Wake County Schools

Goldman says she'll support AdvancED review

Posted January 19, 2011 4:57 p.m. EST
Updated January 19, 2011 11:06 p.m. EST

— Wake County school board Vice Chairwoman Debra Goldman is speaking out on the impasse between the board and a national accrediting agency planning a review of the board’s effectiveness and governance.

Goldman issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying she will support the review and will meet with members of AdvancED when they come to Raleigh next month.

“I believe the dialogue with AdvancED has created a chasm between our two institutions which, while understandable, is not in the best interest of our students,” Goldman said.

Atlanta-based AdvancED is looking into the board following a complaint filed last year by the North Carolina NAACP alleging that some board members want to segregate the school system.

The school board’s attorneys have sent e-mails and a letter questioning the fairness and scope of the review and insisting that attorneys be able to act in the interest of board members, partly because of a legal challenge that the NAACP also filed with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights.

AdvanceED has denied the requests, and CEO Mark Elgart has called the board resistant to the review and has even suggested it consider dropping the accreditation.

“While some board members may have concerns with the way that authority may be ultimately executed, I do respect AdvancED’s position to enforce their process on their accredited schools,” Goldman said. “As both a parent and a school board member, I value the accreditation process, and I am gravely concerned for our students and their prospects for future success, particularly graduating seniors, if we refuse to participate in the review.”

The disagreement between the two groups has led school board members to discuss the possibility of dropping AdvanceED and look to another accreditation agency, board member John Tedesco has said.

The issue stems from the NAACP complaint filed in March after the board voted to move away from a longstanding policy of busing students to achieve socio-economic diversity for neighborhood schools.

Opponents believe the move will segregate students, lead to high teacher turnovers and keep economically disadvantaged students from getting the same quality of education as their counterparts.

Supporters of the plan disagree, saying it will improve student achievement, allow parents to be more involved in their children’s education and give parents more choice.