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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Huge: Debra Goldman swings the ax and the school board majority splits

Posted by on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 12:44 AM

Debra Goldman
  • Debra Goldman
One thing that can't be said about the breakup of the Wake school board majority at Tuesday's meeting: We didn't see that coming.

Because of course, we did see it coming.

So what now? With John Tedesco's Student Assignment Committee sidelined, only one new student assignment plan continues as a work-in-progress. It's the one brought to you — in a few weeks — by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the Wake Education Partnership and their consultant, Cambridge, MA's Michael Alves.

Hard to predict what Debra Goldman will do next, but it seems to me she has three options:

1) Align with the four "other" members of the school board with whom she voted Tuesday to derail Tedesco. Together, this new majority could put together an assignment plan, but Goldman would have to accept some form of diversity as part of it — something she might be willing to do if the others would agree to stop calling it diversity and instead use the Chamber's term: balance.

2) Align with Alves when he brings in his version of "controlled choice" — probably including fewer (seven?) zones than Tedesco's 16 and incorporating a good deal more flexibility and, uh, balance. Goldman wants every parent to have a "base" school assignment. Not clear that a controlled-choice plan can provide one, but maybe.

3) Make peace with Tedesco & Co. in return for a seat — and a say — on a revamped Student Assignment Committee. But after Tedesco called her a "prom queen" and later (on his Facebook page) "Benedict Goldman," it's clear he doesn't trust her and she obviously doesn't trust him.

My nickel is on Goldman to choose some hybrid of Nos. 1 & 2 — work with Alves' plan and see if it can be shaped to satisfy the board's minority-four members: Anne McLaurin, Carolyn Morrison, Kevin Hill and Keith Sutton.

If that's what happens, the man in the catbird's seat will be Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce leader Harvey Schmitt, who come to think of it has been smiling more of late.

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