Monday, September 16, 2013

Let the school board race begin!

Now that primaries are over,  it's time to start thinking about the Nov. 5 school board race. We've got information on all 12 candidates posted on the Observer's voter site, and I'll be working to keep you up to date as the board race and the bond campaigns gear up.  (Yeah, I realize some folks are running for Charlotte mayor, too, but Jim Morrill has got that under control.)

Please let me know about opportunities to meet the candidates and/or learn more about the bonds for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Central Piedmont Community College.  And if your group posts candidate questionnaires,  send me a link.  I've got a list of resources at right,  under the photo,  and I'll keep adding to it  (including any more candidates who create web sites).

A quick recap,  for anyone who hasn't tuned in yet:  Mecklenburg voters will choose six district representatives Nov. 5,  with the three at-large candidates up for a vote in 2015.  You only vote for the seat in your own district  (here's the map and here's how to look up your district).  Party affiliation isn't listed on the ballot, but we've included that in our information in case you're interested.

Joyce Waddell,  the incumbent in District 3,  is guaranteed to return, as she drew no opposition.

And District 6 is guaranteed to get a new member.  Tim Morgan, who was elected to that seat in 2009,  moved to an at-large seat two years later.  Amelia Stinson-Wesley,  appointed to fill the district seat,  isn't running.  Three people  --  Paul Bailey,  Bolyn McClung and Doug Wrona  -- are seeking that post.

The other four races each have an incumbent facing one challenger.  In District 1, Christine Mast hopes to get Rhonda Lennon's seat.  In District 2,  Thelma Byers-Bailey is challenging incumbent Richard McElrath.  In District 4,  Queen Elizabeth Thompson hopes to oust Tom Tate, the board's senior member with eight years under his belt.  And in District 5,  Edward Donaldson is challenging Eric Davis.

Voters will also be asked to approve $290 million in bonds for CMS and $210 million for CPCC.  It's the first bond vote for either group since 2007.

Early voting starts Oct. 17.  And remember:  Your neighbors probably won't vote  (turnout is always low in off years),  so you carry extra clout if you do.  If you're not already registered,  do so by Oct. 11 to be eligible.

50 comments:

Daffy duck said...

What's the BOE going to do for the south charlotte schools? With the overcrowding at schools like Comm House & Ardry kell, average students will continue to fall through the cracks at these places. Mr. Morgan certainly didn't do anything to help us. Yes, he's moving on up.

Wiley Coyote said...

VOTE NO ON CMS BONDS! and any candidate who supports them!

Anonymous said...

Somebody going to Dr. Morrison's Coffee Talk at 3pm Tuesday (seriously-3pm?)-please ask about what the plan is for the overcrowding at Community House Middle. Do they plan on changing the boundaries? Why does JA Robinson have 600 less students?

I got an idea-have all those assigned Elon Park go to JA Robinson? Makes sense and that is a start!

For what it is worth said...

I hope the Charlotte Observer editorial staff will become more tolerant and allow more debate and descent when this school board is seated. The CO staff seems more inclined to side with the race profiteers by demanding the school system become more a social services delivery system instead of a public education system. No matter how much you demand the school system change to be the primary support system to the failed family unit, you will never accomplish it. It is not within human nature.

Even Detroit and Chicago will all their failures refuse to acknowledge the error of their ways. They just keep playing the race card and the mass media keeps giving them their excuse to fail.

Anonymous said...

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/promote-legislation-to.fb1?source=s.fb&r_by=1521139

Please sign above petition to promote the discussion of starting high schools later for the mental, academic and physical health of our teenagers. BOE please take note.

Barb S. said...

I taught in a CMS high school so I know how the school district's 7:15 a.m. early start affected my students. Not only were they not ready to learn at that hour, but students fall behind because they are too tired to keep up with their work. By nature teens do not go to bed until 11:00, so they cannot possibly be getting enough sleep to function the way they need to. Pediatricians recommend 9 hours of sleep for teens. There is no good educational sense in starting school early. I have seen the negative effects in student performance. Why do we care so little about our teens? Why are the adults "in charge" making bad decisions like this? These are questions we need to ask our CMS BOE.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, CMS experimented with later high school opening times at 2 high schools. The experiment went really bad. Instead of being too sleepy to comprehend a 7:15 class, they simply did not show up to school with a later starting time.

I hear the discussion about teenagers not having a bedtime till after 11:00 or so. Therein lies societal problems, the lack of parenting. Come on parents, get with the program. You are doing your kids no favors by not setting standards and rules for them. That is showing real love for your kids.

I call BS on all of this. The school system can not be the parent to these kids. When I was in high school, my bedtime was 10:00 and rarely different during the schoolweek.

Daddy daycare said...

The CMS Board Dog and Pony show will be interesting and entertaining to say the least. It will be fun to read these blog posts over the next month or so.

To add to the high school comments, the relationship between cognitive function and sleep cannot be overstated. If we want the best out of our students, we have to allow them to get the sleep required to function fully. Our lives and society have changed, like it or not, due to technology and over-scheduled teens and parents. A change in the high school bell time is just common sense. I'm sure the overcrowding issue at some of these schools impacts the student's education as well.

Anonymous said...

10;38 Your reasoning is seriously flawed. CMS tried it at two of their low performing schools, where they had terrible morning tardy rates and low performance. The problem was a small group of students not attending school bc the adult in the home had already left for work. (If those same parents couldn't wake the students up to go to school, then how could they be responsible to get them to bed at an appropriate time?).

It's not the school system's responsibility to wake children up. You are just enabling the few who couldn't get to school. Let me guess, they were the scholars at 7:15am?? What about the thousands of responsible CMS students who want a later start time and would happily be able to manage to get their butts out of bed at 7:30am, instead of 5:45am? This discussion has nothing to do with what is right for the students, it just makes it easier for the buses to get kids to school at that time. When CMS tried it, it didn't work for the transportation dept. CMS is using the fact that a few kids didn't come to school as an excuse.

Anonymous said...

CMS also did the extended day at Billingsley ES several years ago with disastrous results. Yet they stillpushed it through 2 years ago as a "budget saver" but were unwilling to say whether it actually saved any money or not and now fight moves to reverse it as saying manytimes more it wil cost to reimplement it. In actuality, the reason for not going back is because of all the overtime and employment status it gave so mnay bus drivers. They would lose it to go back.

Anonymous said...

10:55, you stepped right into the answer. Due to the minority few, because of their race, CMS does accept the parenting role.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused! What does CMS stand for? Child management system, or Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools? It's getting harder and harder to tell.....

Anonymous said...

Repeat after me.

Cradle to grave.

Cradle to grave.

The mantra of this growing demographic. Your hard earned tax money at work. Growing the government dependent class.

Anonymous said...

"By nature teens do not go to bed until 11:00..."

No wonder Midnight Basketball was such a dismal failure.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what time Amish teens go to bed?

Anonymous said...

2:03
The Amish don't use clocks.

Alicia

CharMeck Schools said...

Anon 9:01, There are multiple times and locations for the Coffees. All are open to the public. For more information visit: http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/superintendent/Pages/CoffeewiththeSuperintendent.aspx

Anonymous said...

The Amish may not use clocks, but they sell them at their outlet store.

http://www.amishoutletstore.com/

Anonymous said...

I would very much like to attend the coffee with Heath tomorrow. Both of my boys attend Ardrey Kell, But sadly I will be at work. Not sure who came up with a 3pm coffee meeting?

Anonymous said...

Instead regurgitating the sleep studies, go read them. They all acknowledge if light and stimulation are managed the clocks are adjusted appropriately. Recent studies are finally catching up with modern times and starting to link the light of smart phone/computers to the modification of everyone's clock.

Anonymous said...

As long as we have this huge district, effectively run by the inner city, there will be no improvement (unless lowered standards continue - credits, homework grading, etc.).
The district will not break into smaller manageable districts unless bonds are voted down.
Does anyone trust CMS BOE with the way it is now elected?

Anonymous said...

Why even have the talk at AKHS tomorrow? CMS completely ignores the southern part of Charlotte. That is why my vote is NO on bonds. Heck, even the teachers say no to them as it will not do a thing down here.

MOVE ELON PARK TO JA ROBINSON! FIX COMMUNITY HOUSE MIDDLE.

I would like to hear from the candidates in area 6 about this!

Coulwood said...

I remember when they did the high school "experiment" as one poster wrote. As a family we were very thankful for that year. CMS changed 2-3 schools to 8:45am. If that caused such a problem (I really doubt it), why didn't they try 8:00am, or 8:15am or 8:30am. So many excuses from CMS, and I love how they blamed it on some students sleeping in and missing school all together. So that makes 7:15am a better or the best time to start school? Say What?

Anonymous said...

I doubt Elon Park families would like being moved to JM Robinson due to the fact that they would drive right by commumity house middle. But I do agree that something should be done about the size of that school. It isn't good for the staff or the students, and they get out late on top of everything else.

Purplehaze said...

4:46pm I'm not sure we get your point. Cell phones and computers aren't going away and are basically an extension of the teenage body. That is precisely why CMS should acknowledge this shift and adjust start times accordingly. Is that what you meant to say?

Anonymous said...

Vote no bonds and DO NOT vote for Davis,Lennon or Bolyn. These idiots have CMS in the state it's in today. Davis is actually campaigning it was a good thing he voted to close the schools. Same Davis is supporting new bonds. Knuckle head will say anything the Chamber and Wells Fargo ask him too. He also funnels CMS business to his buddies which is crap as they support his campaign. Read his list of donors and figure it out. Mast will bring accountability to CMS first time in a long time finally'!!!!!

Ann Doss Helms said...

4:33, there are various times and locations around the county between now and May: http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/superintendent/Pages/CoffeewiththeSuperintendent.aspx I think they're just trying to offer a range of options. But yeah, middle of the afternoon would exclude a lot of working folks.

Wiley Coyote said...

5:52...

Bolyn is not on the BOE and Christine Mast supports the bonds as well.....sooooo....

Pamela Grundy said...

I don't agree with Boylyn McClung on many things, but he puts a lot of thought, time and effort into his educational work. Anyone who feels the need to constantly and thoughtlessly trash him on this blog doesn't have much "intelligence" in my book. Ann, I really think you ought to consider requiring real names on the blog, as the regular paper does, because the discussions here have deteriorated significantly in the past couple of months.

BolynMcClung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BolynMcClung said...

TO: Anon 5:13PM

Subject: Request to hear candidates' thoughts on Elon.

In the past I've used the Education blog to comment on many issues. During the my campaign for the School Board I've been making an effort to be out in the public for discussions instead of handcuffed to the keyboard. But the Elon questions beg airing.

The overcrowding in District 6 is a re-creation of the 2002-2006 population explosion that caused the quick construction of Ballantyne, Elon and Polo Ridge. But it is not isolated to that area. Sunday night I met with families near Matthew and McKee Rd Elementary Schools. Same problems. Different neighborhood.

Their schools, Matthews and McKee, are being pressured by new single and multifamily developments underway. This July CMS projected elementary enrollment north of 133% for Matthews ES due to a new project on McKee Rd. You'd think that this would cause Charlotte Planning to help manage the situation but unbelievably it is encouraging a 70 unit affordable housing complex on Weddington Rd. This desire from Charlotte for higher density and more city property tax revenue is burdening CMS and CMS families with over stuffed classrooms.

CMS is not focused enough on building strong neighborhood schools. If it were, CMS would send a strong message to the folks at the County who control construction money that District 6 is in trouble with classroom space. District 6 families are supporting teachers by sending their children to school everyday prepared to learn. CMS, the city and the county need to support District 6's growth.

Hope to see everyone sometime before the election. A great opportunity will be October 5th at the all-day long Ballantyne Chili Cook-off. I'll be there.

Bolyn McClung
Candidate District 6 School Board.

Christine Mast said...

Wiley,

What I told you on July 20th was: "IF the bonds were fair and equitable, I would support them."

Please don't put words in my mouth. There was a big "IF..." that qualified my original answer.

I will be coming out with more details about the bond package shortly.

CharMeck Schools said...

CMS considers all of the districts we serve. One of the projects that will impact District 6 in the 2013 Bond, if approved, will be the construction of a new K-8 with a popular STEAM Magnet program. For more information visit: http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/cmsbondinfo/Pages/default.aspx

Also, Dr. Morrison addresses school start times in this short video: http://youtu.be/kmOBywD3ifw

Wiley Coyote said...

Christine,

Mast for CMS IF the bonds are fair and equitable, I would support them.

July 20 at 2:26pm via mobile
·

Not putting words in your mouth.

Are you waiting for the wind to change direction?

That was two months ago. The election is 50 days away.

I'll be waiting with baited breath for the official, official, official yes/no.

Christine Mast said...

Wiley,

Seems we can at least agree on what I said back in July.

But you ARE putting words in my mouth. I never said YES or NO. What I did say was "IF..."

My answer was "qualified" for a reason. Why? Because I wanted to take more time to investigate and research the detailed projects for D1. It would have been premature for me to have formed an absolute opinion that long ago.

As I said earlier, I'll be coming out soon with more detailed information on my thoughts on the bond package.

By the way, how do all the other BOE candidates feel about the bond package?

Wiley Coyote said...

Christine,

While I hope the other candidates would not support the bonds, I will have one of three choices come election day; vote for you, vote for Rhonda or don't vote for either of you.

My vote can't touch any of the other districts.

Anonymous said...

Another misunderstanding involving the coyote that never catches the road runner? Coincidence?

Anonymous said...

CharMeck Schools - I just watched the video. Thank you Dr.Morrison for addressing the possibility of looking into later start times for high schools. It makes sense for the students. This decision should not be based on what is right for the parents and teachers. Starting school just an hour later would give high school students at least 5 more hours of NEEDED sleep a week. Do the right thing for our students!

Ann Doss Helms said...

Pamela, there's a move afoot to get the main Observer bloggers together to talk about the best approach to comments. There are pros and cons to everything -- screening vs. instant posting, anonymous vs. requiring names. We can't use the Facebook method used on regular stories, so I'd be stuck trying to guess who's using real names. It might get down to you, Christine and Bolyn. And we'd lose a lot of good anonymous comments, as well as some questionable ones.

Wiley Coyote said...

Personal attacks, threats, profanity, etc. are already monitored and deleted.

Posting my name (or that of other anonymous posters) on comments doesn't alter my opinions one iota, so if I were to do so, what's the end game here?

Would it make Pam sleep better at night?

How many teachers, admin will post here if their names are required?

Anonymous said...

It would be a shame if the Observer starts requiring names for blog posts. Have you noticed that nobody comments on Observer stories anymore? And honestly, I have not seen many, or any threats, profanity, etc...that I can recall.

Anonymous said...

7 tips for getting a great nights sleep.

In particular calling out young people for setting themselves up for failure.

Thank You Charlotte Observer.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/09/16/4319409/7-tips-for-getting-a-better-nights.html

Shamash said...

Considering that I've gotten death threats for posting my opinions with my real name, count me out.

Which is probably exactly what the self-elected blog monitors would like.

Anonymous said...

Two comments from today's "regular paper", where ID's are required (gee, imagine that--requiring ids to comment):
"Really, who believes this dribble from a suit who has never waited a table in his life!"

"Can't wait for my silk-pants, multi-millionaire, "Taliban-style insurgent", congressman, Robert Pittenger to wreck my modest 401K."

Note how civil and polite these two commentators are. Of course they seem to follow Pamela's brand of politics so she probably thinks their comments are okay. I personally don't see any great discussions being put forth in the regular paper comment sections. In fact there is hardly any discussion at all.

Pamela has been trying to get this forum to conform to her preference for posting ever since it began. No thanks, my dear.

Susan Plaza said...

I have spent the past two years attempting to change the bell schedule for students on the 9:15-4:15 tier and gain back 30 minutes of planning time for all elementary teachers. Our group has given CMS several solutions, the most budget friendly option puts high schools on a later start time (8:45) with elementary schools earlier (7:45) and middle schools in between. This makes so much more sense than 5 and 6 year olds in school at 4:15 and teens in class at 7:15am. I met with Dr. Morrison last week and he expressed interest in the later start for high schools. Change the Bell CMS!

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the PC patrol is watching and wants us to conform.

All in the name of "civil discourse".

By their definition, of course.

Using a group discussion "facilitator" just as the playbook says.

What a surprise.

Mamma Mia said...

Susan Plaza, I support your efforts. Keep up the good work. I encourage all readers who support smart changes in bell times to check out the Start School Later group on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/StartSchoolLater

Pamela Grundy said...

As those folks willing to use their real names on their comments come from across the political spectrum, requiring names would be unlikely to favor a particular political point of view.

Anonymous said...

Pam:
What's your real name?

Pamela Grundy said...

Do you mean is is Pam or Pamela? Either works for me.