Friday, June 22, 2012

New CMS policy on digital citizenship

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools moves closer to a wireless "bring your own technology" environment next week,  when the school board rolls out a revised internet policy that spells out conditions for students to bring their own laptops, tablets, smart phones and e-readers.

The basics: Students can use their devices to support "education, research and career development."  Parents are responsible for installing parental controls on internet access,  and CMS is not responsible for theft,  loss or damages to those devices.

"CMS will provide digital citizenship education to all students that addresses appropriate online behavior, including interactions with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying  awareness and response," a new section says.


Because this is public education, we also get a new acronym: PTD, for Personal Technology Device, "a portable Internet accessing device designed to share information, record sounds, process words, and/or capture images, such as a laptop, tablet, smart phone, cell phone, PDA, or e-book reader."


The introduction of the policy at Tuesday's meeting is basically a formality.  There will be a public hearing at a later meeting.


I'm still waiting to hear which schools will pilot the BYOT approach in August. 

100 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please don't make it sound so simple. If you think schools wireless routers can handle this your crazy. The only devices that will be monitored will be staffs.

Anonymous said...

The routers will handle it. CMS has so many websites (URLs) blocked now, students won't be able to get anywhere they can't now. Issue will be access to WiFi wireless via cell phones or adjacent WiFi sites. Will be fun to watch this go into affect.

Anonymous said...

Those websites are only blocked if you are signed into CMS' security system.

The new stuff will only provide the wireless service like it does at Starbucks.

I can't wait for the fun it will result in for administration. Eventhough they say that CMS is not responsible for theft, etc. there will be more and more of it and of course guess who will be required to investigate.

If you thought it was bad when they started letting kids had cell phones at school, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Wiley Coyote said...

What will the nearly 78,000 who are designated ED do?

They can't afford - lunches, to play sports, school supplies or take AP/IB tests, so how in the world will they keep up with other students technologically without all those devices?

Anonymous said...

Section 4 of the policy is a problem. By using CMS wires the student loses, at least in the eyes of CMS, their freedoms.

Anonymous said...

Citizenship? When has that ever been a concern for CMS?

Anonymous said...

Wiley, come on... you've been around long enough to know that those that 'can't afford' can seem to afford to have cell phones, ipods, high fashion clothes and the rest. It's those in the middle that actually pay for lunches and school activities that will have trouble.

Bill Stevens said...

Wiley has made the point before and he knows the ED kids will have their technology based upon what the Cochrane middle school principal said. But you are correct as to who now will "really" be left behind in the digital divide.

I talked recently to an AT&T technican who had responded to an internet service problem at a CharMeck HS. I can see now classes coming to a grinding halt if too much "networking" is expected for class participation.

Anonymous said...

The nightmare is the monitoring. Parents accept responsibility for the websites that their kids will access? Really? About 50% will place parental controls or punish their child if I or any other CMS teacher finds them surfing inappropriately. The other 50% will just "blame the teacher" and the CMS hierarchy coupled with the school administration will be more than happy to concur as per norm. With class sizes around 40 kids let the festivities begin!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes education is messy. But internet is an integral part of life and schools must embrace it. Is a challenge? Yes. Will it always be implemented perfectly? No. Kind of like.... life....eh?

Anonymous said...

Responding to 7:49:
The wireless won't work unless you sign into the CMS wireless. That's where the other WiFi and cell phone WiFi's will let students go where ever they please.
Guess they do that anywhere else, so what's the difference?

Anonymous said...

With just a few weeks left in school this past year, my daughters cell phone chirped in her purse. It was confiscated--using the schools term for the action--for five days. Of course, the school system violated her and mine 4th amendment rights against unlawful seizure (the phone actually is property of my wife and I).

CMS does not have the power to confiscate.

Now that all of the kids are supposed to bring hundreds of dollars of devices to school, and surely violate some rules, are folks going to accept CMS confiscating devices for five, seven, or some other arbitrary number of days? And isn't such confiscating going to now restrict a student from the same educational experience of other students with their devices?

What's next? CMS going to confiscate/impound student's cars for parking violations at schools?

Administrators need to take the civics class my sophomore daughter just completed and refresh themselves with the constitution and the 4th amendment.....

Anonymous said...

Even if they have school issued devices they can download other browsers and potentially circumvent the system.

If they have the devices then their parents know they can access pretty much anything. (some don't realize that though) or use text free to avoid parents looking at who and when they text via cell phone.

Anonymous said...

Are new personnel being assigned at the school level to assist with implementation? Who will teach "digital citizenship eduation to the students?" Most schools do not have a full time technology facilitator, the job is an add on to an assistant, classroom teacher or media specialist's duties. To make this work, a full time technology facilitator position needs to be added to every school.

Wiley Coyote said...

... Bill gets a cookie.

Anonymous said...

9:16, tell the whole story. Most schools only take phones if it is a recurring issue. As a teacher I can tell you kids will use the opportunity to stay on twitter and facebook (on cellphones) continuously. Will be impossible to keep them on topic if this is allowed

Anonymous said...

Oh by the way, it takes one second for a kid to snap a photo of a test...then send it around to their friends outside the class. Chaos it will be.

Anonymous said...

Responding to 9:12....actually CMS does have that right. The policy is clearly stated in the rights and responsibilities handbook your daughter and you probably blindly signed along with 10,000 other documents they send home at the beginning of the year. You may also ask your daughter about a case called NJ v. TLO, the courts decided in favor of schools and place limits on your daughters fair expectations of privacy. Knowing this case was from 1986 I would imagine that the issue of privacy and cellphones in today's classrooms will soon be revisited by either state Supreme Courts or the US Supreme Court. Until then the phone while at school is not protected under the 4th amendment.

Anonymous said...

9:16 - your civics class didn't teach you Supreme Court rulings.... schools DO have the right to search and seizure on school property. NJ v TLO. Also - chirping phones cause distraction in the classroom. Courts have ruled schools have the right to have an orderly environment. Stop enabling disruption and support your school! This what's wrong with them now!

Anonymous said...

At the beginning of class, I always remind students to turn off their phones. During testing, I follow the AP, IB, SAT, GRE examples by having a secure location under lock and key to which they can place their phone. If they lie and it goes off or if it "accidently" pops out during a test, they receive a non-negotiable zero. Trouble is we are in the "era of excuses" where SOME parents (and non-parents as well) will make every excuse and blame everyone else except their child when their child is caught either cheating and/or breaking the rules. This applies to all students. I was part of a review team that discovered that a student plagiarized a major portion of a crucial IB paper needed for the diploma. "Cut and Paste" and Wikipedia are not elements of a critical thinking evaluative education. Very little critical thinking is done on Facebook and Twitter in which I also access.

Wiley Coyote said...

This is why technology as a tool in CMS as a whole will fail.

LIFT has $2 million allocated for this program in 9 schools, while the rest of CMS is dabbling in technology, with no cohesive plan and how they intend to pay for it long term.

Project LIFT:

Increase student and family access to technology at home
~~ Provide computers and Internet access to West Charlotte families through a partnership with the Microsoft Digital Inclusion program. This partnership will include: personal computers to families at a significantly reduced cost, broadband Internet access, education software and job skills training.

Improve access to and use of instructional technology
~~ Ensure that all Project L.I.F.T. schools have access to the best available instructional technologies in the district.
~~ Provide Project L.I.F.T. teachers and administrators with the proper training to effectively utilize instructional technologies.
~~ Increase students’ opportunities to use technology to engage and empower students.

Increase student and family use of technology
~~ Provide computer training workshops for students and their families.

Enhance the reach of the most effective teachers
~~ Utilizing “time technology swaps”, substitute a portion of the excellent, accountable teacher’s time with digital instruction so that the effective teacher can teach more students with personalized, enriched instruction.

As has been pointed out, 89% of Cochrane Middle schoolers (not a LIFT school but adds to the point being made) are ED. Yet most all have smartphones and over half have internet access at home, how does CMS take what LIFT is doing versus what they will do systemwide and make it work?

Is there hollow rhetoric behind LIFT stating students in their 9 schools are tecnologically "disadvantaged"?

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:11 a.m.

You mean their freedom to access porn? Or their freedom to play a game instead of work on school work? Or their freedom to digitally stalk and harass and bully? Or their freedom to video any and all and casue all kinds of disruptions? Which freedoms are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

Great, maybe we'll see more videos of classroom activity and can weed out more substandard teachers and classroom thugs.

Anonymous said...

In response to the questiton of economically disadvantaged kids and bringing one's own technology: some won't be able to but the majority of those "poor" kids will. I teach at a high poverty middle school and I have noticed year after year is that the kids who just can't seem to bring a damn pencil to school have no problems bringing in electronics. An example from last year: a kid in my homeroom class showed up one freezing cold morning (25 degrees) wearing only a t-shirt. He explained that he did not have a jacket. However, this same kid got a very expensive Sony PSP confiscated the VERY SAME DAY. So, his mom obviously could buy him an expensive, brand new electronic game player but just couldn't purchase a jacket, let alone pencils.

It's all about priorities and for a lot of those kids who are "ED", their priorities won't be necessities but toys.

Anonymous said...

Dear 4th Amendment Dad,

We've alreadyheard your nonsense and have told you that you are full of it. Stop beating a dead horse, especially when you are beating the worng dead horse.

Anonymous said...

This will prove to be very difficult for the teacher to monitor what students are accessing on the internet. Kids are very sneaky. If they see a teacher coming their way, they will quickly close out a site that they shouldn't be at.

Also, kids will be looking at porn a lot. They can if they decide to use their own 3G or 4G phone rather than the CMS wifi.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the policy is simple, many parents who post on this site are beyond idiotic! "My daughter's cell phone chirped and they took it from her violating her 4th and 14th amendments?" BULL CRAP! The problem with public schools are parents who believe their children are above the rules! How many times had the cell phone chirped? How many text messages had been sent before the teacher acted? How many times did every child in the room have their rights violated by the one spoiled child whose parent's have an overwhelming sense of entitlement and importance? Parents, wake up, regulate your child's behvavior and teach them manners so the school does not have to do yor job!

Anonymous said...

And as a teacher---it's AWESOME reading about this fir the FIRST TIME in the newspaper!

Anonymous said...

Also---what about, for example, the iPhone with it's ability to FaceTime...a kid can easily put their phone under a bathroom stall, point it at someone in the locker room and broadcast someone's bare booty over wifi with NO EVIDENTIARY TRACE as it isn't a video and it isn't recorded! All that can be done is show that a FaceTime call was made. LAWSUIT CENTRAL awaits!

Anonymous said...

9:16am Are you smoking crack man? Stop enabling your daughter, making excuses for her and setting her up for failure! "The cell phone belonged to my wife and I?" Are you kidding? What if I said "The judge has no right to confiscate my son's cell phone because it belongs to me!" New Jersey v. TLO / Tinker v. DesMoines / Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeirer et al. Get a brain and be a father "NOT A FRIEND!"

Anonymous said...

4th Amendment Dad-

If the phone was kept for 5 days that means this wasn't your daughter's first infraction with a cell phone. It is only kept for 1 day on the 1st instance...3 days on the 2nd...If she worked her way up to 5...(even with just a few weeks left--like timing makes a difference)--Then CLEARLY she has an issue with this happening more than once during the current school year.

Oh, and P.S. the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, much like in other arenas, a student's Constitutional rights are not as absolute as you would like to paint them... in order to be a part of the school community a student agrees to the rules-whatever they may be and you agree because you send your kid to that school--public or not--It's a version of the Social Contract-- good try though Civics Buff!

Veronica said...

Ann,

I sometimes think you do a very poor job reporting on CMS issues. There is more to a story than the system's official press release. For example, with regard to this story - what are the downsides? How do teachers feel about this change in policy? How will schools deal with students accessing pornography through the cellular network that CMS is not able to filter?

Christine Mast said...

Veronica,

In Ann's defense, you're making a HUGE assumption that CMS has the answers to any of your questions.

And if you noticed, a few posts above yours, was an anonymous post from a teacher, lamenting the fact that this is the first he/she heard about the change in policy.

I believe your angst (and very valid questions) would be better directed at CMS. Because last I looked, CMS is still without a Chief Information Officer. So for a policy like this to come down the pike, without a captain at the helm, speaks volumes about the potential viability of this program.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with public education isn't the teachers, the teachers' unions, nor even the administration. The biggest problem, as a previous poster pointed out, is the parent. The teachers, their unions, nor the administrators have given birth to the children, let alone raised them. The kids come to school preprogrammed with the attitudes and values of the adults in their lives.

Sure, most parents surveyed support tough disciplinary measures until it happens to be their own child. Then, they want an excemption, they want administrators to be "reasonable." Case in point: 4th Ammendment Dad.

Look sir, your daughter was in the wrong and so are you. Man up, stop defending your daughter, and use this as a learning experience.

Sir, be serious and reasonable. When your daughter becomes an adult and IF she gets into trouble at her job for violating a rule, are you going to jump to her rescue? Please! If YOUR parents did that for you at your job, how would you look in the eyes of your bosses and co-workers??? Exactly. Grow up!!!!

BolynMcClung said...

SMARTPHONES AND BURNERS ON THE STOVE TOP.

Two weeks ago I was in a CMS school. On the walls in the hallways were QR codes for students to scan with their smartphones.

This gave me a pause. Somehow a person in the school had made a decision about smartphone use that was useful.

I hope this kind of testing of the digital waters continues. Hopefully it will be similar to little kids learning to not touch the hot burners on the stove.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Responding to 9:12....actually CMS does have that right. The policy is clearly stated in the rights and responsibilities handbook your daughter and you probably blindly signed along with 10,000 other documents they send home at the beginning of the year. You may also ask your daughter about a case called NJ v. TLO, the courts decided in favor of schools and place limits on your daughters fair expectations of privacy. Knowing this case was from 1986 I would imagine that the issue of privacy and cellphones in today's classrooms will soon be revisited by either state Supreme Courts or the US Supreme Court. Until then the phone while at school is not protected under the 4th amendment.
*******************************************************
Anonymous said...
9:16 - your civics class didn't teach you Supreme Court rulings.... schools DO have the right to search and seizure on school property. NJ v TLO. Also - chirping phones cause distraction in the classroom. Courts have ruled schools have the right to have an orderly environment. Stop enabling disruption and support your school! This what's wrong with them now!
**************************************************
Anonymous said...
Dear 4th Amendment Dad,

We've alreadyheard your nonsense and have told you that you are full of it. Stop beating a dead horse, especially when you are beating the worng dead horse.
*****************************************************
Most of you are offereing red-herrings. My daughter insists she did not sign any document that gave CMS the right to confiscate her phone. I know I didn't.
The phone was taken outside of the parameters written in the school's policy. But I'm not arguing that she didn't violate a rule, or shouldn't get punishment, and certainly I agree chirping phones disrupt a class. Stay on point--CMS does not have the right to confiscate for days. CMS policy is the phone is the phone is turn-in for the day and returned to the parent at the end of the day, and that rule parents and kids agree to. But note we are agreeing to allow CMS to do that--CMS does not have the right to confiscate independent of our giving them that right. Its incorrectly called a confiscation when its really a voluntary turn-in of the property for a day and then returned to the parent. But CMS does not have confiscation power, per the 4th amendment. Words mean something, and should be used correctly.
Some of the court cases, which may or not have been adjudicated correctly, appear to concern privacy, and I'm suggesting this is a private property issue.
You can't take my private property unless a court specifically says you can, or unless I allow to, or agree to, you taking it. Our protected rights are worth fighting for and discussion.
And now with the invitation for everyone to bring and learn with these devices, how will this issue of rules, punishment, and confiscation, or voluntary turn-in, be handled?
NJ v. T.L.O. appears to deal only with whether a particular search for in plain view drugs was conducted with probable cause, and was reasonable. To suggest that this ruling gives CMS broad confiscation powers would be wrong in my opinion. It also appears the child involved was asked and gave up the purse to school officials, the school did not seize/confiscate her property.
Justice Brennan, joined by Justice Marshall, agreed its decision is supported neither by precedent nor even by a fair application of the 'Balancing test of power' it proclaims in this very opinion."

Anonymous said...

Students do not leave their rights at the door of the school. Nor are these rights absolute when they run counter to the successful participation in the school environment. Current court cases around the country illustrate the bright lines of earlier rulings have been muddied. Consider a principal and a sheriff's deputy coming to your house with a demand to search your home because the principal believes your daughters diary contains disparaging remarks about her math teacher. Most reasonable people would be up in arms if such an action was taken. Yet because it is written in electrons instead of ink we are to lay prostrate while we are beat about the head by Section 4.

Fortunately, this policy does not appear to apply to devices which do not participate on the CMS network. *light bulb* since poor people won't be able to afford their own unlimited 4g data plans they will necessarily be subjected to increased monitoring by the government. It's really a conspiracy to keep the huddled masses down. Awwwww man, the guys with the black suv's are at the door.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Veronica, you'd be absolutely right if this were my only/main reporting on this issue. The whole technology-in-education issue is one of the biggest ones emerging for the coming year. I've written several stories and plan many more. I talked to several schools about their digital plans before school ended, and am now waiting for a news peg and more info from CMS on iPad purchases to write that story.

Heck, this isn't even a press release. It's a first rollout of a policy. I just posted it to give people a chance to get looped in. The discussion is fascinating and gives me ideas for what to ask about moving forward. Honestly, it's a real struggle for my 52-year-old brain to keep up with the finer points of the digital debate, so reader input is great.

Bolyn, you've got me curious: What were the kids supposed to get if they scanned the QR codes?

Anonymous said...

I imagine that some will be appalled that people are "complaining" that "poor" kids can have all of this elaborate technology. Perhaps this would not even be an issue if so much policy wasn't based on FRL status, and more importantly, if the rest of us hadn't been bludgeoned over the years with the mantra that we are so unfair to minorities and high poverty kids--that the rest of us just don't care about them.

No one wants a truly needy child to go without the necessities. But we've all seen too many instances in which the "needy" may need pencils (as the teacher pointed out) but they don't want for all the fancy electronic trappings or the latest fashions.

Anonymous said...

4th Amendment Dad - You signed the Rights and Responsibilities Code of Conduct form--the Cell Phone policy is in the booklet and uniform throughout the school system--it is gone over with EVERY student at the start of the year and signed by all. Maybe you should read things before signing...

Anonymous said...

...and really...if little darling princess daughter knows that Dad is going to go Bat Poo crazy for her... no wonder she doesn't really care about or pay attention to the rules.

Anonymous said...

QR codes can link to any website you attach them to. Teachers at our school link them to their web pages, homework assignments, school web page, registration forms, media center, athletics, etc. You can make your own QR codes with any free QR code app. Students/ parents have instant access to information on their smart phones.

Anonymous said...

While technology can enhance instruction, there's no way teachers can monitor how students use it. Students have far more experience with technology than most teachers and will find a way to do exactly what they are not suppose to be and teachers will find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time constantly checking to make sure students are on task.

In California, a group of boys in a class were using their phones and masturbating to porn while their teacher was reading to the class.

Already students spend class time on their phones posting to Facebook and twitter even though this violates school policy.

There are far more drawbacks than benefits in allowing students to use personal technology devices in the classroom.

Telling students that they can use their personal devices in school for educational purposes only will be far easier said than down.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you how I am going to handle it. It's not going to be allowed in my classroom. They can use their tech at home or we can use the computer lab in school or the Promethean Board. But given all of the crazy things that could happen in class and the parents who (like that guy above who doesn't think his daughter has to follow the cell phone policy) are "high maintenance", it's just not worth the massive headache. Additionally, I don't want to be the in class "trouble shooter" when the tech doesn't work, I don't want to listen to the whining about how low the network is or that something won't connect, I don't want to use my classroom as an "on the fly" petri dish for this new policy as CMS has yet to REALLY think it through. I won't even mention the security issue. If I have to take up a "device" for inappropriate use-what are the rules for that? I don't have ANYTHING that locks in my classroom. How do I keep these items secure until they can be turned in? So, in my classroom - no devices.

Anonymous said...

@12:11 Great observations. I am hoping classroom teachers will not have to shoulder the troubleshooting issues on their own.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows about the potential negatives that can arise from having wifi in the schools. Do you really think that CMS leaders and staff did not think about that? Really? Sure, some kids will abuse this opportunity as some adults abuse their opportunities. That does not mean that they should not get the opportunity to enhance their educational environment. If a kid wants to use their phone as a hotspot, that's on them and their parent's data plan. In my house, that would stop quickly. Personally, being a forward thinking optimist, I am looking forward to the time when the text books and materials are digital. Hopefully, that would save us some money and lighten my kid's book bag. I realize that this is a necessary first step in that direction. Bravo, CMS, good job!

Anonymous said...

I love the teachers here who make the students prostrate and kiss their ring as they enter their classroom. As if somehow their inane rules instill order and deference to the one at the lectern.

You can't stop technology, so how do you harness it? This policy is a good first step.

Wiley Coyote said...

1:16...

I wonder how many forward thinking optimists who have been out of work for 2 years or more are looking forward to re-electing Obama.

By the way. This just posted on the Observer front page:

Charlotte area's unemployment rate rises to 9.5%

Unemployment in Mecklenburg County increased to 9.6 percent in May


CMS has been trying to close the "achievement gap" for decades.

Perhaps they will get the "technology gap" closed in half the time.

Bill Stevens said...

Wiley, I would declare that the technology gap is non existant that ED black students have the more technology over the ED white students. Additionally, I do not see responsible parents allowing anymore technology than a smartphone to go to school thinking back over history comparing this step to the step of allowing calculators in school. Theft and malicious destruction of calculators was nearly out of control.

I can't inagine CMS stepping up to demand restitution of a personal device that has been stolen or destroyed by another student.

I'm with the teacher about not intending to allow classtime with technology. I am also with the teacher and others busting the chops of 4th amendment Dad. All are correct that this is in the Discipline handout all students read and sign the first few days of school. Sadly though, adminstration does not equitably enforce it particularly when a minority student is about to be suspended. The feds have been sticking their nose into this for far too long as it is.

BTW, thanks for the cookie.

Christine Mast said...

Wiley,

Do you have any cookies left? I'm hungry.

Wiley Coyote said...

Christine...

White chocolate chip Macadamia Nut....fresh batch.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea how often student phones and other things are stolen everyday at the average CMS high school? I hope CMS has additional money to pay for stolen item police reports.

Anonymous said...

Technology is here to stay but God help the parent who has a kid who loses everything.

Anonymous said...

My children will NOT be taking any devices to school, period! Teachers have better things to do than monitor this! More CMS Adminstration .... I don't even know what to call it anymore!

Anonymous said...

CMS should move to online textbooks, but you are going to need a device bigger than a phone for that. In fact all this "research" and googling students will be doing in class isn't
a lot of fun on a phone. What exactly will the students be doing on these smart devices? I would much rather see more iPad and laptop carts of 35+ (average claiss size) available for teacher check out for a clearly defined project in which everyone in the class gets to participate .

Anonymous said...

I had to purchase each of my children one of those $98 calculators to take CMS math classes. My children lost two calculators and finished one year with someone else's. I also had to pay for a couple of lost books at the end of the year which I absolutely know a huge number of classified ED students have never had to do. CMS just writes this kind of thing off - if you're on free and reduced lunch.

Anonymous said...

As a CMS employee I will not bring my personal iPad in the classroom. I too have no where to lock anything of value. I also believe CMS should provide me with the tools I need to do my job.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 3:00

My son left his phone on/in his desk, went back within 2 minutes and it was gone.

As you can imagine, it was never turned in to the teacher or office.

I immediately had the phone cut off.

He never lost another one at school.

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
Good lesson. Will most parents react the same way you did though despite CMS's disclaimer that they are not responsible for lost or stolen items? We already have parents ready to sue CMS for having their kids phones taken away for disrupting a class.

Unfortunately, losing calculators needed for Algebra didn't have the same kind of impact on my kids.

Anonymous said...

It's sad, but high poverty schools do have more things stolen than low poverty schools and it's not because kids are inherently more honest or dishonest at one vs. the other. The state university I attended had everything nailed down. I'd loose and forget stuff at the private university I attended and find it 6 days later folded with a nice note attached. There are private schools in Charlotte that have no locks on student lockers. You can immediately feel this kind of thing when you walk into a school building. I believe the distrust that occurs when things are stolen does impact the learning environment in a significant way.

Anonymous said...

I'm ALWAYS leery when I visit a school where all the doors are shut too. I visited a supposedly good school in Charlotte once where every teacher shut and locked their door before teaching. The principal was proud of this practice - as a sign of safety. As a former teacher, this was not a good sign. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather measure a school by what goes on inside the classrooms, not by whether the doors are locked.

My classroom is louder than most - lots going on, so I close my door and yes sometimes lock it (usually unlocked though, FWIW). I'd be leery of classrooms that are dead silent all the time.

Anonymous said...

7:20 I would love to see the data you used to formulate your hypothesis. Please post the url here for all to examine.

But I think you are just making assumptions. SO, prove it.

(and PLEASE save of the trouble of some b$ rhetorical response; either post the data or don't respond.)

Anonymous said...

7:42
Go work in a high poverty school and then go work at a low poverty school - then get back to me.

As I said, it's not that kids are inherently more honest at one vs. the another. Forgive me for making a huge leap, but high poverty neighborhoods ,GENERALLY speaking, have high crime rates than wealthier neighborhoods. Or, do I need a PhD to prove this?

I made a valid observation based on experience. Shoot me.

Anonymous said...

Please show me YOUR data that proves otherwise.

Is it possible there is some truth to what I said? Crime tends to be higher in lower income places. Based on my experience as a school teacher, there is a correlation between the number of things being stolen at a high poverty school vs. a low poverty school which does affect the overall learning environment. I'm sorry I offended you.

Anonymous said...

OK.

Let's compare stolen item data from Ardrey Kell vs. Garringer. Ballantyne Elem. vs. Thomasborro.

Have at it.

Anonymous said...

And yes, there are private schools in Charlotte that don't have locks on student lockers. Why do you think this is? Is it because kids are inherently more honest at a $17,000 a year school? Or, are there other possible explanations? That's all I'm saying. To me, it is more pleasant to work in an environment where I'm not constantly worried about having my stuff stolen. It's nice to live in a neighborhood where I feel relatively comfortable leaving my door open to go out and get the mail. There are neighborhoods and schools in Charlotte where I wouldn't leave something of value out of site for 2 seconds.

Anonymous said...

And my spelling a grammar could use a little work tonight but perhaps you understand my point of view.

Anonymous said...

There is a psychological impact that affects learning and educational outcomes when teachers and students are exposed to the fear theft on a daily basis. No one with an ounce of common sense can refute this. Bringing iPads and expensive personal electronic devises to school that not every child has equal access to only increases the likelihood of everyone living on eggshells.

Anonymous said...

OK.

I'm shmoozing it up at the country club with the 3rd wife of the former CEO of Enron. I suddenly see John Edward's mistress across the tennis court. I enthusiastically chasse over to greet her but, unbeknownst to me, my Louis Verone the XIV sunglasses fall off my head and into the pool.

I'm willing to bet the farm that:

1. the president of the Junior League's kid might find and return my sunglasses - because they are more honest.

2. the kid on welfare parking my B.M.W. might find and return my sunglasses - because they are more honest.

You decide.

Anonymous said...

Just as I thought, no data.

Welfare kids are less honest than the Junior league kid? You are making generalizations. Please come up with some hard facts.

Interesting you would mention two notorious cheaters in your scenarios (an enron ceo and a mistress).

Neither were on welfare/low income nor black were they? Yet they cheated...

Anonymous said...

Let's see, Herman Cain's kid (who's mom is in the Junior League) leaves your glasses in the pool because he identifies you as one who is trying way too hard to portray yourself as someone of means, and this will teach you to not "put on airs."

Meanwhile the poor white trash kid on welfare recognizes your glasses as fakes and leaves them alone.

Anonymous said...

Dam, generalizations are a b_tch.

Anonymous said...

Here is what is going to happen.

Most kids Kindergarten kids Polo Ridge Elementary will eventually be arriving at school with a new iPad. Those who can't afford an iPad will receive one courtesy of the PTA capital campaign fundraiser.

In the meantime, the CMS school board and the NAACP will decide that there is a conspiracy against schools in Charlotte's "urban" areas because every "child" at a Title 1 school doesn't have an iPad. A lawsuit will ensue and peace and harmony will finally be brought to our public school the district.

Pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Most kindergarten kids at Polo Ridge Elementary...

And kudos to the parents in District 6 that thought that naming a school Polo Ridge in CMS was a good idea.

Ditto for Ballantyne Elementary which could become New Providence Elementary. Out with the Old, in with the new.

Anonymous said...

I predicted the elected District 6 Republican school board member would be replaced with an appointed Democrat.

I hate to say I told you so.

Mark my words. Bringing your own iPad to school isn't going to be as simple as it sounds. Nothing is in CMS. It's all about creating hostility where none needs to exist.

Anonymous said...

9:06

COMPLETELY missing my point.

Anonymous said...

When will parents/guardians EVER take responsibility for their childs's behavior? As seen this week on National news, your children are not who you think they are. Educators can teach and monitor behavior, but the parents must step up and reinforce ethics. CMS wireless does not permit access to social networking sites. Personal WiFi is just that....personal. If a parent can afford the devices which allows children to go wherever they want on the Internet and at the same time do not enforce the ethics and responsibility that should be inherent with that privilege, then whose responsibility is it to raise that child??? Give me a break, as a teacher I'm getting tired of raising your children...let me teach in my classroom and YOU teach your child ethics, morality, and acceptable Internet usage as I do for my own. children..who by the way had to work for their digital devices...I couldn't afford to buy them on my salary. Maybe YOU can do that for me!

Bill Stevens said...

Bravo 8:25!

Christine Mast said...

Here's the answer I received from Ms. Shirley about the check that CMS cut to pay for Ericka's trip to London.

*********************************************
July 22, 2012

Hi Ms. Mast,

A check payable to the Charlotte Chamber was cut on April 2, 2012 as requested by the Superintendent. Funds were available in the board's total travel budget line item.

The check was held by the Superintendent pending board authorization which would have occurred in one of two ways:
1)Individual board members transferring their available travel funds to cover the remaining amount needed, or
2)Full board approval of the expenditure in an open meeting

Neither of these occurred, thus the check was not released and has been voided.
Per your request, I have attached a copy of the original check.

Thanks.
Sheila

Wiley Coyote said...

As I asked on your other post,

Who paid for the trip if CMS never issued payment?

So did the Chamber front the money in anticipation of payment after the fact?

Does CMS still owe the Chamber?

If CMS did "cut a check" but never mailed it, from what sources did the $4,800 within CMS eventually come from?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Christine. So Ericka was scrambling to get other board members to give her their travel allotments, while stringing the chamber along. We now know for sure that CMS did not send the chamber the check which would have been covered by the board travel allotment if other members had agreed. Again, the mystery remains--how did Ericka get on that plane? And why doesn't she or the chamber tell us what occured?

Christine Mast said...

I asked Rhonda (on Facebook) to find out the answer as to who paid for Ericka's trip.

If and when I get an answer, I'll post that, too.

Anonymous said...

As a current CMS Teacher who uses a lot of technology in the elementary setting, I am actually excited to have my student sbring in their PTDs and do some digitial learing.

Yes I know the benefits and drawback of the whole thing, but if YOU, meaning PARENTS, would help support your teachers and gear your child's equipment ready to use in the classroomfor educational purposes and not "FIT" usage (Facebook,Instagram, Twitter), I think everything would work out fine.

Do I work at a high poverty school? No.

Do I work at a low achieving school? No.

I'm an average teacher, at an average CMS school who doesn't get support from those that want us to help their child grow when they don't want to put in the effort themselves.

Anonymous said...

4th Amendment Dad responds:

Not that any of the presumptuous rude hotheads are still reading this blog post, but I'll take a moment to clarify several points.

My wife and I, and my 3 daughters, are welcomed participants in the CMS system. In a combined 22 years in CMS, I don't recall any of my children serving detention, or any serious rules violations. I'm proud that they are more A than B students, and participated exceptional in the arts, Choral and Drama. My wife has been president and board members on both boosters groups. Oldest daughter
attended NC Governors School, was selected for the "Do The Right Thing" designation, and is now at UNC Charlotte in NC's Teaching Fellowship Program, Elementary ED. My next daughter just graduated from Cato Middle High School, and my youngest will attend Cato this fall. Cato is an honors school where students are selected for admittance, based on academic and behavior performance, as is the Teaching Fellowship Program--my kids would not be a part of these programs if they had been spoiled trouble makers in the CMS system. For a few to suggest that we as parents and our children are examples of what is wrong with our schools, or that we are bad parents, obviously have no knowledge of what they suggest. To suggest I am a poster child for a bad parent because I've take a serious position about a situation involving my 16 year old daughter, is misplaced. I'm a bad CMS parent because I take interest in what is happening in my daughter's life?

And while at times I have been broadly critical of some of things CMS has done wrong, this issue of my youngest having her cell phone "confiscated" is the first time we have ever involved ourselves in a discipline issue. We are not parents that think our kids do no wrong, or that the rules do not apply.
As I already said, I support rules to keep order, and support appropriate penalties. My specific issue is that CMS does not have the authority to "confiscate"--the term used by the school.
********************************************
confiscation legal definition
noun

The appropriation of private property without just compensation for the public use or treasury, often as a penalty resulting from a criminal prosecution or when possession of the property is itself a crime
*****************************************

Anonymous said...

Most of you who have posted that such an action by
CMS isn't a violation of our 4th amendment rights actually prove the point by defending CMS by pointing out rules contained in the Students Rights and Responsibilities that we signed and agreed to.

If CMS had to ask us to sign such a document and agree to rules where we would hand over such things as a cell phone, then CMS knows it doesn't have the right to "confiscate", to take property without our permission. Phones are not illegal. Perhaps some think I'm splitting hairs, but CMS cannot "confiscate" our property and sell it to profit CMS. If you think CMS can "confiscate", just wait until smart phones, tablets, and laptops--worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars are "confiscate". What would restrict CMS from "confiscating" autos at school for parking violations?
If we agree to turn over property for a rule violation, that's not "confiscation" by CMS.

The proposed guidelines suggest that this document will only be made available to us, which suggest we may not even get hard copies, or much less sign them and returning them indicating our agreement to the "rules".

But my posting about this issue was not about trying to defend, or to not have the rules apply to my daughter, but to highlight a real issue with the broader concept of BYOT. Current rules allow phones to be "confiscate" if only just visible or being used. BYOT is in direct conflict with that position, so how is BYOT going to handle that? The proposed guidelines don't appear to discuss that, other than to say the rules and penalties will be in the Students Rights and Responsibilities document. We seem to have teachers here saying they won't allow PDD. Seems to be we have a lot of concern and issues to work out about BYOT. But CMS has spent thousands of dollars moving forward with the concept.
What will be the rules, the penalties, and what about the issue of theft?
The proposed guidelines protect CMS from any responsibility concerning theft.

But "confiscation" is not one of the options. If we agree to hand over our personal property, shame on us. Other penalties can be developed and enforced, and should be, to maintain order. But let's not blindly accept the idea that CMS has the power to "confiscate". CMS would apparently love to have the power to tax us, but as yet we haven't given CMS that authority, and I personally hope we never do.

Let's try to stay on point, rather than rambling with personal attacks on my wife and I, or our daughters.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon...

You lost the argument a long time ago.

Cell Phone Policy for Students (also see Rule 5)

A student may possess a cell phone on school property, at after-school activities and at school-related functions, provided
that during school hours and on a school bus, the cell phone remains off and put away.

Possession of a cell phone by a student is a privilege which will be revoked for violations of this policy.

Violations may result in the confiscation of the cell phone (to be returned only to a parent) and/or other disciplinary actions.

The district is not responsible for theft, loss or damage to cell phones or other electronic devices brought onto its property.


I suppose you invoked your First Amendment rights to whoop and hollar as YOUR child walked across the stage during graduation?

Anonymous said...

Were can I pick up the 3 devices for my kids? I do not take the FRL , but I will take 3 mew laptops. Or iPads if you giving them out. Someone told me to go by the "plush new LIFT offices" , but I dont know were that is. Keith W. Hurley

Bill Stevens said...

Wiley June 23, 2012 10:57 AM, the "missing check".

Wiley I tend to believe as you lead to that the chamber "fronted" the $4800 for reimbursement by CMS. Now since we know this was a regular commercial flight, Ericka had to have a boarding pass in hand to get on. Since Christine has found out what she has, Ericka boarded the flight without appropriate approval beforehand of having funds to cover the Chamber trip.

What was her intention? Does she now she herself above pesky procedures and sinmply architected herself an "executive order" figuring necessary things will happen when she got back to cover herself procedurally. Once back, the BOE would simply vote her the funds since she had gone and returned?

Does her conduct dictate her stepping down from the BOE? or at least as chairperson?

Or since the flight and trip were cancelled, no foul and all is well?

Wiley Coyote said...

Bill,

I have no problem with the Chair traveling for CMS related business. I don't think anyone is against it.

However, in this case, as will be when they rebook the trip to New York, there was NO valid reason for any CMS employee to travel to London or to New York, other than the Superintendent. Even then I would want facts of who he met with and what bonafide return on investment taxpayers and CMS would get in return for the expense.

Using the nebulous "networking or partnership with CMS" as an excuse is just that - an excuse, to travel on the taxpayer's dime.

The Chair's arrogance since being elected, bypassing meeting rules and the entitlement to travel mentality, has already left a bad taste in the mouths of some taxpayers.

The extent EE-S went to in order to get financing for the trip raises red flags for me.

We know she got it from somewhere because she was on the plane.

Where, when and from whom are the questions to be answered.

Christine Mast said...

Here's the Facebook exchange between me and BOE Member Rhonda Lennon:

Mast for CMS --‎ Rhonda Garner Lennon, my last outstanding question on this issue is WHO PAID FOR HER PLANE TICKET THEN? Obviously, someone did, or she wouldn't have been able to board the plane. Did the Chamber pay for it, with intentions of being paid back by CMS? Can you find out the answer to that question? Thanks.Saturday at 10:37am

Rhonda Garner Lennon -- it is my understanding that all arrangements for the entire $4800 travel package were paid for by the Charlotte Chamber and then the individuals were invoiced for the amount. Then checks were cut to the Chamber, not the indivudual vendors (hotel, airlines, meals, etc). Much like you pay a travel agent for a package trip, not the individual vendors.Yesterday at 10:11am

Rhonda Garner Lennon -- Christine, I was told by a senior staff member on Friday prior to the trip leaving that the Chair was reminded that the Supt would not release the check to pay the Chamber until the Chair had done one of 2 things: Gotten board members to transfer their travel monies into her account or Vote in open session to authorize this expenditure as a "board expense" (she was instructed about his on numerous occasions according to staff.) I asked what happens if she goes on the trip tomorrow and doesn't have the money in her travel budget- the answer was succinct-- she is liable for the amount over her travel budget unless she gets a transfer or asks in open session for approval of the board. I was told that an individual member of the board cannot indebt CMS without open session approval. If the trip was within her budget it wouldn't have been an issue.Yesterday at 10:16am · 

Rhonda Garner Lennon -- I am happy to share with you any information regarding this issue, as I am very frustrated that the staff members involved are being portrayed as having made mistakes or violations of policy. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE!!!! Policy was followed by all involved at the staff level. The entire situation rests soley on one person-- the Board Chair- her judgement, her actions, her decisions.Yesterday at 10:20am

Wiley Coyote said...

It's nice to know that EE-S is paying $4,800 out of her pocket for the children....

Anonymous said...

Wiley Coyote said...
Anon...

You lost the argument a long time ago.

Cell Phone Policy for Students (also see Rule 5)

A student may possess a cell phone on school property, at after-school activities and at school-related functions, provided
that during school hours and on a school bus, the cell phone remains off and put away.

Possession of a cell phone by a student is a privilege which will be revoked for violations of this policy.

Violations may result in the confiscation of the cell phone (to be returned only to a parent) and/or other disciplinary actions.

The district is not responsible for theft, loss or damage to cell phones or other electronic devices brought onto its property.

I suppose you invoked your First Amendment rights to whoop and hollar as YOUR child walked across the stage during graduation?

*************************************

Just because CMS SAYS it can do something doesn't mean it can, or that its not unconstitutional. If CMS comes out tomorrow and says driving a car to school is a privilege and therefore we can "confiscate" such a car for parking violations, we'd likely see more folks upset at this concept. Particularly if they then sold the car for the profit of CMS, which is what happens when you confiscate. Or if CMS comes out tomorrow saying as of today we have a need to be able to tax and will tax you directly, and if you don't pay, we'll come to your house and confiscate property to pay the tax--but it wouldn't be legal or constitutional. CMS doesn't have the authority or power to tax, nor can they confiscate. We have not voted them that power, as we have, say, for police departments to confiscate autos, money, and even homes, used in drug distribution.

Obviously I have a hard time understanding how easily some seem to submit to the rule of CMS, rather than the rule of law, and give up your constitutional right rights. The same concern many hold for the Patriot Act and other government intrusion into our lives and privacy. Giving up our rights for safety and convenience is a dangerous thing.

Again, I support the need for order in school, the need for rules, and the need for penalties--but CMS does not have the legal power of confiscation, and should not, and should not be allowed to position themselves as having such power. It leads to folks believing that CMS actually does as we've seen repeatedly in this blog.

And certainly I and my relatives gave a short cheer for our recent Cato grad at graduation--we weren't admonished not to do so at our school's small ceremony in Ovens Auditorium, and most everyone did have a short cheer for their graduate. A few went longer than appropriate for a couple of other grads, but it wasn't a problem.

Was that yet again some sort of cheap personal attack rather than staying on point? From what I seen of your posts in the Observer that's way beneath you Wiley....

And what's wrong with a short cheer for your grad? CMS requires the large schools to rattle off names at 2 seconds intervals, so they can get through 400-600 grads in about 30 minutes. What's wrong with giving 45 min or even an hour so parents can give a strong cheer of pride and support for their child?

4th Amendment Dad
(I've grown to like that handle--what better way to be recognized than by standing up for part of the constitution)

Bill Stevens said...

Hmm, thanks Christine and Wiley. So it seems Ericka proceeded despite staff directions and woul dprobably just had your monthly check shortened untill the $4800 (whatever portion her travel budget did not cover) was paid back to CMS.

Now that since the trip was cancelled, is she off the hook or is she in violation of board/CMS policy when she got on the plane?

So seems 2 things are up next. Will she be reprimanded at an open board eeting for violation of the policy or even asked to step down as board chair or even asked to resign from the board

And secondly, will she attempt to manipulate the system again to go to New York?

And you thought things were interesting when Vilma Leake, George Dunlap and Arthur Griffin were on the school board.

Anonymous said...

"The district is not responsible for theft, loss or damage to cell phones or other electronic devices brought onto its property."

Don't think that disclaimer, the real reason for the new policy being read to the board, is going to fly for "confiscate" PDDs that are damaged or stolen while in possession of the CMS confiscation staff.....

Christine Mast said...

Bill,

I would like to know the answer to your questions, as well.

The first place I plan on starting is to send Ericka Ellis-Stewart the comments that Rhonda Lennon posted on my FB page, and ask Ericka if that account is true. If Rhonda's account is NOT true, I'd like to hear Ericka's version of events. I'll also ask Ericka what she feels would be an appropriate resolution to this issue. IF I receive an answer back, I'll be happy to share the information.

Anonymous said...

If the phone was kept for 5 days that means this wasn't your daughter's first infraction with a cell phone. It is only kept for 1 day on the 1st instance...3 days on the 2nd...If she worked her way up to 5...(even with just a few weeks left--like timing makes a difference)--Then CLEARLY she has an issue with this happening more than once during the current school year.

Oh, and P.S. the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, much like in other arenas, a student's Constitutional rights are not as absolute as you would like to paint them... in order to be a part of the school community a student agrees to the rules-whatever they may be and you agree because you send your kid to that school--public or not--It's a version of the Social Contract-- good try though Civics Buff!
*********************************************

Several wanted more detail. This was the second time this year my daughter had accidently left the phone on and it had chirped. The "confiscation" was to be for three CONSECUTIVE days, and weekends don't count--so if its taken on Friday you don't get it back until Tuesday. A five day "confiscation" could end up lasting seven if over a weekend.

A different penalty needs to be developed rather than the turning over of expensive property. Older kids these days need their phones to be in contact with employers and their parents. CMS can't promote the digital learning experience if a lot of kids have laptops and PDD locked up in closet for seven days!

You know, if CMS would just drop the use of the word "confiscate", and in the rules/contract we sign state "the penalty for violations of these rules will be that the student voluntarily turns in the PDD for one, three, or five days, or face other penalties--I'd have no constitutional argument. Its the claim that CMS has the authority/power to confiscate, and so many willing to accept that claim, that troubles and surprises me.

Bill Stevens said...

Christine, it would be most intersting to see if Ericka responds back to you, at all. In some of my past life, I had attempted to get answers from BOE members who did not share my slant of K-12 schools. Needless to say, they just ignored me.

Will Ericka get a pass with a simple excuse?

Needless to say, we need to now ask for any information going to and/or from Mr. Battle about this incident.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon,

Take it to court and see how far you get.

We'll be watching.

Anonymous said...

I go to a CMS school, and if you haven't noticed, a parent/legal guardian has to come to the school and pick up a phone/ipod/etc. The student doesn't just get the device handed to them.