Wake County Schools

Tata meets with clergy, community leaders

Posted January 8, 2011

— Wake County’s new superintendent met Saturday morning with clergy and community leaders who support the school system's policy of busing students across district lines to help achieve socio-economic diversity.

Proponents worry the vote of the school board last year to change that policy will lead to segregated schools and unequal educational opportunities.

“What I’m interested in is student achievement, and I’m going to approach everything from a student achievement perspective,” Superintendent Tony Tata said Friday. “Then, from that point forward, we can make other decisions about other things.”

Ending the school system’s student assignment policy has been a point of contention among Wake County school board members and the community for more than a year.

Last year, the board’s conservative majority voted in favor of a new policy, to take effect in 2012-13, that would assign students to schools closer to where they live and eliminate diversity as a factor in the student assignment process.

New Wake schools chief meets with pro-diversity leaders New Wake schools chief meets with pro-diversity leaders

Tata said Friday he likes the concept of neighborhood schools and that it has been successful in District of Columbia Public Schools, where he currently serves as chief operating officer.

“On diversity, studies have shown that students may not have grown the way we want them to grow,” Tata said. “We have to look, first and foremost, at what will increase student achievement.”

Supporters of the neighborhood schools policy say neighborhood schools will do just that.

But opponents, such as the state chapter of the NAACP, believe that neighborhood schools will lead to segregation and prevent economically disadvantaged students from getting the same education as their counterparts. In addition, they fear a high turnover rate of teachers.

The meeting at Saint Matthews AME at 1629 Bennett St. in Raleigh was the end of Tata's three-day visit to meet with school leaders, educators and the community as he prepares to take over the superintendent post at the end of the month.

Tata caught a flight back to the District of Colombia on Saturday afternoon. He said he would return on Jan. 14 for a reception with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. 

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  • chevybelair57sd Jan 11, 10:02 a.m.

    I AGREE WITH DELILAHk, I HOPE TATA REALIZES HE ANSWERS TO THE BOARD AND TAXPAYERS OF WAKECOUNTY AND NOT TO A NONRESIDENT, NONPUBLIC SCHOOL USING INDIVIDUAL WHO BELIEVES IN ENTITLEMENT OVER EDUCATION AND BUDGET.

  • delilahk2000 Jan 10, 6:14 p.m.

    I REALLY HOPE TATA WILL STAND UP TO THE BULLIES OF THE NAACP, AND TELL THEM HE WILL DO HIS JOB AND NOT BE TOLD BY THE ALL KNOWING REV, BARBER ON WHAT HE NEEDS TO DO.

  • walences Jan 10, 12:12 p.m.

    the people have spoken with their vote. you cannot simply allow the minority factions to change the will of the majority of the people.

  • Remy Jan 10, 9:27 a.m.

    Hopefully Tata can help this board find its way to a compromise that will support all students.