Wake County Schools

Wake schools must again answer to complaints

Posted October 13, 2012 10:47 p.m. EDT
Updated October 13, 2012 10:49 p.m. EDT

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.