Even strong Democrats believe the Wake school board flunked this test. The board majority may have done the right thing, but they sure did it the wrong way. And Democrats may pay the price.
It was a mistake to fire Tony Tata without first setting out a bill of particulars. You can’t fire a superintendent, then refuse to say why because “it’s a personnel matter.”
Board members finally began explaining themselves today. That was a day late. They gave the public stage over to their Republican critics yesterday. At the start of the evening news broadcasts, no less.
John Tedesco, Paul Coble & Co. were happy to take the stage.
Tedesco may be the big winner here. He may stir up enough votes in Wake County to get elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Coble now has an excuse not to give the schools more money.
And Tata gets a years’ pay so he can start (some critics theorize) running against Senator Kay Hagan in 2014.
But keep one thing in mind. This board didn’t do what Tedesco’s board did. His crowd forced Tata’s predecessor out immediately. This board gave Tata a chance. But Tedesco and his colleagues are shocked, shocked!
As Bill Clinton would say, it takes brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.
Still, the board botched this. They now get blamed for anything bad that happens in the system. They may pay the price next time they run. And the debacle may hurt Democrats in this election – all the way up the line to President Obama, who carried North Carolina in 2008 with the help of a huge majority in Wake County.