Wake School Board Chair Ron Margiotta calls parents who disagree with him "animals"


What a jerk

Perfect company for Pope and Luddy.

Silly bloggers!

Don't you know that it was the former board majority that was elitist, arrogant and aloof?

The wise current majority that refers to the public as "animals in cages" can't possibly be anything more than kind-hearted, loving souls who only want to listen.

Every time I'm called an "animal" or told I'm "out of my cage" it just makes me realize that I have the proper leadership in front of me.

Thank Hera for my betters.

I'm just a rat in a cage....


Margiotta should step down

He should apologize too -- although I'm appreciative that he revealed his true feelings about the parents of Wake County.

Renegade Ron should do a lot of things

and step down is at the top of the list. But he'll just laugh it off, boys will be boys, jerks will be jerks.

Pope's record on getting decent people into positions of power is zero. His last big win ... installing Joe Boylan in the House ... was one of his more embarrassing moment. He spend a small fortune electioneering for Hairdresser Joe, only to find that the guy was a drunk and a lech.

Nice going, Art.

A call to arms

Reposted in full from NC Policy Watch

To: State and local business, education and government leaders

From: Your customers, stakeholders and constituents

Re: The demise of the community we all call home

Dear Friends:

There comes a time in the public life of a democracy when people who care about their community must stand up and be counted; a time in which remaining on the sidelines and merely pursuing one's own private interests (or contending that one's interests aren't at-stake) simply won't do. Such a time has arrived in North Carolina's bustling and fast-growing capital county. Right now, it's crunch time in Wake County, North Carolina.

Anyone who harbored any doubts about this reality and who was paying attention was disabused of them over the last few weeks as they watched the kangaroo sessions conducted by a group of extreme and buffoonish interlopers who have seized control of the single most important public body in a county of a million people.

It happened when people listened to the school board chair refer in public to those who would dare to question his plan to reverse decades of progress in public education by reassigning the county's students into segregated population zones as "animals out of their cages."

It happened when people looked on in stunned disbelief as that chair and his allies rammed through an unprecedented plan to make a far right propaganda shop and private foundation funded exclusively by one man - the rather bizarrely named "J.W. Pope Civitas Institute" - an official adjunct to the Board.

It happened when people saw the school system's veteran and respected superintendent resign in protest and when surveys showing widespread content with school assignment were ignored.

It happened when people heard the Board establish a subcommittee for the purpose of thoroughly researching the myriad issues related to the county's complex student assignment system and then, before any research could be conducted or reported, watched it go back on its word and move forward with a radical plan to dismantle the current system.

Friends, right now the Wake County public school system (and, thereby quite likely, the long-term health and well-being of the capital county of our state) is sitting on the point at the top of Raleigh's new RBC Tower. It's wobbling in the wind, waiting to crash to the street below.

And when it falls, it won't fall alone. Not only will it hit the pavement full of innocent kids and families, it will be followed in short order by a series of follow-up crashes - the health of the local business community, its attractiveness to potential newcomers, the drawing power of our colleges and universities, real property values, and ultimately, the county (and state's) overall health, well-being and reputation. It will begin what former school board chair John Gilbert is warning will be "the Detroitization of Raleigh."

We understand that this is an unusual request. For many of you, school board politics are usually at a level below your radars - the kind of micro-politics that motivates and involves PTA's but not CEO's. But the current situation is different.

This isn't a matter of degree in which a new group of elected officials is trying to take the helm and adjust course a few degrees right of center. This is, in effect, a dark of night coup d'état by ideologues with no real interest in governing. These people have capitalized on inevitable and understandable public discontent in pockets of the community in order to seize control of the ship of state, run it aground, and effect radical change.

Just look at one of the major forces behind this effort. This plan wasn't hatched and inspired by some concerned group of benevolent city fathers. Rather, much of it is the work of a team led by a national chain store magnate (well-known for his support of far-right causes) who owns hundreds of stores throughout eastern U.S. - catering, ironically enough, to people of low and modest income. Only three of these stores appear to be in Wake County. Heck, the main offices aren't even in the Triangle!

One of his chief cronies is, among other things, the head of a conservative and controversial private school with aspirations to establish a chain of such institutions that would supplant public schools.

These people are not racists, but their views on the key issues of the day are decidedly and hopelessly reactionary. Can you really stand by and let such people destroy one of the most important public structures in North Carolina's capital county - the home to the seat of government, a flagship university and many of the largest economic engines in the state?

Now, don't get us wrong, we know that the current school system is far from perfect. Though it is much better than most, years of record population growth, inadequate funding and a failure to stick to objectives around school diversity have caused some backsliding - especially for poor and minority children. This is an unacceptable situation. But this is not grounds for dismantling all that we have achieved.

It is for all these reasons and more that we are calling on you today -

You - Senator Hagan, Governor Perdue, the members of the Council of State, Senate President Pro Tem Basnight and House Speaker Hackney,

You - Erskine Bowles and the chancellors and presidents of the various Triangle colleges and universities,

You - Bill Johnson of Progress Energy, Jim Goodnight of SAS, Bill Atkinson of WakeMed and Harvey Schmitt of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce

to stand up and speak out.

A broad coalition of parents, students, clergy and grassroots activists (along with a few of your courageous peers) has been doing its best to resist the tide. But now we need your help.

In case you needed any other reminders of how vital this effort is, consider these words from the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce about what we have and what's at risk:

Whether you're looking for world-class educational opportunities for your children or yourself, we have it all.

The high quality of education found throughout Wake County is a primary reason that the Triangle area continues to be heralded as one of the best places to live in the country. (Emphasis supplied). And the relocation of people to Raleigh from other parts of the nation and around the world results in high expectations and even higher standards for school performance.

Our public schools earn high marks across the board, outperforming school districts across the state and nation in end-of-course and proficiency tests, SAT scores and other performance-measuring criteria. In fact, the Wake County Public School System is a national role model with its goal of having 95 percent of its students performing at or above grade level. With a reputation like that, it's no surprise that Expansion Management magazine gave the Wake County Public School System a gold medal rating as one of the best in the nation.

And finally, make no mistake: this is not a matter whose effects will only be felt in Wake County. People throughout the United States are watching. They’re looking to see whether Wake County will serve as a bulwark against reaction or a bellwether of hope and progress. And right now, they’re looking at headlines like the one that appeared this week in the respected Independent newspaper: “Wake County goes to hell.”

So, please stand up with us. Speak out. Get involved in the process. Better yet, come to a school board meeting. Let the world know that when the chips were down in this very important part of the world, the leaders and institutions with the greatest resources and political clout didn't sit passively by while amateurs and ideologues wrecked one of the community's last best hopes for progress and shared prosperity.