Wake County Schools

Wake schools must again answer to complaints

Posted October 13, 2012

Wake County Public School System

— Amid partisan bickering and a reset of the student assignment plan implemented by ousted Superintendent Tony Tata, the Wake County Public School System faces a deadline from accrediting agency AdvancED.

After Tata was fired, AdvancED warned the school board that the decision could threaten accreditation for the county's schools. Without the approval from the agency, a Wake County education lacks a standard that some universities use in considering students for admission.

This is the second time that the Board of Education and AdvancED have clashed.

The first came after the elections of a slate of Republicans to the board majority in 2009. AdvancED accused the Republicans of a "premeditated attack that resulted in destabilizing the school system and community." That instability led to a lack of effective leadership and ineffective policy decisions, AdvancED wrote in a report issued in March 2011.

AdvancED President and CEO Mark Elgart wrote to Acting Superintendent Stephen Gainey Oct. 2, reminding him that Wake County schools are due for a progress report Nov. 1. In his letter, he noted a new complaint against the board which "describes the continued practice of the Wake County Board of Education to legislate rather than govern the school system."

"For a statutorily recognized, non-partisan governing board, determining major or significant policies and direction by partisan votes of simple majority is not an effective process to govern the school system," he wrote.

The letter goes on to question the back-and-forth on student assignment that, most recently, resulted in board members asking staff to develop a plan for 2013-14 that would be based on that implemented by the Republican majority for 2011-12.

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  • me2you Oct 16, 11:14 a.m.

    AdvanceED won't do anything but send letters.

  • westernwake1 Oct 16, 10:22 a.m.

    "westernwake1 & ConservativeVoter....State laws would have to be changed in order to send more money to one school than another. Student funding is a complex formula that basically provides equal funding per student. As far as fewer buses - bus funding comes from the Federal gov't - fewer buses means fewer dollars - you cannot re-purpose bus funding. As I have said many times before, operating a schools system this size and diverse is not as simple as the answers given on this board make it out to be" - tired2

    State Law would not have to be changed for a School District to allocate funding across schools in their system. The state only commits equal amount of funding per student in each county. It does not tell each county how to divide this money between schools. Several school systems in North Carolina such as Lenior already provide more funding for Title 1 schools than higher performing schools. BTW, Wake already provides different funding per student in different schools.

  • Not_So_Dumb Oct 16, 8:33 a.m.

    tired2, and THAT is the problem. Funding is too complex. The school board and the people in the schools are hamstrung by the legislature.

  • tired2 Oct 16, 8:05 a.m.

    westernwake1 & ConservativeVoter....State laws would have to be changed in order to send more money to one school than another. Student funding is a complex formula that basically provides equal funding per student. As far as fewer buses - bus funding comes from the Federal gov't - fewer buses means fewer dollars - you cannot re-purpose bus funding. As I have said many times before, operating a schools system this size and diverse is not as simple as the answers given on this board make it out to be.

  • ConservativeVoter Oct 15, 6:42 p.m.

    "tired2 - I would go so far to say that if Wake County implements neighborhood school assignment then we must make the commitment to provide extra resources and funding to schools with high poverty levels. There are schools in the US (e.g. near D.C.) that are good examples of the type of programs that are needed to have students in high-poverty schools be successful.

    Any money should be shifted within the existing Wake County school system budget and not require state level approval. There may be people in more affluent neighborhoods who are opposed to "over-funding" low-income schools - my answer to them would be either we can do this and focus on the success of every student system-wide, or we can see how you like the next "busing for diversity" program. - westernwake1"

    The savings in diesel fuel, bus drivers, buses, and bus maintenance from not shipping kids all over Wake County should cover the money needed to over special funding for low-income schools.

  • ConservativeVoter Oct 15, 6:39 p.m.

    "I am not happy that again WCPSS is under the microscope for accrediation, but at the same time I give credit to AdvancedEd questioning decisions made by both boards. That seems more partisan to me than our board does.
    RN2B2013"

    Only problem with the AdvancED's accreditation. It doesn't factor in student classroom performance and achievement. It only looks at the governance of the school board and the schools.

    It's meaningless concerning student performance and achievement, yet some Colleges will only accept students from accredited schools.

    Last year, the school district in Halifax County, NC was judged a failure and was taken over by the state and AdvancEd didn't withdrawl it's accreditation because the school board governance was solid.

    Yet, they were going to withdraw accreditation for the high performing Wake County Schools because the children on the school board couldn't play nicely together.

    Tells you how useless AdvancEd's accreditation is.

  • westernwake1 Oct 15, 6:07 p.m.

    tired2 - I would go so far to say that if Wake County implements neighborhood school assignment then we must make the commitment to provide extra resources and funding to schools with high poverty levels. There are schools in the US (e.g. near D.C.) that are good examples of the type of programs that are needed to have students in high-poverty schools be successful.

    Any money should be shifted within the existing Wake County school system budget and not require state level approval. There may be people in more affluent neighborhoods who are opposed to "over-funding" low-income schools - my answer to them would be either we can do this and focus on the success of every student system-wide, or we can see how you like the next "busing for diversity" program.

    I am also a strong supporter of using voluntary magnet schools to improve diversity and provide specialized (language, arts, science, etc.) educational programs within Wake.

  • sbr1963 Oct 15, 6:05 p.m.

    I am not happy that again WCPSS is under the microscope for accrediation, but at the same time I give credit to AdvancedEd questioning decisions made by both boards. That seems more partisan to me than our board does.

  • ConservativeVoter Oct 15, 6:00 p.m.

    Another problem that we have is that 5 people on the school board are owned and controlled by Great Schools in Wake County and the NAACP.

    There allegiance is not to our kids. It's to people with agendas that don't necessarily favor the majority of people in Wake County.

  • ConservativeVoter Oct 15, 5:09 p.m.

    The problem with the school board is that it's not non-partisan. The school board is an entry level political position which is used as a stepping stone into higher offices. Until we have people who are running for school board to benefit our children and not help themselves, we're going to continue to see the partisan fighting that we've had in Wake County.

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