In March 2010 the new members voted to do away with the assignment policy, drawing "criticism from the district’s accrediting agency for high schools, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and federal Secretary of Education Arne Duncan," Samuels writes. In North Carolina's Gaston County, newly elected board member Mark A. Stephens was listed "by the Tea Party of Greater Gaston County as a candidate who aligns with the group’s priorities of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets," Samuels writes. "Because of the political climate, people were a lot more interested in everything," the candidate said.
In Baraboo, Wis., local Tea Party organizer John Meegan received the most votes in a six-person race for three school-board spots. Frederick Hess, the director of education policy studies for the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, says the nature of conservatism may be changing on school boards. "Given how much of the conservative criticism has been the need to reassert local governance and preserve community values, it would make sense” to see local Tea Party organizations focusing on school races, he told Samuels. (Read more)