Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CMS testing violations update

This weekend I reported on the Atlanta testing scandal and how some folks fear the advent of hundreds of new high-stakes tests in CMS might leave local schools vulnerable to similar improprieties. CMS testing chief Chris Cobitz told me then that the school system investigated 11 alleged violations of its testing code of ethics this spring, and substantiated six cases. When I asked for the names of the schools involved, he cited employee confidentiality rules and said he didn't want to give out too many specifics for fear of identifying particular staff members.

But it turns out at least one case (and the name of the school) has already been in the paper. An irate father from James Martin Middle school called me back during end-of-grade testing season to tell me his son had passed his EOG, only to be told he'd have to take it over because the school didn't have enough proctors present. Hundreds of other children had to retake as well. Now, WBTV is reporting that a second of the 11 cases involves Vance High. CMS spokeswoman Kasia Thompson says it stemmed from a problem with the administration of Vance's 10th grade writing test. All Vance 10th graders had to re-take the test. She said Vance and James Martin accounted for the vast majority of the 1,000 or so CMS kids who had to re-take tests this spring because of irregularities.

The Observer and other news outlets have asked for more details on the other alleged testing improprieties from this spring. Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh has made clear the rollout of the new summative tests will continue, with an aim toward providing a better gauge of teacher effectiveness. With teacher pay at issue as well, the stakes couldn't be higher. Needless to say, it's a subject we'll be keeping a close eye on.

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that proctors come from parent/community volunteers.... All of these tests from the State, etc. can't be given without a massive organization of volunteers--this adds another level of interest to the pfp value of a test-I've seen proctors do really weird things during a test... if I knew my pay was tied to those kids' performance and there was a proctor in the room doing something weird--I'd probably drop kick someone. Why anyone thinks it is a good idea to tie so much to a 4 hour window on one day of the year instead of looking at the big picture is beyond me.

The other day as I was cleaning out a box of memorabilia, I found my old middle school test report---according to that, I should have chosen some sort of math field b/c those scores were higher-- oops. And honestly thinking about all of the crazy things in my life growing up: divorce, sick younger sibling, abuse, low-income household, sudden death of a parent--- my teachers helped save my life in many ways, but I don't think it would have been fair to base their pay on the outcome of a test I took -- granted, my mom made us do our homework and chores and disciplined us, but as kids-- one just can't "turn off" all the things going on in life when you step into a classroom b/c the teacher says at the end of the year you have to take a test and its really important--- that value of import is not tangible to the kids--it wasn't then for me, it probably wasn't for any of you (maybe the SAT that you chose to take)---and it certainly isn't for the kids in classrooms today--- those tests are important only to the educrats... that's it.

Wiley Coyote said...

Atlanta, D.C....now Charlotte.

The biggest part of the iceberg that sank the Titanic was underwater where you couldn't see it.

How big is out iceberg?

Wiley Coyote said...

~ our ~

Anonymous said...

--there's a difference between an irregularity and plain old cheating, Wiley. Irregularities happen--if a kid pukes during the test, it is reported. If a phone rings, a school bell goes off, ruckus in the hallway, any other kind of bodily function malfunction (Mint Hill Middle had a kid poop himself once during an EOG)...some irregularities lead to re-test. Others are reported and often times evaluated as not causing a disruption that would have impacted the outcome of the testing session for those students in the room. HUGE difference between an irregularity and cheating.

Anonymous said...

"new high-stakes tests in CMS might leave local schools vulnerable to similar improprieties"

So we can't test students on how teachers are performing because the teachers might cheat? These tests are the best way to judge the effectiveness of teachers - which is why they have an incentive to cheat.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 11:11....

I do believe I know the difference.

So you are an authority of the facts within CMS and can verify that there hasn't been any cheating, only a few "irregularities"?

CMS substantiated 6 cases. I asked, "how big is our iceberg?"

Can you enlighten us?

Right now, Lance Armostrong is using the irregularity in testing defense as every test he's taken he supposedly passed.

We'll see what a grand jury says.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 11:11. Big difference between irregularity and cheating. And in a district as large as ours there is bound to be some sort of "irregularity" somewhere. It behooves the media and the public not to blow irregularities out of proportion. These issues can and should be reported with just the facts, not using hot button words or implying that this might be deliberate misbehavior as in other districts.

Of course, if real misconduct is proven then the press should proceed full steam ahead. In CMS that doesn't seem to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Funny how Gorman got out just in time to avoid all this.....coincidence, I think not. There is corruption and politics in CMS just like Atlanta. So I'm with Wiley Coyote...Just how big is the CMS iceberg?????

Wiley Coyote said...

CMS testing chief Chris Cobitz told me then that the school system investigated 11 alleged violations of its testing code of ethics this spring, and substantiated six cases. When I asked for the names of the schools involved, he cited employee confidentiality rules and said he didn't want to give out too many specifics for fear of identifying particular staff members.

Anonymous said...

To Wiley,

I did not stipulate there could not be cheating at some point anywhere, but the instances mentioned by Mr. Frazier were "irregularities" and he says this, but the title and other wording in the post make it sound as though what are, in fact, irregularities may be some form of cheating on the part of the school or faculty, when in fact, they aren't.

Anonymous said...

...or even misadministrations...but not cheating like has been unearthed in Atlanta where answers were changed in an organized and systemic manner.

Anonymous said...

The only reason for the increase in testing is to have numbers to manipulate for infalted success reports and to be able to manipulate teacher assignments. I proctored a EOG at my daughters school last spring - Without naming the school I will say it does not usually appear on many "lists". It was me and a full time teacher. I can't say what the talking was about or why some of the students got up and walked around - but the students in this class had no respect at all for ther teacher or the rules and the teacher seemed indifferent at challenging the kids violating the rules.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the tests serve just as well as a monitor for the honesty of the teachers.

They should get extra points for not cheating.

And fired if they do.

Anonymous said...

How disingenous of you to start probing now after the master of smoke and mirrors has left the stage. And the irregularities that you are reporting at James Martin are just that.....irregularities; not intentional strategies to skew the results. Your time would be better spent looking at the gatekeeping strategies that were used at the high schools to keep students from even taking the EOC tests. Or the dummy courses that were created to allow students to actually take the course twice before they took the test. You guys have been led around by the nose with CMS for so long you can't separate your laundry.

Anonymous said...

>> he cited employee confidentiality rules and said he
>> didn't want to give out too many specifics for fear
>> of identifying particular staff members

File a lawsuit. Or does the Observer only do that for important things like football players' parking tickets?

Shelly said...

officials say this could never happen in cms, because their teachers have too high an integrity...well, you may never know...it's not like the teachers are gonna tell whether they cheat...idiots...it can and will happen...people do strange things when they are under unbelievable pressure

Shelly said...

oh, an irregularity could be as small as someone knocking at the door or getting up to get a tissue...very innocuous incidents are supposed to be reported

Anonymous said...

(Anon 12:01)You hit the nail right on the head. Check out Garinger HS and find out how many times students took a "preliminary" course before taking the actual EOG. This is one of the reasons that some students/counselors could not keep up with the coursework for graduates. How many students are kept from taking the tests so that the scores "LOOK" great. There is Cheating going on. Do not be misled by this article. Find the REAL offenders, PRINCIPALS, not teachers. Irregularities is not cheating but falsifying records is FRAUD!

Anonymous said...

Code of ethics violations is what was noted here not an irregularity during the test. This is not the first time in recent years that code of ethics violations in the schools have come into play.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 1:59...

I hear you, don't disagree with your comment but fraud abounds in many places in public education.

Should we be selective in which fraud to be outraged over?

Yes, falsifying documents is fraud, whether it's in testing or the school lunch program.

If we want an above board system, we need to root out all of the fraud.

Anonymous said...

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, couldn't agree more with you. On top of FRL you should see the WASTE of food when they throw out what is not even opened and they FORCE the children to take what they will not eat. The FRAUD in the schools give our children the wrong message about priorities. Then we wonder what is wrong when we compare ourselves to the world? Fraud and corruption need to be CUT out. Start from the TOP. Ann???? Please, don't drink the koolaid!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, there have to be more violations out there. I have in my hand a list of twenty Cms employees who have cheated on tests.

Oh wait, I'm not Joe McCarthey...

Wiley Coyote said...

Take a look a look at this chart. You'll see why I am so adamant about fraud.

http://educationnext.org/files/20101_67_fig1.gif

The latest Census data shows the number of kids 5 to 17 in Mecklenburg County in poverty to be right under 30,000 and the total number of children to be 42,000.

Yet 75,000 kids in CMS get free or reduced lunches.

I am against the current attempt to tie perfomance by teachers to these tests.

I also abhor EOG tests that mean absolutely nothing.

Every year we would have to redo our son's courses the school selected based on his EOG tests because he just doesn't test well and is smarter than the tests showed.

CMS has barely begun all of this new testing and with the stakes as high as they are, fraud can take root quickly unless some foolproof oversight is implemented.

Anonymous said...

How many folks have read the testing code of ethics and know what it includes?

Anonymous said...

This is another function that teacher assistants performed that no one noticed until they were cut. When TAs serve as proctors, they have a vested interest to make sure there is no cheating....they want to keep their jobs. In many cases, they have more training and experience than volunteer proctors who probably do it once or maybe once a year.

Yes, there is a huge difference between a testing irregularity, a misadministration, and cheating. Hopefully the first two are unintentional, the ladder most often is not. It's all outlined in the testing code of ethics, which should be available to anyone who wants to read it.

Irregularities include things like someone getting sick, the phone ringing, or someone walking in during the middle of the testing period--anything that would cause a minor interruption but not keep students form being able to finish the test.

Misadministrations can be caused by students working in the wrong part of the test booklet (something a proctor can help avoid), having something on the wall that could help students answer the questions (a multiplication table or some other chart), giving test modifications that are not allowed or NOT giving test mods that are supposed to be given (per 504/IEPs; legal implications)or not following testing procedures (teachers paraphrasing instructions instead of reading them verbatim or not giving the correct amount of time for testing).

Cheating is cheating, plain and simple. You are not allowed to help students, read anything to them, or ask them any questions that would jog their memories about what has been taught. When students ask for help or say they don't understand, the only thing you can tell them is that you are not allowed to help and to do the best they can. Period.

In addition, test administrators (teachers) and proctors are not to read any of the test questions or know anything about what is on the test. If students try to talk to them about test items after it's over, they must tell students they can't talk about the test.

And if anyone looks in the window during the test, they had better see administrator or proctor or both walking around the room.

Anonymous said...

Make that ~ latter ~

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher and one fact that few know about and Ann and Eric have not disclosed.... The state has used the SAME tests year after year after year! Can you imaguine the SAT being the same for five years running or the AP exams? Atlanta's cheating stemmed from erasing of answers aftr kids turned them in. A harder problem to detect would be teachers peeking (or copying, etc.) questions that they know will be used again. Harder to catch but probably more common than the Atlanta situation.

Anonymous said...

Having the headline, "CMS Testing Violations Update", followed by a blurb linking this to Atlanta scandal in the middle of the Observer homepage is inappropriate, I think. It needlessly creates more angst and suspicion about the system. But perhaps that's the desired result.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Over the last couple of years I have done quite a bit of reporting on the "prep" classes and the fact that one year in particular there were a couple of schools that saw huge bumps in pass rates whle the number of students taking EOCs dropped, presumably because the weak students were sidetracked into prep courses.

I'm not convinced that the prep courses are a bad thing; if done right, they seem like a legit way to help kids master the material. The question is whether they're misused to keep failing students out of the testing mix. I haven't found a definitive answer to that.

Likewise, I'm open to the possibility that folks within CMS are cheating or gaming the system, but don't have any strong indicators at the moment. We look into tips about such things as they come in.

Anonymous said...

4:01--Are you sure you are correct when saying the state uses the same test year after year? According to the DPI Accountability website the tests for 2008-2009 were released August, 2009. (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/newsroom/news/2009-10/20090824-02.

So obviously those tests have not been used for the past 2 years. I haven't found info about last year's test release.

Also, I believe the state has several different versions of each test, with differing questions.

Anonymous said...

Ann you are right, thanks. BUT by taking a prep class it puts the student behind. Thus not allowing them to take other required courses. I ma sure that that is why the Valdictorian from Garinger did not have "enough" credits to graduate. While the EOG scores for that school look great. Administrators are "fudging" course requirements and making teachers change the grades when students fail. They even have students taking "independent" (non-scheduled/non-teacher led)courses to fill in the blanks. Thanks for investigating. Keep it up the tips should trickle in.

Anonymous said...

AM SURE- my fingers missed.

Anonymous said...

"http://educationnext.org/files/20101_67_fig1.gif

The latest Census data shows the number of kids 5 to 17 in Mecklenburg County in poverty to be right under 30,000 and the total number of children to be 42,000.

Yet 75,000 kids in CMS get free or reduced lunches."



How is that broken out by race?

Anonymous said...

I have a family member who worked at Vance last school year. That Administration is doing many of the same things that the Atlanta School Board is getting busted for. Students are being passed just to move them to the next grade. Students cannot receive 0's even if they turn in no work. They must at least receive 50% credit when they do no work... is that really a good lesson to teach our youth? The ADMIN out there also did a lot to try and cover up there mistakes with the writing test. They essentially forced teachers who were not trained to proctor administer the tests which is a huge violation.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon,

I don't have an actual CMS number breakout by ethnicity. I don't think CMS even knows.

I could break it out by Mecklenburg County based on Census Data as to makeup of the total poverty numbers by race, but in the end it's a moot point.

Poverty is poverty, no matter what ethnicity.

My problem with the school lunch program is ensuring all kids who are verifiably eligible get those resources and those who don't qualify are taken off.

Here is the link to the entire article from which that chart came from in my earlier post.

http://educationnext.org/fraud-in-the-lunchroom/

Read it for yourself, make your own opinion.

When Joe White says "just feed the kids", he obviously doesn't get it and thank God he is off the BOE.

Anonymous said...

Yep...Check out Mallard Creek Elementary. 4th Graders in at least 1 class were given (and took) 3rd Grade EOG tests. The class had to retake the EOG 4th grade test. Dig deeper and you will expose a CMS coverup...

Anonymous said...

The grade level is printed CLEARLY on the FRONT of the test booklet. That error should have been noticed by the buiding test coordinator, the teacher, or the proctor. That's like driving with your eyes closed!

Which test was it and when was it noticed? Math is administered on two days--calculator active and calculator inactive. If one is a misadministration, the whole thing has to be done over. I just wonder if they took both math AND reading before anyone noticed that they had the wrong test booklets.

Anonymous said...

Almost all of the tests are five years or older. They do release sample questions. A few classes were added/subtracted from the roster of tests. While there are many versions this only helps to keep kids from cheating, not teachers from cheating.

Anonymous said...

Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh has made clear the rollout of the new summative tests will continue, with an aim toward providing a better gauge of teacher effectiveness.

Hugh, to be a man of experience, you are not showing but about 2 years of it. If we are having this many problems with proctors and state testing imagine how many problems we will have with 10 times as many tests.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid that testing accountability is slightly fearful of what they will uncover if they dig a little deeper. DIG you morons, that's your job. It is painfully obvious that some low performing schools that some of the so called YOUNG LEADERS have served at have made tremendous leaps in testing numbers. Helen Keller can see that the numbers don't add up!

Anonymous said...

Another elephant in the room is the retake of EOG's. By the time the scores have returned, each of the forms has been analyzed for pass/fail. Those tests that had a higher pass rate can be distributed to those that need a little or large "boost" on the retest. Cheating? Gaming the system? The other factor is the number of students who could give a rat's rear on the first administration and amazingly add fifty points on the second. Pfp counts for the retest Mr. Baxter?

Larry said...

I always asked for the Challenged Schools when I volunteered and did Proctoring.

The last day I was a Proctor was at West Charlotte a couple of years ago and I will tell you why.

First the test were held over at the Church across the street.

The Students were told to put everything including their phones on the sides of the room.

During my time, I watched a Young Lady (note I am being nice) using her phone to look up information. I reported it to the Teacher.

That Teacher told her to put it away. This was a State Test as I remember it. I mentioned she was to take the test from her. The Teacher refused. I then look at the name on the test and waited.

I went to the person in charge of the testing at West Charlotte at that time and she said she was going to take care of it but that that was going to be her last year. I asked why and she just looked at me as if to ask why I would ask after what just happened.

It was later I heard about the Cheating Scandal with the Sports and the Principal knowing all about it. Later this person got a great job with another system.

If this is the way cheating and that type of thing is rewarded in CMS then I do not want to help move it forward.

I want to help fix it by giving Parents and Students Options.

Oh by the way we were at a Church and the Young Lady called me every name under the Sun. Some names I had never heard before.

Anonymous said...

"Poverty is poverty, no matter what ethnicity."

thats a cop-out

Its does matter espec if so many free lunches are distributed to those who dont deserve them

you cant be selective

odds are 95% of black students get free lunch in cms

what percentage are white? 5%?

hispanic? 95%?

its matters if you want the true facts to solve the problem

Anonymous said...

Ann, the type of cheating in Atlanta schools isn't the type of cheating that goes on within CMS. The cheating that is rampant here goes on with a blind eye by principals and teaching the very test questions that are on the test to students.

Anonymous said...

After Gorman's two stellar years as a rel teacher, he is trying to tell others how it should be done. Joke.

therestofthestory said...

As to the FRL fraud, we should encourage all 132,000 students to fill out the application.

Call this the Coach White memorial.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 7:24..

Sorry to disappoint you but skin color doesn't matter when it comes to anyone breaking the law/committing fraud.

Fraud in testing, fraud in the school lunch program or fraud in any other entitlement program IS fraud, no matter who commits it.

Justice is blind, even if you're not.

Anonymous said...

The New Republic is reporting that the teacher's union has just changed its stance on using test scores to evaluate teachers:

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/91632/teachers-education-nea-obama-convention

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when there are too many Chiefs (administrators)and want to be administrators who have been given the authority to do whatever to takes to get the job done and who assume they know everything and not enough Indians(faculty) willing to call them on the carpet for fear of being laid off (RIF).James Martin Middle had irregularities and misadministration during the EOG's and someone was willing to take a stand and report it. The administrative staff thought they were untouchable due to some thing they have been allowed to get away with and fortunately they were caught not following state rules. Same goes for Vance the Governor's village has some corruption and needs to be cleaned out. It's evident based on the number of staff Martin has not returning in Aug. who morally could not continue to work in that corruption.

Anonymous said...

Having been involved in EOG testing for over 15 years at the elementary level, it angers me to think that my colleagues across CMS do not approach it with the same ethics and responsibility as those in the schools where I have worked.

Unfortunately from what I have heard, at the high school level, office referrals are often "lost," and for many teachers there is no support and follow-through from their administrators. I guess that is why some have developed a "so what" attitude. We need to find a way to address that problem for the sake of our teachers AND our students who come to school ready and willing to learn.

Anonymous said...

With the way that the Observer uses bits and pieces of information to "report" the "real story," how could anyone blame any individual or group for withholding any/all information from them unless they absolutely had to, especially when it comes to Ann Doss Helms who can fall back on the whole "it's just a blog" crutch? You want the inside scoop, but you give those that have it every reason not to give it to you.

Anonymous said...

Ann and Eric,

Are you interested in crafting a narrative that the pratice of testing students causes people to cheat and game the system? Is your blog post a request for tipsters to help get standardized testing abolished or at least reduced? Help us out here in understanding where you're going with this.

Nameless said...

The problem in CMS is mid-level management (individual school staff). This is where the truth is being filtered and apathy enforced. Instead of punishing our kids by having them fill in 'employee evaluations', the principals and admin staff need to cut through this bull. For students, focus on Effective Learning, not Effective Teaching. You will then find that what happens at home and in the community is 75% of the equation.

Anonymous said...

Ann/Eric, Do you NOT have enough information just from the above postings to ASK the questions. Teachers are NOT at fault here in CMS.
We report issues to our principals and then are RIF'd or written up for insubordination or transferred and blackballed.
We have no due process and HH claims he can't (more like WON'T) discuss it because it is a personnel issue. NOT!
Ann/Eric you have enough from these posts, names of schools and issues. What more do you want?

Anonymous said...

It is just a matter of time until similar patterns of cheating are discovered at CMS, as with Atlanta, DC, Chicago over a decade ago and the list goes on and on. Why would CMS be any different? Do CMS admins and teachers subscribe to a higher moral code than the other school systems? Has CMS adopted new policies and procedures that will prevent similar behavior? Is CMS just better than the other school districts that have experienced cheating? That appears to be the argument provided by Cobitz and the CMS principal..."we just need to be more vigilant." Oh great, that makes me feel much better that CMS is actually taking this issue seriously.

Stop kidding yourself as the exact same high erasure rates and other systemic cheating patterns will start to appear when someone actually starts looking for them. Keep in mind, CMS is over twice the size of the Atlanta school system.

Far too much emphasis is placed on the EOG's and standardized testing at CMS. It seems like the entire school year is one long test prep course, and it is our children that will suffer the most for this.

I could care less about the type of procedural testing issues that were reported in this blog site. Do some real reporting and find out exactly what processes and best practices CMS has put into place to address the same cheating issues that have come up in other larger school districts recently. Is there a random sample of tests pulled and audited for inconsistencies? How many? Who pulls them? How are teachers and schools notified? Who performs the audit? What are they finding? What are the new best practices for identifying teachers that cheat on their student’s behalf (yes folks, that is who is erasing incoorect answers and filling in the correct ones – teachers)? How will CMS leadership ensure that we are not reading about "Rampant CMS Cheating..." in USA Today in 2012. This blog is weak and represents lazy reporting and does not even address the real issues at hand as it relates to testing/cheating at CMS.

Anonymous said...

So who or what racial group are you trying to protect here? Its past time to fix the problem. Crime is crime.
AG Eric Holder was right in 2008. This nation is scared to talk about race.



http://educationnext.org/fraud-in-the-lunchroom/

Anonymous said...

Remember, at the elementary level, teachers are NEVER alone with the tests....administrators that have keys to the school and any closet that tests are locked in do however have access.

If I were an investigator, I would seriously look into schools that made unbelievable gains, especially ones in which principals had much to gain by having higher scores.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I have no idea if 10:49's charges are correct, but is it really appropriate for posters to be accusing staff by name of cheating, mismanagement, etc. on this board? Awfully easy to orchestrate a smear campaign. Ann, Eric, Observer editors, are you watching this?

Anonymous said...

I think CMS would be a better system if we all knew more about what actually goes on at these schools. I hear stories about the threats, the weapons, the sexual harassment and the cheating. I think academic fraud in any form is extremely serious and I'd like to know as much information as possible if this is going on.

Anonymous said...

If you can watch these 24 minutes and 36 seconds and not get misty-eyed, you don't have a heart. The way to help poor kids is to show them a way out...to make them have the confidence to achieve. You have to be tough and strict and caring to take control and show them the way. The culture is going the opposite way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kwOIgtg108&feature=related

Anonymous said...

11:30, there is no smear campaign going on here. just ENLIGHTENMENT. If the posters do not list names and schools then how will the public know to keep an eye out. I agree with you in the sense that we should read each posting "with a grain of salt". But, then listen, watch and ask questions. If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.... then we need not be ostriches.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we do need to know what's going on, but at the same time anyone with an ax to grind with a particular teacher or administrator can easily post something on here that might not be true. That does not seem to be an appropriate use of the Observer's blog. If you have information or concern about a particular employee's actions, email Ann or Eric and let them investigate.

Wiley Coyote said...

Testing, whether EOGs or PFP is totally useless.

If they were worth the paper they were written on, school districts wouldn't have kids in high school reading at an elementary to middle school level.

...Among the 275 pink-slipped Stockton teachers is Elizabeth Old, who has taught English at her alma mater, Franklin High School, since 2007. She's worried about how her students, many of whom only read at an elementary-school level, will learn if class sizes keep growing.

If public education was a business, it would be OUT of business because the product coming out of the plant is very inferior.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
therestofthestory said...

To 12:52 PM. I watched the video. It is a very similar story as Harlem's Achievement Zone under Dr. Canada. It will be interesting to see the approach Project LIFT attempts in the West Chalrotte feeder system. I do not have a problem with Dr. Canada's school since his is essentially a private effort and he had his financial backers. I do have a problem when taxpayers foot the bill irregardless of the argumnet, this is what it takes.

As in CMS, it is grossly unfair and I believe illegal to fund some schools at $10k per head because of its race and another at $4k per head. All the children in Mecklenburg County deserve an equal share of the tax money.

This message that education is the way out for these kids falls on deaf ears. Most do not listen and most do not care what the teachers say or do.

The program was not clear why the girl chose to apply to this school. She seemed to not have the motivation nor any of her family have that motivation for her. That is a little different that Harlem Achievement Zone. They usually have a family member advocating for them.

I worry Project LIFT here will just give most of the parents more excuse for not parenting. They know the program is not geared for the school time. So they just see more time someone else will have to deal with their children..

Also, did you notice the letter about summer meals for kids? Essentially I think what we have here is child abuse/abandonment, etc. when they have not had meals arranged for the child. You have ot ask the question abouot the food stamps and welfare checks meant for that child.

Of course we know about the 60+% fraud in FRL in CMS anyway.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I find it incredibly unprofessional to post internal emails on a public message board. Memos to all staff from downtown that the CO obtain anyway are one thing, but personal emails between a principal and staff members... I am sorry, but this is...wow.

Anonymous said...

The question is--where are the moderators for this board? Ann, Eric--what gives? This is becoming a mess!

Anonymous said...

Ann and Eric may be keeping a close eye on "testing improprieties" but they're certainly not keeping a close eye on their blog!

Anonymous said...

Has no one noticed that North Carolina is using EXACT reading prompts from Texas and Virginia in Fourth grade? As a teacher, I am directed to use other state's resources for test prep (especially TX and VA). During the 2009-2010 term, 3 of the texts were presented on the NC 4th Grade exam... word for word with the released practice materials! I reported it, and was told it "would be handled". But, I am not aware of anything changing.

Anonymous said...

Since it is unprofessional for someone to post emails between staff membets, which unprofessionalism is worse. The posting of this email, or the principal taking liberty in bashing a teacher in an email that was sent to the entire staff describing that teacher as incompetent and not doing justice to our students.

I think you should be more concerned about why the principal can send out such a message to the entire staff and still keep her job.

Anonymous said...

It plainly states at the bottom of all CMS email messages:

"Email correspondence to and from this address is subject to public
records requests pursuant to the North Carolina Public Records Law,
resulting in monitoring and potential disclosure of this message to third parties."

Anything sent via CMS email is PUBLIC information. If the principal is not smart enough to know that, what else are they not clued into?

Ann Doss Helms said...

Sorry, it is true: We were not keeping an eye on these comments after a couple of days. I have pulled the ones that mention an individual, and we will have a discussion about what should be fair game and what should not.

I'm sure someone will take this as excuse-making, but I'm on a different assignment, our editor is on vacation and Eric has been keeping up with a whole lot of news on his own. Still, this is a reminder that we need to stay on top of running commentary.

Anonymous said...

Ann and Eric,

While I understand the need to remove the mention of a person's name from the blog, I strongly encourage you to investigate the allegations further for the sake of those of us teachers who remain at the school next year and will likely be victim to more outrageous tactics by the person that was mentioned. We all lived through the nightmare together and will have to live through it again unless we stand up for ourselves and make the truth known to the public.

Anonymous said...

Be very careful what you do and how you do it. There was a similar situation a few years ago with an administrator that so bad parents and teachers wanted him removed, and while HH acknowledged the problem, he did nothing to fix the situation or remove the individual.

Finally after HH was promoted, his successor moved the administrator to another school in a different setting. In the meantime, everyone feared for their jobs as they watched this individual ruin the careers of a few very good educators.

Anonymous said...

This is what comes out of tiresome testing children instead of actually teaching them. Our whole modern society is based upon memorization instead of critical thinking. In 10-20 years we will graduate doctors, lawyers, etc. capable of memorizing facts instead of thinking on their own. Does this sound right? Teach our kids to THINK!!! not memorize.

Anonymous said...

http://schoolmatters.knoxnews.com/forum/topics/most-recent-broadtrained

The Broad Virus continues to raise its ugly head. Our troubles started with our board undergoing this training that taught them not to question the superintendent. After 2008, we had no one on the board with enough guts and knowledge to provide checks and balances to Gorman's smoke and mirrors leadership. Let's make sure we are not hoodwinked again by electing people who know something about educational policy.

Read more: http://obsyourschools.blogspot.com/2011/07/more-join-crowded-school-board-race.html#ixzz1SDOrpmZS

Anonymous said...

When are we going to stop teaching kids based on the EoG content? I am sick and tired of watching my kids be forced to hurry up so they can meet the next material planning timeline so they can ensure they covered those topics that the EoG exams will test against. The teachers never go into any depth on the material; they only cover what will be on the tests. This is a year-long test-prep.. not an education in the comprehensive courseware.

If we're going to teach based on the test, why pay for overpriced textbooks that aren't leveraged fully?

Wasteful and fraudulent are two words that come to mind...