Wake County Schools

Wake taxpayers group says school board 'making light' of AdvancED complaint

Posted January 9, 2013 10:33 p.m. EST
Updated January 10, 2013 11:00 a.m. EST

Wake County Public School System

— The Wake County Taxpayers Association renewed its call Wednesday for accreditation agency AdvancED to conduct a full review of governance on the Wake County Board of Education.

The group filed a complaint with AdvancED in September, accusing the Democrat-controlled board of "continued mismanagement," "lack of governance" and "hasty decisions" that caused a "climate of fear and intimidation" in Wake County. 

In a Dec. 17 response, the Wake County Public School System said the complaint lacked merit and that the school board "has operated openly and transparently and solicited input at every turn from staff and community stakeholders."

On Wednesday, the Taxpayers Association said the school system's response was "elusive, misleading and treats the concerns of many in this county with frivolity." 

They charged that Wake schools was "making light" of egregious acts of bullying and intimidation. The letter cited accusations made by school board member Debra Goldman that board Chairman Keith Sutton threatened her during closed-door discussions about the firing of then-Superintendent Tony Tata and an incident at a November student assignment public hearing, in which board member Susan Evans grabbed a microphone away from board member Deborah Prickett.

The group said the board's "deplorable behavior" has only worsened since their original complaint was filed.

AdvancED has not responded to the Taxpayers Association's request for a review.

In March 2011, however, a report by AdvancED found that the then-Republican-controlled school board created a "climate of uncertainty, suspicion and mistrust throughout the community," but the school system says it has since adopted a strategic plan and trained board members on their roles and responsibilities – requirements necessary for the school district to retain its accreditation.