Thursday, March 6, 2014

Check enrollment at CMS schools

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has posted official enrollment for all schools; here's where to find the numbers.

I'm seeing comments on previous posts that indicate some of you would like to discuss the balance of enrollment at individual schools,  such as Community House Middle,  which had 1,631 students at the 20th-day count in September.  I haven't had time to do any analysis or year-to-year comparison,  but I'm interested to hear thoughts.  Short answer to a question about why Community House is so much larger than nearby Robinson Middle (1,107 students):  Changing boundaries is a school board decision.

Community House is biggest middle school in CMS

Spokeswoman Kathryn Block and student placement head Scott McCully didn't have many specifics about why the total enrollment growth was less than half what the district reported in October,  based on internal reporting systems when the state's PowerSchool system wasn't working. But Block did take issue with implications that CMS was partly to blame for delays in official reporting.

Last Friday,  when the state was saying that all PowerSchool issues related to the monthly enrollment reports had been cleared up,  McCully found CMS enrollment listed in two different places on the state web site with totals that were off by thousands of students,  Block said.  That's why it took a couple more days to resolve that issue.

The state is still checking on about 8,000 students across the state whose race or ethnicity listings are in question.  Block said about 3,000 of them are in CMS,  enough to skew district and school totals.  That's why CMS is waiting until a March 14 system maintenance to run and report demographics,  she said.


Anonymous said...

Looks like some relief could be provided to comm house middle by several middle schools, like South charlotte middle (887), Carmel middle , Crestdale, Quail Hollow and JM robinson. Will CMS be looking into this?

Wiley Coyote said...

Will CMS pay taxpayers back any additional funds due to half the number of projected student growth?

Haven't we been down this road before?

It's amazing how the powers that be at CMS continue to state enrollment over the next so and so number of years is expected to rise significantly, but they always seem to miss their projections and we don't have these great fluctuations promised.

All the while crying over "we need more space".

I know there are areas where schools are overcrowded, but some of the problems are of their own doing.

Mt. Island Elementary, Couldwood and Paw Creek Elementary are perfect examples of misplaced priorities.

...but they got their bond proposal passed, even though now CMS admits charter schools are cutting into their customer base: Scott McCully, the administrator in charge of student placement, says the slump in actual numbers was spurred partly by growth in charter schools.

I wonder what caused this slump in 2009/2010: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ 20th-day enrollment numbers are slightly down from projections. The district projected 134,446 K-12 students for the 2009-2010 year. As of Sept. 22, there were 133,664 students enrolled – 782 students below projections.

Here's McCully's reasoning back then: “It’s very challenging to predict where families will be living and going to school during major changes in the economy,” said Scott McCully, executive director of planning and student placement for CMS.

So, then it was the economy and today it's charters....

What will be the excuse next year?

From the Meck Deck in 2007:

CMS Fails Math
Posted September 20th, 2007 at 6:48 AM by Jeff Taylor

How did CMS miss enrollment numbers by 44 percent? Why did CMS expect 5200 new students and only get 2900?

Well, one way is by failing to account for the impact of charter schools — a failure that may well be rooted in the philosophical opposition to charters. You see, the public school establishment as a whole refuses to accept that charters benefit public systems as a whole both by providing competition and by taking on students who would otherwise strain the larger system.

The evidence:

Alexander Middle in Huntersville, for example, had more than 110 fewer students than expected. Principal Joanna Smith said that’s partly because Lake Norman Charter School opened a new building nearby and added an eighth grade.

So the principal knew what has happening on the ground and the Ed Center did not? Do tell.

Anonymous said...

For years, teachers have complained about the logic and decisions of CMS burocrats. If teachers actually had a voice in this backwater state, some of these issues could be avoided. I have never heard a bad word about charters from teachers.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Community House Middle--so which students should be assigned away from Community House and how would their families feel about that? Community wide input would be needed.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Community House-easy move those from Elon Park to JA Robinson. That would be a start and then all those children would be together. No sense picking and choosing neighborhoods! Done deal! Your are welcome!

Pamela Grundy said...

For what it's worth, I have heard plenty of concerns from teachers about charters, especially when traditional schools have to clean up after charters who "encourage" struggling students to leave in the middle of the year because they are too "difficult" to teach. Some teachers like charters; others don't.

Anonymous said...

Ya, nobody likes cleaning up someone else's mess. Teachers are not against the idea of charter schools.

Wiley Coyote said...

Problem is, traditional schools don't clean up difficult, struggling students either... they just pass them along.

Pamela Grundy said...

Mr. Coyote, you clearly have not met the teachers I know. I recommend that you stick to subjects where you actually know what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Pamela, you are both right. I've seen teachers work their hearts out for these kids. Yet they lack the support from home and they are too far behind. And then the adminstration does not want to look bad so if the child has made a few months of progress, administration sends them on even though they are worse off academically. But the students have been artifically supported so their self esteem is not broken.

Anonymous said...

The student population that CMS fails with and who really blossoms in charters are the average students.

Anonymous said...

almost 40,000 CharMeck students attend private, charter or are home-schooled? That is a huge number. CMS must be thankful they don't have to house those students too, where would they put them all. But really, we all know those are the students CMS would want in their system, just sayin'.

Anonymous said...


Did I say anything about teachers?

You're living on fantasy world if you don't believe some kids are being passed on that shouldn't be and kids not being disciplined that should be.


Pamela Grundy said...

Mr. Coyote,

You can parse and squiggle all you want but when you say "traditional schools" don't "clean up" difficult students you're talking about the teachers. I'm sure I'm not the only one on this blog who's tired of having you make sweeping generalizations and then wasting everyone's time trying to wiggle out of them.

Anonymous said...

Mr Coyote, libruls are mindreaders.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that CMS uses these numbers and "predictions" to determine positions. Thanks to the legilsature, in the high schools...they can be packed in like sardines! One south Charlotte high school has already been told its likely to lose a handful of positions and the class sizes are ALREADY in the 30's and 40's in many courses. But rest assured, the schools in other areas of Charlotte will get to keep their 20's and below class sizes in their high schools. Granted, it may be needed, but how is it fair that just because students do a better job of behaving in some places over others or just because the socio-economics are better in certain areas that THOSE students are the ones in classes of 40? RIDICULOUS!

Wiley Coyote said...

Wow Pam... bad liberal day?

Putting words in my mouth that aren't there? Assumptions?

Let me clarify so you can understand on a basic level.

Traditional public schools = THE SYSTEM or educrat bureucracy.

As I have stated a gazillion times, teachers are pawns in that system.

Next time, refrain from assumming what YOU THINK someome meant to suit your point of view, because this time, you failed miserably.

Anonymous said...

2:47pm You are correct, class sizes do make a difference. And so does sleep, or lack of it.

From the book Nurtureshock "There is a correlation between grades and average amount of sleep. Teens who received A’s averaged about fifteen more minutes sleep than the B students, who in turn averaged fifteen more minutes than the C’s, and so on. Wahlstrom’s data was an almost perfect replication of results from an earlier study of over 3,000 Rhode Island high schoolers by Brown’s Carskadon. Certainly, these are averages, but the consistency of the two studies stands out. Every fifteen minutes counts".

CMS, Just think about how much happier, healthier and smarter ALL of our teens would be with more sleep. Time to change the 7:15am start time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:07

Maybe those A students are just smart enough to go to bed earlier.

Anonymous said...

The Community House school is overcrowded and spends 1/3 on the students that the "Westside" schools spend on their students.

Taxation without Representation

Sugardaddy said...

3:07PM - By the way CMS treats its teachers, why do you possibly think they would do something that's in the best interest of the students?

Anonymous said...

Teachers do not get to decide or be in the conversation of "best interest". We are below pawns. Pawns are at least in the game.

Anonymous said...

By May, I'll be a fully licensed K-6 Elementary Education educator with dual licensure in K-12 Dance.

I'm joyfully keeping all options open in terms of employment.

So far, I've sent a letter of interest and resume to a charter school right over the SC border that pays $8,000 more a year than a starting salary in CMS with a 10 - 20% FRL population. The principal of the SC charter school I contacted personally responded to my letter of interest within 48 hours.

On the other hand, I'm very open to working for CMS including schools within Project Lift. However, after filling out a lengthy on-line application that included 3 lengthy essay questions, I was "invited" to participate in an on-line webcam interview with a pre-recorded interviewer who allowed me 3 minutes to answer 8 questions after a 5 second count-down before the computer cut me off. No kidding. Not sure if being able to jump through the third round of on-line "LIFT WAY" application hoops grants me the opportunity to actually meet a CMS representative in flesh and blood.

The Courage to Teach.


Anonymous said...

I'll be honest...

My standardized timed pre-recorded webcam "LIFT WAY" interview with a 5 second count-down and 3 minute limit wouldn't win me an Academy Award. Nope. The whole pre-recorded webcam interview thing was pretty ugly. Really ugly.

Flesh and blood. What a concept.

The Courage to Teach.


Anonymous said...

Run Away from CMeS

Best and Brightest are smart enough to find jobs elsewhere.

Let them fill the ranks with TFA and private employment rejects.

Anonymous said...

Alicia, your disturbing account of the HR process does not surprise me a bit. CMS is trying to push technology in the classroom as well (BYOT). CMS thinks that using technology to teach our children (and apparently interview potential employees) is the way to go, I couldn't disagree more.

Anonymous said...


Might as well join the "flight" crew down in SC.

Why bother with the CMS folks, unless you're a burrocrat.

Wiley Coyote said...

"burrocrat".... now I like that!!

Anonymous said...

any school system that would interview me via tech/electronically would automatically be off my list as a potential employer. geez.

Shamus said...

Over 50% of CMS employees are non-instructional positions. That is very disconcerting that a real live person can't start and complete the interview process for an applicant. What are these 9000+ employees doing?

Anonymous said...

Whatever you do, don't sign the release for that interview.

Or you may end up in a rap video.

Anonymous said...

"What are these 9000+ employees doing?"

Web design.

Anonymous said...

Good grief.


Anonymous said...

I am very concerned over CMS's lack of acknowledgment and precipitance over the rate at which elementary age kids are leaving the North Charlotte area schools and going into the charters. They have done nothing to help schools in the Mallard Creek/Highland Creek area to keep the children with parents that support the PTAs and fundraisers/get involved. They need to get rid of the Mallard Creek Elementary Principle and take a hard look at why anyone that lives in the area making over $100,000 a year refuses to send any of their kids to any of these area schools. I have not seen one article about this, yet a million about Unions County issues or Project LIFT or South Charlotte issues. It is disturbing at its best. CMS needs to step it up more than a notch in North Charlotte or these schools will soon be all Title 1.

gwalkerruns said...

I noticed something interesting in the school enrollment figures. These are for the first 10 days. Compare the number of absences at Providence and say, West Meck high. In the first two weeks, WM already has huge numbers of kids absent while Providence has very few. Just this displays the difficulty of teaching at some of these schools. Secondly, it looks like the next new high school in CMS needs to pull from South, AK, and MP. Lastly, high schools can hold larger numbers than in the past due to large numbers of upperclassmen taking online classes part or all of their day.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that the on-line interview is just part of the process. I'd appreciate the fact that someone would be giving me the opportunity to showcase more of my potential rather than just looking at my resume or an application. I would hope that if you "pass" the on-line interview you would get to meet with someone in person.

ziyaana said...

Spokeswoman Kathryn Block and student placement head Scott MC Cully didn't have many specifics about why the total enrollment growth was less than half what the district reported in October, based on internal reporting systems when the state's Power School system wasn't working. But Block did take issue with implications that CMS was partly to blame for delays in official reporting.