Thursday, January 9, 2014

Should charters reflect race, poverty?

Mark Edwards,  superintendent of Mooresville Graded Schools,  posed a question to the state Board of Education on Wednesday:  What is the state doing to ensure that charter schools reflect the demographics of the surrounding school district?

Edwards
It's a polite way of voicing the concern that the independent public schools  --  especially those that choose not to offer buses or participate in the federal lunch subsidy program  --  might screen out disadvantaged students and become publicly-subsidized private schools for privileged white kids.

Edwards,  who serves as the state board's superintendent adviser,  raised the demographics question during a discussion of the pending approval of 26 new charter schools.  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Heath Morrison has been asking the same question in talks with state and local leaders.

State board member Wayne McDevitt noted that while the state's charter law used to say that charters should reflect the district's demographics,  it has been revised to say they  "shall make an effort"  to reflect the racial composition and poverty levels of the surrounding area.  The real question,  McDevitt said,  is whether charters are truly reaching out to all types of students.

MeckEd has compiled racial breakdowns for Charlotte-area charter schools.  A scan of that report shows that some suburban charters,  such as Community School of Davidson,  Corvian Community School and Socrates Academy,  are more than 80 percent white.  Meanwhile,  urban charters such as Sugar Creek,  KIPP,  Kennedy and Crossroads are more than 90 percent black.

Neither group reflects the overall demographics of CMS,  which was 42 percent black,  32 percent white and 18 percent Hispanic last year.  (What's this year's breakdown?  Good question.  Halfway through the school year,  CMS continues to insist that lingering problems with the PowerSchool data system prevents the district from reporting those tallies.)

The thing is,  CMS schools follow the same pattern.  Only two elementary schools,  Davidson and Beverly Woods,  topped 80 percent white last year.  But plenty of suburban schools have strong white majorities  (and low poverty levels)  while even more urban schools show the opposite pattern.  And test scores tend to track demographics,  whether in traditional public schools or charters.

Joel Medley,  director of the state Office of Charter Schools,  told the state board that while charter schools don't have to provide buses or free lunches,  they are required to ensure that any child who applies and gets in through the admission lottery isn't denied access for lack of transportation or parents' ability to provide lunches.  Strategies can include helping parents create carpools,  paying for van service for kids who need a ride and having some type of meal on hand for kids who don't bring a lunch or can't afford to buy from vendors.

As a practical matter,  I've heard from parents over the years that some charters discourage disadvantaged families from applying when they emphasize the need to provide your own meals and rides.



74 comments:

Anonymous said...

A Charter school is simply not going to discriminate over race or poverty in my opinion. They can make decisions on past grade history and parental involvement which I completely support. This does give the a advantage over a public school as they can choose who can attend over just taking who comes into say CMS. One of my children has a hair out of place today is CMS on a 2 hour delay? Keith W. Hurley

Anonymous said...

A school is nothing more than a reflection of the community of people it serves.

KIPP was founded by two former TFA teachers to specifically target poor, urban, minority students. KIPP was not founded to address the needs of any other demographic group. How is this any different than Socrates Academy which was founded to specifically target students with high IQ's? Aren't magnet schools designed to specifically target students with varying interests and needs? Isn't this the whole point of charter and magnet schools? To specifically customize education to address different student demographics. You can't have it both ways. You can't promote specifically targeting different demographics of students and then cry foul. If I had to wager a bet, I'd bet Northwest School of the Arts has a disproportionate number of gay students. Gay being a specific student demographic. If I had to wager a bet, I'd bet that suburban and IB magnets have a disproportionate number of Jewish and Hindu students. I don't know where the Jehovah Witnesses are but if I had to wager a bet they're probably reflected in concentrated areas. And what about our most recent school superintendents? What's the reflective likelihood - out of 130,000 plus students - that both would have children attending the same high school? What's the state going to do about this?

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Why would any charter school want to match anything regarding CMS? Aren't most people going to charters to get away from CMS? If anything, charters should match the demographics of the county they serve, not the troublesome school district they are trying to avoid. The county's demographics are essentially the reverse of CMS'.

Shamash said...

Of course, using today's politically correct thinking, you could argue that selecting students based on their academic performance and/or good behavior is racial discrimination.

Due to "disparate impact", of course.

If you don't believe this, just ask our peerless leaders who are so concerned about discipline and the performance gap in our schools.

They know the truth. But they seem to be working AGAINST making things better.

However, making endless EXCUSES for bad behavior or poor academics based on "race" (or, rather, its new euphemism, "poverty")is fine, of course.

So, if you just want your kids to be in school with similarly well-behaved, academically motivated kids (and parents), you are being a "racist" by today's prevailing definitions.

Does anyone REALLY wonder anymore why alternatives to the public schools are becoming more and more popular with those who actually want a good education?

When our leaders seem determined to undermine both academics and discipline in public schools, then what's left?

Sports?

Many people have just had enough of the bull.

And it's reflected in the numbers OF ALL RACES AND SOCIOECONOMIC LEVELS who are seeking alternatives to the public prison pipeline.

Anonymous said...

"Should charters reflect race, poverty?". They already do. Just do a search by 'Mecked Charter schools'. You'll see a very close relationship re EOG proficiency and the schools' corresponding demographic data.

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Shamash,

The different faces of poverty:

Some of the highest performing public schools in NC reflect rural poverty. Rural poverty representing a specific demographic different than urban poverty. Is it possible that the topic of rural poverty is never discussed here because rural poverty is typically addressed through smaller school districts able to concentrate on the specific needs of the rural poor with less competing interests than a massive county-wide school district like CMS? In the words of Vilma Leak ,"Is anybody listening, does anybody REALLY care" if charter schools reflect race and poverty in rural areas?

Alicia

Anonymous said...

My child is at a charter school and all social/economic group are represented except for those who can afford private school. Which I would certainly spring for as well if I could. Government needs to step back in its interference, not take a greater role. Testing and teaching to the tests has ruined public and charter schools. Lets put the Federal Department of Education out of business and return to locally managed education.

Wiley Coyote said...

Charters.... are not required to provide a free and reduced lunch program or any other meal program

It's just a matter of time until the Federal Government uses its Gestapo tactics to force states/charter schools to provide free lunches without verification of qualification.

I have an idea. Let's not provide any transportation or free meals to the 159 +/- CMS schools.

That way, everyone is on the same level; charters and CMS.

If "sameness" to the failing public education system is the goal for those who dislike charters, what's the point in having them?

Anonymous said...

Shamash 8:23

Lol.

Alicia

Wiley Coyote said...

Quoting Vilma Leak?

Good grief.

Shamash said...

I think the solution is to have Politically Corrected Charter schools for the parents who want such an environment for everyone's children.

The parents who don't want such an environment will be equally represented in the schools, though, just to make it fair for everyone.

Because to be truly equitable, we'd have to force kids to attend based on the demographics of the nearest public school system.

And not base attendance on such whimsical frivolities as the parents or students interests, abilities, concerns, or other such nonsense.

Of course, we will have a lottery for admissions, so no one can complain about it being "unfair".

And very strict guidelines that ensure that every possible demographic is SENT to that school in the proper proportions to ensure "equity".

It would be like jury duty.

You'd have to sacrifice your child for at least one year for the benefit of the "community".

That way, we will have at least one "equitable" Charter school for those who demand such things in our society.

In this school, everyone will be forced to wear school uniforms (including shoes) which are all the same size, color and material.

Preferably all medium gray.

And they will address each other as "comrade".


Of course, everyone will get a C on every subject.

And everyone will get to be the quarterback on the football team.

And play on the basketball team, too.

And be the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker.

And if any child performs above or below average in either academics or behavior, they will be severely disciplined (or not, depending on how many times they've already been disciplined and whether that is above or below the current standard for discipline).


Then everything will be fine.

And these will be the best schools in the world.

On average.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
amyo said...

I think Mark Edwards' question is a very fair one, and I'm glad that a school leader in a high-performing district is asking the question. When factors such as the ability to get a child to school and buy the child lunch are variables in whether or not the kid is entered into the lottery for charter schools--clearly there is going to be an effect, and poor children are going to be weeded out in disproportionate numbers. Most charter schools also require parents to promise to volunteer a certain number of hours, and for folks who have transportation issues or really inflexible work hours, this is an additional problem. Because many people never include these issues when talking about charter vs. public school performance, they play into the narrative that charters are "better" than the average public school, when the average public school is required to meet the needs of any child who happens to live in the district, poor or otherwise, and the charter is not. I'm not saying the concept of charter schools is bad, or that school choice is bad, but comparing the two categories of schools requires us to take these things into account.

Shamash said...

Alicia,

Looking back on my life, I'm pretty sure I actually grew up in "poverty".

Of course, we didn't stay there, but we were there for quite a few years when I was young.

(Mother was HS dropout, divorced with 4 kids, held down part-time jobs at minimum wage as waitress/discount store clerk, drove a 15 year old clunker car with no heat and huge rusted-out holes in floorboard so we could see the road under the floormat, etc., etc.)

We didn't get any gubmint support or free and reduced lunches, though. Darn.

When we did the "white flight" thing it was from urban poor to rural poor, so I've experienced both.

And it's part of the reason I don't buy the "poverty" excuse.

I've seen the way the kids and parents behave in those environments and I STILL think that's the real problem.

Sure, small classes and such help, but it's not like in the movies.

A lot of kids and parents just flat out don't care and it wouldn't matter much unless you held them captive and FORCED them to change.

And we won't do that.

You can learn things in a "poor" school, if you really want.

But most people don't really try.

A lot of it has to do with each generation repeating the mistake of those before.

Which is, generally speaking, the generation which got (or left) them in poverty to begin with.

Many are just living for the moment with little concept of what to do next no matter what they are told by teachers.

But it DOES vary by demographic.

And not just in the US.

The pecking order for academic achievement across levels of wealth are STILL:

Asian
White
Hispanic
Black

And that just doesn't change much.

Even if you look at the world at large.

Some people (and cultures) just seem to make better use of whatever it is that they have.

And some don't.

That doesn't change easily or overnight or just because you throw more money at the problem.

Shamash said...

Anon 9:18am.

Pro sports department?

Eh?

Maybe another Shamash out there...

Anonymous said...

I'm considering charter schools so we can get away from the constant CMS nonsense.

I don't want or need a free lunch and I will be responsible for getting my kids there.

It will be refreshing to be in a school community with parents who value a decent education and who teach their children proper social behavior at home and to respect adults. Is that too much to ask for nowadays?

Philip said...

Shamash, you keep on doing what you're doing, and tell it like it is, ouch! I agree with 97% of what you have to say. The truth hurts some people too much.

Anonymous said...

forget political correctness, the news that Holder and Obama want to lessen discipline in our schools is disheartening.

I don't care what color someone is, break a rule and you should expect fair consequences, and the parents (or parent, or guardian) should stand behind the discipline action.

The awful state of education right now is due to the lack of discipline at home and at school, just ask the teachers who can't teach due to constant disruptions and behavior problems in the class room.

Anonymous said...

Brevity is the soul of wit ...

William Shakespeare 1527

Each posting should be limited to 100 words max and the "waterboy" prob is fixed. Nobody reads more than that anyway and waste of pixels for the unemployed mental nut bags.

Anonymous said...

My advice is to make sure your private school doesn't take any federal or state monies so they have no control over your programs, period.

Public Education = Indoctrination by the State.

Anonymous said...

So Ann, Edwards is politely voicing concern that charter schools......"might screen out disadvantaged students and become publicly subsidized private schools for privileged white kids." Apparently there are no "privileged" Asian, Hispanic, or Black kids applying. Or maybe only whites can be "privileged" (oh the shame of coming from a family with a strong support system and that values education--if you are white. If you are any other race then it's a good thing and you won't be considered "privileged".

What I'd like to know is--did Edwards actually use these words about "privileged white kids" or is that your take on it (sounds an awful lot like Observer-speak of old to me)?

Anonymous said...

So is Edwards saying that if a charter school is in an area that's 75% white, it should have a quota that says at least 75% of the school's students should be white also? Wouldn't that be racism? The Edwards suggestions are silly. When every other effort fails to protect the status quo, people like Edwards have to play the race card. He's clearly worried about white flight from public schools.

Shamash said...

Anon 9:46am.

If you can read this, thank my typing teacher...

Meh.

Anonymous said...

9:19
Fair enough. However, where is the hard data that proves charters are disproportionately weeding out kids on free and reduced lunch and those that don't have transportation? Or, are we just presuming that this is what is actually happening? Really, how many charters are excluding students because a parent can't or won't volunteer or because a parent can't or won't provide their child lunch? Come on. The very act of enrolling your child in a school lottery speaks volumes and reflects the kind of parent who probably cares about their child's education which supports the argument of eliminating magnet lottery options out of "fairness" which CMS is in the process of expanding full steam ahead.

Also, the concept of charter schools is hardly new. The Bronx School of Science is technically a charter school that has been around forever and is highly exclusive. CMS is expanding it's partnership with CPCC and UNC-Charlotte to provide a sort of charter/magnet hybrid option for students who meet certain criteria. Students are expected to provide their own lunch although if they don't have transportation CMS will provide a free CATS bus pass.

Alicia

Ricky Bobby said...

Hey Heath, high school students could benefit from later start times, academically, physically, socially and emotionally. Look into it please.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if charters are exempt from accepting children with learning disabilities? One of my children has dyslexia.

Alicia

Chablis said...

I don't imagine any of the local Charter schools will start at 7:15am or 7:30am. I didn't think so.

I wish the Charter schools luck and hope it means more common sense for education locally.

For what it is worth said...

Doesn't CMS require passing grades to get into many magnet programs? Isn't that discrimination? Well except most westt side adminstrators forge passing grades for the kids to play sports.

Second, I like that magnet school idea 9:24 had, "..be in a school community with parents who value a decent education and who teach their children propoer social behavior at home and to respect adults..."

Lastly, last I looked, Mecklenburg County population is about 60%. I'd say that is the target percentage to work to if you get forced into that "rat hole".

Can't you folks see all the feds are trying to do is to get us all to the lowest common denominator?

amyo said...

Alicia,

You asked about whether we have evidence that charter schools are disproportionately weeding out poor/disadvantaged kids due to the transportation/lunch/volunteer barriers. I'm sure that there are studies that address this (and if not, there should be). But just scanning some data available on the DPI report cards site, looking at onecharter schools in Gaston county, compared to a neighboring regular public school in Gaston county: the # of kids classified as economically disadvantaged at the charter school was 6% of the school population, compared to 56% at the traditional public school. Yes, it's only one example, but I suspect it's probably related to a larger pattern.

Anonymous said...

-- G.S. 115C-238.29GThe State Board of Education shall revoke the charter of any charter school when, for two of three consecutive school years, the charter school does not meet or exceed expected growth and has a Performance Composite below 60% .
Since CMS gets state funds like charter schools, why does the State does not hold CMS to these same standards? Imagine the state board of education closing Six CMS high schools because their test scores were to low two out of three years. Also the county funds busing and a school building for CMS and gives nothing to charter schools in that reward. Even though parents and teachers at charter schools pay just as much taxes as CMS parents and teachers.
Check your facts, if you want to compare charter and district schools why are you not comparing the taxpayer funds each one received.

Shamash said...

Funny how the leader of what is essentially a "Charter District" can criticize other school districts for "Charter Schools" and their "white privilege".

Last time I looked at a map, Mooresville Schools sure looked like a white "enclave" to me.

http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/sdds/ed/index.asp?st=NC

They have been resisting inclusion in Iredell county schools for years.

I wonder why?

Maybe the Good Doctor can start curing "white privilege" at home by releasing his own "award winning" district into its surrounding county.

Or let districts like CMS carve themselves into subdistricts of around 5500 students each.

Then maybe Ballantyne can have Apple computers for every kid, too.

Anonymous said...

Well now, perhaps we could require that each charter has a certain number of seats for each of the various demographics. And if the right demographics aren't interested too bad--their seats have to stay empty no matter how many kids from other demographics want to get in. Isn't that how CMS magnets operated in the 90's? And if it was good enough for CMS it should be good enough for charters!

Teacher said...

Well since MY tax dollars will fund these private, I mean Charter schools, I'll put my two cents in... Why not use this opportunity to better North Carolina as a whole... by placing those students who are behind and/or those who struggle socially, since they are the ones that need more one-on-one attention from teachers and/or may learn better from a non-traditional classroom setting. Those students are of all races across the board... yes, even your white wealthy child is as dumb and lazy as the next, if not more since you make excuses for them. Statistically, America ranks (in education) just slightly above third-World countries.

For the love of children... said...

Two short comments: 1) The issue with public charters being allowed to passively discriminate is that they are publicly funded by tax-payer dollars but do not have to abide by the same rules, transparency, and accountability of traditional public schools; and 2) Shamash (@ 12:23), you obviously do not know much about Mooresville Graded School District, but just to clarify -- There are two school districts in Mooresville. Mooresville Graded School District has about a 30% and growing minority population and above a 40% free and reduced lunch population. The per pupil funding for the district is ranked 108 out of 115 districts in NC. The community is considered blue-collar. They do believe strongly that EVERY child is entitled to a great public education and are very fortunate to have the support of amazing parents, businesses, and community who share that value. That is why they have the results they do and are able to have MacBooks for every child. It's quite amazing what a community can do when they pull together and think about what's best for all children not just a few.

Shamash said...

I only know what I read in the papers about Mooresville.

And they only have around 5500 students in Mooresville GSD, of which around 20% are black.

Working class or not, that isn't anywhere near the demographic or size of CMS.

The fact that they are 40% FRL (or whatever) is further proof that poverty is NOT the problem in education.

I find it odd that such a small school district has gotten so much in the way of awards and attention from on high when most of our problem schools are in large, unwieldy "urban" districts.

But I think Mooresville GSD might be on to something with their smaller district size.

I only wish they'd talk more about that.

As for "community" pulling together, I think that is the problem with CMS, it is not a "community" school system at all.

It is probably about 20 different "communities" which will NEVER pull together.

I seriously doubt that they could scale what they are doing in their little 5500 student "district" in Mooresville GSD to a much larger district.

But I'd love to see them try by merging with Iredell.

Bet they won't.

Wiley Coyote said...

For the Love of Children...

Mooresvill has 5,500 students in 3 elementary schools, 2 intermediate schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school.

Regarding "two districts";

Mooresville is primarily served by the Mooresville Graded School District, but is also partly in the Iredell-Statesville school system. A proposal in the 2007 North Carolina state budget could have possibly consolidated the two systems. It states that only one school system in a county would be funded. It was stalled in committee though and failed passage. Previous attempts to consolidate have been defeated.

Comparing Mooresville to CMS in any capacity is apples and oranges.

Shamash said...

Teacher,

In case you haven't noticed, the "white, wealthy" children are NOT the ones scoring at the bottom of the tests.

International or otherwise.

As I have pointed out before, the order is:

Asian
White
Hispanic
Black

The PISA tests confirm this trend as well.

White kids in the US are NOT scoring at third world levels.

In fact, if you break the US reading scores down by our various ethnic groups, group by group, the US kids OUTSCORE most of their ethnic "peers" across the world.

For another perspective, see:

http://takimag.com/article/pisa_piece_by_piece_steve_sailer/print#axzz2pvqdMVEK

• Asian Americans outscored every Asian country, and lost out only to the city of Shanghai, China’s financial capital.

• White Americans outperformed the national average in every one of the 37 historically white countries tested, except Finland.

• Hispanic Americans beat all eight Latin American countries.

• African Americans would likely have outscored any sub-Saharan country, if any had bothered to compete.


Of course, math is a different matter.

Shamash said...

Wiley,

There is also the fact that the Mooresville GSD has an additional property tax that the neighboring district doesn't have.

So, the "community" is also paying a bit more for those schools through an additional property tax.

So there is a little more to it than just the "will" of the people.

They also vote for the schools with their pocketbooks.

Something else that's a bit easier to stomach when you see "local" benefits.

http://stansuther.com/2011/07/27/are-you-sure-of-your-mooresville-area-school-district/

Anonymous said...

Note that charter schools have a financial incentive to weed out students over the school year. The money the get per pupil on the 20-day count remains. And, the don't have to add more students mid-year.

So, if a student looses transportation, etc., it's money in their pockets.

Teacher said...

Shamash...

Last time I checked, the term "Third World" referred to the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

According to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the US Dept of Edu, "American students' rankings in math have slipped from 24th to 29th compared to the last test in 2010. In science, they've gone from 19th to 22nd, and from 10th to 20th in reading" and "That drop is mostly due to surging performance from regions abroad, especially Asia. China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore are all ahead of the U.S., as are European countries like Poland, Finland and Holland, as well as neighbor Canada and Australia"

I'm not saying that the U.S. is dumb compared to third-World countries to gloat, I say it because it's SAD. The richest nation with some of the lowest scores. A teacher can only do so much, especially when the role of a teacher has expanded to social worker, counselor, etc. And especially when the U.S. spends ALOT MORE money per student.

Ann Doss Helms said...

9:57 a.m. -- no, Mark Edwards did NOT use that language. He and everyone else talks about "reflecting the demographics;" I was trying to be blunt and just a tad tongue-in-cheek about stating what the real issue is. I totally agree, and expect that almost everyone else does too, that financial and educational privilege is not limited to whites. In fact, I'm willing to bet that almost any school, charter or other, would be happy to have motivated, prepared kids and families of any skin color. BUT when you talk about "demographics" you're talking about race, specifically white vs. nonwhite ratios.

Sorry so slow to respond; I'm working on a few stories today.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Alicia, charter schools are specifically required not only to accept students with disabilities but to provide for their IEPs. Whether any given school is truly prepared to do so is a question parents have to answer (probably also true for traditional schools).

Anonymous said...

Look at that data by race.. That is what smash is saying.

Anonymous said...

Public schools still write the IEP

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

Teacher,


"I'm not saying that the U.S. is dumb compared to third-World countries to gloat, I say it because it's SAD"

I hope you don't teach geography or economics or anything having to do with the "Third World".

You are simply WRONG to say that the US scores worse than the Third World on international tests (such as the PISA test given by the OECD).

That's mainly because MOST of the Third World isn't even tested by PISA and the OECD.

Sheesh. You can check the list.

The only possible exception is Vietnam, but even their "third world" status may no longer be true:

http://www.newgeography.com/content/002154-vietnam-no-longer-underdeveloped-country

Here is one list of Third World countries for you to peruse:

http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world.htm

Also, NONE of the countries you mentioned as doing better than the US are THIRD WORLD.

As you said "China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore are all ahead of the U.S., as are European countries like Poland, Finland and Holland, as well as neighbor Canada and Australia.

Those are all DEVELOPED countries with the exception of China.

And ALL OF China is not tested by PISA, only Shanghai, which is a wealthy city in China.

The main reason we score so poorly overall is that we are a melting pot (or frozen stew) of all those other countries, including a large portion of people who ARE from less developed countries.

We are not a monoculture.

So, in other words...

Despite our overall lower scores due to the fact that our country include so many people from other cultures...

Our Whites score better than most other Whites.

Our Asians score better than most other Asians.

Our MEXICANS score better than the MEXICANS in Mexico (to put it even more bluntly).

You can easily verify any of this as I have.

So, despite all the handwringing, we are doing something right compared to the rest of the world.

If you want higher performance, just mix up the demographics a bit.

Anonymous said...

So ann and the observer are going to start working on getting fairness for minority students, and making sure CMS has not competition, about time.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I welcome charter schools. If they help students and are successful. For years teachers have been advocating for vocational schools. If CMS will not do it, hopefully a charter will.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope for the families, children and teachers of Meck county that the Charter schools are a success.

Anonymous said...

amyo,
A larger pattern makes sense. I also understand the concerns raised by the Moresville public school superintendent because there is irrefutable evidence that shows a correlation between poverty and student achievement.

However, what about charter schools that actually EXCEED average poverty levels? Charlotte has a few charter schools that exceed CMS' average poverty rate. Bit of a conundrum, don't you think?

Also, there are magnet schools in CMS that draw higher income students away from less desirable "home" schools leaving those schools with higher percentages of low-income students. How is this different than the concerns being raised in Moresville? This is why I favor LESS magnet schools not more. I think our community would be better served focusing on enhancing traditional neighborhood schools particularly at the elementary school level making sure that EVERY elementary school has access to STEM programs, band and foreign language before focusing on making CMS' unique and successful middle and high school magnet schools the very best they can be. CMS has some wonderful magnet schools that should be ranked and competing on a national level - they're not.

I'm highly wary of anything that resembles overt socio-economic manipulation because these tactics tend to backfire - in a really bad way. See; "The History of Forced Busing in Charlotte".

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ann.
So the next obvious question is are there any proposed charter schools aimed at addressing the needs of students with learning disabilities?

Alicia

Ann Doss Helms said...

Alicia, I am not aware of any, but I'm not familiar with every charter school in the state, nor am I up to speed on the 71 applications for 2014-15 (not all of those will move ahead, of course). There's a lot of info at www.ncpublicschools.org/charterschools if you have time to delve in.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ann. I am curious to find out if any LD charter schools are being proposed.

amyo,
The road to hell is paved with good intentions :)

Alicia

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

Alicia,

Isn't a STEAM or STEM a glorified magnet?

If you would like to go the path of another regular poster here and send your kid to schools that are low performing, high poverty, etc. and believe you're doing something noble, then by all means that's your choice. Some of us would prefer not to go that route.

Public schools have had 45 years to improve neighborhood schools by busing or choice and failed miserably.

Regarding your "irrefutable evidence that shows a correlation between poverty and student achievement" ridiculous.

It's like global warming. For every argument for global warming, there is another argument that refutes it.

Define poverty. Tell me who is in poverty. How is it many kids in poverty succeed and others do not, given the same ciscumstances?

It is NOT the school system's responsibility to do anymore than put programs in place to give EVERY child a CHANCE to succeed. If they don't get it, too bad.

Shamash said...

There are many correlations to school performance.

Poverty isn't the only game in town, even though it has become the most popular lately among the usual excuse-seeking crowd.

Socioeconomic status (SES) can make a difference within groups of people who are otherwise very similar, for reasonable reasons.

But SES is not destiny by a long shot.

For some 30% of kids, their low SES doesn't make them low performers.

Poor Asians perform above so many others in the rest of the world on PISA tests.

And in the US, poor white kids manage to perform above middle-class black kids on the NAEP tests.

The OECD (PISA test) has defined such examples across the world as examples of "resilience" and states:

http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisainfocus/48165173.pdf

"31% of all students from disadvantaged backgrounds are 'resilient', meaning that they are the best performers among all students of similar background internationally".

Now, what do those kids have in common, you might ask (or might NOT ask if you're the typical poverty pimp)?

"A key difference between disadvantaged students who are resilient and those who are not is that resilient students attend more regular classes".

In other words...

THEY STUDY HARDER.

That's how so many people in poverty in so many Asian countries still outperform OUR poor.

Amazingly, though, we don't hear our poverty pushers crying out for our poor to study harder.

I guess there's just not enough fund-raising potential in that message.





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

Again, poverty is not our problem.

Money is not the solution.

Vietnam has just beaten us fairly and squarely in PISA international testing.

And they are REALLY poor.

http://www.ncee.org/2013/12/statistic-of-the-month-resilient-students-in-pisa-2012/

"Clearly the contention that the U.S. does poorly on PISA due to a higher proportion of disadvantaged students does not hold up."

Looking at this comparison chart,
you can see that VIETNAM beats not only the US average, but the averages of ALL our "Black" and "Hispanic" students.

They are just barely below the "White" average.

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/12/overall-pisa-rankings-include-america.html

Not bad for a country we nearly blew off the map around the same time that LBJ began his "War On Poverty".

It's not the only war we've lost.

Wiley Coyote said...

From the Obama Administration.

This is why public education will continue to be mired in liberal, political correctness and remain a dismal failure:

Education experts blast DOJ's apparent call for race-based system of punishment of schoolkids

Education experts blasted a recent Department of Justice directive, which they say seems to advocate a racial quota system for punishing school kids for such transgressions as being late or chewing gum in class.

The memo, jointly released by the departments of Justice and Education on Wednesday, urges public schools to ditch so-called "zero tolerance" policies the feds claim disproportionately affect minority students. The letter, which was sent to all public schools, said even well-intentioned policies are discriminatory if they end up being applied in greater proportion to minority children....


CMS is 68% minority. Do the math.

...bye, bye Miss American Pie...

samwise55freedom said...

This is what teachers have been talking about... I used to be on the blame bandwagon until I saw Canter, Emanuel and Jeb bush all saying the same thing.. O'Reilly has talked about it for years. Education is a choice. As long as the power elite keep making excuse.. Teachers will keep being the whipping boy. I am starting to belive Comman Core is just government control of education.

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
But there is a correlation between poverty and student achievement. Not to say there aren't exceptions to every general rule. This being said, you know I don't support forced social engineering policies. What I do support are policies that encourage VOLUNTARY integration which some CMS magnet schools manage to do. See previous post.

I also wondered what happened to the capital "A" in Ann's latest STEAM story. The story focused exclusively on STEM - not STEAM. Perhaps the "A" is really and nothing more than an "a"? aRT.

STEaM. Not that interested in this.

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
Anyone who had children in CMS already knew that zero tolerance was ditched decades ago during the Reagan administration.
You, with a West Meck graduate, know this all too well.
The levee has been dry since the day the music died.

Shamash said...

While I am far from a bleeding-heart liberal, I do not understand why "minorities" (who are already at the bottom in our education system) would WANT looser discipline in the schools.

After all, it's THEIR kids who are going to be affected the most by the other disruptive "minority" kids.

And they obviously do not need more disruption.

The rest of the kids will just move away from the problem as they have been doing for decades.

And why would black leaders, of all people, support such crap?

Is it because they actually support segregation and are doing everything they can to achieve it?

Is it so they can get paid for various "programs" to fight the "achievement gap" which they are encouraging?



Shamash said...

samwise55freedom,

I basically agree that teachers are not the problem, just as I think that poverty is not the problem.

The real problem is students and parents who aren't taking advantage of what is already put before them FOR FREE.

Once that "problem" is solved, then I think we will get more out of improving the teachers, schools, etc., etc.

But until that time, we are just throwing good money after bad on many, if not most, of our lowest achievers.

Again, just look at what Vietnam has done with their resources.

And they aren't the only country.

Anonymous said...

Please don't impose CMS rules on the charters. Give our children a break.

Hot peppers said...

I think some parents have given up on CMS, for good reason. They, myself included, tried to resolve behavioral and academic issues reasonably and hit a brick wall with CMS NON policy on these issues. Parents trying to do the right thing for their children and the system as a hole get the shaft. We are now at a smaller, private school in Matthews and it has been wonderful for kids and family. Worth the sacrifice!

Anonymous said...

Teachers have been complaining about behavior and a lack of support since I have been in CMS.. Know they blaim teachers for bad behavior. If a teacher consistently refer students they are put on a list and sent to a training... It can also be put on your performance review.

Anonymous said...

They have also gotten rid of principals who suspend students and support teachers. Get in line or get out!!! This is why teachers need some rights and protections.. So they can stand up for what's right without being fired. I am glad it's not my problem anymore.. Exepted a job up north with support, great benefits and 11 grand a year more... Good luck

Anonymous said...

Accepted, sorry just woke up:) I do feel bad that I am leaving alot of good people... And administration, they are just doing what they are told.

Anonymous said...

No one came blame teachers for leaving.. Do not blame all conservatives.. Not all of us are like Tillis.

Anonymous said...

Some excellent comments here already. All I would add is that going overboard, and we dang sure have, in our quest for racial and social equality, is one of the main reasons our country is in the shape it is today, and headed in the wrong direction. It all began with Johnson's "Great Society" and a few trillion dollars later, look what we have to show for it.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Alicia, read this story. There's a proposed charter for kids with disabilities!
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/12/3527138/new-nc-charter-schools-have-work.html

Anonymous said...

White flight would be Edwards fear for sure. The demographics of his school system make him look like some kind of genious. Anyone with a brain could get good results with MGSD. Someone also needs to call him out on his story about his daughter making $10k more in TN. Look up the salary schedule for TN teachers. It just isn't so!