School board agrees to accreditation investigation

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During a public hearing Tuesday night at Cary High School, which is in Debra Goldman’s district, supporters raised signs in her honor. Photo by Will Huntsberry.

The Wake County Board of Education did not put a unanimous stamp this morning on its decision to let AdvancEd, Wake’s high school accrediting authority, proceed with its investigation in February. But board members did vote 6-2 to cooperate with the investigation.

The board and the agency that accredits the county’s high schools have been going back and forth for months over an investigation into the board’s decision to do away with the income-based diversity policy. AdvancEd had told the board that it should either cooperate with the review or make its own decision to drop the accreditation.

Despite John Tedesco’s urging that the board reach a consensus on welcoming the investigation, pro-neighborhood school members Deborah Prickett and Chris Malone voted against cooperation.

In a brief statement Prickett noted, “I disagree with the terms of this particular visit and I vote no.”

In a pre-written statement, Tedesco said that while he also disagreed with the scope of AdvancEd’s visit, he “stand[s] strong by the courage of [his] convictions on each and every issue” and is proud to be an active participant in the upcoming dialogue.

Anne McLaurin said that she did not believe Tedesco would have supported the measure if Debra Goldman, the board’s swing vote, had not already decided that she would cooperate with AdvancEd’s investigation.

No word yet on whether Malone, Prickett or any of the other board members who initially disagreed with AdvancEd’s investigation will opt to have a lawyer present during the inquiry, as AdvancEd noted it would allow for individual board members.

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