Wake County Schools

Feds meet with Wake schools officials over segregation claims

Posted December 7, 2010

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— Officials with the U.S. Department of Education were in Raleigh Tuesday to meet with Wake County Public School System administrators about allegations of racial bias in area schools.

School board Chairman Ron Margiotta, board member Keith Sutton, Interim Superintendent Donna Hargens, school board attorney Ann Majestic and other district staff members met for about two hours with four officials from the education department's Office of Civil Rights. The OCR staffers outlined the scope of their investigation into a complaint filed by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP.

The school board voted earlier this year to change its policy for assigning students to schools, focusing on efforts to keep them near their neighborhoods and eliminating a decade-old effort to have socio-economic diversity in each of the 163 schools in the 143,000-student system.

The board was expected to discuss how to carry out the assignment policy during its meeting Tuesday evening. Public hearings will be held next month on student assignment, and the board isn't taking public comments on the issue at Tuesday's meeting, officials said.

Rev. William Barber, the president of the state NAACP, has said the new assignment policy will lead to segregation of Wake County schools and lower quality of education for low-income students. The NAACP complaint also alleges racial discrimination in disciplinary patterns and practices.

Margiotta maintains that there is no effort to discriminate. He said recently that the charges were "thrown out there to cause chaos."

Depending on the OCR's findings, Sutton said, the district could face the loss of money it receives from the federal government.


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  • 2headstrong Dec 7, 2010

    Part of this could be resolved by having putting all the money earmarked for education from property taxes into one fund, statewide, then distributing it to the schools at an equal per-child rate. Then wealthy or poor neighborhoods matter so much less, as the money per child is the same no matter where they live.

    THEN we can sit back and see the effect on school performance. Without the wealthy school/poor school crutch, what will schools blame next?

  • arnold54 Dec 7, 2010

    What a waste of tax-payer money by the NAACP and DOE. This is, and has always been, about Raleigh and property values. Schools should be about teaching children the real three R's, Reading, Riting (sic), and Rithmatic; not social engineering and political posturing on the part of the NAACP, DOE, and inside-the-beltine property owners.

  • mikeyj Dec 7, 2010

    Am I reading this as if the NAACP is using that younger generation as pawns in there imagined war. Isn't that what Al Quiada is doing in Afghanastan? Seems they are. This, to me anyway, puts the NAACP in the same bracket as "terrorists". The younger generation is trying to voice their opinion is such that race is not seen in their eyes. The suppossed adults of NAACP are denying them their right to their own feelings. This is still AMERICA or did something happen during my nap I did not see on the news?

  • mikeyj Dec 7, 2010

    shortcake 53: WELL SAID! 100% agreed.

  • james27613 Dec 7, 2010

    Busing any student 30+ min each way to school is not a good idea.

    All this to balance the ESL and Free Lunch (and breakfast) programs.

  • shortcake53 Dec 7, 2010

    If families dont stress the importance of education, no school is going to be effective. Too many parents are sitting back and using "diversity" as an excuse for their failing child. Try spending time helping with homework or go to school to help out once in a while. You would be amazed at the impact it has on your child. Your childs first teacher is YOU. No matter what color you are.........

  • determined2win Dec 7, 2010

    Wow... each class in Wake County teaches the curriculum as it is established in the school system per grade level. Kids of all colors & social backgrounds sit in these classes & are exposed to the SAME course materials.

    YET - when a child of color fails to learn, it's the fault of the system? Where are the supporting parents that are at home after school hours helping their kids continue to learn? Answer? They are absent, or don't give time to their children after school hours.

    Stop blaming socio-economic diversity, bussing, segregation, etc., for being the reason that 'Johnny' is failing to learn or falling behind in school. Look into the household, or community for your answers.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Dec 7, 2010

    And this just in ...

    oh wait, I forgot.

  • Shamrock Dec 7, 2010

    Waiting - you just don't like it when someone treats you like you treat everyone else. Time to grow up.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Dec 7, 2010

    yes seankelly, you are completely incapable of comprehension.