Friday, February 25, 2011

Insulting e-mail and vanishing comments

Updated 2:45 p.m.
School board member Rhonda Lennon apparently forgot a basic playground rule: When you insult someone's family, you've crossed a line.

Lynne Sanders, a parent concerned about the likely elimination of middle-school sports in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools next year, recently e-mailed Lennon urging her to preserve the program. Sanders noted that her seventh-grade daughter had made the honor roll at Bradley Middle because of the motivation sports provide, and added that "When Megan hung her report card on the refrigerator last night, she noted that next year she probably would get all C’s because there wouldn’t be any basketball. That saddened me….How many other kids are thinking the same way?"

Lennon's response: "Find me $1.2MM and I will be happy to, but I cannot cut teacher positions to pay for MS sports. Its sad that your daughter isn’t self motivated enough to want better than C’s on her own and not because of sports."

Sanders took offense and has been circulating Lennon's e-mail to officials and media.

Some of you asked for the full content of Sanders e-mail. Jeff Taylor's Meck Deck blog has the exchange I'd been copied on, plus a follow-up from Lennon that I hadn't seen. Short version: Sanders told Lennon she would have understood a reply calling on her as a concerned parent to do more, but found it "insensitive and inappropriate" to focus the response on her daughter. Lennon, in a response that was not copied to others (but that Sanders posted on Meck Deck), defends her work on trying to protect middle-school sports and her decision that "the current model is not self sustaining and is draining the HS program so another model must be developed or MS sports will not continue."


--
Update at 5 p.m.
Well, this is embarrassing. Seeing Cedar Posts' comment about ways to delete items without leaving anything, I started clicking around to see what I'd missed. It turns out the comments section has a spam filter with 26 posts piled up. About half are true spam -- for instance, various "write your dissertation" services that post generic comments in hopes of steering people to that site. The rest are (blush) real comments from readers, including Trent Merchant and Wiley Coyote, that for some reason bounced there.

I've restored all the real ones going back through January. So if you're curious to know what Trent had to say (hint: He encourages a frequent blog commenter to run for school board), go back to the "Time to shake up CMS board?" post.

The moral: If you have to guess at whether I'm guilty of censorship or technological boneheadedness, the latter is a smart bet!

--
Meanwhile, school board member Trent Merchant joined "Wiley Coyote" and other blog readers in the frustration of having their comments eaten by alligators in the Internet.

Over the last few months, I've gotten intermittent reports of readers posting comments, seeing them appear briefly and then vanish. Some have suggested (tongue in cheek, I think) that we've set the blog to vaporize comments with certain phrases or viewpoints.

Nope. Eric Frazier and I can delete comments, but we almost never do. And that leaves a notation that a comment was removed by a blog administrator. These are disappearing without a trace.

While I was flailing about for a better explanation than invisible gators, a colleague asked if I'd checked the help forum of Blogger.com.

Oh, yeah ... there's a thought.

So, I still can't explain this phenomenon, but I've learned it's happening to lots of people on lots of blogs. Go here to get some tips on avoiding it, and if it happens, to log your issue along with the 800-plus other users who have posted since this thread opened in July.

143 comments:

therestofthestory said...

I think I have to support Rhonda here. I am not sure way people do not get it that the feds are broke, the state is broke, the county is broke and therefore the school system is broke. Just because the law allows the feds to print more money and not endure more present pain and that what we are doing is passing the multiples of that pain to our children and grandchildren with inflation and debt payments.

I was a middle school PTSA president in an inner city school. I also helped run the sports booster club and the and booster club. It has been a puzzling condition I have noticed that is seems to be okay to offer sports just to keep some students engaged in school.

So I guess the parent that wrote this to Rhonda was not going to be too concerned if next year with no basketball, the child would bring only C's home on her report card.

When I was in middle school, the only way we had sports was when there was a student teacher from the nearby college working on their PE or such certification. My youth football teams were sponsored by one of the men civic groups in the community.

Anonymous said...

Although her tone was harsh, the school board member is completely spot-on with her reply. Parents need to find a way to motivate their kids; it simply cannot come from teachers alone. I would advise this mother to lay out some expectations for her daughter in terms of academics. Playing a sport shouldn't be the only incentive to do well in school.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda's right.

Anonymous said...

Help Me Rhonda..... Help Help Me Rhonda!

Dear Rhonda,

I can no longer afford to give my children their allowance. They said they weren't going to go to school anymore without it. Will you give them some allowance so they can go to school?

Thank you,
Johnny Complains-a-lot

Anonymous said...

I support Rhonda, too. After all, if the girl can get good grades with sports, why can't she get them without sports? If that were my daughter, we'd be having some serious discussions. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

When "therestofthestory" was in school, he had to motivate himself without sports. He also had to walk five miles, uphill both ways, through snow with no shoes on I guess? Hint: This *isn't* when you went to school - in fact, it's not about *you* at all.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe how many people we have working high-profile jobs in the public sector that simply don't have the wit to temper their online correspondence. Is this a sign of lack of intelligence, or simply indicative of a sense of superiority?

Jody said...

Rhonda is right however I would think someone in her position could be a little more diplomatic with her choice of words.

Anonymous said...

About time we had a school board member willing to make the tough choices instead of caving to the 'squeaky wheel' parents. I absolutely agree with Mrs. Lennon that classroom teachers are more important than MS sports. I would hate to see any sports, art, music, etc programs cut, but sometimes drastic times call for drastic measures. Let's not forget that the primary purpose of our children going to school is to get an education.

Anonymous said...

It is not insulting, what is insulting is a mother who thinks her daughter needs to dribble or shoot a basketball in order to succeed academically. Has the mother ever thought what will motivate her daughter after her education is completed?

Anonymous said...

I often wonder if most of the commentors actually believe the crap they spew. If you haven't attended public school in the last 10 years, your opinion of it is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to pile on here (sounds like there are plenty enough readers with a similar viewpoint to mine; I'm guessing not the response you expected, Ann) -- but I also have to side with the school board member. Granted, her tone is dismissive and maybe off-putting, but you have to think these school board members are more than likely feeling VERY tired and beaten up over having to make so many unpopular decisions. For you & I (other parents that is), the cuts at CMS are a real concern to our own one or two kids, with the broader consequences to society at large just a theoretical "gee, that's unfortunate" to shake our heads over sympathetically then move on to the rest of our lives....to a school board member, every one of those kids, society-wide, is at the mercy of their decisions, and I'll bet that burden crosses their minds more than once when they try to fall asleep at night.

Sure, we could take the approach "I didn't have any of those frills when I was growing up & I turned out just fine", but that's not very productive. How about we all try harder (this parent & family included, although I realize I don't know all their circumstances), to figure out how we can all step up to the plate more to fill in those new gaps as volunteers, reaching a little deeper in the wallet for support, etc.? Yes, believe it or not, there ARE positives to going through this financial pain, in terms of building stronger, more caring communities and families; it's happening at our kids' school and I'll bet a similar experience is growing in CMS schools all across this city and county.

Anonymous said...

This comment will self destruct in 30 seconds

Anonymous said...

Love Rhonda's opinion and tone!!! If parents want these things, they have to be willing to foot the bill.

Anonymous said...

Lynne Sanders, YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!! We all want middle schools sports to be a reality in our schools, it does help, but what a pathetic reason for you to even state and put in an email to a BOE member, let alone acknowledge your poor role modeling for your daughter. Unless she is very good at basketball and able to make the WNBA or European teams, she might want to consider another life skill, courtesy with a start in CMS. What next, the RACE CARD?

Anonymous said...

No child in China would dare say such a thing to their parents for fear of getting their butts kicked for the full length of the Great Wall.

That's the big difference between them and us and why money alone will NOT solve our education problem.

We have some SERIOUS attitude issues among our children and parents.

Worf Rat said...

The parent should be teaching her daughter better self esteem rather than already knowing her grades will go down.
I agree 100% with Rhonda.
Sorry author, you aren't getting the sympathy you are looking for.

Anonymous said...

this is why China and the rest of the World is going to bypass the USA. while the Chinese students are studying to get smart and get a good college/job, our USA students are worried about sports, music, and keeping up with the kardashians. charlotte schools spent $$ like crazy for years and now you must pay.

BigBearCarolina said...

If this child sees no other reason to work hard in school besides getting to play sports, then her mother should be worrying about other things besides having her feelings hurt by an e-mail that would appear to be spot-on.

Anonymous said...

There are tons of other school programs that have to find their own funding, especially the arts. It won't kill parents to hold a car wash or sell candy bars to fund the program. If the sports programs are that important to them, they will do something about it.

Anonymous said...

I have read, re-read, and re-read Rhonda Lennon's e-mail excerpt. I have yet to find the insult alluded to in the headline.

Anonymous said...

We are the masters of the world.

Our children deserve to play sports while the rest of the world does all the hard work.

They deserve that future for as long as it lasts.

After all, we did win the last World War sixty five years ago.

Party on, Garth.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Rhonda! Sounds like the mom could use a little parental coaching, but she can pay for that too.

Anonymous said...

Don't shoot the messenger, however, when dealing with children and parents, tact is needed. In this case, parents have a clear challenge to see how they can provide the sports programs outside of the school if that is what is needed to motivate their students.

On the other hand, playing sports should be a reward for good work, and not be a bargaining chip to get a child to achieve in school. Parents need to take responsibility. We as a nation have taken on an attitude of entitlement which has to stop. If our children are to be productive members of society, they must recognize that opportunity requires dedication and hard work.

Anonymous said...

China and the rest of the world has ALREADY bypassed the US.

We just haven't felt the FULL repercussions yet.

I'd give it a generation at best and we aren't getting better.

Don't cry about those NAEP science scores until you see how we compare internationally.

We are 17th.

Check out out PISA results.

We are in a sinking ship.

It may be a big ship with lots of rafts for for the first class passengers, but we're definitely going down.

Anonymous said...

So where was the insult to anyone in what Rhonda said?? No money means things need to be cut from the budget. A school's objective is to EDUCATE its students, not to make sure they can play sports.

Why is a parent accepting the fact that her daughter can motivate herself to get good grades when SHE WANTS TO, and then accepts the daughter's warning shot that next year when sports goes away, so do my good grades??

YoyoMa said...

Maybe the parent needs to do a better job of motivating and educating instead of relying on a school system to keep up with the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Go Rhonda! Thanks for having the guts to say what needs to be said! Rhonda's comments were not insulting, they were just honest - which is what is sorely lacking in the CMS budget crisis.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Gavreau cuz she's a loser.

Anonymous said...

The only thing this school board member should be ashamed of is her apology. She's absolutely right!

Anonymous said...

In Lennon's defense, she is absolutely correct in her email and has nothing to apologize for... Tell it like it is and those who don't like it, can lump it...

Anonymous said...

I have found that whenever I have emailed Rhonda Lennon about an issue facing a school in District One that she is extremely dismissive of any idea that she doesn't agree with. I guess we elected her to represent her own ideas instead of considering the opinions of her constituents. She also posts comments about local schools that she has no business getting into as a school board member.

JAT said...

What a bunch of anonymous, hateful idiots.

The hostage takers at CMS will successfully fleece you because you accept the absurd premise that A) CMS is not wasting many times $1.2m in splendiferous fashion B) It will not cost CMS many times $1.2m to deal with the fallout of not having middle school sports.

I knew Charlotte was scared and fearful given the economic collapse, but I did not realize the extent to which higher brain functions were impacted.

Then again, Rhonda Lennon holds elective office.

Anonymous said...

DOES YOKO ONO SERVE ON THE SCHOOL BOARD?


I've followed this ms sports versus money email thing involving Ms. Lennon since I heard about it Tuesday afternoon at the school board meeting. As the stone rolled faster and faster downhill I couldn't help but think this must have been how the other four Beatles reacted to the original Ms. Lennon, Yoko Ono.



Bolyn McClung
CMSdollars.com
Pineville

Anonymous said...

I think it's silly to get upset when someone questions the ridiculous statement that middle school bastketball is the only thing motivated this kid to study.

Be a parent and stop expecting everyone else to raise your kid.

Wiley Coyote said...

Here's some info for you.

Rhonda Lennon and Joe White responded to my email a few months back stating they wanted to keep sports. Now Lennon seems to have done an "Obama" and flip-flopped.

I was also laughed at and chastised by Lennon for requesting data from CMS only to turn around and use the data in my posts on the Observer.

I copied her on many of the data requests as she is my representative.

Until now, I have never specifically named a BOE member in any response received from an email. I would always say "a board member or members said this or that".

So here's another constituent that voted for her in the last election but will not be voting for her in the next one.

I'll write in Howdy Doody. He couldn't do much worse.

Anonymous said...

I actually agree with Rhonda Lennon for once, however this is how Lennon is. She always seem immature and blunt in her response even at school board meetings.

Anonymous said...

So JAT, what would you cut to save 1.2 million if it is soooooo easy.

Or are you simply complaining?

Anonymous said...

"Its sad that your daughter isn’t self motivated enough to want better than C’s on her own and not because of sports."

Rhonda Lennon is absolutely right!

Antonio said...

In my day we had to have good grades to play any sports we were tought to work hard for what we want and to beleive that our education would nevr fail us.

therestofthestory said...

I am not sure my tot board is up to date but I think the BOE has another $85 million in cuts to find. This is a rather newby bunch in this position but have been on numerous committes and volunteer groups over the years. They know the pain it is going to be to hack into the classroom.

Most all of the BOE members know the pain the non poverty schools are already feeling with kids having to sit in the floors or unable to get into classrooms becuase the desks have all the space taken. Is that any way to teach kids even if they are eager and willing and have been scarificing for years for the low poverty schools to have 15 kids or less in those classrooms?

I am not sure but to make the least cuts the state has suggested is that CMS will be able to do no better than the state recommended teacher to student ratios.

Antonio said...

In my day we had to have good grades to play any kind of sports, we were tought to work hard for the things we wanted and our education would never fail us. Education first then fum time. Or you can join a church sports group or join a atthletic association: Help your child with their education be parents not just freinds.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda was extremely arrogant. I will not vote for her not just on this issue but a number of others. You can disagree with someone without begin a jerk.

Try communication with her and you will see what I mean. Once she was elected the ego went through the room.

Let me remind Rhonda, disagreeing does not mean you have to be disrespectful.

Anonymous said...

I have reached out to Rhonda myself on an issue and found her to be just downright nasty. It is one thing to disagree but another one entirely to attact the person who has asked the question. From my personal experience this is a pattern with her.

Anonymous said...

While there may be merit in the thought behind her comments the lack of tact tossed it all out the window. Yes there is a lack of funds to go around and yes that means sacrifices must be made but that does not mean that people can just run their mouths with no thought of the consequences. That parent is owed an honest apology for the insensitive way this woman responded to her request to try to keep the sports program going. While that may do nothing for the continuation of sports programs it will go a long way toward restoring that parents faith that her child is in good hands during the school day as opposed to the current message that administrator was sending with her thoughtless remarks.

Anonymous said...

Poor little Megan. Her mommy needs to give her a pep talk and a big hug.

Blaming C's on not playing sports....of course it makes perfect sense in today's best friend parenting model. This time it is about the money. I don't find anything wrong with Rhonda's comment to the parent. Reality orientation is sometimes in order. T

Anonymous said...

The fact that Mommy felt the need to distribute the email as evidence of the insensitive nature of the school board member's reply tells you all you need to know. We teach our children to use excuses - and this Mommy is driving it home for her child.

Anonymous said...

Would it have been so hard to respond by saying "Thank you so much for taking the time to share your perspective as a parent. We are struggling to pay for so many things at the school this year, and this decision to cut the $1.2 million sports program was not made lightly. If our operating budget returns to pre-2009 levels (adjusted for inflation) we will prioritise bringing back the middle school sports programs, but in the meantime, yes, in the short-term your daughter's report will reflect her academic achievements alone."?

Anonymous said...

I have email board members many times. I have received rude emails from Rhonda as well. I've also seen her roll her eyes and make comments at meetings as well. I think she is in over her head and needs to be off the board next time around.

Kate said...

I do agree that Rhonda did not use the most diplomatic lagnuage in her email response, but she totally had the right idea. If this student doesn't value getting good grades unless it's so she can play sports, then she's certainly not going to "go places" (academically speaking anyway) unless she refocuses her values. The onus, however, is truly on her mother if she didn't take that opportunity to explain to her daughter why grades matter outside of sports.

Anonymous said...

While I believe middle school sports provide a valuable outlet for students, I too agree with Rhonda, and, personally, I see nothing wrong with her email. I do see much wrong with that parent's attitude and suggest that her daughter is an example of an apple that did not fall far from the tree. She will likely be another member of the "entitlement" generation judging by the "entitled" attitude of her mother.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she could of been a little more nice in her response, but Lennon is excatly right. It's really sad that the girl in this story can only strive to get A's on her report card, because of sports. This parent is looking to put the blame on anyone else except herself, and her daughter. Yes sports in school is a good thing, but when the money is not there, would you rather cut sports, or cut teachers and have 50 kids in a classromm. And honestly I do not find Rhonda Lennon's reply as insulting at all. She was honest with the lady, and the Observer is just trying to spin this into a sob story. You know what sometimes the truth hurts.

Anonymous said...

"Its sad that your daughter isn’t self motivated enough to want better than C’s on her own and not because of sports."

Hmmmmmmmm....I think she has a point there.

Anonymous said...

I see Lennon's response, but where is the mother's initial e-mail so we can judge the tone of that? That would help.

Anonymous said...

Hats off to Rhonda for providing honest, straight to the point feedback to a parent who has a low motivated kid. We need MORE just like her..If it wasn't for those type of kids who we are spending 2-3x the dollars on maybe our school budget issues would not be so severe. I have to wonder if it came to "pay to play" would the parent pay for the sports or just let the kid drop to all C's. Probably the latter..

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought!!

Let's keep middle and high school sports around but increase the GPA requirement!!!

Anonymous said...

I see the GD racists from the main story about CIAA have come over here to bitch since their comments were shut down over there do to abuse and trashiness. God help this poor racist city.

Anonymous said...

I think the GPA increase would solve a ton of issues!!

What's wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

How are these comments racist?

I must be missing something...

VitoAndolini said...

I always find it ironic no one questions how a school system can't get by on "only" a BILLION dollars a year! Waste, graft and greed are the foundations of our city! that schoolboard member sounded like a bia though, on the real.

"Charlotte: we bleed greed!"

Anonymous said...

I agree about the vanishing blogs. I have had trouble with this for a year or more. However, I would be more sympathetic to the board member if I didn't know how many high priced administrators this county has, that other counties don't have. I have no problem with not firing teaches, but I think some layoffs up stairs, and some salary caps are vital. One other thing: I was talking to a friend who made the comment that the PTSA was buying textbooks because the system didn't have them. I grew up in the eastern part of this state in a VERY poor county, but the school gave me my books (even if my mother, who was a teacher, had to buy some of them). The parents there were not any better off than the system was and couldn't afford the PSTA to buy books either. Why can't a county of this size and wealth at least get the textbooks straight.

Anonymous said...

I participated in girls' athletics when I was in school many years ago. I did so because I love sports not because I needed sports to motivate me to do well in the classroom. In this instance I agree with the statement made by the school board member. I saw this family on the news yesterday and just for the record I belong to the same race. There is no doubt that sports have been a life line for so many kids over the years. But the landscape has changed. Parents have got to start as soon as the child is out of the womb instilling a thirst for education in their children. Chances of you becoming a professional athlete is so small. If a child is not doing well academically, he/she should not be playing a sport. They should be at home studying. It is unfortunate the young girl in this story is telling her parents she will not continue to make good grades if sports are eliminated. Her parents should be demanding more from her.

Anonymous said...

There is another problem with no sports. Some of these kids are depending on athletic scholarships to go to college and the middle school sports are the training ground for the high school sports. Also, what email did this lady use? If she used a home or personal email as opposed to professional or published one, I might get a little short with her too. It is hard job being on a school board.

Nathan said...

So, if we don't raise taxes to buy sports programs for these seventh-graders, they're threatening to make C's next year? I say let them make C's. And after they graduate they'll be unemployed because we'll all be hiring kids from China who don't need added incentive to make good grades.

Next topic.

Anonymous said...

If I had said to my father what she said to her mother about no more good grades because of no sports, my father would have punished me by not letting me play at all, or by spanking me so hard I couldn't sit on the bench.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of you are missing the point. Kids that are really good in sports have an opportunity to receive a full scholarship. That's major for parents. If the kids don't get the skill set in the development years that maybe taken away from them. HELP MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE CHARLOTTE BOBCATS!!!

Wiley Coyote said...

Hey Rhonda?

If you're so concerned about money why don't you join with McGarry and follow in the footsteps of Gauvreau and demand the USDA allow CMS to FULLY audit the school lunch program.

Based on CMS' own sample audit, if 60% do not qualify, that means approximately +/- 40,000 students DON'T QUALIFY.

Of those, think about how many kids are playing sports for FREE when they could be paying $100.00 to play a sport.

Rhonda Lennon must go in the next election.

Anonymous said...

When my Grandfather was in school, the US led the world in education. When my parents were in school, the US led the world in education. When I was in school, the US led the world in education. Sadly my Grandfather has passed but my father(a doctor), and my mother (a business owner), my wife (a Senior VP of a national real estate firm) nor myself (a construction consultant) have been able to help with my 5th grade daughter's math homework. I see people talk about China this and India that because WE are focused on things other than academics. WE need to focus on academics the way they were for the 100 years that we led the world in education. What does this have to do with this particular thread you ask? For years, athletic participation was a requirement in many school systems. That participation was viewed as an intregal part of a childs maturation process. Without all the "new" stuff, and without "No Child left Behind" (Do they have that in China nad India?), and without 4 year old day care, etc. WE can lead the world in education AND have athletics.
Remember that the US began to lose ground, with the rest of the world, when Jimmy Carter made public education a Federal issue and took the control from the States. BTW, Rhonda serves the citizens of Mecklenburg County and needs to respond to any communication with a little more tact and respect than what she has demonstrated.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anonymous said...
I think a lot of you are missing the point. Kids that are really good in sports have an opportunity to receive a full scholarship. That's major for parents


That's a hollow argument for keeping sports because a miniscule number of student athletes get scholarships to college and many don't go on to play college sports period.

Cut ALL sports programs.

We can keep about 90 teachers in the classroom by cutting middle and high school sports.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda is right, and while she could have said it nicer, she doesn't have to and the whole PC business and people crying because their feelings are hurt is absolute BS and part of what is wrong with our country and our kids! Suck it up, teach your child values that will get them through the tough times that WE ALL FACE and will continue to face throughout life. It isn't what you go through, it is how you get through it that makes you what you are.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness Rhonda has the
GUTS to tell this parent the truth. Too bad there aren't more school board members willing to step up.

Art said...

Get real, folks. It's time for people to grow up. We can't afford for the government to pay for everything in life. If your child wants to play basketball in middle school, join a church league or amateur league. When I grew up, there were no sports until JV in ninth grade. We played sports in each other's back yards or the YMCA. We just cannot afford to lose focus on education in the lower grades.

Anonymous said...

Dear Santa,

If you don't give me lots of toys. I won't have any reason to be a good girl.

Signed, Lake Norman Area Brat

Anonymous said...

Wonder how many of these posts came from the same source. That is the problem with "Anonymous" posts. Or is this an organized effort. Have this debate in a format where the poster's name must appear and you have more credibility. Otherwise I smell a rat.

Anonymous said...

HOW MUCH IS LEFT FOR CMS TO CUT?

You can go to this link and see a thermometer gauge style chart with all the descriptions.

http://cmsdollars.com/thermometer.pdf

Bolyn McClung
CMSdollars.com
Pineville

Anonymous said...

To: Anonymous 3:44pm

It as simple as typing your name at the bottom of the comment.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville

Geoff said...

Rhonda is right, however, her response to the parent was out of line. Would we accept that response from a teacher or a principal? No. Their direct supervisor would be dealing with them behind the scenes once the complaints begin. She should know that small comments like that can lead to her no keeping her seat, especially with the savvy community she reports to.

Cedar Posts said...

Rhonda Lennon - What I have learned over the years is that who live in small worlds get upset and lash out over the smallest things.

Comments - "Eric Frazier and I can delete comments, but we almost never do. And that leaves a notation that a comment was removed by a blog administrator. These are disappearing without a trace."

Hummmm come on lets be honest here.... when you delete a comment you are given the option of removing it or deleting it forever. The forever option removes all traces even the notation that the comment was removed by a blog admnistrator.

Anonymous said...

Of course, they don't have "No Child Left Behind" in China.

If your child can't make the grade, they're simply left behind while a more deserving child gets a chance.

They separate the wheat from the chaff with a series of tests that they take VERY seriously.

Because if the child doesn't pass, their future education is severely limited.

There is reason to be concerned about China because they are simply outperforming everyone now.

BTW, I just found this article on the PISA tests results from Shanghai in 2010.

Those kids aced the exam, stomping even Singapore into the dirt.

And leaving the US way, way behind.

We should all learn Mandarin.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/education/07education.html

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Rhonda. Very, very few of these kids will go on to earn athletic scholarships and even less play pro. Sports have a place and can build character, sportsmanship and even provides exercise, but should never be the motivation behind getting good grades. Poor parenting as usual! Wake up people!! And by the way...the mom just look foolish trying to start problems with that platform. unbelievable!!

Ann Doss Helms said...

Cedar Posts, see update to main blog. It had never occured to me to click the "remove forever" box, so I didn't know what would happen. It also hadn't occurred to me to check the spam filter, because I hadn't realized there was one. As Coach would say, "Duuuuuh."

therestofthestory said...

Bolyn on your thermometer, I know you have the yellow lines for the BOE voted for savings but I thought you should go ahead and show the savings (actually 1/3 I guess) for the voted for school closings.

At least I was in the ball park on my guess.

therestofthestory said...

Sorry Bolyn, I saw you had done that. My bad! Looking to o fast I thought it might show in the itemized things like janitors, cafeteria workers, principals, etc. You had it lumped on one line.

Thanks for your effort here.

Anonymous said...

Is this Rhonda the same lady whose own children got into some trouble/scandal and was on the news? Maybe she should have a talking to her kids too.

Anonymous said...

I congratulate this BOE member. Mommy needs to teach her little crotchfruit that there's a lot more to life than middle school sports. Of course without b-ball in middle school this little darling may miss her shot at a lucrative career in the WNBA!

Anonymous said...

Rhoda is right and forget politeness. Most parents dont do their job, provide motivation, instill values and self respect, then when the school cant they curse out wonderful people like Rhonda. Let them figure out how to raise a million. I can. They dont know how. Same sorry group that complains when the value of their work stinks and they earn minimum wage.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Lennon has represented her district about as well as she can, which is very poor. She represents the typical attitude that a lax school board and its members have shown over the years. Rhonda, can you hear the ticking of the clock? Your time as an elected official is quickly coming to an end, and by your own poor attitude and hand at that.

Anonymous said...

Wow, there are a lot of Tea Bagger types commenting on here. Rhonda was a total female canine in her response and middle school sports should not be sacrificed to save a few dollars. It is important to keep kids active and fit. Take a look around and note how many obese people you see. That is the reason China is passing the good 'ol USA. Our citizens are fat and lazy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 3:13 p.m.

"When my Grandfather was in school, the US led the world in education. When my parents were in school, the US led the world in education. When I was in school, the US led the world in education"

Wise up pal, when your grandfather was in school the rest of Europe was destroyed during WWI, when you were in school the Europeans and Asians were rebuilding from WWII. Please stop with the absurd comments like above. America was number 1 because everyone else was number 10, 11 etc...

Anonymous said...

Wow, there are a lot of Tea Bagger types commenting on here.

Not really, you just have a bunch of parents on this blog that would have done the same thing this lady did. When schools start to cancel afterschool programs the very same parents who support Mrs. Lennon will be the same ones calling for her ouster. I think the name for this is commonly referred to as H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E-S!!!!

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann,

I went back to the "Time to Shake Up CMS Board" and still don't see Trent's post...

unless he posted anonymous..

Also, thanks for getting to the bottom of the blogging issue.

At least now we know the rest of the story.

No pun intended TROTS...

Anonymous said...

thanks once again to Cedar Post for telling the truth! Something the CO has a VERY hard time doing! Even over something so trivial as comments being deleted!

Shows us once again these two "bloggers" like to fudge....remind you of anyone else? BOCC/City Council/CMPD and the list goes on!

Anonymous said...

All this over an email suggestion and reply?

therestofthestory said...

To Wiley, it is amazing how things look different when you know "the rest of the story".

You just owe me a quarter royalty fee for using my name. Luckily I do not have to worry myself since the true hero of "the rest of the story", Paul Harvey, has passed on to a better place.

Anonymous said...

Go Rhonda Lennon... I would have said the same thing.

Wiley Coyote said...

TROTS,

How about an autographed picture of Harry Jones in place of the quarter?

Or a used flower from Vilma Leake's lapel?

Anonymous said...

As most comments have indicated - Rhonda's response was correct in the context. We as parents should teach our children to get good grades, because they want to, and not because of sports, or any other extra-curricular activity. But what ever happen to tact, and respect to all individuals. Just because you do not agree with the way a parent raises their child, does that give you the right to insult a child? Shame on you Ms. Lennon, for not having the decency to respect a parent who is just giving her opionion about a matter that is important to her child.

Larry said...

Attention Folks:

April Betha from the Observer was at the same meeting last night with me as was Jennifer Roberts and George Dunlop among a bunch of others from the Govs office, Mel Watts Office and Dems galore all doing a two hour sales job on the taxes.

Anyway we found out that of the about 970 million in unissued bonds, meaning we approved as voters and they have not gone and got the money and stared building the stuff yet, almost all of this is for or schools.

So George Dunlop, one of the Architects of the downfall of our school system said the fact they are closing schools he hoped to schools would not come and ask for these bonds to build schools.

George these are to build schools were they are needed. Not where you put them and forced kids to be bused to them.

But of course none of this shows up in the Observer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Strange double standards, would you not say. When one Elected Officials says something wrong then another does it and gets a free pass? OH wait on is a Woman.

Anonymous said...

What parent with a brain would say that their kid needed middle school sports to prop up their grades? This is the same mindset that says the schools are supposed to do everything for kids including wipe their nose.

Motivation to excel in academics does not come from a softball coach. It comes from the students heart and the parents teaching.

Rhonda Lennon is dead right and those who get it are those who excel. Those who don't get it are those who are lifetime burger flippers.

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list of people who agree with what Rhonda Lennon said. How pitiful it must be for poor mommy to have to actually motivate her daughter to make good grades in school without having a basketball to dribble. Such a darn shame, isn't it? No sympathy here.

Anonymous said...

A constituent references a poor decision that Mrs. Lennon's daughter made in an e-mail....and Mrs. Lennon files a police report.

But it's fine for Mrs. Lennon to judge the children of her constituents.

Pot meet kettle.

therestofthestory said...

Larry, you for one know that Charlotte has become the "capital of the double standard". I remember it starting when we renamed a government building which inlcudes the office for investigation child abuse for a convicted pedophile.

Wiley, as far as a picture of Harry, the CO keeps me well stocked. However, the flower is an idea and maybe a trip to SC to get gas this weekend would be a time to stop by.

Anonymous said...

By all means lets keep the middle school sports. In fact we should put more emphasis on them. Then when they get to high school the motivated students will be ready for the NBA NFL MLB LPGA ect. Those who don't make the cut for the Big Leagues by 16 will be taken out of school and relegated to trade school. They will have to go to MIT NCState Clemson and other trade schools where those without ability can learn a trade like engineering biology medicine math physics.

Anonymous said...

Can't happen. A complete Science program isn't taught in middle school due to defunding/teach on the cheap years ago. I haven't seen a lab taught in the last eleven years. Ask Pete about that NAEP eighth grade science score this year. The idea of being sent to a trade school is fine. However, they were removed from CMS middle schools thirty years ago. What's left is a sad, sad state of affairs. If you want to see how a skilled operation is run, Gastonia's Highland Tech is a model of trade and technology with a waiting list to match. CMS philosophy......Let CPCC do it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 6:36

Ok Mr. Know-it-all,
My Grandfather was born in 1893 and was finished with school PRIOR to WW-I. My parents were born in 1937 and 1938 and finished school between WW-II and Korea. So now that we are all "wised up" let us look at the point I was making. We have changed the way we teach the basics. My kids asked me to help them with simple items like long division problems and when I show them how to solve the problem, they respond with, "they don't want me to do it that way." Eric Davis (BOE Chair)is an engineer and he was laughing at how my 5th grader was being shown how to do a math problem.
Complicating how we teach the basics has made a mess out of the "3 R's". The countries that have passed us by in the classroom are still teaching things like how to diagram a sentence. (Something we no longer do.)
And as for the comments about athletics are only for a low number of kids to become professional athletes. It has nothing to do with becoming a pro athlete. How would it sound if people were saying, "CMS should drop all physics classes because only a few kids will have the opportunity to get a job at NASA." Sounds pretty stupid when you change the word "sports" to "physics" but it is the same argument. Athletics should be required curriculum in MS and HS.

Anonymous said...

C's ?? Not A's or even B's but if she can't play basketball she will not be able to get C's??

Unless she is learning disabled I'd say that young lady needs a knot jerked in her young derriere.

Anonymous said...

Some of you people posting here need to get more involved in HS sports like football, boys/girls basketball and see what is really going on!! A large % of these kids could care less about a college education! They only want the "get rich quick" plan in the dream world of professional sports and playin in college helps lead to that. Pay close attention to some of these kids and witness the arrogance and attitude they have developed in HS. Many of them have the "you can't touch me" and "I deserve respect attitude".

Give me a break and take responsibility for your offspring!!

Take the $$ out of professional sports and there would be no problems!!

Raise the GPA requirements and there will be no problems!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the GPA requirement.

And I agree with the "attitude" comments.

I witnessed a young man (with his jeans under his butt showing his underwear) telling a teacher that he deserves respect because he plays football. The teacher asked him nicely to pull up his pants (CMS dresscode people).

Give me a break!!

Anonymous said...

and what about Waka Flocka Flame?

What a great roll model!!

Wiley Coyote said...

TROTS,

I will be heading to Columbia tomorrow for the day to see my family.

I'll drop it off...

Anonymous said...

"If you haven't attended public school in the last 10 years, your opinion of it is irrelevant."

So I guess as a taxpayer that supports the school system, my opinion doesn't matter?

Anonymous said...

Come on, show some backbone Mom. What's wrong with your kid that she doesn't want to do good in school? I highly doubt any child or teen would come up with the idea that sports = better grades on her/his own. My bet is she's been listening to other parents like you. Are there no after-school programs or non-shcool activities she can participate in? Church? Scouts? YMCA? Oh, yeah, my taxes won't pay for those.

Go Away Sanders said...

Someone please tell Ms. Lynne Sanders (please forgive me if I didn't guess "Mrs.") that the nanny state mentality will increasingly be a detriment to you now that the government is increasingly broke on a state and local level.

CMS cannot print money like the goverment prints food stamps and budget cuts (if not major school closures as in some major cities) are innevitable.

The only thing more disappointing than your daughter's motivators toward education is your sour-grapes-reaction to a pillar in your beloved welfare state finally being politically incorrect and not telling you what you think you are entitled to hear in a way that suits you.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately some students see sports as the main reason to stay in school. While Ms. Lennon may be right she is very self-absorbed and nothing has changed since she was elected. For her to state the obvious is how she is. She is also very hard working - at ingratiating herself with CMS administration - not to be confused with her constiuents. So what Gorman wants Rhonda gives.

How then can you expect her to listen to and be considerate of her district members.

Lewis Guignard

Anonymous said...

Lucky me I had parents who could afford private ballet and modern dance lessons for years so I could earn capital "L" loser scholarships in dance at the Harvard University Summer Dance Center and George Washington University where I earned a M.A. Oh yea, and the opportunity to dance through an audition process with the NYC Ballet in the Nutcracker under the direction of legendary choreographer George Balanchine in addition to acceptance into a gifted and talented summer arts high school program at Wesleyan University, CT. Also, it stinks one of my former students won a prestigious NC Governor's School award in dance a few years back before being accepted into UNC-Chapel Hill. OMG, and can you believe I attended a public arts magnet high school wasting valuable taxpayer money after living through a former recession that rationed gas?

The fact I also played middle and high school sports (soccer, cheerleading and track) also didn't make a smidgen of difference on my high school transcript since colleges only consider SAT scores during the admissions process. What a waste serving on the student council at my school because being in Chess Club is the only thing that REALLY counts. Did I mention frittering my time away playing the flute and alto saxophone in band grades 4 - 12?

Bummer I was accepted at every college I applied to.

Can you imagine my son is actually being considered for an art scholarship at a $37,000 a year university? Good grief, what is the world and higher education coming to?

And seriously, what business did I ever have being a PTO president when I could have run for our esteemed school board?

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 9:54...

...and your point is?

therestofthestory said...

WIley, I meant by going to SC to get gas that I could by her house and "axe" for a souvenir flower myself.

Anonymous said...

Wiley dear,

When I figure out 3/4 of your pontificating points, I clue you into mine.

Anonymous said...

"I'll" clue you in..

Wild guess you never made any sports teams in school and were probably picked last for dodge ball.

Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks Chinese kids are even thinking about the possibility of playing professional sports, they are seriously deluded about what the Chinese value.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:32 PM--you said "How would it sound if people were saying, "CMS should drop all physics classes because only a few kids will have the opportunity to get a job at NASA." "
A couple of years ago some parents at Harding High (a math and science magnet) were complaining that their kids were required to take advanced math classes (Algebra II I believe was considered "advanced"). Their rational for this complaint was--not many kids were actually going to be engineers.
At the same time many in this group were complaining their kids weren't adequately being served by CMS.

therestofthestory said...

Anon 10:42, you bring up a good point of the problem of balancing what parents say and what their kids really need. Having been on the receiving end of many parent complaints, this provides an opportunity to "educate" some parents. The most important point I have made to parents is to be sure there are always options for your children to have. Do not make the mistake of limiting which way your child can go by decisions in the K-12 grades. Latch onto every opportunity that gets presented to your kid and keep a positive receptive attitude when talking to teachers, principals, gudinace counselors, etc. about your kid's future. The vast majority of CMS schoolhouse employees want to help your child be successful. Your child and your attitudes are critical to that success. There have never been as many opportunities available to our children in the history of the world as there are now.

As for professional sports, I have been in this school system since 1985, at last count and maybe the downtown office has a better cout, there have been 22 CMS graduates who have made it into professional sports. The most important aspect of being a good high school graduate is to get a chance to have a college offer to pay all or part of your way. Focus on a good education so you always have an alternative in life.

Anonymous said...

Maybe CMS needs to keep count of how many graduates (and dropouts) go into which "professions" (including criminal) along with a summary of their academic achievements.

Let the kids know how REAL life is going to treat them when they get out.

Anonymous said...

Snarky. That would be the word that I would apply to the comments. The fact that so many people like this way of communicating just shows that most people don't really wan civility from their officials. They like them to be insulting and borish. It's Jerry Springer time. As long as the comments aren't directed at them people love this kind of stuff. Look for more snarky comments from Rhonda as the crowd cheers on.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anonymous said...
Wiley dear,

When I figure out 3/4 of your pontificating points, I clue you into mine.

February 26, 2011 10:33 AM


I had no interest in playing high school sports but did play sports in college and in adult leagues.

Whether you or I played sports is immaterial to this discussion.

The fact is that approximately 600 teachers face pink slips unless $100 million can be found to fill the gap. Academics is more important than sports and if sports are eliminated in CMS, that would save about 90 teaching positions.

You were quite proud of boasting of your achievements both academically and athletically. BRAVO! but none of that amounts to a hill of beans today at CMS.

Waste and fraud abounds within CMS, millions are being wasted.

Surely you are smart enough with your "M.A." to understand that or would what you learned cheerleading come into play?

Ann Doss Helms said...

Wiley, Trent did post as anonymous but then signed it, ala Bolyn McClung.

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann Doss Helms said...
Wiley, Trent did post as anonymous but then signed it, ala Bolyn McClung.

February 26, 2011 6:54 PM


o.....k.....now I'm totally confused.

Anon, Bolyn, Jason, Trent....?

Are we dealing with multiple personality disorder here?

Ann Doss Helms said...

Make of it what you will: this post got well over 10,000 page views, second only to the live blog during Gorman's budget presentation.

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann,

I read the post and now see Trent was replying to Bolyn. I took your comment to mean they were all the same person.

I do want to comment on what Trent said to Bolyn:

Obviously redistricting is important, and we need to do it. But I don’t want to go through the charade that the county is going through – appointing proxies to do their dirty work under an overly prescriptive charge that is puts politics as the first consideration.

Didn't Trent and the BOE with the exception of Kaye McGarry do exactly that by appointing the BOCC as proxy to make the hard decision about Bright Beginnings?


By Ann Doss Helms
ahelms@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 09, 2011

The battle to save Bright Beginnings prekindergarten shifted Tuesday to county commissioners and the community, as the school board and Superintendent Peter Gorman retreated from plans for an early vote on $10.4million in cuts.

The board voted 8-1 to delay voting on pre-K cuts until it considers the full budget this spring. Gorman, who had urged an early decision, told members he no longer believes that's needed.

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
Sports and the arts taught me valuable life lessons in addition to providing me motivation to attend and do well in school (not to mention providing a means to college scholarships).

How is this not relevant to education?

Also, colleges don't admit students based strictly on standardized test scores. If you don't believe me, you need to head to your nearest library (if it wasn't closed) and check out some college guidebooks before pulling up some online college applications. Of course, there are other things besides sports and the arts that matter but the idea of cutting everything out of school curriculums that are so-called frills isn't what I would consider receiving a sound, basic or quality education.

I apologize for being a little snarky with you.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon,

I turn 56 on Monday with a son who will graduate in June from the language magnet at West Meck.

He speaks fluent Japanese, went to Japan this summer with 5 other CMS students for two weeks and he also speaks fluent Spanish after 6 years of study. My son also speaks bits of other languages including Mong, Dutch and Russian that he learned from his friends and teaching himself.

I am well aware of what it takes to get into college having been there myself and going through the process with my son.

Regarding the "frills", if sports is considered a frill, should NOT be cut if money is available. Unfortunately the money is not there at the present time.

The pay to play scheme CMS came up with is a joke. The students who get to play for free do so based soley on if they have the FRL designation. Curently, out of 135,000 students, over 74,000 are FRL students.

CMS has concluded that 60% of their sample audits do not qualify for the benefit yet still receive it because the USDA made CMS stop doing audits or lose Federal funding. That means approximately 44,000 are defrauding the system, intentionally or not.

Do the math on that number and you begin to see just how many millions of dollars are wasted that could go towards keeping teachers in the classroom and sports programs.

By the way. There are a few states that do not allow pay to play because they deem sports to be part of the education experience.

Unfortunately, NC allows it.

No need to apologize. You feel the way you feel, as I do.

therestofthestory said...

OK, I give. Which one(s) is(are) Trent's?

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
You make some valid points I agree with. When I'm feeling a bit sympathetic towards Trent and the rest of the school board, boy, does that tell you something!

Again, I am sorry for my sarcastic comments. Not very productive. Obviously, I feel strongly about the importance of sports and the arts in education. Still no excuse for being testy.

Therestofthestory,
I give too. Under what secret pen name has Trent been posting?

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 9:41....

It's very easy to get testy when you're dealing with public education. Trust me, I've been dealing with it since about 1968 in one form or fashion.

That's why I have a, well I was going to say short fuse but in reality, that fuse is long past gone. Today I have no patience for the pandering, excuses and shirking of responsibilities by our elected officials. I have no patience for excuses by educators and parents. The system has been broken for decades and here we sit in 2011 still dealing with the status quo.

I'm usually on the other end of the stick with most of Fannie Flono's observations and comments but her last article is a must read, especially by our school board, educators at CMS and the public.

Here is the link:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/02/18/2071063/mallard-creek-diverse-high-performing.html

Instead of the BOE shirking their duties off onto the BOCC and the NAACP running around screaming about what THEY feel THEY aren't getting, perhaps they should be dilligently redirecting their misplaced energies and try to replicate the model at Mallard Creek.

Eliminate all excuses!

Anonymous said...

One of this parents biggest mistakes was to ask ignorant Rhonda Lennon advice on anything! Come on, her daughter was caught on Prom night breaking the law with alcohol. Who is she to tell anybody what their child should be doing. I know Lennon has got to still be embarrassed about this.

Anonymous said...

What does everyone think about the new education blog announced today on the editorial page which features two men who apparently support reinstating busing. I can understand their pride in what they accomplished as teenagers, but I'd sure like to know how much they really know about minority achievement under busing and under the current system. Do they realize how much Mecklenburg County has changed in the past twenty years? Did their children attend CMS under busing and did they experience the reassignments, the long bus rides, and the interminable assignment hearings. I also as always find it interesting that some who thought it was so wonderful that the community came together to support busing continue to undermine any assignment plan that does not include busing. Apparently they are only willing to come together if they get what they want.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Trent posted as Anonymous at 11:29 a.m. on 2/24, but signed his name at the end, as Bolyn does.

If this inspires any of you to log on as something other than Anonymous, huzzah! I think the quality of discussion on this blog is great, but it can be hard to follow the back and forth. Even pseudonyms such as Wiley and TROTS at least give a sense of who's an ongoing part of the discussion. And it certainly makes me curious about whether I actually know any of you!

It's not hard to set up a Google account. Even a middle-aged reporter who can't find the spam basket can do it!

Anonymous said...

Rhonda Lennon has quickly forgotten that she serves at the pleasure of the people.Regardless of the position she takes on any issue, her responses should be more diplomatic. She has a pattern of being rude. So those of us who prefer not to deal with this behavior let's vote her out.

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann,

We've never met.

I was in the West Meck auditorium with you during the school closure hearings a number of months back.

I choose not to use my real name for very valid reasons. I have no Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin or any other social or networking pages.

The Charlotte Observer has my email address(s) and in fact, I copied you on one of my mails to either the BOCC or CMS about deleting funds for Bright Beginnings, so you at least have my real name and email address.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't any one proposed paying for middle school sports? What I mean is, people should have to pay in order to see the games. That way middle school sports can remain and the sports could be self-sustaining. I don't understand why that is not happening now.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann,
I don't mind writing Letters to the Editor with my real name attached because the kind people in the editorial department have, on more than one occasion, cleaned up some horrific spelling and grammatical errors on my part so I don't come across as a complete idiot even though there are always going to be some people who are convinced I am a complete idiot.

When Kay McSpadden offers a blogging course maybe Wiley, TROTS, therstofthestory and even Trent can join me in a sort of coming out party!

Gotta' love Pamela and Boyln.

Curious to know who YoyoMa is. As in my favorite Yo-Yo Ma cello solo #1 suite in G major?

therestofthestory said...

Thanks Ann for the opportunity this blog gives us to sound off and try to overcome the one sided media in this town. I am not sure what to make of Jesse's and Frank's blog. We will see.

I find it curious to hear members of my church who have come from other states how they perceive this discussion. Their only conclusion is how there is so much "white guilt" bundled up in this town. That is the only conclusion they can draw from all this angst particulary when they read what the editorial staff writes (especially Taylor) and how the democrats continue to use and manipulate the blacks.

I wonder what the big items will be for this coming week.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Jesse and Frank's blog will provide us with a little more information about them. Do they have or have they had children in CMS? It appears Jesse is a resident of Waxhaw. Did he move once his children graduated from CMS? Does he have children in the Union County school system? Should he be telling "the community" how our school system should be structured?