Will 500 people pack into Hopewell High's auditorium tonight to tell the school board what they think about student assignment?
That's what one of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools organizers is predicting. If true, that would be by far the biggest turnout, after three forums that have already shattered skeptics' predictions that the summer doldrums (and vacations) would keep the public from getting engaged.
That forecast could be on target. The north suburbs have a longstanding love-hate relationship with CMS. Remember the 2005 "split up CMS" movement that drew hundreds to talk about seceding from a district they saw as driven by an uptown Charlotte bureaucracy? Plus, some residents are still smarting from a recent boundary vote that will bring drastic change to North Mecklenburg High in August.
Check details about tonight's forum here.
Meanwhile, board members are trying to keep up with a flood of ideas from last week's three sessions. Paul Yeh, who attended Thursday's forum at South Meck, sent a list of questions and suggestions to board Chair Eric Davis, a fellow engineer and Wachovia employee.
Among Yeh's questions: Why isn't student achievement listed anywhere among the guiding principles the board is studying? How is input from tonight's meeting going to factor into decisions the board will start making this afternoon and wrap up on Tuesday? Will the board post a draft of any changes for the public to view before Tuesday's vote?
Davis said the comment about student achievement has been a common thread at all forums. "I expect it will be included with the (new) guiding princples, but I'm not sure how," he said.
But as for putting a draft out for review, that's expecting too much too fast, Davis said. "We asked for comments on the front end," he said. "Now we're going to use them."