Wake accreditation investigation continues

February 18, 2011 4:27:00 PM PST
Interviews by an accreditation firm continued at Wake County school board headquarters Friday.AdvancED is investigating the school system's decision to end its socio-economic diversity plan. The NAACP filed a complaint after the board got rid of their busing for diversity policy.

Seven members of the AdvancED team are trying to figure out if the school board violated its own policies when it made certain changes and they want to know where the school system is headed.

The agency spoke to new Superintendent Tony Tata Friday morning. He tells ABC11 that he shared with investigators his plan to help the school system succeed.

"I'm really looking forward to their feedback, move to the next level," Tata said. "The interviews right now are really people speaking their minds with feedback being how can we make this school district better, which is what we really need to do. They've talked to a lot of community members and as you know, I'm on a listening tour right now and I am very much looking forward to what AdvancED has to say about how we can take all this input and have a more unified governess team and move to the next level of governance and leading the school district."

Tata was just one of several people that spoke with the agency. Some school board members have already showed up for questioning and have mixed feelings about AdvancED's investigation.

"I have problems with them coming in and doing what they're doing and I've said that from day one," Wake School Board Chair Ron Margiotta said. "I think they should be in accrediting our high schools based on the performance of our high schools, not based on whether board members get along or some members of the public have some political axes to grind. I thought it was pretty painless. They were very cordial and it was fine."

School Board Member Keith Sutton also shared his thoughts after his round of questioning.

"Well, I think it was exactly what they said and I think that was probably some of the misunderstanding," Sutton said. "I think that maybe some board members had, that they weren't coming in to dictate to us how to set policy, but more or less how we follow our own policies."

"It is important that we look at our accreditation process so that we are ensuring that we are doing the right things for students, being successful in terms of how we're organized at a school level and at a systems level," said Sebastian Shipp with East Wake School of Engineering Systems.

It could be a month before AdvancED finishes a report about their inquiry.

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