Local Politics

School board member-elect ready to shake things up

Posted October 7, 2009

Wake County Public School System
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— The votes are still being counted in the race for Wake County school board, but one thing is certain, change is coming.

Three of the four contested races were decided Tuesday night in favor of candidates who want to modify the district’s policy of busing students to ensure individual schools are socio-economically diverse. Chris Malone won the District 1 seat on the school board, while Deborah Pickett won in District 7 and Debra Goldman took District 9.

Unofficial results from District 2 show John Tedesco with 49 percent of the vote – just shy of the 50 percent needed for an outright victory. If those numbers hold when the votes are certified next week, runner-up Cathy Truitt said she would ask for a runoff.

The three winning candidates and Tedesco were endorsed by community groups like WakeCARES and the Wake Schools Community Alliance because they said they were willing to change the district's student assignment policies to favor neighborhood schools.

Truitt has said she supports community schools, but also values diversity through magnet schools.

Voters and the new members of the board are looking for change.

Together with school board member Ron Margiotta, four new board members opposed to the diversity policy would give the neighborhood schools position a majority on the nine-person board.

Debra Goldman, who will represent the Cary area, said the momentum behind her winning campaign shows voters were not getting the results they wanted from current board policies.

“I don't know if it was not hearing or not wanting to listen,” she said. “You have to be willing to listen and question or you're not going to grow."

Kevin Hill, the current chairman of the Board of Education, disagreed with her assessment of the voter mindset. He thinks supporters of the school district’s busing policy simply stayed home.

About 31,000 voters cast ballots on Tuesday in one of the four contested school board races.

“A majority of folks -- who are comfortable of what the system is doing -- probably took for granted that it wasn't going to be an issue," Hill said.

Whatever direction the new board chooses, Hill urged a thoughtful approach.

“As a team, the board needs to take a look at this … Phase it in, in a way that is best for the children," Goldman said.

Goldman said she is already studying the district’s student assignment policy and will be ready to get to work as soon as she is sworn in.

“There are some things that I'd like to see changed right away,” she said.

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  • jlt68 Oct 9, 2009

    Hooray! The New Wake County School Board is against diversity!

    Finally, just put on your hoods and say what you stand for. I'm sad that the resegregationists won, but I'm glad that they campaigned on what they believed in and wanted to accomplish.

    Truth in advertising...finally.

  • 6079 SMITH W Oct 8, 2009

    TAURISMO: AMEN! See story today about the 18 year old toddler who had a phone tantrum, and the one yesterday about the rabid kid who chomped down on the guy in the office at school, and would'nt let go.....and on and on and on.

  • taurismo Oct 8, 2009

    Mommyoftwo---unfortunately, that's not what we teach our children! We don't keep score at sporting events, everybody gets a trophy, you fail a test, you get to retake it, etc. The list goes on and on...

  • gov watchdog Oct 8, 2009

    dlh - my point was that even uber-liberal BHO doesn't go for the economic diversity (at least not when it is HIS kids).

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Oct 8, 2009

    It would be interesting to see how many of the vocal socio-economic (race) based diversity supporters have children and if the children are in the WCPSS. It would also be interesting to see which schools in the WCPSS that those children go to and are they being bused for diversity purposes. I also wonder how many of the diversity supporters children go to charter or private schools if they don't go to WCPSS schools.

    I would care to bet most diversity supporters either don't have children in WCPSS schools or the children aren't being bused away from the school closest to them.

  • injameswetrust2003 Oct 8, 2009

    Ms. Truit, please don't waste everyone's time and money- just concede and we can move on. Anyway stick to Johnston County politics since you ain't from here.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Oct 8, 2009

    "I understand your point. I'm just trying to figure out how BHO was brought in to all of this. I've never heard him state one way or the other how he feels about this topic. Have you? Or are you just assuming what his position is? - dlh"

    It's very ironic that our very liberal, leftist, and socialist President Obama sends his children to a private school instead a school that has Socio-Economic (race) based diversity seeing that liberals support diversity even about a quality education in Wake County.

  • JOBMO Oct 8, 2009

    Well stated Mako II

  • JOBMO Oct 8, 2009

    "Everybody that supports the diversity/forced busing is a hypocrite. Why?"

    I understand your point. I'm just trying to figure out how BHO was brought in to all of this. I've never heard him state one way or the other how he feels about this topic. Have you? Or are you just assuming what his position is?

  • gov watchdog Oct 8, 2009

    Everybody that supports the diversity/forced busing is a hypocrite. Why? If you have no children in WCPSS, it is easy to say that we should do it when YOU/YOUR child is not suffering for it. If you have a child that has BENEFITTED from it, then YOU/YOUR child is not suffering for it. If you have a child that is going to a nicer school (not force bussed), then YOU/YOUR child is not suffering for it. If you have a child that is being bussed to a poorer school, you are still a hypocrite because I have NEVER heard of a single parent in Wake County that VOLUNTEERED to give up a seat at the nicer school for the poorer school. It is easy to talk about sacrifice when it is not YOU/YOUR child that is sacrificing (waiting in the dark in the morning for a school bus i.e. 6:15AM, riding a school bus for an hour or more each way, etc...).

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