Tata invites Clinton, Colbert and other critics to see schools

Staff writerFebruary 25, 2011 

— Come on down!

That's the message from Wake County schools superintendent Tony Tata to the high-profile, distant critics of the system he runs.

Former President Bill Clinton recently added his name to those of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and TV satirist Stephen Colbert in taking shots at Wake's move to set aside its history of assigning students based on keeping school populations balanced by socio-economic diversity. His remarks came at a ceremony in Little Rock opening an exhibit on the town's historic Little Rock Nine in Clinton's presidential library.

"I invite President Clinton, Secretary Duncan and Stephen Colbert down to North Carolina and I'm happy to show them the great school system we have," Tata said after a Thursday meeting with the Northern Wake Democrats.

Clinton's remarks could be discouraging to the high school classes who will be moving through Wake schools in the next few years, Tata said. "I don't think that it helps us that we have leaders of our country criticizing the school district from which they are going to graduate."

thomas.goldsmith@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8929

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