Wake County Schools

Realtors, civil rights investigators talk with Wake schools chief

Posted March 15, 2011
Updated March 16, 2011

Wake County Public School System

— Realtors, business owners and civil rights investigators all wanted to hear about Wake County schools from Superintendent Tony Tata Wednesday.

Tata first talked to the Cary Chamber of Commerce and then to about 200 people at a meeting of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors in Cary.

Tata, a retired general who started on the job in January, said he's working to get to know the community and what it expects from the schools.

"I've been in about 45 schools and met with probably three times of that number of groups such as this," he said. "It's just great to get the feedback and listen and learn and understand what demands that the people have for this great school system."

Realtors said that local schools and student assignment are top questions for families considering moving to the area.

Tata talked to them about the Wake County Board of Education's new student-assignment model that prioritizes proximity to schools, instead of socioeconomic diversity. He and six members of his staff are developing the new policy.

Later Wednesday afternoon, Tata planned to talk with federal investigators from the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, which is following up on a complaint filed by the state NAACP against the Wake County Public School System.

"Being new, I'm going to tell them about the direction that we're going," Tata said. "We have firmed up some core beliefs at the retreat, and those core beliefs speak directly to some of those issues that some of the folks in civil rights may have."

At a retreat in February, the school board adopted a mission statement emphasizing student achievement, nurturing effective principals and teachers and community involvement.

Civil rights investigators will also meet with members of the school board's Student Assignment Committee and school district staff over the next two days, schools spokesman Michael Evans said. They will return April 6 and 7 to meet with school board members.

Wake schools chief gets feedback Wake schools chief gets feedback

The state NAACP has expressed concerns that changing Wake County's student assignment policy to a neighborhood schools model will concentrate poor students into schools in poor communities.

Supporters of the neighborhood model say it will let parents have more choices and be more involved and will increase student achievement.

U.S. Department of Education spokesman Jim Bradshaw said the investigation is a neutral, fact-finding process that in no way implies the OCR believes the complaint has merit. OCR investigations usually include on-site meetings, interviews and data gathering.

192 Comments

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  • issymayake Mar 16, 4:44 p.m.

    NCAries,

    He's in the position to assume that there is no way that I might be a history professor. Or that there is no way that I might be sociology professor. Or that there is no way that I might be an archivist. Or that there is no way that I might be a researcher.

    After all, those aren't jobs that are opened to GOLOers. LOL.

    It's called 'his'tory for a reason. . .

  • Garnerwolf1 Mar 16, 4:10 p.m.

    Realtors only care because it may impact their pocketbooks. Growth, overcrowding, transplants - whatever you want to call it - is actually part of the problem. We're now trying to close the gate AFTER the cows have gotten out. As usual.

  • MakoII Mar 16, 3:25 p.m.

    wolff,

    Taking what makes a union away to a status of illegality kind of makes such a group NOT a union in any real sense. That's like saying you can form a Church, but guys, it's ILLEGAL to pray. But you can still form a Church. I'm not stepping on your toes, right?

    Look, this is NOT a budgetary issue. Not now. Not ever. It's a political issue.

    If Labor Unions voted the way Jerry Fallwell asked them to, nary a GOP person on earth would oppose them or their state's budgets.

    NC spends 1/2 what many states do on education per pupil. It's state employees are 25-35% below private industry. States WITH Unions also average below their private sector counterparts with some exceptions to certain fields in certain states (like sanitation workers, firemen etc in NYC, etc)

    Should being a Progressive be illegal? If not, should a group favoring Labor Rights under one party be illegal? That IS what's going on here in essence.

  • NCAries Mar 16, 3:23 p.m.

    Read up on history before just listening to your parents and grandparents who say they were slaves. There is a lot of history out there that you evidently don't know about!
    Goalieman

    Yeah...and who wrote those revisionist history books that are used in the schools to indoctrinate the kids into class, ethnic and racial warfare...the same books that teach us that Christopher C. discovered America and WFs invented everything and BFs only came here on boats as slaves from Africa to build America and not worry about enjoying any payment for labor or inclusion in lawmaking or business or the pursuit of happiness...REALLY!

  • wolff Mar 16, 3:04 p.m.

    "As much as you hate Unions, making them illegal is a recipe for making ANY assembly of people illegal. What's next? The Knights of Columbus? Your Neighborhood Association?

    It's a slippery slope."
    MakoII

    Maybe I'm wrong but its not illegal to be in a Union in NC.

    NC's law is no collective bargaining (only by individual), no forced union dues, and an employee or employer can leave or be let go at will (excluding equal opportunity provisions).

    So you still could get together as a group, just can't enforce any group decisions on individuals. And if you did go on strike, then a company could hire in new people.

  • wolff Mar 16, 2:53 p.m.

    "When are we going to have an NAAWP to look out for our rights? Deep thoughts

    You always have, that's why they came up with the NAACP to look out for people of color. You non color people set up the game, made all the rules, found all the loopholes and terrorized or tormented anyone who tried to play to win. History....the road that brought us here."
    NCAries

    Darwin at its best? I guess the question is why did that occur and what affects does altering natural selection have over time.

  • NCAries Mar 16, 2:47 p.m.

    when you operate with integrity and fairness then there's nothing to fear on either side of the 'race card'.
    Ven

    Nice.

  • NCAries Mar 16, 2:46 p.m.

    @ oldrwizr
    March 16, 2011 10:55 a.m

    I agree.

  • danielhoneycutt Mar 16, 2:40 p.m.

    Looking forward to the day when we get a white history month

  • NCAries Mar 16, 2:35 p.m.

    When are we going to have an NAAWP to look out for our rights?
    Deep thoughts

    You always have, that's why they came up with the NAACP to look out for people of color. You non color people set up the game, made all the rules, found all the loopholes and terrorized or tormented anyone who tried to play to win. History....the road that brought us here.

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