Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Grad numbers and PR plans

Tuesday's Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board meeting could be a tad confusing for anyone trying to keep up with the flying stats.  Here's a bit of mop-up:

There were references to a 93 percent graduation rate for students who participated in Communities in Schools;  board members were told details were coming later this week.  Here's what CIS Executive Director Molly Shaw shared when asked about that report:

Here are our updated stats for 2010-11:

· CIS provided case management services to 5,735 students in 44 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
· 88% of CIS students had an Average Daily Attendance rate of 90% or greater.
(Corrected 10/13; Shaw's first note said 93 percent.)
· 99% of CIS students stayed in school.
· 93% of CIS students were promoted to the next grade
· CIS also served over 140 students in Jail North and Jail Central,  93 teen mothers through our Safe Journey/APP program,  and hundreds of additional high schools students through our college access Trio/Talent Search program.

Shaw also said 93 percent of seniors taking part in CIS graduated  --  but that's not the same as a 93 percent graduation rate as calculated by the state,  which looks at ninth-graders who finish four years later.  "While we are proud of this outcome,  this is not a cohort graduation rate so we want to make sure that folks do not misinterpret that number,"  she said.
During the meeting,  board member Trent Merchant made a series of dramatic statements about the 1,368 CMS students who would have to be added to the graduation rolls to make 90 percent.  He said today that was a quick calculation,  which he realized shortly afterward was wrong.
Last year CMS had 6,878 graduates,  out of 9,359 who started ninth grade four years earlier,  for a 73.5 percent on-time graduation rate. To hit 90 percent it would have needed 8,423,  an increase of 1,545 students.  This year's numbers would be different,  based on the number of ninth-graders who started in 2008-09.  Merchant's point,  he says,  remains unchanged:  It's not impossible to change the fate of a relatively small number of teens.

Finally,  the board approved another piece of its financial plan for getting public opinion on the superintendent search.  Neither reporters nor members of the public who attended the meeting had documentation to see what they were working from.  Here's the $10,000 contract with Carolina PR,  which CMS provided today.  Board members also had a 13-page memo from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute,  which apparently dropped its price from $18,400 to $10,000 during the course of the meeting,  outlining the online survey that will debut Oct. 24.  I got a paper copy as I left the meeting;  I've requested an electronic copy and will post it when it lands.  Board Chair Eric Davis confirmed today that Central Piedmont Community College,  Johnson C.  Smith and Queens universities will not be paid for their consultation on the survey.


Anonymous said...

Eric Davis is a tool.

Anonymous said...

Tim Morgan is someone else's tool.

Anonymous said...

Why can't someone borrow these useless and antiquated tools?

Anonymous said...

So... I wonder which garden shed accouterment Rhonda Lennon is?

Anonymous said...

What is the matter with you people? These board members give enormous amounts of time and energy to the betterment of our community with very little reward, and have to tolerate fools like you. Do us all a favor and just stay off the blog if name calling is all you can contribute.

Anonymous said...

Sure, OK Rhonda....take your meds.

Anonymous said...

If they give so much time, why does only ONE of them, Kaye McGarry, appear to be the only one doing the research and looking out for the taspayer's best interest?

Anonymous said...

Right under our noses, the move is afoot to use Saul Alinksy tactics for convincing us that through our upcoming community involvement in the superintendent "search" that we will have helped the Board hire another Broad trainee. We will be told "you, the community, had impact and led us to hiring so and so" (again, just like the former superintendent, a Broad trainee). Given that numerous Board members are quite happy with the path of CMS, they have already determined that hiring another Broad trainee is exactly what they want, and will be using this community involvement exercise to say "see, you all want what we want". When in fact, they are using PROACT (ties to Broad) to set the table with Broad candidates.

It's all happening according to plan. Folks should also be aware that part of the plan is to get taxing authority for CMS. The first step in that little master plan was to make sure that the property values of the big boys, the highly affluent, those who can most easily afford having their property valuations jacked up through the roof. Why? Because they don't organize and complain collectively or loudly enough.

Step 1, achieved successfully. Step 2, get taxing authority for CMS.
Step 3, raise taxes on those on whom you've already escalated property tax values.

Don't believe it? Well, lift your heads out of the sand and go read this:

therestofthestory said...

8:46 PM, let me add one other qualifier. Kaye recognizes what is not getting the return for the money in these special extra programs. She is fighting to end these programs not getting comparable results to their funding level.

By end large, she is fighting for the students too. Why waste a limited resource, tax money, on programs not delivering versus ending them and finding something else that might work. That would put more pressure on the BOE and CMS adminstration to end this status quo failing the kids and start looking for new possibilities or give these administrators their walking papers.

Next question, is CIS expenditures reflected in the per pupil spending at these schools? Therein paints a more bleak picture of how much social and financial capital is being redirected to "raise" these children because no one will adddress the elephant in the room.

Scott Babbidge said...

ROTS, it is shocking that no one else joins Kaye in demanding a full examination of every expenditure in the CMS budget. Parents and taxpayers alike deserve to know what is exceeding, meeting, and failing to meet expectations within CMS. Then Parents and taxpayers deserve to be represented by a Board that will eliminate ALL of the wasteful spending and ALL of the spending on programs/people/departments that are failing to meet expectations. It is simply irresponsible and unacceptable for the public to NOT know this information. We should absolutely be spending money on things that work - and if people think CMS should have more money, at least come to us with proof that all of the things that don't work have been eliminated.
I know for a fact that Kaye would support that, I just can't understand why the rest of the BOE doesn't want to do that as well.....which is yet another reason why Ken Nelson and Keith Hurley need to be elected - they will bring that kind of fiscal transparency to CMS.

Larry said...

We had a Q and A at Quail Hollow Middle School Tonight.

I was surprised how many parents want uniforms and the tone of those running who want them. Not all of us answered the question yes or no but it would be interesting to see if that is the way we want our schools moving.

If so, I think something is very wrong, and the only reason I posted this, is that I told the Parents that I had studied Germany during Hitler as well as Saul Alinksy.

Then I see a comment about this on the site when I got home.

Folks what about those who are doing it right? Why should they pay with their creativity for those who are bullies or those who are being bullied and are just jerks?

In fact I say we should change and have the Sheriffs Department come in and manage security for the schools. They could do it cheaper and better.

Just check as we did here in Mint Hill. Savings and the like can be done with security at CMS.

therestofthestory said...

Scott, there are people in this community actually directing BOE policy and superintendent actions that are not elected.

I will leave it at that (for now). I have 2 clear examples.

But we all know, CMS and BOCC will not spend the money to do a 2 year full depth audit on the public schools. We may need to get the NC Legislature involved next term.

AnswerMan said...

Kaye disciples, lets be clear. In the last 8 years, no board member has:
1. Been more hysterical (required extra expenses for security because George Dunlap called her sweetie)
2. Spent more money on junkets (she went over her travel budget for 3 straight years)
3. Been more two-faced ("I support the Superintendent" - then voted against every budget proposed)
4. Had less vision (White, Griffin, Merchant, Davis, even Gavreau focused on big picture items while she asked about $5000 items at the micro level)
5. Wasted more time (she has NEVER proposed a successful motion in 8 years because the rest of the board hates her grandstanding)

and thats who Nelson, Babbidge, Hurley, etc want to emulate??!?!?!

Not Saul's Approach said...

Anonymous 9:06 PM. Please do not smear Saul Alinksy in that CMS is not using his tactics, but shadows of them. Saul was about real participation and real change. On the contrary, remember when the Board was taking heat for school calendars that were just plain bad. Their way out was to point the finger at the public who had an opportunity to comment. These types of tactics are often used by weak leaders who themselves fail to lead. Saul would be more into occupying CMS with the 99 percent who want change for the better.

Anonymous said...

If CIS could prove 93% graduation rates because of their program, don't you think they'd be trumpeting that data ALL over the country? And if it was true, wouldn't we be shoving money at CIS hand over fist faster than they could spend it????!!!

Come on people, take the blinders off and realize these non-profits will do anything to massage numbers to prove how great their programs are.....because who is going to give boatloads of Project LIFT money to programs that don't work???? Seriously.