20 months ago, the Wake County School Board voted to hire Tony Tata as the new superintendent. As a retired Brigadier General, his only “education” experience was in his most recent job as the COO of Washington, DC Public Schools and his graduation from the Broad Superintendent’s Academy. At the time, I wasn’t totally convinced he was the best choice, but I did think he was a major improvement over the last superintendent. I decided to keep an open mind and see where things went.
Over the past 20 months, I have nothing but praise for Mr. Tata. He has been the face of the WCPSS, attending countless meetings at schools across the county and responding to concerns from parents (regardless of how “simple” the concern may seem). Beyond that, he significantly improved the communication of information between the district and the community. Not to mention the changes that have been implemented in a number of schools in all areas of the county and the improved test schools that happened WITHOUT the major reassignment of thousands of children for the sake of diversity. And, not forgetting the first teacher raises in 5 years and improvements for Special Education families in Wake County.
I can’t express how disappointed I am in the Wake County School Board, more specifically the five members of the board who voted to fire Tata from his position this week. Of course, me being me, I emailed every board member as soon as news leaked that some members were targeting to remove Tata immediately (this leaked on Friday). By Monday, there were closed session meetings and he was removed on Tuesday. It is so sad that our children will be made to suffer because of petty differences and obnoxious special interest groups who seem to be poster children for “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” I wish I had the luxury to attend every school board meeting and voice my opinion. But, I don’t.
Anyone watching this debacle knows that partisan politics is rumored to be at the root of these most recent happenings. I wish I could say that wasn’t true, but it is looks like a donkey… I’m a registered Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I vote straight ticket or that I firmly support all things Democrat. Ha… fat chance. But, I do think that outward appearances and a lack of transparency do tend to make one thing the Democrats on the Wake County School Board were just trying to flex their muscles.
Of course, I do think this will end up backfiring and hurting the children and staff within the district. They are trying to put together a $1billion school bond item for the spring 2013 ballot. While I do think the district would benefit from the money, I also think that the leadership on our current board is not equipped to handle that funding. I also think that if they were given the funding, they would make horrible decisions mainly benefiting those special interest groups and completing ignoring reason or logic.
So, to say I’m disappointed is an understatement. To say I wish we had enough disposable income to send Abby to private school is another understatement. And, some friends are even considering homeschooling as an option for next year, but I’m not sure that is realistic for us… poor Mike would go crazy if he was having to teach Abby, chase Katie and care for baby #3 at home each day. I’d need to rent one of those PODS permanently and outfit it with well padded walls.