No Democratic agenda
In 2011, the Wake County Democratic Party expended substantial resources in the local school board races. We took this action with some trepidation. Wake County has prospered when leaders across the aisle work together on issues such as education. We did not want to add fuel to an already raging partisan fire. However, we believed involvement in the school board races was essential to counter the Republican Party’s efforts to resegregate Wake County’ schools through its “neighborhood schools” campaign.
At the outset of that campaign, the Democratic Party praised Superintendent Tony Tata for bringing calm to a tumultuous situation and for deftly side-stepping Republican pressure to craft a new assignment plan that excluded student achievement. Instead of focusing on Tata, we vigorously criticized the board for destabilizing a nationally recognized school system with Tea Party politics.
After the election, I had the good fortune of meeting Tata several times. Despite our political differences, we had no problem discussing family and the future of Wake County. Many Democrats shared similar interactions with Tata. The point is there has never been a Democratic agenda to rid Wake County of Tony Tata.
As an outside observer, I have concerns about the decision to terminate Tata and what that decision will do to our community’s ability to build consensus on a much-needed school bond. However, I have no doubt those board members who voted to terminate Tata did so believing it was best for the school system.
To move forward at this point, our community must face up to reality. The draconian reassignments of the early 2000s, the neighborhood school movement of 2009 and the choice plan and bus fiasco of 2012 all share a common thread: They represented strained responses to a lack of resources. Until community leaders across the aisle come together to address our resource needs, the instability will continue.
Mack Paul, Chairman, Wake County Democratic Party, 2010-2011, Morrisville
The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response.