December: Wake County school board hires Tony Tata, chief operating officer of the D.C. Public Schools, a retired Army brigadier general and author as the systems superintendent in a 4-2 vote.
January: Tata states that he supports the school board majoritys direction toward neighborhood schools. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan criticizes Wakes decision to discard its school diversity policy.
February: Tata tours county schools, saying that diversity is a value that should be promoted and that magnet schools are Wakes No. 1 strength and need to remain a part of the school districts future. Tata takes control of the student assignment process, considering a model proposed by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Wake Education Partnership in which families rank where theyd want to go from a list of school choices rather than being assigned based on address.
May: School officials introduce two color-coded student-assignment proposals: the green plan, in which students are assigned to a specific school based on their address and the blue plan, in which families would no longer be assigned to a specific school but would choose from a list of four to six elementary schools based on whats closest to their home.
June: Tata presents the blue plan for student assignment to the school board.
September: Tata proposes and board approves the creation of a single-sex leadership academies.
October: Democrats win four seats on Wake school board; Republican chairman Ron Margiotta is ousted. The future of the school assignment plan is uncertain. The nine-member board adopted the student assignment plan 6-2.
November: Final school board member Kevin Hill wins runoff election to give Democrats control of the board. The new board will review the student assignment plan.
December: Democrat Kevin Hill replaces Ron Margiotta as chairman, and Keith Sutton replaces John Tedesco as vice chairman.
January: School boards new Democratic majority pushes for substantive changes in the systems new assignment plan, saying that student achievement should play a greater role than proximity in assignment formulas. They eventually decided to go with the approved plan for the time being.
February: NAACP and the Great Schools in Wake Coalition urges the public to lobby for changes in the systems new student assignment plan, warning that it could result in resegregation. The school board votes to extend Tatas contract by six months, through December 2014. Tata charges school board members Susan Evans and Christine Kushner with potential ethics violations over their support of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, a group critical of the student assignment plan. Tata later apologizes to the board members.
June: School board members announce their intent to return to a diversity-based student assignment plan, as well as re-establishing the connection of student addresses to specific schools.
July: Students have longer bus rides in the new school year because of a transportation plan that cuts costs by putting fewer buses on the road to serve more riders. Wake faces record enrollment for 2012-13.
August: Wake County school systems first two single-sex academies open. Tata takes responsibility for the bus problems and pledges to improve the situation that has affected thousands of students and their families. Twenty-seven of the 52 buses that were parked to save money are put back on the road.
September: Don Haydon, Wakes chief facilities and operations officer, resigns amid continuing complaints about the way buses have been running. The Wake County Taxpayers Association files a complaint with AdvancED charging that the Democratic board majority is mismanaging the school system and creating unnecessary fear and uncertainty with actions such as scrapping the choice-based student assignment plan. Republican leaders urge support of Tata amid rumors that the boards Democratic majority might fire him.