Wake County Schools

NC NAACP applauds 'scathing' report of Wake schools

Posted March 17, 2011 12:57 p.m. EDT

— The head of the state NAACP said Thursday that he hopes the Wake County Board of Education will take seriously a "scathing report" by a national accreditation group.

Atlanta-based AdvancED released the report Wednesday, saying actions by the board majority have created a "climate of uncertainty, suspicion and mistrust throughout the community." It outlined seven required actions before Nov. 30 to ensure continued accreditation of the district's 24 high schools.

"All voters, parents, teachers, students and anyone interested in improving Wake County schools should study this thorough, thoughtful and professional report," NAACP President Rev. William Barber said.

"It is a sad confirmation of our position, but what is sadder is the majority of the board continuing to fight against policies designed to provide every child a high-quality, constitutional, well-funded, diverse public education," he continued.

The civil rights group filed a complaint with AdvancED last year after the board adopted a new policy that focuses partly on assigning students to schools based on where they live rather than on socio-economic diversity.

Critics say the policy, which takes effect in 2012-2013, will deny economically disadvantaged students their right to an equal education.

Wake County schools Superintendent Tony Tata said Wednesday that he welcomed the results of the AdvancED review and that he intends to "aggressively implement" the group's recommendations.

The steps include developing a strategic plan, analyzing and revising the "node" system of assigning students, providing ongoing training for school board members and implementing a policy review process.