Friday, November 12, 2010

Waddell/Harding details

When my editor asked me to do a live chat on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools today, my biggest fear was being embarrassed by dead air. I thought three days after the marathon school-closing meeting, people might be burned out on CMS issues.

Wrong! An hour-long event turned into more than two hours of rapid-fire questions that were still pouring in when we stopped taking new ones at 1 p.m. (read the archived chat here). It was odd to be on the receiving end of the barrage, but very cool to realize so many readers are asking such smart questions.

Several people wanted details of the proposed Smith/Waddell/Harding shuffle. I promised to post the map and projections that CMS e-mailed yesterday, so here it is.

I can anticipate your follow-up: What about the other schools that will change? I'll start tracking similar documents now and let you know if and when they're available. Update: The guy who handles this is out of town today, so it'll be next week.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

These whiny babies keep digging a hole for themselves as usual.

In the future why not just purchase and pass out baby passifiers for the usual suspects in advance and they can suck on them while everything is going down. It may be an idea to buy many boxes of Pampers, baby milk and bottles plus Gerber baby food jars for the soiled, hungry and thirsty.

And then once they have cried enough hire nursery care workers and bring in rocking chairs to rock them to sleep. Get everything in jumbo sizes including workers like the ones down at the nursing homes. Many more cuts forthcoming with billions in the hole in Raleigh so phase II upcoming shortly.

Who will change their dirty diapers? Thats undecided but maybe the democrat or rino county commissioners plus city council and mayor is a good start along with any volunteers from the Observer. Velma Jennifer Rodney and Anthony looks like good prospects or maybe Ann Doss and others at the paper.

It takes a village ...

BJ

therestofthestory said...

Okay BJ I am not too sure what point you are trying to make. BTW, it is time to shed this "It takes a village" cr@p. It for too long has been an excuse for too many to pass off their parental/birthing responsibilities.

If you are refering to the lib movement of the public school system needing to become the "wet nurse" to these kids for their sake, then I see your point.

However, the larger point to make here is that the Waddell kids have been pawns for the former school board. I guess you know by now if you have picked it up in the conversations that Waddell was originally designed to be a "mid-point" school. That means, you would bus the black kids in from one direction and the non-black kids from the other direction. When it came time to execute buildibng the school, all sorts of facts were presented to the school board not to do it. However, they were determined to do it and thus the school has been underutilized from day 1. Had the school been built were the need was, it would have opened at 110% capacity. I am not sure what side of town you are most familar with but compare it to North Meck back then. Since then, Mallard Creek, Hopewell, and now Hough have been built to handle the original North Meck area and still schools have mobile units around them. North Meck was once the largest high school in the state.

In summary, the Waddell kids were made and suffer from being politcal pawns by the former school board. It is painful to be uprooted form your school, but ask the suburbanites here in the 80's and 90's about being uprooted. I had a child with 3 different middle school assignments and 2 high school assignments so I took matters in my own hands and controlled that disruption early on.

The part of all of this I did not agree with was disrupting academic successful programs especially those for the ED students. I was willing to let magnet busing keep on becuase those students demonstyrated higher then peer academic achievement. I saw value in that small extra expense. However, these are programs and such not showing that vaule of over $100 million currently. Do you think CMS is going to cut any of those? We will see.

Anonymous said...

One person in the chat asked why Smith academy was allowed to outgrow their facility. I can point to one reason, the building was already full, when they started the Chinese immersion program (at 2 classes per grade). They realized that it was going to be too big, so they made the Spanish immersion kids stay at Collinswood for 6-8. If they wanted to start a new program, they should have done it in a different facility! Now the school gets bigger each year as the Chinese program matures (currently at grade 3).

concerned_cms_parent said...

On allowing Smith (or any school) to outgrow its facility, I would think that hind sight is 20/20.

If you have a highly successful, highly popular program that closes the achievement gap and is producing high achieving students, do you cap the number of students who can attend? Or do you allow it to grow, and make plans to build a new building that would accommodate the growth? Smith was in the middle of plans to build a new building on its campus when the economy soured and those plans were shelved. And the wait list was 100 students strong this year. The Spanish immersion program was consolidated in Collinswood, which helped with some of the crowding, but yes, the Chinese program will expand another grade level next year.

As for waiting until you have space to expand the program, it's not always so clear-cut. If you always wait for the perfect opportunity, you may never act. With the chance of expanding to a language that is spoken by 1 billion people, it was not unreasonable to think 5 years ago that they could start it and have a new building soon that would accommodate all the students. At the time, the economy was strong and schools were being built all over the place. Who'd have thought that in a few years, the economy would tank and the school would become so overcrowded?

Anonymous said...

Ann, thanks for giving us a place to post our views. I have a great friend who has taught in the CMS school system for over 10 years. She always says how she loved teaching! I used the past tense because for the last three years she says teachers are finding themselves being used more as paper pushers, and political pawns. She regularly uses the phrase "we have to sneak to teach".

It is unforgivable how the board approves Gormans enormous amounts of spending on consultants, bodyguards, pet projects(strategic staffing) and his administrative staff, while firing top teachers and closing promising schools to so call balance the budget. Now my friend is terrified that she could be placed in a pool as he goes after teachers salaries again. (She has a masters and National Board). He is killing off a lot of good ,not to balance the budget, but to hide some poor spending habits. Charlotte's story needs to be heard on National level.

Anonymous said...

To commenters on this blog and other stories, please cease and desist disparaging E.E. Waddell High School's parents. Any one who objectively followed the coverage knows that Waddell's students and parents have handled this controversy with grace and restraint. Some people may be trying to assuage their guilt by painting an unfavorable picture and accusing them unfairly, but God knows. I bet that threatening letter to Kaye McGarry was from a Harding person who realizes she sold them down the river to help Smith. These parents have a right to speak up if they feel that an injustice has been perpetrated against them. They pay taxes also much to the disbelief of some who decide to spew out stereotypes with no regard for the facts. Extra monies to schools are the moniew from the federal government for EC, FRl, etc., not county and state dollars. Allow boundaries to be equalized and I am sure those demographics will show up as higher percentage in your neighborhood school and therefore be eliigible for those federal dollars.
CMS is creating a new high poverty school at Harding with a projected proficiency of 74% which is only 3 points higher than Waddell is now. Wouldn't you be outraged about this upheaval of your child for no gain in achievement and poorer facilities?

Anonymous said...

Oh, for crying out loud. The latest CMS map excludes an area formerly known as OP South that was relocated out of Providence High June 9th, 2005 in an effort to "Save South Meck". We were blindsided also with the final vote made made at the end of July 2005. Welcome to the Bermuda Triangle located along Highway 51. Apparently, CMS has moved us so many times they don't have a clue what schools we are assigned to. In this case CMS "won" about 10 kids so maybe that's why we fell off the map.

Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann said...

You say not to accuse EE Waddell unfairly and then go on to say that someone from Harding probably wrote the threatening letter to McGarry?????

"Wouldn't you be outraged about this upheaval of your child for no gain in achievement and poorer facilities?"

Yes. Do you think that other people haven't had their kids shuffled around and ripped from their school and placed into another school with lower achievement and poorer facilities? It's been happening long before now. We were told to stop whining.

Anonymous said...

Well, pardon me. The bent white "index finger" reaching down to the McAlpine Elementary area along Highway 51 and located across the street from Calvary Church is naturally assigned to Myers Park H.S.in an effort to adhere to the school board's Guiding Principles which now claim to prioritize neighborhood schools. This is Trent Merchant's area of town.

Kudos to the person who came up with Trent's "pandering dunderhead" title.

Anonymous said...

Merchant actually offered his neighborhood up to move out of MPHS if it would make the boundaries more fair. Then Joe White, who also lives in that area, threw Merchant under the bus.