Tag Archives: Wake County


It might be thoughtless and crass.  But it also might be the truth.

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This is Why I Got Out of Teaching

Look.  It’s hard out there right now.  Lot’s of people are struggling, concerned and sacrificing.  Many people are losing or have lost their job.  And I feel for all of ’em.

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Dubious Praise

This week the vaunted magazine, “The Economist” featured an article on the schools here in Wake County:

…In 2000 Wake County’s school board decided to integrate its schools by income level rather than race. No more than 40% of students at any one school should be receiving free or subsidised lunches (which are given to children from poor families). Evidence dating back more than 40 years shows that schools with too great a concentration of poor pupils are undesirable. Teachers do not stay, and poor pupils tend to perform worse when they are put with others who are poor.

…on March 23rd the board voted 5-4 to abandon that policy.

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Over Selling Their Complaints

There is quite a fight here in Raleigh over our schools.  Because of the way we build school districts here in Carolina, our district is the 18th largest in the nation.  And because we are so large, we have quite the diversity; and with it–debate.

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Common Sense Approach

When you tune out the noise from the right and left, often what you find is a relatively common sense approach to just about everything.

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Parents Support Current Assignments

The school board here in Wake County was elected recently with a pretty strong message from the public: We Don’t Like the Way Things Are!

With 4 seats up for grabs, a new coalition was formed.  Joining Ron Margiota are 4 new board members.  And they have two agendas:

1.  End Year Round Schools.

2.  End the Diversity program.

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Right But Wrong

Governor Bev Purdue is right to object to the new trend in Carolina’s largest school districts; Neighborhood schools and the end of busing.

Raleigh, N.C. — As Wake County and other school districts across North Carolina shift away from busing students to achieve socio-economic diversity, Gov. Beverly Perdue and other officials fear the districts will become racially segregated.

“It’s the most troublesome thing I think that’s happened,” Perdue said of the push toward neighborhood schools from Goldsboro to Charlotte.

I think that she’s right, but for the wrong reasons.  See, I don’t think that white kids learn better than non-white kids.  Or that black kids learn less well than non-black kids.  I think that kids that come from poor families learn less well than kids that come from wealthy families.  In fact, excepting the Hallmark worthy story of the little school that could, the over whelming evidence suggests that academic success trends with income.

What it does not trend with is race.

No doubt the Governor is correct when she senses something wrong with the folks who are clamoring for neighborhood schools.  These are the folks who have been able to manipulate the system, in a very subtle way, such that the schools they attend are the best of the best.  But she has to be careful on how she debates those folks; race won’t get it done.

Trouble is Brewing

I’m not sure how this is gonna end, but it doesn’t look good:

Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County’s school board has a new challenge: reducing classroom sizes during tough budget times.

The Board of Education on Tuesday learned the state did not grant waivers for 329 oversized kindergarten to third-grade classes.

North Carolina law allows for 18 students for every one adult in those grades.

Principal Lisa Cruz says first-grade classes at Jeffrey’s Grove Elementary School in Raleigh have closer to an average of 29 students this school year.

The State is getting further and further into debt and there is seemingly no way out.  We simply don’t have the money to hire new teachers or assistants and yet we have hay to make.

I’m not sure how we are gonna get to the 18 students to adults ratio in some of these schools, but I know that we have to.  When the classes are as big as they are at the school mentioned above, Jeffery’s Grove, the teacher’s ability to teach is severely limited.  Discipline becomes the order of the day and any real hope of knowledge transfer vanishes.  More than the diversity issue that our board faces, I think that they are going to have to solve this problem first.

And I Will Name Him — Success

I can’t prove it, of course.  And, in fact, it may not even happen.  But I swear to you that I won’t be surprised if the recent reports of H1N1 vaccine being available is reported as reducing the number of cases of H1N1.

Back in late November, experts were calling the H1N1 peak:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The pandemic of swine flu may be hitting a peak in the Northern Hemisphere, global health officials said on Friday, but they cautioned it was far from over.

Not sure that a lot of people caught that.  And for those that did, they may have responded like I did:

Big “effin” deal.  My family already got it.

But, when you combine the news that the outbreak has peaked with this bit of good news:

Raleigh, N.C. — About 200 people showed up Tuesday morning at the Wake County Public Health Center in Raleigh to get the H1N1 flu vaccine.

Tuesday was the first day the county opened the vaccine up to anyone over 6 months old.

Traffic was slow and steady at the Sunnybrook Road location, as well as three other health department sites in Fuquay-Varina, Wake Forest and Zebulon.

Ray Martin, 71, said he was in and out of the Raleigh site in 15 minutes – a stark contrast to earlier this year, in which hundreds lined up and were turned away due to a limited supply of the vaccine.

Now look, I for one am very pleased to see that those folks who need a shot are getting one.  But really.  Providing a shot to people older than 6 months of age fully 2 weeks AFTER the peak is not really A-Okay in my book.  Especially considering that the vaccine takes nearly 2 weeks to fully “bake-in”.

Sadly, I am afraid that this is what we have to look forward to in the Government sponsored health care.  See, in the world of government, a vaccine is an expense that needs to be minimized.  In the private world, the vaccine is a product that needs to be available, marketed and sold.

‘Nuff said.

Poor Form

I get why people hate politics and politicians.  Heck, I hate politics and politicians.  We should be able to get to the point where we can disagree and yet still have the class to let someone go to the restroom:

After 75 minutes and 14 split votes Monday, Tony Gurley and the GOP regained the top spot on the Wake County Board of Commissioners – on a tie-breaker achieved only when member Betty Lou Ward took an unexcused bathroom break.

See, the Wake County Board is made up of 7 members.  Right now the Democrats have control of the Board 4-3.  One of the members, a Democrat suffered a stroke and has been unable to attend meetings; that makes it 3-3.  Last night the board was electing a new chairman and after 75 minutes and multiple votes, could get past the 3-3 tie.  That’s when Ms. Ward went to the bathroom.  Because she didn’t officially request an absence, the Board was within it’s right to vote without her, and they did.

Legal?  Yes.  Without class?  Absolutely.