Saturday, January 21, 2012

CMS board says 'I do' to Project LIFT

The leaders of Project LIFT are getting a warm reception from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board, as they describe the CMS/LIFT partnership as an effort that unites westside families and corporate leaders in a chance to transform struggling schools and neighborhoods.

"Let's just go.  I'm ready to go,"  said school board member Tom Tate,  who said he was skeptical when the contract was presented before today's board-to-board confab.

"I can't think of a better partner to get married to,"  said Eric Davis,  referring to board Chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart's comment yesterday comparing the unprecedented partnership to a marriage.  "I'm in.  I'm all in."


The $55 million,  five-year plan for eight westside schools includes new efforts to put top-notch teachers in every classroom,  summer programs and year-round school to keep kids from losing academic ground during breaks,  technology for students and homes,  and charter-like flexibility for all public schools.  The philanthropy group would hire a lobbyist to work with the state legislature,  and pay the salaries of three administrators who would oversee the schools  (CMS would pay for two more staffers in that office).

"You have 100 percent blessing from me,"  said Rhonda Lennon,  who said she wants to see this kind of support, innovation and flexibility extended to all schools.  "Whether they're from the peninsula or whether they're from the projects, every child deserves it,"  she said.

LIFT board members said they're following the lead of CMS officials,  especially Chief Academic Officer Ann Clark,  in everything from pushing for flexibility to pursuing specific partners and strategies.   "They directed us.  They guided us.  They got us excited,"  said co-chair Stick Williams of the Duke Energy Foundation.

CMS board Chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart said the private money is "adding some muscle mass to help us do the heavy lifting."

Denise Watts,  the former CMS administrator who recently became LIFT's executive director,  would head the effort as a CMS employee whose salary is paid by Project LIFT and who would also report to LIFT's board.  She said the eight schools were chosen because they are at the bottom on virtually all measures of academic success,  and because spreading the money to more schools would dilute it.  But she and others say if results come in,  donors will be eager to replicate what works.

"When this community has shown success,  the money has always followed,"  said Michael Marsicano of the Foundation for the Carolinas.  If West Charlotte,  which now graduates just over half its students in four years,  were to hit 90 percent graduation,  "I guarantee this community will find the money to spread it across the system."

The LIFT folks gave the school board a 45-page draft of the group's strategic plan, and the board is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a contract.

***

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board has reconvened for the second day of its retreat feeling optimistic, but knowing huge challenges lie ahead.  Members say yesterday's talks helped them get past some of the hard feelings generated in recent weeks.  Facilitator Mary Kendrick, who was unknown to many members before the session started,  got rave reviews from everyone.

On Friday,  the board unanimously and enthusiastically agreed they want the next superintendent to be a "change agent."  Today they faced the tougher question:  What does that mean?

"I'm still not convinced that there is a true commitment to a change agent,"  Tim Morgan said.  "Maybe everybody has a different view of what a change agent looks like."

Tom Tate agreed:  "What are the changes that we want?  Does change mean what we are doing right now we don't want to do anymore?"

"We use the same words to define so many different things," concurred Kendrick.


The audience at this morning's retreat is tiny but powerful: Stick Williams and Anna Spangler Nelson, co-chairs of Project LIFT; Michael Marsicano, head of the Foundation for the Carolinas; Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, a LIFT board member who's also a leader in community health care; Denise Watts, a former CMS administrator who's now LIFT's executive director; and Howard Haworth, a former state Board of Education chairman who remains engaged in education advocacy.

Most of them are here for the most meaty item up today:  A proposed partnership between CMS and the philanthropic Project LIFT to run and revive eight westside schools. That discussion is about to begin.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only way LIFT or anyone else will change these struggling schools is to do something about exploding population growth of teenage single parents - we are suffering the affects of the Johnson Great Society experiment and the resulting wholesale change in the values that made America great.

Anonymous said...

Essentially you are asking project LIFT to do something which has never been accomplished in the history of education. "Change the culture of an entire group of people!" That culture is the culture of poverty where cars are more valuable than homes, where clothing is more important than education, where self-gratification is more important than grades. You will spend 55 million dollars on this attempt and WILL NOT close the achievement gap. Then when the funds are exhausted there will be little to show for it and people will only ask for even more money.

Anonymous said...

LIFT cannot fix what is broken in the home.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ann: People who aren't in education don't understand the complex situation that curently exists. They want to know how schools and the terrible teachers that staff them can be letting down so many people. The reality is that we have asked schools to do too much and we have allowed them to get away from their core mission "Educate." If we asked the same of other areas such as medicine it would be like asking for drugs to cure cancer that offer no side effects, cure a person with one dose and only cost 1.00 dollar. If you think about the progress that science has made in curing cancer then I demand our money back. We spend billions on this problem and yet many people die of cancer each year. We spend millions on law enforcement yet people are murdered, raped and robbed every minute of the day. We invest millions in business yet the economy is doing no better. When will society start asking state legislators to lead or get out of the way. Why do we allow children with who are categorized as special needs assault students and staff at schools without penalty? Why do we allow students will violent felonies attend school with our innocent children who merely want an education? Why do the court systems fail our schools everyday? We will be having these discussions many years from now about the same problems until the American people grow a backbone and ask change from their state legislators first.

Wiley Coyote said...

Of course the BOE will adopt Project LIFT.

They don't have the balls to tell the Spanglers and the like, "Thank you, but no thank you" in order to focus on LIFTing up ALL students... What a joke.

Denise Watts?... Here is Ms. Watts in her own words:

"I grew up just like many of these kids, so I feel morally and professionally obligated to work towards ending the dual system of education based on a child's zip code."

Such hypocrisy Ms. Watts.

You're about to do the same thing by focusing on 8 schools while leaving out thousands of kids who won't get a dime of this money.

Anonymous said...

"Dual system of education?" Does she mean the one where suburban children get half of what urban children get?

Is that what she's referring to?

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 11:27....

Here is the link to the entire article:

http://www.qcitymetro.com/news/articles/project_lift_names_executive_director101538955.cfm

What other possibility could she be referring to?

I think you hit the nail on the head.

Wiley Coyote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wiley Coyote said...

Grrr... I don't know why this blog cuts off some links and not others...trying again. That is the link split into thirds...

http://www.qcitymetro.com/news/

articles/project_lift_names_

executive_director101538955.cfm

Anonymous said...

How sad...to read these ignorant posts. By ignorant, I mean lack of knowledge or understanding. To think that we in CMS have an opportunity like no other...have outside money, to the tune of 55 MILLION dollars to potentially turn otherwise failing schools into performing schools. Bottom line, the schools involved with Project LIFT have not ever been successful. Regardless of how the kids come to us, what their home life is like, or their implied destiny of failure, WE have a moral and ethical obligation and responsibility to provide them with a free, appropriate, public education. CMS has not taken responsibility for these schools, until recently. Through strategic staffing initiatives and actual involvement, the schools have made growth and shown improvement. But, let's be honest, for YEARS - these schools were dumping grounds for POOR teachers and POOR admininstrators and NOONE cared. NOONE! They had no advocates pleading their case, no voice to go to the Board, nothing! They just continued to fail and we continued to fail the kids. I would even go as far as to say we should be held legally responsible for many of the failures of the students who have gone through these schools! That sounds extreme, but those schools have never been equal to some of the schools in the south and EVERYONE knows it, but noone will address it. If you walk into Ranson Middle School and then walk into Jay M Robinson, PLEASE tell me you think they are equitable!! They simply are not and have never been...not just in THINGS, but in teaching staff, administration, etc. These kids then go to the street, become drug dealers, turn to crime...we are all negatively impacted by schools failing! With every fiber of my being, I can NOT understand why CMS wouldn't JUMP into a collaborative agreement with an organization designed to make change in these 8 schools? How in God's GREAT earth could the Board say no thanks? It is beyond my understanding because these schools have continually failed...this is a chance to bring change. To say, "It won't happen...you can't change a whole culture of people...blah blah blah" is FEAR speaking. Fear of the unknown...fear of helping a whole culture of people rise above! Maybe that is the real underlying fear - what if we help the students in the West Corridor and they actually rise out of poverty? Oh no, then what?? That makes me sick at my stomach to even think that might be a thought in someone's head or heart!!! 55 MILLION dollars and some very dedicated, educated, comitted people - It is a WIN-WIN situation...no matter how you look at it.

Scott Babbidge said...

I've said it many times to many people - including Ms. Watts - what amount of the $55 million is going to educate the parents/guardians of these children? Answer - Zero
How much of this money is going to be used to improve the job skills of the parents/guardians of these children? Answer - Zero.
How much of this money is going to be used to find and train and mentor people in the "LIFT Zone" who have the ideas and entrepreneurial spirit and passion to start and build and grow businesses on the west side that will hire the adults who need education and job training to move to a life of self-reliance and financial stability? Answer - Zero
How much is going to be used to help existing businesses grow and expand and hire more people? Answer - Zero

And so it will continue to be what it has been. We will throw more and more money at the kids, keep them in school longer and longer yet, because none of the above things will be done, the kids will go home to environments where education and self-reliance are not valued. And no matter how much well intentioned people try, THE most influential role models kids encounter are their parents/guardians. And when the most influential person in a child's life doesn't value these things the children will not value these things.

This is not to blame people who don't value education, hard work, personal responsibility and self-reliance. Rather my intent is to blame the politicians and government that, for the last 50 years has used TRILLIONS of tax dollars to brainwash and keep poor Blacks AND Whites down in this country. If your whole life has been dictated and run by politicians and government agencies and without the pittance received from goverenment you'd have even less than the nothing you have now - of course you would cling to said government programs with all your might - the alternative would be a life more like what is seen in third world countries.

So, all the talk of achievement gap is missing THE point! Until we fix the wealth gap all of this is pointless. And you will never fix the wealth gap until you change the mindset and the approach from governmental dependence to self-reliance.

Imagine all the good that could be done to permanently help build wealth on the west side with $55 million. Imagine how much wealth we could have added to poor communities across the country over the last 50 years if we used trillions to empower our people instead of using all that money to trap people in poverty and keep them down.

Oh wait, if that was the case the Democrat party would be non-existent. (Not that the Republican Party of late is anything to brag about.)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:01: I totally agree that the culture is the reason for the achievement gap; however, when you call it the "culture of poverty," I hope you are not saying that poverty is the cause of that culture having those values. I would suggest that those values are the reason many of them stay in poverty. I wish I could understand the "instant gratification" thing and why is it so dominant in certain cultures. Surely sociologists/psychologists have some theories, other than their thinking material things will get them "some respect."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:29: If project LIFT FAILS to lift up these west Charlotte schools, will you admit that this is a problem more money cannot fix? Or, will you continue to think property tax payers are legally responsible for the problems in that community?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:27: I bet that is exactly the dual system she is referring to--the system where the kids in Rhonda's district get 1/2 or 1/3 the resources that "Vilma's people" get. But, I, for one, support project LIFT. If it works, let's export it to the other high poverty schools. If it fails, let's look for another answer other than throwing money at the problem.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Project LIFT needs to stand on its own. Keep it separate from CMS. Rent them a closed shool building if they want. They can bus the kids there for after school, Saturday school, summer school to their heart's content. They can open a charter school if they want.

All they are doing is giving the family unit an excuse to not take care of their kids even more.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 11:39...

Ignorant? LAck of knowledge?

I tell you what. Give me the data supporting Bright Beginnings, which is in the same vein as this impending black hole.

Perhaps it is YOU who needs to better understand the fact that not one single person within CMS has a clue as to which kids truly qualify as being in poverty. They use numbers that are based on a system of fraud that cannot be verified.

We're about to carve out a 5,500 student segment and spend an additional $2,000 per year - just with LIFt funds - and make some changes in personnel and somehow that is going to magically turn these kids around?

You weep for these children yet leave out nearly 10,000 others who are just as deserving based on the criteria, yet will not get a dime of this money.

This is a 5 year project. Of course they will show "growth". They have to, but as we have found out this week, any data coming out of anything related to CMS is and should always be viewed as suspect.

So what do we do after 5 years? Where will the money come from to continue this boondoggle? Philanthopy? Tax dollars?

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 12:07..

Bright Beginnings doesn't work. We spend over $20 million per year on it. There is no data to support it.

Why do we still have it?

Anonymous said...

Scott, please go and read about the project. It most definitely addresses making change in the home and community. It is not about throwing money at the problem. It is about educating all involved- parents, teachers, community members, principals, everyone! It is about looking at a problem head on and making necessary changes! When this works, we will have new ways and opportunities to continue the work outside of these schools. But, to bite of more than you can chew would not be wise. Start small and think big! This can happen!

Anonymous said...

More money down a hole. Does anyone in CMS read research or their own data - more money DOES NOT HELP!!

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 12:40....

Public education is that - public, where we ALL pay into the coffers to support it, whther you have a child in it or not.

It IS NOT up to CMS to be comcerned about what goes on in a child's life beyond the curb of the school. It just isn't. That may sound harsh but it is the reality.

It IS up to CMS to ensure all of the components are in place to educate all chidren and to have programs in place to help thjose who need extra help to succeed and also for those who excel beyond the mainstream to meet their potential.

The $55 million dollars will leave out at least an additional 10,000 students from other "just as deserving" high schools and their feeder zones.

There are 78,000 CMS kids on the school lunch program. Only about 5,500 kids will be affected by Project LIFT.

Wiley Coyote said...

Here's another thing to consider.

"Community activists" have railed for years, including Ms. Watts, that children living in areas of high concentrations of poverty can't learn unless they are mingled with other children.

The White House and DOJ recently issued an opinion that school districts can use any means to "diversify" elementary schools.

Since this is a 5 year program and will carve out one high school and 7 feeder schools from these high poverty areas, haven't they proven the fact that these kids CAN learn without having to be dispersed?

So it looks as if CMS will be stuck leaving school zones as they are, unless they intend to move students around this carved out territory in the future..

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann,

Please stop referring to this project "as helping westside schools".

It will not help ALL westside schools.

It will only help a select few.

Wiley Coyote said...

Hire a lobbyist for...what reason?

Year-round schools?

Summer programs?

Will this program pay for the electricity and other components to keep these 8 schools open during those times?

Hey ummm Rhonda? Where do you propose to get all these funds for ALL schools?

Why don't we go ahead and trash the current system for ALL schools and take the current $1+ billion dollar budget and adapt it to Project LIFT if this is going to revolutionize education?

You just sealed the loss of my vote supporting this fiasco.

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is what happens after those 5 years?? I have never heard anyone speak ill of Denise Watts. From what I understand, she is a dynamo - but I think there should be more time put in before a vote on something like this and some input from the community. And why do they need a lobbyist??

Baixiong said...

Project LIFT?

Sure why not. It's only other people's money.

90% graduation rates are a simple stretch goal for these schools.

In fact, it can be done with a simple change on a spreadsheet.

I'm sure all the record-keeping and analysis will be above board and totally honest.

And give them everyone exactly the "results" they want.

I can just about guarantee that.

Someone will find a way.

Anonymous said...

How can this be legal? Didn't a suburban school try this a couple years ago? The school board was totally against it saying private funding can't be used for public schools. I don't understand how some schools can get 1/3 of the funding of others and it not be discriminatory? All students in the public school system (with the exception of true learning disabilities who clearly need more attention) should have the same amount of money spent on their education. Being poor isn't a disablity.

Betsy said...

Ann -- You are doing a fabulous job on the education beat. I am sure you must be working long hours to be able to keep up with CMS!

Anonymous said...

Parents are the problem; whether the poor [any color] ignorant or the rich snobs in their SUVs where they preach Christianity at the big churches and sleep with their neighbors. Kids are not stupid (well the criminals & teens making babies are). In this materialist, over-tech, over TV'd world, these kids will only listen to someone like Michael Jordan; GET an education, ignore your useless parents, and take reponsibility for yourself. I have a friend who CMS completely failed, her mother holds her hostage at home with the excuse of "home school", I don't know who can save this kid from her self-absorbed, enabling Mother, it is abuse and horrible to watch. Good luck - changing an ethnic culture (this is not a racist comment, it is reality). And the same whitey-white culture in the expensive show off your SUV zip codes.

Wiley Coyote said...

Baix...

We both know they can't justify Bright Beginnings.

Project LIFT is already a success on paper and hasn't been implemented.

They talk of putting top notch teachers in these schools. HUH?

I thought we have been doing that with "strategic staffing"?

These educrats are so mired in their own self-absorbed world, they have no clue as to what the real world is anymore.

County to Investigate? said...

Gates gave up a load of money to failure which ended up costing CMS taxpayer dollars. Is a contingency fund going to be established so that the taxpayers do not have to pay to put the 8 west side schools back together again if LIFT is not successful?

The County Board should start an investigation into CMS number crunching. CMS can not be trusted to police itself. The phony numbers almost always make the educrats out to be doing a great job when school reports suggest differently.

Anonymous said...

Project LIFT is just admitting that these "birthers" are incompetent to be parents. They choose now to let these philanthropists raise these children and let the birthers keep stealing our tax dollars. Anyway, with all the years and experience, Harlem Achievement Zone has not cracked anything near the promise Project LIFT is going after. Power brokers in Charlotte think they can outdo Dr. Canada. They are in for a rude lesson.

Anonymous said...

I get tired of people who say such schools are a dumping ground for bad teachers. What they tend to be is a pool or inexperienced teachers, as teachers get the opportunity to transfer to schools in better communities, they do so. Then such schools wind up re-staffing with those right out of college. I toiled in such schools for over a decade and got tired of fighting the same old battles involving poverty. I will change professions before I go back teaching kids in high-priority schools, as it is a losing battle!

Wiley Coyote said...

Looking at the latest report by school from CMS, Allenbrook and Statesville elementary schools are just outside the top 10 that are underperforming, which are Project LIFT schools.

5 of the Project LIFT schools are in the bottom 10.

Ann and others keep referring to these 8 schools as being "westside schools", but looking at them on a map, 4 of the schools are east of I-77 and two of those are north of I-85.

I guess the other 5 bottom performing elementary schools will just have to contend with $2,000 per student less and teachers that won't be of the quality their counterparts will be receiving.

Scott Babbidge said...

Anon 12:40
I based my comments on an actual experience. Before I withdrew from the at large school board race I was invited to attend Sarah Stevenson's breakfast club. Ms. Watts was the featured guest that day and when I finally got around to asking my question(s) (the questions I wrote in my earlier comment) and the answer I received from Denise was that the people writing the checks want the money to go to the kids in the schools. Her words not mine.

Honestly there are lots of people and lots of organizations that claim one thing (or group of things) in writing but in reality what they does not equal their mission. Not saying that is true with LIFT but guess what - if all of the programs and money spent over the last 50 years to solve problems have been an abject failure - there are more people (and a higher percentage of people as well) living in poverty today than before the Great Society was perpetrated against poor people in America.

The problem is we don't have open and honest and big boy/big girl conversations about these things. Government social programs hurt people - they do not help people (well they help the ruling class elitists maintain and expand their wealth and their power.

I am as compassionate as any bleeding heart liberal ever will be - the difference between me and Libs is that I understand economics, I know that government can never and will never do better for people than they can do if left to their own devices. My brand of compassion moves people and families off welfare forever and to a life of productivity and self-reliance. And I think it's about darn time we try that method for a real change....

Ann Doss Helms said...

Thanks, Betsy!

Anonymous said...

The issue with the money will be intriguing. If the teacher is the biggest component of successful learning WITHIN the school, maybe they will offer larger salaries to exceptional teachers to teach there. In the past when this has been attempted the 'bonuses' were rarely paid or came so encumbered that they were nor worth the change in environment..

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 5:27...

I hear what you're saying.

We spent tens of thousands on bonuses for teachers and principals for "strategic staffing" at Focus Schools and where has that gotten us?

I guess philanthropy money is cleaner, crisper and goes farther than our dirty tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

UGH!!! More good money going towards the wrong problem. REALLY? NOBODY sees this as the wrong approach after everything we have learned over the years? THANK GOD this isn't tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

I would be curious to know if these "westside" schools have any of these miracle worker TFA's that used to get nobilized.

Ann, thanks for the fine work. However, I think you have quickly realized that it wil take a team of 5 or 6 investigators to pull back the hood on the CMS machine.

Anonymous said...

After attending part of the retreat yesterday, something has been gnawing at me and I now know what it is. There were a lot of high faluting words being thrown around but what was missing was any mention of how the CMS BOE needs to focus support, development, and encouragement on its front line employees executing its mission, the teachers.

Wiley Coyote said...

CMS teachers should be incensed over the language used to help sell Project LIFT, stating; The $55 million, five-year plan for eight westside schools includes new efforts to put top-notch teachers in every classroom

This is a slap in the face to every dedicated teacher who for years have taught at these schools and tried to make a difference, only to have environments outside of the school setting erode any gains and inept downtown management.

Anonymous said...

The only lifting that will happen is the lifting of $$ from one “provider” to another.
Unfortunately, this program will not succeed if Watts is at the helm. And by the way, why is she still an employee of the school district? This means that she will still be on the state retirement plan. What will her salary be? She was making a bucket load when she was such a failure at Spaugh and then as a regional super. Sounds like this was in the making for awhile and a way to increase her salary. What a rip-off.

These children deserve better and so do the people who donated the money.

todd said...

Maybe now CD Spangler will be able to pay some white children to graduate.

Anonymous said...

Project LIFT brings together the best thinking about education, plus a willingness to let go 9f the status quo, backed by the resources that can make a different. I think this approach is the best hope we have to succeed in educating kids in low-income minority neighborhoods. What we're doing obviously isn't working. I'm amazed at the whining about this effort to try something different. I applaud it.

Anonymous said...

Please, let me take a moment and explain to all people who post on this page. When people refer to "Poor Quality" teachers being sent to these westside schools it trully upsets me. I have many friends who volunteered to go to these schools to help save a generation of children they viewed as being left behind. These people were highly skilled, highly accredited and highly motivated teachers. What happened to them? Let me tell you story. It all started about 6 years ago when Dr. Pughsley was willing to address the problem by paying teachers bonuses of up to $15,000 to go to these schools, then came the strings. First, teachers would receive only 3,000 dollars with 2,000 dollars more paid at the end of the year. Then 5,000 would be paid but only if their scores were so high. Lastly, the rest would be paid if the teacher agreed to stay additonal years. Many of these highly decorated teachers felt betrayed and sold out and felt as if it were a trick. Many of my friends told me stories of how the principals would refuse to back them with disciplinary issues. Horror stories of parents in the community theatened them and cursed at them in meetings. Stories of how principals talked teachers out of filing charges against students who had committed crimes against them. Now, there are posters on this site who demand "Good Teachers" come to these schools. I have bad news for you, the only teachers who will teach at these schools are TFAs who are so desperate for unemployment that they would teach in Afghanistan and defuse mines for free as long as it paid them. What do you think will happen to these folks once their three years is up? CMS is letting project LIFT take over for strategic reasons. If the project fails they will have nothing to do with it and your schools will be closed. If it is successful they will take credit and squeeze you out. In the end your children in the westside will be no more successful if they do not see a tomorrow or a chance at a brighter future. Black men are taught to either be a gangster, a rapper or a an athlete. Never is it pushed to be a teacher, a lawyer, doctor. Black women lead the family because black men are so heavily suppressed by black women and the belief that money can be easily made and you don't even have to work for it. Until project lift can solve the deep rooted problems that go on inside the community then it stands no chance of fixing what is broken. While your at it why don't you address the real poverty in rural America or Indian reservations, where the same identical conditions exist.

bobcat99 said...

Best wishes to this initiative. I really hope this can boost those struggling schools. To the multitude of haters that nay say EVERY thing - better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

Wiley Coyote said...

Bobcat99,

Give me three groundbreaking differences (specifics) that Project LIFT will do - and make a difference - that hasn't already been done over the past 25 years.

Anonymous said...

The notion that the school system has not helped these seven schools before is without merit. Money from both the failed "Challenge", a load of title I money, strategic staffing and Achievement Zone assistance and additional funding for lower student- teacher ratios in high poverty schools based on federal lunch program numbers has not worked. All of this additional help over the past 7 years has not made any real impact in their student achievement , closing the gap between whites and minorities or graduation rate. It costs much less per pupil to educate a student at JM Robinson compared to one a Ranson.
Schools are not equal because of all the money wasted on failed programs to help students that choose on a daily bases no to engage in the learning process. Principal will tell you if the same amount of money was spent on moving the better achieving students forward as it does on remediation, school achievement would rise. The flip side to that is the achievement gap would enlarge but we cannot have that happen, it is not a goal to have all student reach their potential.
Let us use research based data to drive our programs. Surely some were in this country there is a school system like CMS has faced this same problem and has a "program" that has worked before and has data to prove it. I'm sure Scott Muri, the data guru, can handle this. The reality of the situation is that, as a previous writer stated, no system or government body has ever found and successful program for an urban school system. Rather than deal with the core issues we choose to throw money into already flawed programs because of guilt and the need do something, even when we all know it will not make any difference.

Anonymous said...

So as I read through the plan, it looks like Mecklenburg taxpayers or at least the non-westside schools wil have to give up some money for the extra teacher time, the extra principal time, and extra school operating expense?

LIFT is only reimbursing CMS for the 3 new positions but CMS/we the taxpayers will be paying for the retirement and benefits.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at this one (from Project LIFT plan).

 Decrease achievement gaps by increasing low income/minority student growth/proficiency at a faster rate than the students’ more affluent/non-minority peers.

CMS is already using the strategy to close the achievement gaps by strangling suburban schools and running the "good" families.

Anonymous said...

Ann,
Is Project Lift creating a back door to HB546 with its paid lobbyist? Also it seems their documents promote value added evaluation tools for teachers. Will changing the pay scale for their teachers lead to the outcry from others? Very Deceptive!

Also who are these partners B, C D E? Shouldn't they be named so the public and CMS really know who they are about to get in bed with?

Anonymous said...

From her comments, Rhonda Lennon seems to know who these donors are, shouldn't we?

Anonymous said...

Just give 'em $55M worth of ankle monitors. That way they can learn how to cut them off now - the right way.

Wiley Coyote said...

Here's a very in-depth look at philanthropy in education...

It's worth reading in my opinion.

Be wary of who you get into bed with.

One note I read in the article was that for every 1 negative news article on philanthropy in education, there are 13 positive ones. It goes on to show how much the media is not willing to talk negatively about donors and how much these donors give to certain media outlets..
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Winter 2011

Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools

By Joanne Barkan

THE COST of K–12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. So, how much influence could anyone in the private sector exert by controlling just a few billion dollars of that immense sum? Decisive influence, it turns out. A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy—where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision—investing in education yields great bang for the buck.

http://dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=3781

Anonymous said...

Where is the change element? Those schools ALREADY receive almost twice as much money as some other schools. Good money spent on a bad ship.

Create a TRADE SCHOOL !!!

Anonymous said...

Are people really failing to see that his is student driven/results driven? In any other profession you are held accountable for your work. In teaching, your work is your students. If they aren't learning, you are failing at your job.
People don't get into teaching for the money, the title or any other reason but the kids. Why shouldn't it be about them? Everyone deserves a good education, no matter where you live or how much their parents make.

If the complaining teachers are going to choose to be displaced then they clearly don't think they are effective teachers and don't want to risk anything to prove that. Your actions speak for themselves.
It's not about anyone other than the kids.
So what if they spend 55 million and project lift fails? at least they tried, other than sitting and letting the acheiment gap get wider. Standing and watching isn't effective either.

those of you who know nothing about education or teaching should volunteer at a school sometime. preferably in a low-income area - talk to the kids, talk to the parents, then make your opinion.