing up in a very difficult situation and doing what you did,” attendee Mary Ann Meagher said.
Others at the meeting voted for Goldman last election and expressed feeling of betrayal by her recent departure from the board’s majority.
“Your double talk and empty promises serve no one but yourself,” parent Allison Backhouse said. “I think I speak for many when I ask, ‘What’s next?’”
Goldman said she still supports a neighborhood school model for Wake County, but said she changed her mind because too many people were being left out of the decision making process.
Goldman stressed to those in the crowd that whether they agree or disagree with her decisions, she valued their thoughts.
“It’s really important to hear the opinions and get the feedback from as many people as possible,” she said.