by Bob Geary
(Update 2: Word from Ron Margiotta is, there will be no controversial issues on the COW agenda Tuesday. Staff is putting it together, his email says, but he's sure diversity will not be part of it. Hence all the x-outs below where it used to say otherwise, you know, about having a COW.)
(Update 1: WakeUP Wake County will coordinate the formation of a "pro-excellence" coalition; name is the "Great Schools in Wake Coalition." This from Yevonne Brannon, WUWC's board chair. "Groups and individuals concerned about the impact of decisions made by the Wake Board of Education" are invited to join. The meeting today -- see below -- produced a working draft of the mission statement, which is being reviewed by a dozen or so allies and potential allies. Brannon's contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emails are going around about the need to get there early Tuesday afternoon to be sure of getting into the Wake school board meeting. One suggested getting there an hour ahead of the 3 p.m. start time. But the real action could be in the Committee of the Whole meeting that begins at 1 p.m. in the tiny Board conference room (though if enough people show up, they'd presumably move to the meeting room). There's no agenda for the COW as yet (I sent a note and left a voice message for Board Chair Ron Margiotta -- will update when I hear anything more). But it's worth noting that when the new board majority reversed itself last week and voted to put its proposed resolution on student assignments -- the one that struck out all references to diversity as a desirable thing -- they put it into the policy committee and the COW. (Background on their first meeting here.) Thus far, there is no policy committee, and a couple of folks who've spoken with Margiotta lately have the impression he doesn't plan to name one.
In short, if you're thinking that diversity can't be on the Tuesday agenda at 3 because it's been referred to a committee that has yet to meet, you may or may not be rright -- it's entirely possible the resolution on diversity will be discussed by the COW at 1 o'clock and be ripe for action when the Board convenes formally at 3.
As you may already know, the teabag crowd (Americans for Prosperity) has made turning the Wake school system upside down its latest cause. They're emailing folks to show up for a rally at the Wake Board offices at 2:30.
Meanwhile, WakeUP Wake County hosted a meeting today of groups not aligned with the teabaggers. It was an invite-only meeting; not for press ears. But the purpose was to establish a mainstream coalition with a mission statement that says everyone should take a deep breath before doing something they'll regret to Wake's schools. More on that soon.