All Kids Are Gifted

Guest Post by Alan McSurely
Originally published as "School board right to end ‘segregation,'" a letter to the editor of the Chapel Hill News.

Several letters and at least one News & Observer column by Rick Martinez have explicitly attacked the NAACP and, by implication, Valerie Foushee and Elizabeth Carter of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board, for our efforts to provide equal educational opportunities for each differentiated (and gifted) learner in our schools. These attacks suggest an organized effort to racialize this initiative.

Merger Averted

...for now at least. The Orange County Commissioners opted not to take action on the school merger idea while they wait for the results of some studies and create another task force.

[Commissioner Moses] Carey proposed merger more than a year ago because of the disparity between the two school districts created by Chapel Hill-Carrboro's district tax, which nets that system as much as $12.5 million more than the Orange County schools receive.

But Carey abandoned his position that the commissioners take an immediate vote on merger or on a merger referendum. He said that discussions with his fellow commissioners and the community led him to believe that neither proposal was currently feasible.

However, Carey said he is not giving up on the idea of merging the school systems and added that he will reintroduce the issue.
- News & Observer, 2/13/04

Hillsborough Hypocrisy

This week in the News of Orange, columnist Paul Newton invents a new word to describe Hillsborough politics:

NIM-BY-cron-ism (N) (2004): partiality to cronies by elected officials esp. as evidenced through the rejection of development applications without regard to the general welfare and common good of the citizenry who elected them.

I'll admit, my casual following of the debate over siting a new alternative school in Hillsborough's historic district has made the detractors sound pretty bad and made the school into a political ping pong ball. You know that can't be good.

But I don't know much about what's behind this, and Paul's got his own (good) reasons to gripe. Anyone care to enlighten me/us further?

Busy Night

Big meetings tonight:

I don't have time to write all that I want to say aboust these right now, but I'll try to post an update later...

Boycotting What?

Happy Thanksgiving all!

This may go down as one of the least effective protest tactics ever. The Chapel Hill Herald reports that a group of parents in the county school system (ie: northern Orange County) are calling for a boycott of businesses in Chapel Hill (ie: southern Orange County) to protest the disparity in school funding.

Now I sympathize with their cause, but

  1. local businesses have nothing to do with the special district tax on homeowners that raises more money for the southern schools,
  2. they pay the same amount to the county - who funds both systems - as any other business in the county, and
  3. is anyone going to notice that these 20 people and maybe a few of their friends aren't schlepping down 86 to come shopping here? How often do they shop in Chapel Hill and Carrboro anyway?

Am I missing something? Is there a reason why anyone should care about this? Why are they leaving Carrboro out? (Someone must love Weaver Street Market.) Couldn't they think of a better name than "Rural Orange Boycotts Chapel Hill?"



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