Saturday, March 10, 2012

Desperate times

I think we are now witnessing desperation.

The N&O recently ran a couple of columns by Burgetta Eplin Wheeler about how “disturbing”, “confusing and upsetting” the new student assignment plan is. Oh, the drama.

Ms. Wheeler’s first column addresses the “alarm bells” of this plan. She paints a picture of uncertainty and leftovers (not surprisingly, it is mostly magnet-driven fear – as Ms. Wheeler is a magnet parent herself). She ridiculously calls the plan “nearly incomprehensible”. 

I have found that most people who find the plan confusing or “nearly incomprehensible” haven’t taken the time to actually read it. It’s not rocket science. Spend a few minutes reading it, Ms. Wheeler, and check your alarms while you’re at it.

I’m fairly certain that Ms. Wheeler wrote that column to simply taunt parents and taxpayers because opposition to this plan is losing traction. She uses phrases like "casualty count" and "collateral damage" in an attempt to paint a dark picture. Instead, it comes across as a weak last-ditch effort to stop the plan.

Just days later, the N&O published her second column about the plan. In this one, Ms. Wheeler addresses the “mystery” of student assignment as it relates to realtors in Wake County. Somehow Ms. Wheeler managed to find the only 3 realtors in Wake County that have either had their heads in the sand for the past few decades or have been lying repeatedly to each and every home buyer. The realtors claimed they are worried about not having a base assignment to help sell a house. There has never been a guaranteed assignment in Wake County. After decades of yearly reassignments, any realtor that sold a house based on the currently assigned school was being deceitful – and they knew it.

In my opinion, these columns are clear signs of desperation. The so-called pro-diversity groups have lost the battle and they are now losing the war. 

So, where do Brannon and her GSIW cronies fit in? That’s hard to say. They’ve bashed and insulted Supt. Tata, have said this plan was rushed from the beginning and that it’s too confusing to parents, and have even given awards to their School Board friends (Evans & Kushner) in hopes of halting this plan.

Yet, strangely, in today’s N&O article, the leader of GSIW, Yevonne Brannon, states: 

 "A large majority of the folks we are hearing from do not understand this plan; they think it's too complicated; they'd like to go to school closer to where they live, with vibrant options to move out."

Huh? Did she just admit that the parents want to attend a school closer to where they live? A neighborhood school, perhaps?

After two years of protests, disruptions, candlelight vigils, lawsuits and arrests in response to moving WCPSS towards a more family-friendly, proximity-driven assignment plan, Brannon is now asking for a more defined neighborhood model to allow more students the opportunity to attend school close to where they live.

Is this another sign of desperation?

GSIW and the NAACP have lost the diversity battle in Wake County. The election of their leaders hasn’t really panned out. And, most damaging to their rant, parents are speaking loudly that they like this plan -- and those who don’t seem to like it actually want more neighborhood options (as I addressed in a previous post) -- not a return to diversity quotas.

If you ask me - Brannon's comments are just another desperate attempt from a group trying to remain relevant. They no longer have a target on the School Board. Their demons are gone and they have been left with nothing. Their membership is nil and their press releases have become ludicrous. There's nowhere else to go and have now shown they are willing to say anything (even "more neighborhood schools") to have a continued purpose. They are backed into a corner and will say anything just to survive.

I’ve said all along that if you let these people argue long enough, eventually they will end up in support of neighborhood assignments.

I think we might almost be there.