Wednesday, March 19, 2014

CMS raises and charter costs: A math challenge

School board members delved into math questions about employee raises and charter school costs at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' first budget work session Tuesday.

Tuesday's presentation  (CMS plans to post it on the budget page today)  included a preliminary suggestion of $17 million to $18 million in county money to provide raises for all employees.  A board member asked what size raise that would cover.

Image: Cambridgecoaching.com
Superintendent Heath Morrison and Chief Financial Office Sheila Shirley said it's too early to say.  Most CMS employees are paid by the state, but others are paid with county,  federal or grant money.  When the state gives an across-the-board raise,  CMS traditionally uses county money to make sure all employees get that raise.  So if state lawmakers were to approve a 2 percent raise,  CMS would need $4 million to $5 million in county money to match it,  they said.

On the other hand,  if the state provides nothing,  CMS would spend about $18 million to give employees a 2 percent raise with county money alone,  according to the presentation.  Plus,  Morrison noted that the plan to boost starting teachers' pay proposed by Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders may bring yet-unknown county costs.

In that case, a vague answer was the right one.  But when it came to the cost of sending students to charter schools vs. CMS, a teacher should have stepped in.

The presentation projected 2,296 additional charter students next year,  with CMS passing along $7.5 million in county money.  It also said CMS would need $400,000 from the county for an additional 754 CMS students.

New board member Paul Bailey asked whether such disproportionate numbers could possibly be right.  It was a good question.  The charter allotment breaks down to about $3,267 per student, while the CMS total is $530.50 per pupil.

Morrison and Shirley said the costs aren't directly comparable. They explained the system that requires CMS to pass along a per-pupil share of the county allotment for each Mecklenburg student who attends one of the independently-run public schools.

Davis
When Eric Davis got his turn,  he looped back to those numbers,  saying how much more cost-effective it is to send students to CMS than to create new schools for them.  Describing himself as a former Republican,  the unaffiliated Davis said he would be aghast at spending so much to finance new charters when the state is  "starving"  traditional public schools.

It was a dramatic speech based on a false premise.  The per-pupil pass-along to charters has nothing to do with the cost of operating those schools,  as Davis most likely knows.  In fact,  that cost is precisely and by definition the same as the average cost for CMS students, new and existing.  That's how it works:  However big the county  "pie"  for education is,  each student gets a proportionate slice.  The only thing that drives up the size of a charter student's  slice is county commissioners' generosity in responding to the CMS request.

I'm not sure exactly what's included in the $400,000 estimate for the addition of 754 CMS students,  but it's clearly not the full county cost for their education.

Many of us would love to know which schools deliver the best academic value for the dollar.  But looking at those two lines in the CMS presentation won't give us the answer.



74 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

Anytime a BOE member's lips are moving regarding money, you know what's coming out should be met with skepticism...

Anonymous said...

2296 more Charter students next year? That's a lot of students, and that doesn't include the families who will be leaving CMS for private schools or homeschooling.

Good for those parents, they've had enough of the CMS education factory.

Ettolrahc said...

In court, an attorney will not repeat something as once the jury hears it more than once they begin to think of it as truth.

But since the obvious misrepresentation has already been stated here: The charter allotment breaks down to about $3,267 per student, while the CMS total is $530.50 per pupil.

Why would anybody remember any other part of this story.

It is neat and nicely wrapped.


Anonymous said...

"The charter allotment breaks down to about $3,267 per student, while the CMS total is $530.50 per pupil".

Ann, I don't get these numbers?


Ettolrahc said...

I just love how in the CMS, observer and so many folks who support them, world everything is valued at CMS rates and achievements.


No need to think in any other terms, they are like IBM back in the Seventies. Big, big computers are what they do, and that is what they will always do.

http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/history_intro.html

Ann Doss Helms said...

7:47, you probably shouldn't get them. CMS listed some very specific and limited costs related to adding an estimated 750ish new students. It is not the full cost of educating those students. On the next line it listed the additional pass-through money that would go to charter schools if 2,300 more students go there. They're not comparable numbers. But the way they were presented together can create the appearance that CMS is much more cost-effective, and at least one board member seems ready to run with that.

Anonymous said...

"But when it came to the cost of sending students to charter schools vs. CMS, a teacher should have stepped in."

You're assuming that

a) a CMS teacher was in attendance who was capable of correcting the Board's math;

b) said teacher had the courage to confront King Eric and Lord Heath.

Anonymous said...

I think the numbers Ettolrach presented are not correct. The average cost per student in public schools in North Carolina is over $6,000. This is one of the reasons why we have seen the proliferation of "for profit" charter school companies such as Charter Schools USA. And why people such as Baker Mitchell entered into this "business" of charter schools, it's a money making machine.

Wiley Coyote said...

A McDonald's and a Burger King occupy two corners of a busy intersection.

McDonald's projected new business for the year was only half of the original projection as consumers chose other dining options.

Analysts project 3,050 new consumers next year with McDonald's only getting 750 while Burger King gets 2,300.

At some point, McDonald's management realizes what they are offering is stale and not a value to the consumer, therefore they are losing business because of it.

Now, substitute CMS and Charters where Burger King and McDonald's are in my example.

Time for a new CEO and Board of Directors who don't keep pushing Mighty Wings and apple slices on its consumers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:07, your premise completely incorrect: there are SERO for profit charter schools in NC. By statute they are required to be operated by a federally tax exempt, private, non-profit corporation.

What that means is that all revenue to the school must be spent in educational activity. There is no profit per se, since all revenue MUST be spent on educational activity. There is ZERO financial incentive to "own" such a school, since there is no profit that can be distributed to such owners.

Anonymous said...

CMS is having trouble competing with charter schools on merit so they're trying demagoguery instead.

It won't work. The cat's out of the bag.

Anonymous said...

what you are saying is correct in one sense, with regards to how Charters are supposed to be set up, but reality is something much different. Many people and companies use clever business tactics to get around this. For example, Baker Mitchell owns both the property and his charter schools as seperate entities. He rents his property at excessive rates to the charter school , which he also owns. This is how he made off with 16 million dollars!

Charter Schools USa is another example. They are part of a larger group, Red Apple Development LLC, who designs, builds and maintains the buildings for the Charter Schools USA schools, they are both owned by Jonathon Hage who is also making millions with his education empire.

Profit is a major component of companies such as Charter Schools USA as it is with many other charter school chains and some individuals like Baker Mitchell. And incidently, both Jonathon Hage and Baker Mitchell are using there substantial political influence to gain more market share.

this may be the intent of the law, but in reality, this is not the case:

"What that means is that all revenue to the school must be spent in educational activity. There is no profit per se, since all revenue MUST be spent on educational activity. There is ZERO financial incentive to "own" such a school, since there is no profit that can be distributed to such owners"

Bolyn McClung said...

.
THE DREAM...or NIGHTMARE

CMS' wish is to be the managing board for local Charters. Raleigh's mandate is that Charters will be the model for more successful less expensive student achievement. The conflict is too obvious to harbor any chance of unity.

Raleigh will have to change how the money is funneled to the Charters. That means each county finance department will do the job. This foretells bad things for CMS.

In Mecklenburg there has long been a desire that the BOCC has more control over the money it gives CMS. With a new found expertise from managing Charter money will come pressure on CMS to be more candid with its books. The recent change in capital expenditures shows this.

That is a likely future of all of this.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville
.

Anonymous said...

From the customer's perspective, Charters are increasingly desirable due to the large class sizes in CMS. Your child will not be just a number/seat filler in a small class, contrary to what you find at the CMS Education factories.

Bolyn McClung said...

.
To: Anon 12:51

Your comment about Charter classroom size got me wondering if any Charters featured classroom size on their webpages.

My first stop was at Lake Norman Charter (5th-12th). Not a word about class size but it didn't have a problem posting a photo of students outside a mobile.

But from the view of customer satisfaction you mentioned I saw the following on the site. It meant more to me than classroom size. It's about what is a Lake Norman graduate...


"...Exhibits critical thinking, problem solving, and astute technology skills

Fosters open communication and collaboration

Models integrity and personal accountability

Demonstrates confidence and leadership

Displays adaptability and creativity

Views the world with empathy, humility and compassion

Approaches each day with enthusiasm and purpose."

Nice statement. It was probably a way of saying size doesn't matter.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville.
.

Wiley Coyote said...

...class size is just another distraction, deflection.

Anonymous said...

I am not really an advocate for charter schools unless they really do offer a differentiated educational experience. I think there are a few good examples of successful charter schools in the region, where the motive is purely educational. However, currently there is far too much opportunity for people like Baker Mitchell and Jonathon Hage to make public education a capitalist venture.

Shamash said...

Anon 12:30 pm.

There are plenty of ways to make money off "non-profits".

Hospitals are often non profit, and they have lots of money.

And the people who work for them can make good money, too.

Same goes for Churches.

There are also other businesses which DO profit from non-profits by providing them "services" , supplies, or other things such as buildings.

There is always an incentive to "own" something which is "non-profit", especially if it is also tax-exempt.

Shamash said...

Wiley,

Would you like Satisfries(tm) with that order?

Wiley Coyote said...

I thought it was a relevant, teachable-moment analogy.

It can be used to teach kids in class about consumer habits and also the BOE for bad management principles...

To answer your question, it took BK over 30 years to get their fries right so yes, I'll have a lrge order of Satisfries...

Shamash said...

Just recently, I've been looking at costs vs. school district sizes and saw quite a few studies which show a U-shaped cost curve.

What this means is that really small school districts aren't very cost effective, but neither are really large school districts.

What was curious to me was the typical definition of "too small" and "too large".

"Too small" usually meant a few hundred students PER DISTRICT,
while "too large" was generally just a few thousand PER DISTRICT.

I wonder how BEHEMOTH school district costs compare?

A rather well known Iowa study in the late 1990 put the optimum school DISTRICT size at around 2500.

But that's Iowa, and population density is one variable that would make a difference, since huge rural school districts usually higher transportation costs.

http://www.econ.iastate.edu/research/journal-articles/p4865

Maybe that's one reason Charter schools can be more cost-effective.

They tend to be smaller "districts".

Still, it made me wonder if there were any more modern studies which focused on urban/suburban district sizes.





Shamash said...

Wiley,

I agree, it's a good analogy.

McD went notoriously off-track while BK just kept improving on the basics instead of chasing after the Starbucks and Olive Garden crowd.

Anonymous said...

IU did a study about 9 years ago that, showed smaller districts are more efficient and produce a better product. They have studies for what ever you want.

Ettolrahc said...

So according to one poster, now I am the source of the numbers.



Ettolrahc said...

So a company takes the risk and builds a school building and then gets rent for that building.

And someone on here said some were getting excessive rents.

So if that is true, then how are Charter Schools still doing such a great job and are solvent>

I know that we pay for CMS schools and all they have to do is keep them up. Yet they never have enough money.

Maybe we need them to rent those excessive buildings and get the same advantage as Charter Schools.

Shamash said...

Anon 4:41pm.

Yeah, I know there's a study for just about everything.

And I did find a SC study which seems to support higher costs with districts having more than 25,000 students.

http://www.eoc.sc.gov/Reports%20%20Publications/Current%20Reports%202008-14/School%20Districts/MileyReportJanuary162003.pdf

But the costs don't seem to be outrageously different.

Maybe because in a school system like CMS, the cost of an additional highly paid central office type amounts to less than $1 per student, so a small amount of waste is easier to hide.

I don't know if NC has done a similar study or not.

Anonymous said...

Once again a board member opens their mouth and you find out how little they know about running the school system. A now, a false statement is out there and activists will seize upon it like a pit bull and shame politicians to some insane level to tax the fewer and fewer producers even more.

Recall also that CMS has been in court numerous times about how they on purpose short the charter schools on their funding. NC has an awkward funding formula that gives the money to one county entity and it is supposed to honestly distribute the money equally wherever the student goes to school. So CMS has played games with its funding numbers for years to keep from giving the charters their share of the money.

Lastly, I double checked the last LEA funding numbers the state supplied and CMS actually makes money when students leave for charter schools. So keep whining and crying CMS over no such issue and check your ego at the door. By your policies, you are the last place to go when it comes to knowing how to raise and teach children. Be blessed if you have a decent teacher and a principal with any integrity.

Shamash said...

Et tu lrahc...

Don't take any of this too personally.

People misread (and misunderstand) what is written by others here all the time.

Most of us know where you got those numbers, but there will always be a few who don't.

As for side profits from schools, it's not just a problem in NC.

Those Gulenist schools (especially in Texas) are notorious for hiring Turkish contractors, suppliers, and builders to spread the wealth among themselves.

It's just another way that someone controlling a "non-profit" can profit on the side.

Even things such as legal services and web design (maybe someone should check Project Lift?) gets doled out to companies owned by those "loyal" to the cause.

http://gulencharterschools.weebly.com/how-the-harmony-schools-serve-the-gulen-movement.html



Anonymous said...

Ha, ha! Best line of the day "loyal to the cause".

Anonymous said...

I have had the opportunity to teach in a charter school and for CMS. There are more things to compare than first meet the eye.

The charter school classroom had no windows, only a skylight. My CMS classroom has a wall of windows so we can enjoy the sunlight every day.

Charter had no computers for students to use in the classroom. There was one in a workroom for the teacher. We were able to go to the computer lab once a week, occasionally. CMS classroom has three computers and an ipad for student use. It also has a SmartBoard. Students can see videos of events in the past and stories in the news. For instance, when we studied weather, we looked at damage done by Hurricane Sandy. They can also conduct research and create presentations to share what they have learned. When we studied ecosystems, we watched predators and prey.

Charter school class had 22 students. CMS class has 24 students. Both have students with exceptional talent and students who struggle with basic instruction.

Charter school follows Balanced Literacy framework for literacy instruction. So does CMS.

Just like the quote from LNCS, I teach critical thinking, problem solving, and astute technology skills, foster open communication and collaboration, model integrity and personal accountability, demonstrate confidence and leadership, display adaptability and creativity, and teach students to view the world with empathy, humility and compassion, and approaches each day with enthusiasm and purpose.

I have high expectations for my students and myself, and my students were successful in both environments. I did feel there was a somewhat elitist air among the parents and some of the teachers in the charter school Since I feel that attitude does more to hinder than advance students, I chose to teach in a public school. Even with all the challenges we face, I'm happy with my decision.

Anonymous said...

Teachers are leaving as well.

Anonymous said...

Many charters still have Special Education services provided by the public schools. I do not have a problem charters. They work for some students. Some students will try them and come back, and that's fine. I hope we get a real vocational school in the area. Many students would be well served by a vocational school. Privatization of schools in NC is coming. Mcory will see to that. We lost another teacher last week. That's five teachers this school year. I have never seen anything like this. Smash, the idea of mega district came from a governors meeting. the idea was to consolidate admin. I do not belive it has been successful.

Anonymous said...

It's a conspiracy!! We have students return from charters all the time. CMS will be fine.

Anonymous said...

It's beside your point, but LNCS does not have mobiles. It previously housed HS administration in mobile units, while the campus was under construction. I looked on the web site and didn't see the picture Boleyn McClung was referring to. I did see a picture of student council posing in front of a wooden ramp they built for an area resident. In general, LNCS classes are slightly smaller than those generally found in the public school. But, as others have pointed out, class size is not the most critical variable for student success.

Bolyn McClung said...

.
TO: ANON 10:22

Thanks for correcting me about there being no mobiles at LNCS. I looked at the overhead photo and saw a fabulous campus, sans mobiles. I also learned how close it is to the CPCC grounds. That's something.

For the record, I believe mobiles are a good education resource and investment. For a school district that has a shifting population or an exploding one, those units are essential.

During the 2007 Bond campaign I located trailer #14 at AG Middle School that was purchased by CMS in 1964. At 43 years old it was a year older than Dr. Gorman.

Best wishes to the LNCS Class of 2014.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville
.

Ettolrahc said...

So Charters have an elitist attitude, with no windows and lack of computers.

So keep in mind charter schools have to pay for buildings?

As opposed to teaching as CMS, in what is described as a tax payer paid for palace, with a computer and video wonderland.

Why is it folks destroy their own credibility on here.

Anonymous said...

Ya, but it helps...

Anonymous said...

Ettolrahc,
perhaps you don't take issue with people making vast amounts of money by owning and operating charter schools, I do. This simply a difference of opinion. Now, whether charter schools do a better job educating children is up for debate.
This is a myth that has been perpetuated by charter school advocates such as Edddie Goodall. Here is the reality, when you compare children of the same demographic whether in a charter school or a public school, you will find very litle diffference in academic performance. However, if you were to compare the average charter school against about half of the schools in CMS, yes the charters are out performing those schools. The reason being is that most charter schools are not diverse and one could argue that is by design. Last fall, the Observer released a report showing the academic performance of all CMS high schools and several charter schools in the region. This report, while not intending to do so, showed the direct relationship between two factors impacting academic perfomance. (race and poverty level). Whether charter or public, you can guess which schools performed the best. The schools with the lowest percentage of african american students. In other words, if CMS was made up of middle class kids, they would also perform just as well as most of the charter schools, but as we know, that is not the case. And just in case you were curious, the top two CMS high schools outperformed the top charter schools in the region. Ardey Kell and Providence both out performed Lake Norman charter and Davidson Community School ( this is fact). What many charter schools do exceptionally well is collect like people under one roof, in other words very little diversity at either end of the spectrum. The charters are diverse usually do not outperform the public schools of similier demographic make up. Carolina International School in Cabarrus county is a prime exmaple of this point.

Shamash said...

Well, if Charter schools and regular public schools perform about the same with the same demographic, then I guess the real question is which costs less.

Why would anyone pay more for the same result?

Is it just for the added "benefit" of "diversity"?

Apparently (if the allure of Charters is any indication) "diversity" is a "benefit" many feel they can do without.

Anonymous said...

And there lies part of the elitist attitude.

Anonymous said...

Ettolrahc
The SmartBoards and ipads are paid for through fundraising by the PTA (charter schools do fundraising too) and our "tax payer paid for palace" is built of cinder blocks and concrete, but it feels like a palace because we get to enjoy sunlight and a view of outdoors. My family pays taxes too.

My description of the elitist attitude was based on first-hand conversations and observations. They made their opinions very clear.

As for my credibility, I measure that by the success of my students.

Ettolrahc said...

I now see how folk look at things, the demise of the real focus of learning at CMS came about due to the Charter Schools.

Once those are closed, all will right again.


Ettolrahc said...

Those smart boards and Ipads provided by PTA's is a great story you should share with us.

Please let us know where we can see the donations made and from whom they came.

That way we can thank each person or group directly.

Anonymous said...

Do charters pay teachers more? If so, I hope they open more.. From what statistics I have seen, only 1 in 4 are successful. I do think not having to serve all students is an advantage. Many special ed students come back because charters do not bend over backwards for theses students. Public schools have to. Do character schools that use public schools special education services have to pay?

Wiley Coyote said...

Construction can start on a new elementary school in northeast Charlotte after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approves a $13.6 million construction contract Tuesday.

The school, near the intersection of Johnston-Oehler and Mallard Creek roads, is expected to open in August 2015. It will relieve crowding at Highland Creek Elementary, which has almost 1,200 students this year.

The 39-classroom school is being built with money approved in the 2007 bond referendum.


So how many students did Highland Creek have 8 years ago?

Anonymous said...

Do charters pay more?

Anonymous said...

Ettolrahc,
I do feel that some people, depending on the community and charter school, feel they are better than others because they attend a charter school. I have experienced this within my own community.

Anonymous said...

Charters perform about the same depending on demographics. Why such a big push?

Shamash said...

Anon 7:32pm

"And there lies part of the elitist attitude."

When you don't have facts, attack the "attitude" or "elites".

Ah, the politically correct are so much fun to stir...

Too bad, the facts aren't with you on this one, though.

Unless you think the poor black kids in KIPP are elitist.

Or that LA RAZA is elitist since they favor all-Hispanic schools for Hispanic kids learning English.

No, all you can think of is middle-class white parents wanting "segregation" due to their "elitism".

But, the reality is different with Charter schools.

Very "diverse" groups of people don't see the value of "diversity" in their schools.

Care to take a rational look at why and get back to us later?

Or you can just continue with the adhominem stuff, if that's all you've got.

Shamash said...

Anon 10:12am.

And what, exactly, is wrong with feeling you're better than others because of the school you attend?

I'm sure that NEVER happens at Harvard or MIT, or UNC Chapel Hill.

Don't people do that with their school football and basketball teams, too?

In fact, schools typically condone that behavior it and call it "school spirit".

But ONLY for athletes, not academics.

No one complains much about that, though, because that's not "elitist".

Uh-huh.

Shamash said...

"Charters perform about the same depending on demographics. Why such a big push?"

Perhaps costs?

After all, why pay more for the same results?


Anonymous said...

Shamesh,
I never said all charter schools students/families are elitist, I said "depending on the community and charter school". I would never state that all of the families who chose charters schools are elitist, that would be a very unfair and untrue. I hope that my comment did not come across that way.
I have merely noticed it with the some of the families of the charter in my region and in some of the comments made by parents on greatschools.org.

Ettolrahc said...

Charters have to pay less.

Think of it this way, they get about seventy percent of what CMS gets per student.

And as far as paying less, they also have poor benefits.

Yet Teachers from CMS and the like love teaching at them.

Maybe because they are respected by, Parents, Administration and of course those who really count to them, their students.

But you will have to ask them why yourself.

Or you can ask the fake, I used to teach at Charter Schools folks on here.

They always have something to say about charter schools.

Anonymous said...

If the charters have the same performance and public schools have more to offer (sports, technology, CTE's, theaters, band, strings, drama, dance, arts and crafts..). Than charters are like a placebo. A placebo for patents that think they are offering their children the best. Takes all kinds...

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, people paid tuition to attend Harvard, Chapel Hill, and MIT or they had a scholarship to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

The parents and students I talked with in mostly segregated middle-class to upper middle class charter schools in North Mecklenburg County did have that attitude. They didn't want their kids going to J. M. Alexander or Bradley or Hopewell or North Meck or Mallard Creek because they had "heard stories" about those schools. Those ARE facts.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how many charters are segregated. What does that say about the people who choose to go there?

Anonymous said...

Ettolrahc said,

"And as far as paying less, they also have poor benefits."

They have the same benefits as the state. They are paid by the state. The salaries are not the same. I was paid less.

"Yet Teachers from CMS and the like love teaching at them."

Not all teachers from CMS love teaching there. I didn't love it so I left.

"Maybe because they are respected by, Parents, Administration and of course those who really count to them, their students."

That is partly why I left; that and the salary. Admin at charter schools want to keep the parents happy no matter what. In many charter schools, parents are in charge and if they don't like the teacher, they can make things very difficult--justified or not. My students and I got along just fine.

"Or you can ask the fake, I used to teach at Charter Schools folks on here."

So just because I don't agree with you, you are going to call me a fake? How very mature of you. Speaks to YOUR credibility.

Anonymous said...

Ya, so since there is not enough "diversity" in the public schools, let's go start a charter school for all of us who are alike. Then we'll have lots of diversity. Wow!

Shamash said...

Anon 8:52pm.

Again, not everyone values "diversity" as much as they value other things.

Whether real or imagined.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the teachers who have posted to hear a different point of view of charters in the area. As a parent I had looked into and had my child in the lottery for one but we were high on the waiting list so we checked into magnets at CMS. Do not regret the decision. Where ever students go, if they go with the mindset they are there to learn, they will. Also, diversity is important for people to learn to appreciate other cultures but it may not rank in importance to safety and other factors affecting choice of schools. One thing CMS does have going for it is the middle college program. Best program ever which is why it is being expanded. Kudos to Mr. Burch and team!

Ettolrahc said...

Oh so Teachers have more scrutiny at Charters than CMS and that is why teachers go back to CMS. Thanks for that information.

And as far as Diversity, why not walk into the Charter Schools which have almost all Black kids and see how well they are doing with out those magic white kids sitting beside them.

And then follow them as they go into business knowing that they are not selected for jobs based on the percentage of things, but the real ability they have.

Someone on here said it best that diversity only matters to those who need it or use it as an excuse.

We need to get past the excuses and teach, no more social engineering.

Yes I added that social engineering red flag so those who scream and yell on here with out thinking can have something to do.


Anonymous said...

There are no "for-profit" charter schools in North Carolina?

Whoever believes this to be true, please contact me. I have some ocean-front property in Nebraska I'd like to sell you.

Shamash said...

Anon 8:08pm.

"Interesting how many charters are segregated. What does that say about the people who choose to go there?"

Maybe that they're more interested in education than political correctness.

Why don't you ask the folks at KIPP or maybe La Raza why they support "segregated" schools?

Or maybe why there are some all-girls and all-boys schools which are successful, too.

Perhaps they think they can learn more without all the "diversity" everyone seems to think they need.

Shamash said...

"Also, diversity is important for people to learn to appreciate other cultures..."

OK, well at least that's one reason for diversity.

Most often, though, it is just another name for skin color, not necessarily anything to do with culture, interests, or talents or anything else of much substance.

But I question whether or not a child in a classroom should be there to "represent" anything other than themselves.

That's a heavy burden to put on a kid, isn't it?

When I was a kid, I spoke with a Boston accent (thanks Dad!), so I "represented" Yankees in a southern school full of "Rebels".

Wow, I guess that was an education for ME, as the representative of Mason-Dixon Line "diversity" in my school.

But what the heck, eh?

My kids are not representatives of their "culture(s)", and neither are their friends from India, China, South Carolina, Ohio, or wherever their families happen to be from.

OK, so what if the kid with Indian parents doesn't eat beef?

But he still eats pepperoni pizza (shh, don't tell him about the beef) and plays Pokémon and Star Wars Lego toys and has an iPad so he knows the same games as my kids.

We probably have more in common with his family and their "culture" than we have with the little white girl from South Carolina my daughter plays with at the library, even though we may look more like her family.

People are really kidding themselves if they most of think this makes a difference.

The main thing for school is that the kids are well-behaved and want to learn.

And you can find a lot of "diversity" within a single
"race" if you look, so don't forget that, either.

Diversity is not a color game anymore.

But many still like to pretend that it is.

Anonymous said...

By being in a diverse environment kids will find things in common with one another and race becomes a non-issue as well as income status and gender issues. What happens is a "melting pot" and what's lost is cultural diversity but what is gained is tolerance.

In regards to being a "representative" being too high a burden, I think a lot of kids need to be aware that they not only represent themselves but also their family, at least that was how I and my sisters were brought up.

Kids are naturally self centered and need to have high expectations in regards to their behavior and how it reflects on their family. Where else can we teach kids to think of others beyond themselves if we don't start first with the family unit.

Parents who seek out charters generally do have those high expectations both towards behavior as well as grades. You will also find those parents of the students in honors classes in CMS as well. In both cases, there are high expectations placed on the teachers, as well.

Anonymous said...

I have taught in other states and never had as many duties, paper work and documentation responsibilities as in NC. Say what you will, teachers in NC work hard. Talk to teachers in other states and their jaws will drop when they hear all we do. I have 3 friends that recently relocated to SC, it's a different world. I can only imagine how it is up north.

Shamash said...

Anon 8:11pm.

I agree. My kids represent themselves and our family.

Nothing more.

Not their "race" or their SES.

Ettolrahc said...

I agree with diversity in schools and am one who says we should do what we have to make them diverse. That way folks will be able to sleep at night knowing they are dancing to someone else s drum.

So when they get out of school they can use it to decide if they want to go to say JCSU. Which is able to just say they are Historically Black and no one seems too interested in diversity at that school. Or the others.

Or after College join the Black Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Black Journalists, Oh sorry I should post a site to see all of these. http://www.tnj.com/lists-resources/black-organizations-and-organizations-serving-black-communities

And this one says right off it is Diversity Best Practices http://www.diversitybestpractices.com/news-articles/20-african-american-organizations-you-need-know

So here we have so much being paid out for diversity and yet so many folks do not seem to value it when they get out of school.

Maybe we just need to focus on melting those minds into learning instead of having them go home to very diverse neighborhoods with some grand wizard of education thinking they have done an excellent job.

These kids need an education. Period. The rest they decide later in life.

Like with hiring for numbers, the truth will set you free. We just need to be honest from day one, it is about what you know. Period.


Shamash said...

Yep. To me there is nothing to "tolerate" about someone with a different sex, race, culture, or skin color as long as they behave well and are in school to learn.

It's when they are disruptive and aren't there to learn that they become "intolerable" and should be avoided.

And that has nothing to do with culture or race or skin color.

Unless the DOJ starts playing "disparate impact" games with us all.

Anonymous said...

The reason I mention diversity is this. People continue to claim that charters do a better job of educating children, I disagree. It is very clear that what most charters do exceptiaonally well is place people of the same social economic background under one roof. Whether you want to admit this or not, middle class kids whether white or black usually out perform poor children.
This is one of the reasons why most charter schools avoid certain demographics. I am not going to debate the morality of this practice, just the obvious results of it, which is that the higher performing charters exclude poor chidlren, specifically poor African American children.
Also, as someone else suggested in this forum,I have been reading feedback on greatschools.org regarding several local schools, both charter and traditional. Since Cabarrus Charter Academy is in my region, I was interested to learn what those parents think. Needless to say, I was a little surprised by reviews posted by the parents, there seems to be a wide variance of opinion. One parent actually stated she feels as though they, as parents, have the power to get teachers fired.

Anonymous said...

Central purchasing, but otherwise break up CMS. 5 smaller districts sound about right. They already have the area superintendents in place. Get rid of Heath (Mr. uh, um, uh) and more local control.

Anonymous said...

Ettlorach,
With regards to the elist attitude at some charter schools, this is parent's view of Lake Norman Charter. Of course this is merely one person's opinion.

"Very rigid administration and teachers. Little flexibility and little encouragement for students. Arrogant, "better than everybody else" attitude permeates the school."
—Submitted by a parent


Anonymous said...

Shamash, you might not think you and your kids represent any one but yourselves, but that is from your perspective. I guarantee you that at some point in time someone who is different from you has looked at you as representative of folks who share your race/background/heritage or what ever you want to call it. It happens all the time. You might not feel any responsibility to anyone but yourself, but not everyone feels that way and like it or not you are being judged. We all are.