Friday, September 16, 2011

The Broad trip and other news

Next week The Broad Foundation announces the winner of the 2011 Broad Prize for urban school districts.  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is one of four finalists,  along with Miami-Dade and Broward County in Florida and Ysleta,  Texas.  The winner gets $550,000 in scholarships for this year's seniors, while the runners-up  --  a position CMS has claimed twice before  --  get $150,000.

The foundation will pay for former Superintendent Peter Gorman,  Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh,  board Chair Eric Davis and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators President Randolph Frierson to attend Tuesday's ceremony in Washington,  D.C.    In addition,  CMS will spend about $6,800 in money from the Spangler Foundation on airfare and hotel rooms for 12 more people (hotel taxes and some plane tickets aren't in yet, so the total isn't precise).

On the attendance list:  Board members Kaye McGarry,  Trent Merchant,  Joe White and Joyce Waddell;  Chief Academic Officer Ann Clark;  Chief Financial Officer Sheila Shirley;  LaTarzja Henry, head of public information;  Judy Kidd,  president of the Classroom Teachers Association;  Karen Meadows,  a science teacher at Collinswood Elementary;   Vanessa Benton,  director of academic services;  and Kathryn Block and Rashidah Morgan, who are in administrative jobs paid for by The Broad Foundation.


In other bits from a busy week:  MeckEd put out an interesting report on Mecklenburg County's 11 charter schools this week. Most intriguing is an at-a-glance matrix that compares per-pupil spending, which ranges from $5,546 at Queens Grant Community School to $24,185 at Metrolina Scholars Academy.

Charters are public schools run by independent boards,  rather than county school districts.  They get state money and a per-pupil share of the money Mecklenburg commissioners provide for CMS.  Many supplement that spending with grants and fund-raising.  Unlike regular public schools,  charters don't get money for buildings,  which is part of what contributes to the per-pupil gap.  Metrolina is in the middle of a capital campaign to buy a former office building, and that bumped up the tally.

Kudos to MeckEd for diving into charters.  They're a relatively small but important part of public education,  and I've never found time to give them the attention I'd like to.


Following up on the new contracts approved for a dozen CMS administrators earlier this week:  After initial reports that there were no pay hikes, it turns out that Scott McCully's pay went from $107,765 to $121,014, a 12 percent raise.  McCully's title is still executive director of student placement,  but as part of the shuffling of duties when Hattabaugh became interim superintendent,  McCully took charge of CMS police,  athletics and alternative education.


Speaking of job shuffles: Co-blogger and fellow education reporter Eric Frazier has stepped into an editing job for the coming year.  We're rearranging positions to gear up for the Democratic National Convention.  Eric's move is great for him and the Observer,  though I hate to lose him from the beat  (he escaped once,  to do social media,  but we reeled him back in for the past year).


Larry said...

Speaking of Charter Schools maybe they could say why these kids in those schools arrived at the Charter Schools, and compare their academic history with the previous Public School with their current standing.

As most time you have these children coming into these schools which have been established to take care of the mess and they are two or three grade levels behind. That would be better than just posting this as it is would you not agree? But then again this is Mecked who said I was not telling the truth in front of a meeting of the Tuesday morning people over at the West Side.

I guess they need to make sure they keep out choice?

But not being paid and having all that money coming in that this MeckEd Group or having worked for CMS before I just may not have as much understanding as this guy who wrote this full and according to Anne very interesting story. Maybe she can get around to a fair and balanced story..... just kidding Ann I know you are busy and the like.

Oh and maybe I could get the new
Super to fund me. Oh maybe this Broad people will do it. I know that seems to be a great way to do a public service to protect your way of thinking around here.

And again my way of thinking is why are we competing against Urban systems? What do you say, Matthews, Huntersville, Davidson, Mint Hill, Pineville and all those other areas who are not in the Urban area?

And thanks Mecked I asked you to send this to me as soon as you had it as you did that to me during that meeting which was very unprofessional.

I look very much to have the open exchange of information during your event, as I am sure everyone will coming up.

therestofthestory said...

Larry, many of us fully understand CMS relies heavily on the suburban students to hold up their performance indicators to make them look better than truly "just urban" school systems.

Happily, more and more suburban white and black middle class families are escaping in droves. If the economy was any better, CMS would be really a mess.

WC can correct me here but Mecklenburg County white population is about 60% and the CMS white population is around 32%. Clearly a case where the state should be flooding Mecklenburg County with vouchers becuase the "government schools" have become just another social service in most locations.

Wiley Coyote said...

Let's costs $5,000 in some charter schools to learn what 2+2 is and up to $24,000 per pupil to learn the same equation.

Also, I don't notice a lot of difference in the academic levels between the charters and traditional public schools. Where there are higher percentages of white students, so goes the higher percent of proficiency.

So much for charter schools, so much for choice.

If I go to the store and there are two loaves of bread left on the shelf and both are stale, at least I have a choice.

Anonymous said...

To Larry 12:24

Please proof read before posting; and purchase a copy of Elements of Style by William Strunk. It will only cost $16.00 and it will overcome what you didn't bother learn in the classroom. However, it won't do a thing for just plain poor logic.


Larry said...

Sorry Miss Foil I did better in Business that you thought and sorry I did not do that well on spelling and grammar in your class, but I hired a lot of people to do it for me and they thanked me and still do it to this day as they bought my company.

Oh and as far as the spending per student for Charters I hope we keep in mind that the State is only paying out a certain amount per student, and that is less than they pay for Public School kids.

That is about thirty percent less.

Just thought you might want to not worry as you are getting a bargain.

And even if the school closes it is not going to do anything but save you the thirty percent. As you have not paid to build it.

So as you can see it will be good to try it all over Charlotte. Do you not agree?

In fact why not see how the most successful and well funded Charters do the best as they get donations being non profit. Compare that with the most well funded schools from our tax dollars do in Charlotte and the lack of success. Now would you not like to see success all over Charlotte and even saving money?

Thanks for your kindness. The Kids need it more than ever before.

Larry said...

Oh and that cost at some Charter Schools to learn 2 plus 2 I have to agree with you on that point. Some seem high and some seem low.

It just depends on how early the child understands and moves on.

In the case of the one 24K one the entrance criteria is 3 standard deviations above the mean on an IQ test, so you can see how accelerated those students already are. They are already so far ahead it is exciting and this schools is providing that challenge.

I am sure you can see how the community would be happy to invest in the future. No telling what these fine young people will be one day.

And the nice thing is we can have these schools all over Charlotte as an option saving us all tax money.

Anonymous said...

Larry... sometimes you talk out of your...I don't know where... I have firsthand experience teaching at a charter and I can tell you, while they may put on a show for some parents, the ones without waiting lists will do and allow almost anything to keep the kids there due to funding. Allow athletes to play basketball with .6 GPAs. Allow assaults on teachers to go unpunished. Allow disruptions in the classrooms to go unpunished. Some don't follow NC DPI rules regarding teacher evaluation--due to inexperienced administrators and advisory boards who "just want to make a school for kids" but have no real training on how to run a school, screw up teacher licenses, etc. I would sit in parent information/interest meetings and WISH I taught at the school they were selling... Maybe the experience I had was unique to where I was, but this pipe dream you're selling around like an escaped cast member from The Music Man is a bit too romanticized for what the reality actually is when you get down to it.

Larry said...

And I would be the first to help donate and pay for the Lawyers to get an injunction to shut them down.

If the Kids are better off in a different sitting I will get a different group who are not out making money but making the future.

Yes I am a Music Man. I hear the Future in the Voices of these Children when they speak.

They are the instruments of our and the World's future, and today all we do is let them sit and fail and not play the sweet sounds of success they are really capable of.

Be that at the Challenged New Public Schools because of the Charter Schools down the road, or the New Charter Schools we are watching every minute to see if they are doing things right.

Also we need people interested in starting a Charter Schools go to and the meeting is being held at JCSU on Tuesday. This will help you understand what all it takes to start and operate a Charter School.

So Join us and we really hope Leaders of Color will join this event. But it is for everyone. We know the NACCP and those are wanting smaller schools and classes and this would be a great thing for them and their members to attend.

Wiley Coyote said...


Please explain the difference between a charter school with a large student population of low income students versus a public school with the same makeup?

These same "leaders of color" you are trying to lure to charter schools are the same ones who claim high concentrations of low income students can't learn yet in the next breath bitch and moan about those very schools being closed.

So again, what's the difference between a charter school full of low income students versus a traditional public school with the same makeup?

Larry said...

Too much money is made off selling the fact people can not do things in this country by too many groups.

That is why we see so many groups involved and started up like MeckEd, and the like all feeding the same mentality from the old days and living so well off it like parasites.

The fact is these kids can learn and with a no nonsense, no excuse program that gives a Principal and the Teachers a Real Professional standing in the community, and not one where they are there to serve like waiter or waitresses, then we can turn things around.

A lot of parents today are just waiting to be offended, as are the voters, as are people on this board.

We are just driving on the road waiting to be offended by the next driver who wants that thirty feet in front of us.

What ever happened to this country and civility on both our parts?

We need to get back to the fact we need each other and start working for the future, not getting home and closing the garage door with out having to talk to our neighbors and seeing if may, just maybe we can help them in some way.

So no you have no difference. The the way you can handle the problems or achievements will be remarkable. The parents or guardian will be handled differently.

In fact I am working with a Grand Parents Group that volunteers in the Challenged Communities and the are organizing their people to be ready to volunteer.

They will be volunteer in these new schools. Working as mentors not only with the Kids but the Parents as they are going to be able to do things that keep them on track.

All of this would never be possible in the constraints of the public system.

So you can see why so many special needs Charters are starting up all over the country to handle these very special needs as you just mentioned.

Every one please do yourself a favor and establish a Google Alert for Charter Schools It will help you keep up with the good and bad.

Also do it for CMS and other topics that will help you keep up with our schools.

I know they send me notices once a day and I love to see what all is going on.

Scott Babbidge said...

Two of the things I was beginning to press hard on during the race while I was still in the race were 1) pushing the legislature for a NC Constitutional Amendment to make a free public education a privilege and not a right. Every child that goes to school to learn, should be free to learn without distraction from those who do not want to be would take courage for the state legislature to do it, but until school boards push them, we'll never know who does and does not have the courage to do what is right. 2) Its time to throw away "achievement gap" and start talking about the "wealth gap". Let's face it, there is a direct correlation between wealth and achievement. And while I absolutely applaud all of the people and organizations involved in raising $55 million to be used over 5 years, I am truly saddened that none of that money is going to be used to positively affect the wealth gap in the communities that feed into West Charlotte High. A large chunk of that money should be used to educated and job train the PARENTS of the kids in the West Charlotte feeders - and then provide incentives to businesses for opening on the west side and employing the people who the money educates and job trains - and then use funds to find the entrepreneurs in those communities and get them the business skills and financial support they need to open and build businesses on the west side with residents of the west side. That's how you start to change the wealth gap. Like it or not, the fact is, until wealth is built on the west side, it does not matter how much money you throw at the kids in school....
Its time to do what is right - even if it is difficult to do.....
And while I'm pontificating, let's please please please make sure we hire a visionary educator to be the next superintendent. Let's hire someone who spent most of their career in the classroom and who will focus 95% of his or her time on our schools and fixing our schools and who will hire capable people to manage the metrics of the business side. MBA's are (sometimes) great for running businesses but let's try getting an actual educator to run the school part of our school district....and there is no room for billionaire led foundations to be telling us how to run our schools....

Wiley Coyote said...

So Scott...

You actually believe that household income dictates whether a child is capable of learning?

I must have missed that point somewhere in your campaign material.

I do recall you agreeing that the current way CMS identifies "low income" is non-existant given the fact FRL numbers don't add up to Census data nor the sample audits CMS has done.

Anonymous said...

Wow... parent programs---like the useless "Parent University" or actual job training that those parents could have learned WHILE THEY WERE IN SCHOOL AND WASTED THE OPPORTUNITY THE FIRST TIME AROUND?

It's not wealth, it's personal responsibility and a culture in a household that VALUES education that dictates a child's success... My parents split up right before I began kindergarten...and I specifically remember my mom, single mom, working more than one job ad side jobs, saying to me--"You will go to college, you will have a career, you will not be dependent upon anyone and you start that today." That was my 1st day of kindergarten and I remember it clear as a bell---and she said the same thing every 1st day of school until I graduated, My brother and I were "latch key" kids who would come home and fix a snack, do a list of chores, and start our homework at the kitchen table without my mom there---sure there were times we snuck some TV in the living room and ran frantically to the table when we heard her pull up, but when she came in--our chores had better be done and we had better be doing our work... or there were consequences. She would make dinner while we finished up or were playing OUTSIDE with friends, riding bikes, practicing a musical instrument... then we would have dinner... my brother and I would clean up the kitchen and my mom would check to MAKE SURE our homework was done---we then packed our book bags for the next morning. And yes, my brother and I were FRL kids...we got clothing from sales and goodwill, I remember one time my mom bought me tennis shoes that were on clearance b/c the dye lot was off and they were slightly different colors... LOL... but SHE put in the TIME... she didn't have a college degree...we weren't wealthy, but the CULTURE of our household dictated a love and respect for education and self-discipline. SHE made a CHOICE and WE made a CHOICE. Sadly, she was killed by a drunk driver when I was in college and never saw me graduate from college... but I am independent, I have a career, and I make a CHOICE every day to foster those same ideas in others...

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 9:11..

Kudos for your Mother's determination and your accomplishments. I'm sorry she didn't get to see you fulfill her dreams for you.

Your story is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with the proper mindset and direction.

It is what I have been saying for years, that income does NOT dictate education success, but mindset.

Your story is also a perfect example of why the school lunch program exists and why those 60% who game the system need to be cut off.