Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dr. Plots and Bumgarner join CMS race

Hans Plotseneder and Larry Bumgarner announced today they'll continue their quests for a seat on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board.

Neither has had much luck so far. Plotseneder, a West Mecklenburg High School teacher, came in seventh of seven candidates in the 2007 at-large race and seventh of nine in the 2009 District 3 contest. Bumgarner, an internet activist, finished seventh of 11 in the 2003 at-large contest and third of three in the 2005 District 6 race.

But both promise to prompt some lively discussion of issues -- and Plotseneder insists he expects to muster the money and organization to be a serious contender. He posted his intent to run on his web site in January.

Plotseneder
"This time is the real thing. Last time I was naive," said Plotseneder, who says he raised less than $1,000 for his last countywide race. The buzz is that it could take at least $50,000 to claim one of the three seats in November's election. In 2009, he says he knew he was a long shot as a white guy running in a majority-black district, but the run was "for practice and to keep my name out there."

Plotseneder, who campaigns under the nickname Dr. Plots, didn't shy from issues during his announcement today. He said he opposes the 52 year-end exams CMS officials launched this spring for rating teachers, as well as the CMS-backed House bill that would allow the district to launch performance pay without teacher approval. "Teachers are not against being paid for extra performance," he said, but the complex test-based formula known as "value added" is the wrong approach.

A registered Democrat, Plotseneder said he's most in line with current members Joyce Waddell, Richard McElrath, Tom Tate -- and Kaye McGarry, a Republican who's often at ideological odds with the three Democrats but ends up voting with them on some issues. That coalition generally falls one or two votes short of success.

Plotseneder, 67, will have to resign his teaching job if elected. He airs his views during the public comment period of most school board meetings, and was charged with trespassing when he refused to leave a contentious school-closing meeting last fall. Those charges were later dropped.

Bumgarner
Bumgarner, who lives in the south suburbs, generally registers his views online, via sites he creates or comments on the Observer's site. He announced his candidacy on one of his sites -- in typically quirky style, illustrating it with a 1970s high school photo of himself.

He acknowledges three failed attempts at public office -- he also entered the 2004 Republican primary for a county commission seat -- and says this time will be different: "This time seeing how all those running are focused on limited agendas and special interest groups he will be doing it that way as it seems that is the way people are elected in Charlotte Mecklenburg." His planks: Breaking up CMS, providing vouchers that can be used for private schools and eliminating salaries for school board members.

Filing for the nonpartisan race is July 1-15. Two of the three incumbents, Trent Merchant and Joe White, say they won't run, and Kaye McGarry hasn't announced her intentions. Elyse Dashew and De Shauna McLamb are the other announced candidates; read the last roundup here.

So far, no one has rolled out the kind of powerhouse campaign that carried board Chair Eric Davis to victory in District 5 two years ago. The coming months will test who can grab the attention of voters across a sprawling county, in an off-year election that traditionally leaves four of five registered voters sitting at home.

Bumgarner and Plotseneder may not take the lead on campaign force, but they do bring a sense of humor along with their strong views. Plotseneder, a native of Austria, knows his accent is reminiscent of a certain scandal-ridden actor/governor; he once dubbed himself "The Gap Terminator" in reference to his plans to eliminate race-based achievement gaps. And in 2008 comments the board about bullying of homosexual students, he proclaimed: "Who knows? Maybe I'm gay myself. I haven't tried it."


Bumgarner gave me a full-out belly laugh when I googled myself and landed on this creatively illustrated post on one of his blogs.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just what we need, two more nuts on the school board.

Anonymous said...

Herr Plotseneder ist eine sozialistische Kotze!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully both support banishing the evil NCAE that forces teachers to support it, and fleeces the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Deconsolidation is such a non-starter. Let's group all the poor kids in one district, the middle-class north in another and the affluent south in a third district. Please, ask for law suits for decades.

Not to mention the extra costs and higher property taxes attributable to smaller school districts. See Jersey, New.

Such a public servant!

Rev. Mike said...

Ann, if one is REALLY serious, I'd say it would take at least $75K. It's not a matter of "buying the election" so much as it's a VERY strong indicator of the level of support one is able to garner.

Anonymous said...

"...providing vouchers that can be used for private schools..."

Isn't that more a matter of State law versus the local school board? The same would likely apply to breaking up CMS. Perhaps Bumgarner should be running for the Legislature instead.

Anonymous said...

5:31,
I've taught here since 1976 and the NCAE is a non-entity for most teachers (unless you need professional insurance, unnecessary because of the short current career duration. ) The only thing this group has for Charlotte teachers is two of the best lawyers at cleaning CMS's clock in legal disputes. It's no more evil than Mr. Tillis handing out your taxes for raises for staffers in this right to work state.

Ghoul said...

Larry, post a site and I'll send you $100.

therestofthestory said...

Well this may be interesting. Larry I understand your positions about deconsolidation and vouchers. And to 6:26 PM, the legislature has already laid the ground work such that CMS could be shut down and become all charter schools.

Dr. Plot, I am not so sure of your positions yet but the company you associate yourself with on the current board have been the most current destructive forces to public education in this community of recent times. If all you propose is more money to be thrown down the waste hole of urban education, I will vigorously campaign against you. We are throwing away more than twice the amount on urban education as we are suburban education and getting nothing for it. Until the culture of that population changes, nothing else will. You can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink.

To all of you who believe the achievemnt gap has closed, here are the numbers from 2001-02 school year through the 2009-2010 school year, 34.4, 28.9, 27, 26.4,40.4, 39.4, 44.5, 38.9, 36.8. I will however comment too that research I have done on the NC Report Card site has not shown theings that we have documented at many schools such as over 35 count classes and 50 count classes. So that NC report card data with a large dose of skepticism becuase it does appear numbers for the last couple of years are being manipulated for politcal purposes.

Wiley Coyote said...

A registered Democrat, Plotseneder said he's most in line with current members Joyce Waddell, Richard McElrath, Tom Tate

Just what we need, another entitlement driven, status quo candidate in Dr. Plots...

Tom Tate, Joyce Waddell and McElrath are part of the problem and need to go.

Wiley Coyote said...

Larry,

Deconsolidation will never work and I'll fight against it.

Anonymous said...

Yes what we have now is working so well and has done so for these last fifty years or so. Larry is crazy.

Anonymous said...

Please identify which one in the photo is Larry.

Anonymous said...

^^^
The dog wearing the shirt.

Larry said...

Hello Folks: We just got back in from Dinner and Shopping.

It seems Charlotte is replete with wannabe comedians from some of the posts.

But I do ask that you go to my site www.Deconsolidate.com and print out a Petition to ask our Elected Officials in Raleigh to Deconsolidate our system.

Most people are not aware that our Suburban schools get less funding than the Urban Schools and CMS says it is an Urban System anyway. This would make it official when it compares itself to other systems.

Also with the majority of tax funding coming from Downtown the Urban Schools would be well funded and the PTA's and Parent Groups in the Suburbs would again have the right to help the local schools.

You can also find my website by going to any one of these sites which can be used in the future for our new schools.

www.EastCharlotte.org
www.WestCharlotte.org
www.NorthCharlotte.org
www.SouthCharlotte.org

www.EastMecklenburg.org
www.WestMecklenburg.org
www.NorthMecklenburg.org
www.SouthMecklenburg.org

Oh and while you are at it go to www.AchievementFirst.org and see how we could really do things right in Charlotte instead of that Bright Beginnings mess.

All the best and see you on the Campaign.

Wiley Coyote said...

Too late Larry.

CMS will continue to WASTE over $20 million per year on Bright Beginnings, thanks to the miracle that is budgeting for reinstating the funds for 3,000 students in the CMS daycare entitlement program.

Anonymous said...

Larry, a couple of feedback items for you:

1. Some of your site redirections are broken. A couple Mecklenburg links redirect back to your registrar.

2. There's little in the web design world that's more irritating that multiple root domains that all redirect to the same site. Choose a URL, there's no need to have one for each section of the county and city.

3. Have someone proof-read your site before you publish anything. If you want to be taken seriously by anyone with an education, the spelling and grammar issues on the site need to be fixed, especially when you're running for a school board seat. I have no doubt you'll flame me for being a grammar Nazi, but I'm just trying to help.

Anonymous said...

OP @ 10:03 PM here, looks like I misspelled something myself. #2 should read:

2. There's little in the web design world that's more irritating than multiple root domains that all redirect to the same site. Choose a URL, there's no need to have one for each section of the county and city.

Anonymous said...

Right now on CMS tv they are talking and do not realize the sound is on. Bud Cesena has shared that Hattabaugh is the interim.

Anonymous said...

$10 bucks says Rupert Murdoch helps out candidates amenable to his "new education objectives"... it may be on the "down low", but he has to sell his wares somewhere--he's got Petey in his pocket now... they need to get a Board in there open to the ideas of these business cats looking to make a buck off the current education squabbles...

Anonymous said...

He (Cesena) also bashed Susan Johnson and indicated that Scott Muri may be moving into a central office position...

Wiley Coyote said...

What else would you expect coming from a group of educrats?

Anonymous said...

To the tree hugger who mentioned NJ schools - if my kids could go to a school like that the one I atended growing up in NJ, I'd pay higher taxes too. But here in the dumb state of Meklenberg, we distribute the taxes to districts that show no signs of change - and haven't for 40 years - if you can't pay to live where the schools are good, too bad. That's they way it should be.

Ann Doss Helms said...

10:19, can you tell me more about that? The meeting was over shortly after 9, and the chamber was entirely cleared by 9:30 (I was filing a story and was the last one there). Where/how was this conversation being aired? Feel free to call me at 704-358-5033.

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann,

Several people posted that CMS TV was on and it appeared no one knew it.

People were commenting in some of the other posts in the Observer last night.

I don't get that channel anymore since dumping TW.

It would be interesting to hear all of the conversations.

Hopefully, someone recorded it (them).

Ann Doss Helms said...

Thanks; got more info and just posted an item. Still doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

larry bumgarner is an absolute idiot and yes i have a very dull axe that needs to be grinded with jerk

Larry said...

Love these anonymous comments. People show they have such integrity and are not little people at all but are willing to show just who they really are.

Why is is people are so scared of Conservatives?

Anonymous said...

Maybe some of them are CMS employees who want to comment but need to keep their jobs.

Larry said...

Oh I see, so they are more interested in their jobs and not in what is best for the future of the children. Maybe we cans see why we are where we are today.

Perhaps they do not realize that with competition they will become more respected and an important part of the public system that emerges even stronger.

Anonymous said...

No Larry, it's about keeping my job because I need to support my family. I chose this profession because I do care about what is best for children, I want to give back to my community, and I am good at what I do. (Yes I have the credentials, performance appraisals, and successful students to prove it.) Teachers welcome the opportunity to be evaluated, but it should be a fair, relevant instrument used to measure their effectiveness.

The fear employees have about speaking out is that ANYTHING negative they say publically, even if it is the TRUTH can be used as an excuse to terminate their employment. Look what happened to the teacher assistant who spoke up for her students trying to study and take tests in 90+ degree classrooms.

Larry said...

Good then you understand why I work directly with the Teacher Groups to get the justice they deserve and yours and their professionalism appreciated by those in Raleigh.

In fact I have all the Republicans on board with www.ThankYouTeachers.com and am trying to get the Democrats involved.

So once you see that competition will bring about changes that make you no longer part of Human Capital, as CMS Feels you are, but a valued part of a team that is out to achieve, then the same old same old will be happening no matter what the the new Supers name might end up being.

Anonymous said...

One of the issues teachers take with the competition model you describe means that no longer will teachers share new ideas, strategies or activities with their colleagues because that's just what it will be--a competition, not working together, not helping and supporting each other, but working against each other. That's just not best practices!

Larry said...

Maybe you missed it, and I ask you to read my comment again.

Our current system does just that. It creates tribes. It creates alliances and unusual competition that means we first need to remove all the road blocks to being a team.

Why is it a school like www.AchievementFirst.org can have Teachers loving the job and working together? It is because they are valued.

With Teachers as part of the Administration and part of the solution with the new competition things will be better. Our old outdated Government system is going to change now or it will collapse in the near future. The difference is we can make things better and control the future.