School board cries 'uncle'

When a recent attempt to make a technical correction in the Chapel Hill Carrboro School System's gifted program resulted in an hour of angry testimony from gifted parents, the school board simply gave up.

Board member Ed Sechrest said he would vote "against his conscience" to forestall the legions of e-mails he receives if he votes against what the parents of gifted students want.

"I don't want to read 20,000 e-mails from parents, saying you cheated us, you lied to us," he said. "So I am voting against my conscience."
- Chapel Hill Herald, 9/7/05

Congratulations to these parents who have proven that they are better organized and have more time and energy to spend on this issue than anyone else in town.

Got your favorite 7 numbers memorized yet?

The Lottery passed the Senate 24 to 24, Chapel Hill citizen and Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue cast the deciding vote.

District Tax for County Schools: Will it Fly?

On Tuesday August 16th the Orange County Commissioners will make a decision about how to address the funding disparity between our two school systems. The current plan is to put a district tax on the ballot this fall, and let county school district voters decide for themselves.

According to the Chapel Hill News, the entire Orange County School Board opposes this referendum. And County Commissioner Moses Carey says "Obviously, what the school board thinks is important, but we won't base our decision solely on what they think."

Should the commissioners assume that the county school board is the voice of the people and abandon the referendum, or should they take the attitude that this is an activist school board that may not reflect the will of the people, and go forth with the referendum?

According to school board member Randy Copeland, the proposal will "put a tax on those who can least afford it." Fiscal conservatives want to leave things as is.

Lackluster school board race

Does anyone know what became of the many "diverse" candidates who were vying for the empty school board seat back in December? It's not that I'm unsupportive of Pam, Lisa, or Jeff, but I can't think of anything that differentiates these three on any issues.

Is the public just worn out by school controversy? Does no one want to think about our ailing schools for awhile? It's a shame. "No Child Left Behind" is leaving our children behind. We are spending too much time and money measuring, and not enough time teaching. We're losing sight of the social, cultural, and spiritual needs of our children.

Internationalist honors Liz Brown

Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday July 23, 2005

Last week, Internationalist Books give this year's Bob Sheldon Award for social justice to Orange County school board member Liz Brown.

I was surprised that Brown was even in the field of vision of the Ibooks volunteers.

After all, these are people known for their engagement with U.S. and international issues, whose concern is with globalization and war, not school budgets and the three Rs. I suspect Brown was not well-known around Ibooks before last week.

Consider the other nominees. Ibooks board member Michal Osterweil said of nominee Vinci Daro "one of the most amazing things about Vinci is that she participates in many of the most important protests internationally and serves as a tremendous resource and thinker for developing effective alternatives here, and yet she is so modest and effective, that often you don't even know how much a project has depended on her work and her inspirational energy."



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