Or on the other hand, the Research Triangle could return to the piney woods of the 1950s, when black children went to apartheid schools and white racists controlled the political economy. From the NewsObserver:
RALEIGH A national accrediting agency that is investigating Wake County's school system rejected a series of hardball demands made by school officials, who have been trying to limit the scope of the probe.
The denial on Thursday forces a showdown that could result in the loss of accreditation for Wake's 24 high schools. If that scenario unfolds, it could make college admission and scholarships harder for students to obtain.
The agency, AdvancED, is investigating Wake's schools in response to an NAACP complaint that alleged the school board was not following its own policies when it took steps to discard the county's practice of balancing schools based on students' socioeconomic backgrounds.
But some school board members have complained that AdvancED's review unfairly includes matters that shouldn't affect accreditation.
This week the board even threatened to drop its affiliation with AdvancED.
But on Thursday, the board sent AdvancED sent a letter asking it to agree to some terms. For Wake to cooperate with the investigation, the board's letter said, the agency would have to:
Agree in advance of the interviews what topics will be covered and what process followed.
Allow school board members and school staffers to have lawyers representing them during the interviews.
Agree in advance on how to handle specific inquiries made during the interviews that relate to litigation and/or are beyond the agreed upon topics.
Advise Wake in advance of the interviews as to what findings relating to the operation of the school board would lead to some change in accreditation status.
"Anything less than a positive response to this letter will force the Board to also consider its continuing relationship with AdvancED," said the letter, which was written by school board attorneys Ann Majestic and Jonathan Blumberg.
Mark Elgart, AdvancED's chief executive, said in an interview that the school board's demands are unacceptable and that his company will conduct their review of Wake regardless of whether it gets cooperation from school leaders.
His response leaves Wake with two options:
Allow the probe to continue.
Block the investigation by withdrawing from AdvancED, which accredits more than 25,000 schools across the United States.
AdvancED is reviewing a wide range of issues such as student assignments, the hiring of attorney Thomas Farr, the naming of the conservative Civitas Institute as a trainer for school board members and the decision not to build a high school on Forestville Road. . . .