Tata answers questions from students, parents

Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata

March 3, 2011 6:35:48 PM PST
Fresh off his meeting with an unhappy NAACP president, Wake Schools Superintendent Tony Tata took part in a forum to answer questions from students and parents Thursday night at the Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh.

Tata, who took office on Jan. 31, agreed to meet with the student group NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens) after they publicly challenged him to talk with them.

Two members of the group were among 16 people arrested when a protest erupted at a Wake school board meeting last July.

Tata said in the time he has been on the job, he has learned that Wake County is a very passionate area.

“People care very deeply and where you stand depends on where you sit—and so I’m going to find out where these people stand, and I’m sure they’re going to tell me tonight,” Tata said before the gathering.

Since Tata was spending time with the conservative and anti-diversity taxpayers group, members of NC HEAT asked him to meet with them too, and Tata agreed.

On Wednesday, Tata met with NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber in private for two hours about the decision to end the diversity policy.

Barber says he reiterated his concerns about the move toward community-based schools and hopes his voice will be taken into consideration moving forward.

Tata would not comment on whether he thinks diversity should be a factor in student assignment.

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