Washington Post Offers Up Complete Lies About Wake County School Integration Policy

For the most part, you haven’t heard me discuss the issue going on here in Wake County, NC, where the school board was elected to do away with the current policies and go back to local schools, which would do away with many of the issues going on with the previous policies. Originally, the school boards wanted to increase diversity, and put kids from lower economic areas, which tended to be poor scoring schools, into better performing schools. This wasn’t just a black and white issue, but one of increasing standards. What came of that policy was students being bused all around the county, which left them tired. Meeting other kids they could only be friends with at school, because they lived a long ways away. Parents having low involvement in their child’s education, because the school was so far away. No increase in education (some say it decreased).

And, the issue that led to the election of a majority that wanted local schools was kids being constantly moved to different schools year after year, and sometimes one child would be in a regular session school, and another would be in a year round school. Wake County parents were tired of this, and tired of the previous boards not paying them a wit of attention. The board did not respond to parents at all, and wanted no input from the parents of the snowflakes. From Wikipedia, for brevity

For the 2008-09 school year, for example, the school district has stated that it will reassign some 6,464 students…

In February 2009, the school board approved a plan that would move 24,654 students to different schools over the next three years

Parents were rightly Pissed Off. They had very little say in the matter, and this would cause lots of problems in their family planning, not to mention snowflake having to start over at a different school.

There’s been a big kerfuffle over this ever since the board was elected in 2009. That’s right, 2009. November. When the TEA Party was still mostly in it’s infancy, and not focused on local politics. But, hey, that means nothing to Stephanie McCrumman of the Washington Post:

Headline: Republican school board in N.C. backed by tea party abolishes integration policy

Except, it wasn’t backed by the TEA Party as such. Many of the voters were surely involved with TEA Party rallies, and there was a synergy with the growing movement, but, it had nothing to do with the election. Nor was it about abolishing integration. In fact, Raleigh is pretty damned integrated as it is, as are surrounding areas. Parents aren’t thinking of desegregation: they are thinking that it would be better if snowflake went to school near home, and didn’t have to be concerned with yet another reassignment.

But over the past year, a new majority-Republican school board backed by national tea party conservatives has set the district on a strikingly different course. Pledging to “say no to the social engineers!” it has abolished the policy behind one of the nation’s most celebrated integration efforts.

Name the national backers, Stephanie. You can’t. This is simply a hit piece, attempting to portray members as racists.

The situation unfolding here in some ways represents a first foray of tea party conservatives into the business of shaping a public school system, and it has made Wake County the center of a fierce debate over the principle first enshrined in the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education: that diversity and quality education go hand in hand.

Again, pure drivel and speculation. Plenty of liberal parents, and, being Wake County, there are quite a few (Wake tends to vote majority Democrat, like so many big city areas), wanted the same thing, which is why there are a majority of Republicans on the board. But, that is Stephanie’s entire amount of “evidence.” Nothing else is offered in the story.

The new school board has won applause from parents who blame the old policy – which sought to avoid high-poverty, racially isolated schools – for an array of problems in the district and who say that promoting diversity is no longer a proper or necessary goal for public schools.

Stephanie barely bothers to name those problems anywhere in the story. She touches on the reassignments later on, well after the next excerpt

The story unfolding here is striking because of the school district’s unusual history. It sprawls 800 square miles and includes public housing in Raleigh, wealthy enclaves near town, and the booming suburbs beyond, home to newcomers that include many new school board members. The county is about 72 percent white, 20 percent black and 9 percent Latino. About 10 percent live in poverty.

Officials in Raleigh tried to head off that scenario. As white flight hit in the 1970s, civic leaders merged the city and county into a single district. And in 2000, they shifted from racial to economic integration, adopting a goal that no school should have more than 40 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, the proxy for poverty.

So, the Democrat led board had already ditched the racial diversity program in 2000? Goodness! We found that out on page 2 of the web story.

Stephanie mostly focuses on negative comments by those against the local schools plan, and uses the most incendiary type of “those people are racists!” ones. Interestingly, through this whole debate, which I have read about but almost never posted, the central issue of providing the best education for the snowflakes has rarely been discussed. And, isn’t that what it is all about?

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10 Responses to “Washington Post Offers Up Complete Lies About Wake County School Integration Policy”

  1. gitarcarver says:

    First, let me say that I agree with your assessment that the piece has a bias and an agenda.

    That being said, I took a slightly different view of the headline than you did once I read the Post’s article. I took it to mean that the school board is now supported by members of the Tea Party, not that the Tea Party had anything to do with the election of the school board.

    I can see how you would arrive at your conclusion. The fact that we can arrive at very different conclusions indicates poor reporting that is either designed to be ambiguous or inadvertently left open to different interpretations.

    No matter the motives, it is bad writing.

    Secondly, I was struck by how many people on the board and in the school system declined to comment. Maybe they knew the article would be a hit piece and didn’t want to be associated with it.

    Your comment that kids that are bussed are only able to have the friends at school doesn’t ring true to me. A long time ago I attended a high school that was a 45 minute ride on public transportation each way. I had friends at school and friends in my neighborhood. Today I look at kids that attend schools that are out of the local high school area because of programs not offered here. There doesn’t seem to be any harm as kids will find friends in any place and environment.

    Lastly, you ask whether the education and the quality of education of snowflake is a concern.

    Of course it isn’t.

    Why would you even think it was?

    This is about power and the ability of the state to control people.

    Initially, education in this country took the form of parents educating their kids. As communities grew closer together geographically, it became more economic and efficient for communities to band together to form schools and pay a teacher. At that time, the parents controlled the schools. In the 1940’s, as schools began to drift away from local, parental control to a more governmental control, the Supreme Court ruled that kids could be compelled to attend school because the an educated citizenry is good for the country. The flip had just occurred and very few people noticed it. We went from schools being run by parents to schools being run by the government. A we went through the last decades, the assault on parental rights continued.

    The common law idea of “loco parentis” went from the parent granting an entity the right to look after their children (as in sending a child off to college) to the government seemingly granting parents what rights they have to raise their children. In a series of court cases, courts have ruled that the parent cannot opt their child out of courses or ideas they disagree with on any grounds. If the school wants to teach morals that are contrary to the parent’s wishes, the school can force the child to attend the class.

    Children are no longer raised by parents. They many crucial ways, they belong to the state.

    • I understand your POV, GT. I probably see it different because I am in the area, and tired of people like Stephanie trying to falsely smear us. A lot on the board do not want to comment, because of all the lawsuits and potential lawsuits.

      One of the complaints by parents on all the local radio and tv stations was that kids were bused in from all over, and could live completely across town, or across the county. I’m only 14 miles from work, and it takes me 30 minutes to get there. A very slow stop and go area. But, I understand your point. I had a few friends at boarding school who I would visit out of school now and then, and they live several hours away.

      And, yeah, schools do not want parents involved, they want full control of snowflake’s mind. Which is why the Board was unresponsive, even after a judge smacked them around, and had to smack them around again.

  2. John Ryan says:

    Gitarcarver could you please cite those court cases and the results. I failed to find any. It is one thing to teach the Negro to read, BUT it must be restrained, who knows what will happen if they are allowed to compete on a level playing field? A Negro President ? Teach “so far away” what percent of the population of that county lives more than 20 miles away? what percent lives more than 15 miles away? What was the longest distance that the preciuos snowflakes were going to have to travel? WOW 6500 sure is a lot ! That is a big number ! BUT it represents only about 5% of the total number of students in Wake County. 1 out of 20 or 1 out of each class Of course for those who are wealthy there is always the option of sending the kids off to an elite boarding school.

    • John, it’s a big county, and crossing town is slow work. Look, this is what the parents are saying, ones both on the left and right. I know some folks who have one kid in one high school, and another in a different one across town. And youngest snowflake goes to a primary school in a different direction (though closer.) Another I know has 1 in a regular length HS, and has been moved twice. The other was placed in a year round school. The Board refused to listen to her plea’s. She is a single mom, and this totally screws up her work when things go wrong, as well as vacations with her kids. She works her ass off to provide for them (father killed long time ago by a drunk driver).

      What the parents want is kids to go to schools in the same area, at least somewhat near home. Doesn’t have to be the closest school. And for the constant moving around to stop. These are their kids: shouldn’t they have some say?

  3. I’ll have bigger responses for u both later, when I am at my laptop (using iPhone at the moment), buy wanted a quick reply to John. Regarding the 5%, yeah, might not seem like much, but when it happens year after year, it’s a problem. When one kid goes to a different high school, it’s a problem. When kids are sitting on buses for an hour or more, problem

  4. gitarcarver says:

    Ryan,

    As I have given you the results, you clearly are not interested in the case citations.

    It is one thing to teach the Negro to read, BUT it must be restrained, who knows what will happen if they are allowed to compete on a level playing field?

    So you think that busing kids all over the place creates a “level playing field?” How so?

    Even proponents of busing state that busing doesn’t cure the issue of the poor or even address the issue of performance. All it does is spread the performance problem out so that it is not noticed.

    The busing has nothing to do with making schools better or to help increase the education of students. It is nothing more than someone trying to defend failed and discredited policies.

    Tell me Ryan, instead of spending money on buses, fuel, insurance, salaries for drivers, etc to take kids out of their neighborhoods, wouldn’t it be better to spend those funds on making the schools better? Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep kids in local schools were parents are closer and can volunteer more?

  5. […] WaPo Offers Up Complete Lies About Wake County School Integration Policy […]

  6. Adobe Walls says:

    ” All it does is spread the performance problem out so that it is not noticed.”
    That’s THE feature not a bug. Public education is all about testing, rather than improve failing schools Board’s attempt to average the test results.I relocated here from Northern VA in 2000 and brought the rest of the family in 01 after buying a house in Clayton. While I knew that Johnston County had good schools as did Wake I also knew that Wake’s School Board was insane and that under no circumstances did I want to live in Wake.

  7. gitarcarver says:

    I probably see it different because I am in the area,……

    You may see it differently, but we both get to the same destination on the overall tone, manner and bias of the article.

    I guess it is akin to a visitor taking the route given them by a GPS or map versus a local who knows the back ways and quickest routes.

    We got to the destination via different routes, but we are both at the same destination on this.

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