“We can use 2016 as an opportunity to show people the
incredible progress we’ve made,” Fitzsimmons said.
What Brian references is the funding increase by Wake County Commissioners in the form of teacher pay raises - $16 million in the recently approved budget.
The Wake County Democratic Party - as part of a much larger progressive coalition, defines progress by how much money is spent. Wake County parents and the broader community define progress in education differently - and that's when children (particularly socio-economically disadvantaged) improve academically.
And what data do we have that demonstrates how parents have viewed that progress?
Growth in the Wake County school system is slowing down as more families are choosing charter schools, private schools and home schools as alternatives for educating their children.
The Wake County progressive coalition, made up of the likes of WakeUp Wake County and their subgroup Great Schools (not students) in Wake, the NAACP, Wake Education Partnership, Wake County Democratic Party, NC HEAT, Youth Organizing Institute, Raleigh FIST, various assortment of clergy coalitions, etc. defined (and still define) progress as schools essentially having the proper mix of black and white students. The Rev. William "John 2:16" Barber considered the old (pre-2010) Policy 6200 which shuffled students around annually as pawns in a failed socioeconomic diversity experiment as the nationally recognized gold standard.
While these groups touted the progress and success of getting the correct mix of students in a school - they defined these schools as healthy, we saw the actual achievement of the students in these schools suffer. Indeed, in 2009, the graduation rate of socio-economically disadvantaged students fell to 54.2%. But of course, they defined this as "healthy"
So we see that over seven years nothing has changed. They are still tied to metrics defined on what is put in, not what comes out.