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Thursday, November 17, 2011

[Updated] Tedesco vs. Glazier for DPI Super? We can sell tickets.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 3:29 PM

photo by Jeremy M. LangeJohn Tedesco strikes an upward gaze.The original post from 11/10: I see that Under the Dome (N&0) is reporting that June Atkinson, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction and a Democrat, may not run for a third term in 2012. (Or she may.) The other night, some of the Democrats who packed into Kevin Hill's victory party were saying that state Rep. Rick Glazier, a leading progressive from Fayetteville, is laying plans to run if Atkinson doesn't. Then there was the story of how John Tedesco, whose hopes of being the next Wake school board chair...

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hill beats Losurdo in Wake schools race

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 9:32 PM

photo by Bob GearyKevin Hill arrives at Milton's in North RaleighKevin Hill's reelection to the Wake County Board of Education Tuesday completed a sweep of the five school district elections this year by Democratic candidates. His victory gave control of the board to a moderate majority, ending two tumultuous years of conservative Republican rule. In the runoff for the District 3 (North Raleigh) school board seat, Hill, a career educator (teacher, principal, university professor) and registered Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Heather Losurdo by about 900 votes. He won with 52.3 percent to Losurdo's 47.7 percent of the votes After a...

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District 3 runoff winner at Milton's Pizza tonight

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 2:09 PM

When the votes are counted in the Wake County Board of Education District 3 runoff tonight, the winner will be celebrating at Milton's Pizza & Pasta in — Well, that's the rub. There are two Milton's Pizza & Pastas in District 3. One is in what we might call old North Raleigh; the other is so far out in the new North Raleigh that Milton's itself lists its location variously as being in Wake Forest or "Wakefield." Kevin Hill, the incumbent, plans to be at the first Milton's, the one located at 8853 Six Forks Rd. (corner of Strickland Rd.),...

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Friday, November 4, 2011

(Updated) Losurdo press conference proves only that she did work for a bank once — duh.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Heather LosurdoWell, that was pretty much a waste of time. Nobody ever said Heather Losurdo didn't work in a bank. What her critics said is that she exaggerated her responsibilities by claiming that she was in charge of a $2 billion loan portfolio. Her defense to that charge, issued at a press conference this evening, reduces to: 1) The charge was made in a way that suggested I never worked at a bank at all. But I did too. (I don't think anyone ever suggested that she made the whole bank thing up. Classic rebuttal of something that's beside the...

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Was that Art Pope calling? About "liberal Kevin Hill"?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Came home today to not one but two messages from Civitas Action on my voicemail. They were identical. "Carol" was calling to tell me that "liberal Kevin Hill" did a very bad vote at the Wake school board meeting last week and I should call him and tell him so. A phone number for Hill was supplied and repeated. "Carol" didn't tell me not to vote for Hill in the District 3 school board runoff election, nor did she say to vote for his opponent, the Civitas Action-favored Republican Heather Losurdo. It was strongly implied, however. Now, first off, I...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tata's choice plan passes 6-2; Hill, Sutton vote no

Posted By on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Kevin Hill (right, in yellow shirt) at Wake school board work session. Tony Tata is seated at left; James Overman, Tata's task force leader, is standing. Effective in the 2012-13 school year, unless it's put off by the new school board when it's seated in December, Wake County has a new student assignment plan. Superintendent Tony Tata's controlled-choice plan was approved by the lame-duck school board 6-2, with the Republican majority solidly in favor (the chair votes only to break ties, but Chairman Ron Margiotta was cheering it on), and Democrats on the board split. Of greatest interest, Kevin Hill,...

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Friday, October 14, 2011

(UPDATED) School choice and the Hill-Losurdo runoff: Two questions

Posted By on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 8:46 AM

[UPDATE, 10/14: After the hearing last night, I spoke with Kevin Hill and Keith Sutton briefly. I asked Keith how he plans to vote on Tuesday, assuming there is a vote. "I'm deliberating," he said. Same question to Kevin. "I have my doubts," he said. I told him I'd written this piece, which is about how it would be smart politics for him to vote yes. "Because ..." I started to say, but Kevin jumped right in to remind me that he doesn't make decisions based on politics. That said, Kevin underscored that he's not in favor of going back...

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wake, Raleigh election results a stunning repudiation of Republicans' tea-party politics

Posted By on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Victorious Wake school board candidates Jim Martin and Susan Evans meet in downtown Raleigh The voters in Raleigh and Wake County soundly rejected "neighborhood schools" and Tea Party Republicanism Tuesday in favor of centrist Democratic candidates. Click here for a rundown of the vote totals: * The Republican majority on the Wake County school board is no more, pending only the result of a likely runoff election in District 3. But Board Chair Ron Margiotta, the Republican leader, was ousted by challenger Susan Evans, a registered Democrat, in District 8 (Southwest Wake), which is generally viewed as THE most Republican...

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How's Tata's student assignment plan? Today's elections will tell us the answer.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 5:59 AM

As Donald Rumsfeld might've said if asked by his former Army general and now Wake Schools Superintendent Tony Tata, you go to war with the army you have, not the one you want. And you work up a Wake student assignment plan with the school board you have, not necessarily the one you want or that'll give you the best outcome. Thus we await the outcome of today's school board elections — on which the outcome of the two-year struggle over student assignment crucially depends. To put it simply, as the elections go, so goes the question of whether Wake...

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Confused about your voting district(s)? It's EZ to look 'em up

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 10:28 AM

The N&O leads off today with a story about how some people don't know what voting districts they live in for Wake school board elections in particular, but also for Raleigh City Council and Cary Town Council elections. This may because they're getting mail and/or calls (including robocalls) from the wrong candidates. E.g., my wife and I live in School Board District 6, but until this year we were in District 5 — and sure enough, yesterday the phone rang with a robocall from Cynthia Matson, the Republican school board candidate in District 5. Sorry, Cynthia, whoever you're paying to...

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Video: Tata bringing "choice" assignment plan to the board Tuesday; no vote until after Election Day

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Are you ready? Wake schools superintendent Tony Tata will present his student assignment plan to the school board on Tuesday, with the board slated to vote on it at its October 18 meeting. That's a week after the October 11 elections. In between, the board has scheduled a public hearing — one — on the plan for 5 p.m. Thursday, October 13 at Broughton High School. Tata holds a meeting with reporters most Friday mornings. Our friend Greg Flynn attended today's confab and he's posted the video. Greg also sent along a handout that Tata read from with "key points"...

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Talk is cheap. Margiotta talks good schools, at no cost, in District 8 school board election debate

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 4:36 PM

The finale of last night's District 8 school board debate was stunning. Out of his New Jersey past, the incumbent School Board Chair Ron Margiotta suddenly declared that funding for the Wake school system is "woefully inadequate." His opponent, Susan Evans, had the last word, and she used her closing statement to say that if elected, she'll "put politics aside" and "champion a highly efficient, balanced school system." When Evans finished, the room literally exploded with applause — the first of the night. The moderator, a no-nonsense type, had warned the audience not to react, not even to breathe,...

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

District 3 school board race: Heather Losurdo's problems mount

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 2:59 PM

(l to r) Kevin Hill, Heather Losurdo, Jennifer Mansfield, Eric Squires To say it's been a rough week for Heather Losurdo, the Republican Party's candidate in the pivotal District 3 (North Raleigh) school board election, is like saying a drowning woman is a little wet. First, Losurdo's penchant for crackpot commentary — don't call it humor, because it isn't funny — was exposed by a new political organization of the progressive stripe, Progress NC. "Heather Losurdo: The Queen of Extreme" is itself a bit over the top in blaming her for the extreme right-wing views of a website on which...

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Would single-sex academies in Wake be single-race too? And other notes from the District 6 debate

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Here's something I learned last night at the District 6 school board election debate. Superintendent Tony Tata's been talking up the idea of single-sex academies in Raleigh, specifically an all-male academy at the Longview School next door to Enloe HS and an all-female academy in the former Raleigh Charter HS in Pilot Mill. (Raleigh Charter moved to a new location this year. The tiny Longview School, an alternative school program, could move out and be merged with Mary Phillips HS, Tata suggests.) The two academies, Tata says, would be grades 6-12 and could open as soon as 2012-13. His...

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Forum tonight with the Sierra Club's endorsed candidates: McFarlane, Stephenson head the list

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 11:28 AM

photo by Bob GearyRaleigh Councilors Nancy McFarlane and Russ StephensonThe Sierra Club's NC chapter — very influential with local environmentalists — is out with its list of endorsed candidates in the Raleigh City Council elections. It will host a public forum with them tonight at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship meeting hall, 3313 Wade Avenue. Doors at 6:30 pm, program 7-8 featuring Q&A with the candidates. Wine and appetizers after — free — the public is invited. A separate event for the endorsed candidates in Cary will follow, they tell us. The list is below. *** For mayor of Raleigh, the...

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wake Dems endorse Nancy McFarlane for Raleigh mayor, Christine Kushner in District 6 schools race

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 2:33 PM

photo by Bob GearyCity Councilor Nancy McFarlaneAny lingering doubt that the Wake County Democratic Party would get behind City Councilor Nancy McFarlane in the Raleigh mayor's race — because she's an unaffiliated voter and an independent officeholder — was just dispelled. The party's executive committee met and endorsed McFarlane, according to an enthusiastic statement from Wake Dems Chair Mack Paul. McFarlane is running against two Republicans, Randall Williams and Billie Redmond. Redmond has the official Wake GOP endorsement. In the contested District C race for City Council, the Dems endorsed the incumbent, Eugene Weeks, over fellow Democrats Corey Branch and...

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Monday, August 29, 2011

[Updated with must-read info] Tata announces Q&A sessions on student assignment plan this Wednesday and Thursday

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Yes — this just in: Superintendent Tony Tata's been talking about holding some public information sessions on his new student assignment plan sometime in September. All of a sudden, five sessions are scheduled, and the first four are this week ... two of them on Wednesday ... two more on Thursday. The fifth one is next week. [Update: Tuesday at 5:25 p.m. Tata just changed the whole schedule. The first two sessions are still tomorrow night and Thursday, but after that — Here's the whole thing, just as it was sent via email two minutes ago: *** CORRECTION *** Information...

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Republicans fill out Wake school board slate, profess love for Tata too

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 1:17 PM

The Wake County Republican Party is making no bones about it. As far as they're concerned, it's great if the non-partisan school board elections are partisan. To that end, they've rolled out their "A" team of GOP candidates, capped off by the announcement today that Donna Williams, founding leader of the Northern Wake Republican Club, will run in District 6. Williams will be pitted against Christine Kushner, whose credentials look pretty darned impressive, in a district that should favor Kushner. A third candidate, George Morgan, is also on the ballot; the incumbent, Carolyn Morrison, is not seeking re-election. Underlining...

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In Tata we trust—II: Wake Dems get with Tony, say Repubs aren't

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Photo by D.L. Anderson Two months ago, I posted "In Tata we trust?" — note the question mark. The gist of it was, Wake Schools Superintendent Tony Tata's Blue Plan for student assignment seemed like a reasonable path out of the muck that the school system's been sunk in since the '09 elections ... and Tata, the former general, was a refreshing, surprising success as the supe. But of course, he'd only been in town four months, so prudence dictated that any praise take the form of a question :) Today, Mack Paul is out with a statement on behalf...

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Roundup, Raleigh Republicans: All the news that's right to print

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM

We have a backlog of Republican campaign info to share. Summarizing: 1) Not one but two Republican mayoral candidates with the addition of Dr. Randall Williams this week; 2) The other, Billie Redmond, is out today with a list of her supporters, noteworthy mainly for the presence of Jim Goodmon, WRAL/Capitol Broadcasting chief, on it; 3) Just in case you thought school elections were non-partisan, District 3 candidate Heather Losurdo announced four endorsements today — the four Republican county commissioners; and 4) There's a Republican, Paul Fitts, running in the at-large City Council race vs. the two Democratic incumbents,...

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

GOP's new districts: Whacking up Wake (or, No soup for y'all)

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Wake whacked into 11 N.C. House districts Lord knows, I hesitate to do this. For one thing, the new legislative district maps squiggle all over the place, making them extremely difficult to read in terms of who exactly lives in which district — especially if you're squinting at a computer screen, as I am. This is where mistakes are made — thus, my apologies if I've made any. (To check me out, click on this official legislative redistricting website — the key elements on it are the proposed Senate districts, the proposed House districts, and a nifty mapping tool, the...

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

AP: Feds investigating Wake jail's treatment of immigrant detainees

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 10:15 AM

The Associated Press is reporting an investigation by the civil rights unit of the Department of Homeland Security. The probe is in response to a complaint by the N.C. chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union alleging that people detained in the Wake County jail on suspicion of being illegal immigrants were mistreated. According to the AP: The agency's civil rights chief sent a letter last month announcing the probe to the North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU had coordinated a group of 57 complaints from people detained at the jail in 2009 and 2010....

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Susan Evans will run against Ron Margiotta in District 8 school board showdown

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Courtesy of evansforwake.com Susan Evans (that's her, top left), who's made no secret of her dislike for Ron Margiotta's agenda since he became Wake school board chair, announced today that she'll challenge Margiotta for the District 8 school board seat in the October elections. Evans, who lives in Apex, is a CPA with Big Four as well as small-business accounting experience. She's also part owner of a local residential construction and development business, according to her press release. She and her husband, Chuck, have two children, both graduates of the Wake public school system. (Her materials are copied below. She...

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Margiotta splits with Tata over the Blue plan's achievement goal

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 1:30 PM

In this week's Indy ("Yellow light for Wake schools Blue plan"), I tried to lay out the key issues I see ahead for Wake Schools Superintendent Tony Tata's Blue plan. They are: (1) Will enough seats be reserved in the so-called Achievement schools for kids coming from high-poverty, low-achievement neighborhoods? (2) Will the school system intervene on behalf of the kids living in such neighborhoods whose parents aren't usefully involved in their school lives, and thus don't know how to make the best of this plan for "parental choice"? Tata has so far guesstimated that "about 20 percent" of seats...

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wake school board reorganizes: Chaos ensues.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM

[Update: Now that I'm home and drinking a beer, one final, summary post. For more than two hours, the school board majority held out for John Tedesco to be elected vice chair and Ron Margiotta's heir apparent as chair. The majority, that is, minus Debra Goldman. Through 55 ballots, Republican Goldman refused to vote with her Republican allies — Chris Malone, Deborah Prickett and Margiotta — for fellow Republican Tedesco. But Goldman also refused to reach across the aisle and cast her vote for Keith Sutton. At the end, as much as Goldman didn't want to help with Tedesco's...

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