. . .the NAACP, the Great Schools in Wake coalition and a slew of other groups have come fiercely to the defense of diversity as a critical element in school excellence overall, but especially in any effort to help ED students and close the achievement gap between more- and less-affluent kids.
To Tedesco's stance that diversity didn't work because graduation rates for ED kids slipped over the past decade, diversity's supporters answered that he's got it exactly backwards: Rather, they say, as adherence to the county's diversity policy slipped over the past decade — the victim of Wake's unbridled growth — so too did the performance of ED kids. To put it another way, as the number of schools with high concentrations of ED kids grew from fewer than 10 to more than 50, the number of ED kids not graduating increased apace. High-poverty schools, usually also characterized by high-minority populations, yield terrible results for the kids forced to attend them, they believe.
Bottom line: Eight months in, the effort by the new board majority to seize the moral high ground by appearing, at least, to advocate for ED kids is fading. . . .