"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wake County's Gang of Five: 19th Century Pols in a 21st Century Community

Not only have these teabaggers on the school board destroyed the most successful school integration program in the nation, but now they are going after the books.  All the books.  Read this great feature from IndyWeek:
About Deborah Westmoreland. She called me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I knew that the Wake school board was laying off 40 librarians — media specialists these days — as of the end of the 2009-10 school year. I did not know that. I remembered Deborah from her involvement in the first Sparkcon a few years ago. Since then, she'd taken a job with the Wake schools as media specialist at Moore Square Magnet Middle School. Now, she was one of those being laid off.

Her call prompted me to write a column in the Indy this week about two related subjects. One is the fact that, with all the attention being given to the new school board majority's anti-diversity policy, and its plan to carve the county into "assignment zones" that will inevitably, I think, result in high-poverty schools in Raleigh and East Wake, too little attention has been paid to the new majority's very inadequate budget.

The Republican Five — the members in the 5-4 board majority — are "starving the beast" with a budget which, on the surface, seems reasonable given parlous times, but which is in fact far short of what's needed to keep a good system going. State aid is tanking, and the Wake system continues to grow with four new schools opening this fall and a projected enrollment increase of 3,800 students. Yet the school board asked the county commissioners for the same amount of money for next year as it received this year. Obviously, something will have to give. . . .
Do read on.

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