Non-Profit Co-Founder Blasts Wake Board of Commissioners over WCPSS Diversity

Calla Wright, co-founder of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children (CCCAC) recently sent emails to members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners complaining about the current student assignment plan in county’s school district.

The emails obtained by this site show Wright’s outrage over an article that appeared in the News and Observer. The article was about detailed a study by the Brookings Institute on diversity issues in Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg school districts.

Excerpt of the findings via News and Observer:

“Most CMS black students were in majority black schools, while most Wake County black students were in majority white schools,” writes Armor, a critic of busing for diversity. “The chart below shows very clearly that Wake County black students did not have higher test scores than CMS students, after adjusting for a student’s socioeconomic background.

“Moreover, the black-white gap was virtually identical in the two school districts.”

With regard to these findings by Brookings, Wright’s emails decry the Wake School Board’s demand for, “MO MONEY?!” and blasts the board over this “public embarrassment”:

“This article is a public embarrassment for those of us who marched and were apart of the earlier demonstrations to maintain diversity and balanced schools when republicans were in control of the school board.
WE sit back and say nothing about the school assignments now that we have a democratic school board!!?? Schools have reverted back to segregated student population, high poverty schools and have an increase in our low performing schools and low academic performance for black and brown children!  More MONEY, Mo Money from the County Commissioners! Is it all about MONEY! Show me the MONEY!
Who is accountable for this?!
This did not happened under the leadership of former superintendents Bill McNeal and Del Burns!”

 

Ms. Wright’s email mentions nothing about the boom of school choice in Wake County and in Charlotte-Mecklenburg school districts.  Nor does wright mention how the Wake School Board has ignored the big increase in students choosing to leave the traditional Wake county public school system under the current administration.

This site has previously reported on a group known as the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children (CCCAAC) as it pertains to the ‘school to prison pipeline’ narrative playing out in Wake County schools.

Calla Wright, alongside Moral Monday leader William Barber and a host of activist groups,  is one of the plaintiffs suing Wake County Schools and area sheriff’s over an alleged, ““a pattern of discrimination and unlawful criminalization” in Wake Schools.

As previously reported, the CCCAAC was founded by Calla and Gerald Wright in 2006.

The organization’s filings with the North Carolina Secretary of State show the CCCAAC is a 501(c)3. Despite the CCCAAC utilizing PayPal to collection donations, attempts to locate a single IRS 990 filing for the organization were unsuccessful.

CCCAAC has partnered in the past with WakeEd Partnership and are promoters of Common Core. CCCAAC also supports Common Core, which has been shown to have a possible racial bias inherent in the standards.

Over the last three to four years, Common Core test scores across the country over  have shown that scores for minority students have declined and the achievement gap has widened.

Left leaning political activists, Ajamu and Rukiya Dillahunt, are actively involved with the CCCAAC.

In 2014, CCCAAC pushed the idea of basically letting kids at ‘risk of failing’ have multiple bites at the apple, in part by getting rid of zeros in grading. This idea was spearheaded by Rukiya Dillahunt and the WCPSS board ate it up. Less than a year later, the Wake County School board withdrew the idea.

The CCCAAC member page has aligned itself with Black Lives Matter:

Please leave your name and contact information and someone will get back with you. Black Lives Matter Please get involved!

It should be noted that Ms. Wright is one of the plaintiffs who sued over the Wake County voting maps.

Selective OutrageThe 4th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in that case’s favor. The result was the Wake maps used this Fall will be the old maps from 2011 — the same ones which saw the current Wake County Board of Commissioners flip to 100% Democrat held and assisted the Wake School Board to become majority Democrat held.

Posted in Education, Wake County School Board | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NC Media Outlets Ledes on Recent #HB2 Ruling Mislead Citizens

Media ActivismHere’s a challenge for the reader: Name a news outlet in North Carolina (and beyond) that didn’t have a misleading lede on the recent House Bill 2 (HB2) ruling by Judge Schroeder.

I saw about ten headlines on Friday after Judge Schroeder’s ruling that implied that HB2’s facility privacy section had been blocked statewide.

A few examples include, UNC blocked from enforcing HB2 for transgender plaintiffs (News and Observer), Federal judge says UNC can’t enforce North Carolina’s transgender bathroom restrictions (Washington Post), A Federal Judge’s Ruling Against North Carolina’s HB2 (The Atlantic).

Once you hit the article or read the actual ruling, you realized Schroeder blocked that part of HB2 for the three plaintiffs and it applies to the UNC system only.  In other words this is a very specific injunction where the UNC system can’t enforce this portion of HB2 on the plaintiffs.

UNC to date has been resistant to accepting HB2 and officials from the UNC system have made statements in the past indicating they would not enforce the law.  This ruling is contrary to the ruling by a Texas Federal Judge, which blocked the Obama administrations bathroom directive.

From the ruling:

Accordingly, the court will enjoin UNC from enforcing Part I against the individual transgender Plaintiffs until the court reaches a final decision on the merits in this case. Plaintiffs have not made a clear showing they are likely to succeed on their Equal Protection claim, and the court will reserve ruling on their Due Process claims pending additional briefing from the parties.

It is important to emphasize that this injunction returns the parties to the status quo ante as it existed in Title IX facilities prior to Part I’s passage in March 2016. On the current record, there is no reason to believe that a return to the status quo ante pending a trial on the merits will compromise the important State interests asserted.

In the late Friday ruling by Schroeder, A Bush appointee, he wrote that the challengers “are likely to succeed” using the argument that HB2 violates Title IX. That makes no sense unless you consider what closely what Schroeder wrote:

It is important to emphasize that this injunction returns the parties to the status quo ante as it existed in Title IX facilities prior to Part I’s passage in March 2016

Schroeder seems to be aligning with the dissenting opinion of the Gavin Grimm v Gloucester case which was written by the 4th Circuit’s Judge Neimeyer.

Neimeyer made it clear in his dissent that Title IX is not ambiguous: “Title IX and its implementing regulations are not ambiguous. In recognition of physiological privacy and safety concerns, they allow schools to provide “separate living facilities for the different sexes,” 20 U.S.C. § 1686, provided that the facilities are “proportionate” and “comparable,” 34 C.F.R. § 106.32(b), and to provide “separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex,” again provided that the facilities are “comparable,” 34 C.F.R. § 106.33.”

The Supreme Court of the United States recently overturned part of the 4th Circuit’s order in Grimm v. Gloucester. The Supreme Court sided with the school district and issued an order putting a previously granted injunction by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on hold for the time being.

The Governor’s office issued the following statement:

“The Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act is still in effect,” said General Counsel Bob Stephens. “The judge’s limited injunction only applies to three individuals and is based on a Fourth Circuit decision recently stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court. This is not a final resolution of this case, and the governor will continue to defend North Carolina law.”

Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the NC Values Coalition also issued a statement:

“Judge Schroeder has made a very narrow ruling by suspending enforcement of HB2’s bathroom provisions only for the three UNC transgender student and faculty plaintiffs. HB2 remains in effect for all others at UNC and across the state. Since UNC has refused to enforce HB2, the ruling has little effect. The Judge based his decision on the Fourth Circuit’s misguided reliance on the Obama Education Department’s interpretation of Title IX, not on the Constitution. This decision is at odds with a Texas judge’s ruling earlier in the week that enjoined nationwide the Obama Administration’s mandate forcing public schools to allow boys into girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers. It is a shame that Attorney General Roy Cooper has failed to do his job and defend the State’s common sense law that protects the privacy and safety of both boys and girls alike.”

The case will resume in October.

Posted in LadyLiberty1885, LGBT, Media Bias, NCGA, Random Musings, You Will Be Made To Care | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

NC Dept. Of Public Instruction Touts 4th Year of Powerschool, Ignores Failings

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction sent out a  press release yesterday, hailing the success of Powerschool, which captures student data and information statewide.

The press release listed impressive numbers of parent log-ins as a way of making it seem that the product was really making a difference.

It’s catching on. In a single week this spring, more than 450,000 parents and students accessed the secure parent and student portals in PowerSchool, giving districts yet another approach to help strengthen parent engagement, a critical factor for student achievement.

“By using PowerSchool’s parent portal, we can connect parents to key data about their students’ schoolwork. This frees parents and teachers to spend their conference time discussing strategies to help students improve,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson.

What the release doesn’t say is that Powerschool is the only portal for parents.  So of course large numbers of parents are logging on?

The press release also didn’t mention Powerschool’s failings.

These failings include a $7 million dollar maintenance rate, hundreds of ‘slow connectivity incidents’, missing deliverables and suspect payments to ‘contractors’.

Back in June, this site reported on a letter obtained that was sent by the HomeBase Leadership team to the NC Department of Public Instruction Leadership and PowerSchool team. The letter revealed that Powerschool was still rife with problems.

Excerpt from the June report:

Accompanying the letter was a spreadsheet with 286 incidents spanning 10 weeks, starting at the end of March and running through the beginning of June. The vast majority (around 90%) of these incidents involved ‘slow connectivity’, ‘loss of functionality’ and ‘down/unavailable’.

Under “Quality Assurance”, complaints included:

  • “Broken items are consistently placed in QA for re-test without being thoroughly vetted or unit tested.”
  • “Urgent and prioritized defects and issues are frequently not addressed within a reasonable timeframe. High priority items often sit for days, sometimes weeks, without tangible results, or progress updates.”
  • “PowerSchool is inconsistent in following industry standard procedures for Quality Assurance.

Of note, under the bullet point, “Transition from In-House Project Support to Operational Support”, was this gem (emphasis added to the second half):

There has been a lot of discussion about this subject and we want to put it to bed. We were given a list of tasks that Greg Parish used to perform while he was based at NCDPI. The majority of these tasks require technical level access to servers that NCDPI has no access to, or require contacting various people within different
teams of PowerSchool, in order to coordinate support activities. We provided a specific response to Dan Gwaltney with the proposed transition steps on the few items that can be transitioned to NCDPI. As a response we received an SOW and a bill for Lorenzo’s services for $105,000. The SOW was actually a template written for your customers that host locally. It just seemed like a document put together with little effort in order to attach a bill to it. We have a contract with PowerSchool that costs more than $7 million per year for maintenance, support and
hosting operations; a turn-key solution. We expect that this is sufficient payment and find it absurd that PowerSchool wants to charge North Carolina extra money for work performed by specific members of your staff.

The letter also notes that the project is missing close-out items, yet NC DPIannounced in 2013 that the project was completed.

Using DPI’s 450,000 parent log in number and at a maintenance rate of $7 million, that’s just over $15 a log in.

Read the whole June Report: PowerSchool Update Letter Packed with Bombshells
Read the June 9th Letter.

Posted in EXCLUSIVE, June Atkinson, LadyLiberty1885, NC DPI | Tagged , , | Leave a comment