Tata addresses Peace Univ. axing Wake Co. Schools deal

Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata

April 18, 2012 2:14:23 PM PDT
Wake County Schools' superintendent answered questions Friday about William Peace University's sudden decision to ax a plan to house the school system's leadership academy on its Raleigh campus, among other topics.

After the somewhat negative press the Wake County school district has been receiving this week, Superintendent Tony Tata highlighted some positive news for the school district, including a big event going on at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School Saturday.

It is the first ever countywide Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo, which provides opportunities and encourages students.

"I made a table top nuclear fusion reactor ...," senior Carl Smith said.

Smith's project has already won him a grant scholarship from NC State. It's a credit to the STEM program, but the success at Southeast Raleigh Magnet is somewhat tempered by William Peace University backing out of hosting early college leadership academies for Wake County schools on its campus.

"We were very close and we would have liked to have reached an agreement," Tata said. "The president [of William Peace University] and I are committed to reaching an agreement in the future."

The university cited "the division and controversy on the Wake County Public School System board" as reasons not to join forces.

Meanwhile, Tata is also trying to reassure local leaders. At a recent meeting with Wake County mayors, Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane expressed concerns about recruiting businesses and families to the area because of uncertainty with Wake County Schools.

"I've seen no evidence of that of course I take the concerns of any elected official very seriously," Tata said.

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