Wake County Schools

Wake school officials meet with AdvancED for second day

Posted February 18, 2011 4:32 p.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2011 7:18 p.m. EST

Wake County Public School System

— Wake County school officials spent a second day Friday meeting with an accreditation team that’s reviewing how the school board does business.

New Superintendent Tony Tata, school board Chairman Ron Margiotta and board member Keith Sutton were among a number of people meeting with the six-member panel from Atlanta-based AdvancED, which is investigating a complaint filed in March by the state NAACP and other community groups.

The complaint stems from the school board's decision last year to adopt a new student reassignment plan, which has drawn both sharp criticism and strong support of the school board’s Republican majority.

The visit was supposed to happen last year but was delayed because of board member’s concerns about the review’s scope and fairness and questions about whether board members should cooperate because of another investigation by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights.

AdvancED’s president, Mark Elgart, has said the team is not looking at the board’s policies themselves.

“They weren't coming in to dictate to us how to set policy but more or less how we follow our own policies (and) how we implement our own policies,” Sutton said Friday.

Some board members, however, are still concerned.

“I think they should be accrediting our high schools based on the performance of our high schools, not based on whether or not board members get along or whether some members of the public have political axes to grind,” Margiotta said.

On Thursday, the review team met with other board members, community groups, principals and students. They said they were asked about the board’s performance, communication style and whether they were satisfied with the results of the board’s work.

“Right now, people are just speaking their mind. I think that's what we need right now. Everybody is talking about how we can improve as a school system,” Tata said.