Wake Schools Toss Out Zone Assignment Plan

Thomas Goldsmith, News & Observer (Raleigh), October 6, 2010

In a surprise reversal, the Wake County school board threw out its controversial, 16-zone student assignment plan Tuesday night on a motion by vice chairwoman Debra Goldman, who spent much of the meeting complaining about being shut out of the development of the plan.

Months of work by a Republican board majority elected last fall were cast aside in moments as Goldman, also one of those Republican newcomers, broke away and joined the former minority members, all Democrats, in a 5-3 vote to scrap the plan.

A directive passed out by Keith Sutton, a member of the minority who supported the board’s old assignment policy, called for the following action: “Any and all efforts to create a zone-based assignment model will cease effective immediately.”

{snip} The motion means that the board will go back to the drawing board and proceed at a more deliberate pace, with more community input, as it crafts a new plan, Goldman said.

But on a night where she was the target of insults and accusations from her fellow Republican board members, Goldman stressed that the vote doesn’t mean a return to the old student assignment policy that gave weight to diversity and reaffirmed her commitment to community-based schools.

{snip}

Tedesco, offering a handshake, approached Goldman before they left dais, saying, “I’ve enjoyed our friendship while it lasted.”

Goldman’s pledge

Goldman was one of four new members elected last fall on a campaign to end the socioeconomic diversity policy in favor of moving to neighborhood schools. Despite Goldman’s rejection of the plan that was being developed to divide the county into 16 zones, Goldman said Wake will still move toward community-based schools.

Shortly after she broke ranks with the majority, Tedesco angrily accused Goldman of trying to get more publicity for herself rather than trying to change the assignment plan.

{snip}

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