Calling 2013 'the year of the snakes' for the Wake County school board

Posted by T. Keung Hui on January 1, 2014 

As we kick off 2014, here’s one person’s pretty critical look at what happened on the Wake County school board in 2013.

In a Dec. 23 blog post, Allison Backhouse calls 2013 “the year of the snakes” in assessing what the school board has done. It shouldn’t come as surprise as Backhouse, who was the campaign manager for former school board chairman Ron Margiotta, has been an outspoken critic of the Democratic board majority for the past two years.

“As a new year approaches, I thought it would be good to reflect on all the great things our School Board has done to improve education in Wake County,” Backhouse writes. “But... I couldn't come up with any.”

Her list of what she calls “woeful 2013 highlights” includes:

• Hiring Jim Merrill, whom she called a “board lapdog,” to be superintendent.

• Placing enrollment caps on schools.

• The participation of school board members at Moral Monday protests and teacher walk-in events.

• The public confrontation between school board members and state Sen. Neal Hunt.

• The “complete stranglehold” the Great Schools in Wake Coalition has after the fall school board elections

• The ouster of Keith Sutton as board chairman.

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