I was about to call out N&O editor John Drescher on his opinion column today regarding a “partisan” school board. Drescher had this to say:
No doubt, Tata made some mistakes. But he was the person who did the most these last few years to unify the Wake schools community. In his first year, Tata visited nearly every school and scores of community groups. He listened hard. He was pragmatic and constructive. He calmed a system in turmoil and brought hope that this community could reach consensus. He provided a powerful example of effective public leadership.
As chairman, Hill had a chance to lead the board toward nonpartisanship. He chose otherwise.
There’s a reason we describe the Wake school board as partisan. Because it is.
- The last thing anyone who has met Kevin Hill would call him is a politician. As someone who has worked on campaigns I can tell you that Hill isn’t, well, an engaging candidate. He is who he is. He’s happy to serve on Wake’s school board and not jockeying for “higher office” like some other board members. I believe Hill’s heart is in the right place. As Perry Woods pointed out, firing Tata right now – in the heart of a campaign – shows that Hill and the rest of the majority didn’t do this on the basis of party politics.
- It was the N&O who gleefully stoked the school board controversy to begin with, helping turn the school board into the partisan battleground we’re saddled with today.
- I’m getting old now and my memory’s not as good as it once was, but it’s funny how I don’t recall any N&O editorials urging “stability” and decrying “partisanship” when the Republicans swept the board.
Hill was right to call out the newspaper on its slated reporting. Frankly, I’m sad to see Drescher dismissed his claim because I think Hill has a point. If Drescher and the N&O wants a board without divisions, it could go a long way by removing some of the venom from its reporting.