Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Parents pushing for partial magnets as schools reopen

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools plans to re-open two elementary schools next year, and parents who live in both areas are pushing to create new partial magnet schools there.

Both cases center around fast-growing areas of Charlotte that are drawing more high-income families, but are districted to schools with a large percentage of low-income students. Partial magnets take kids from the immediate area as a home school and then have lottery spots for the magnet program.

Oakhurst Elementary, at Monroe and Commonwealth Avenues, was closed in 2011 as CMS sorted through massive budget cuts. The district will re-open the school in the fall of 2015. That's sent parents in three nearby neighborhoods in front of the school board over the past month -- including a half dozen at Tuesday night's meeting.

Chantilly, nestled between the Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood neighborhoods, has rapidly gentrified and become what real estate agents call "highly desirable" in the last few years. Homes currently listed for sale there are going for $500,000 or more. The Commonwealth/Morningside area is just across Independence from there, and the Oakhurst neighborhood is to the east. Homes on the market there are in the $300,000s range.

The neighborhood is home to Chantilly Montessori, a tiny magnet school. The area is districted to Billingsville Elementary, which was made up of 95.5 percent economically disadvantaged students last school year, per CMS data. The school also performed well below the district and state average on End of Grade tests.

The parents from the area who spoke at the meeting said they and their neighbors don't find that a good option.

"Parents win the (magnet) lottery, go to private school, or move away," said Scott Thomas, who lives in Commonwealth Morningside and is the father of boys aged 2 and 3. "At this point, they have no good options of schools to attend."

One parent, Lyndsey Kenerley, said she gave Billingsville a chance and then sent her child to a charter school. "We just need a great neighborhood school back."

The answer, they said, is to re-open Oakhurst Elementary as a partial magnet with a science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) program.

Parents near Huntingtowne Farms Elementary had a similar story. Starmount Elementary is set to re-open next year as well, and the Huntingtone Farms parents want their school switched a partial magnet with a STEAM program as well.

Huntingtowne Farms was 85.5 percent economically disadvantaged last year. Montclaire Elementary, also in the area, was 92 percent economically disadvantaged.

Erin Pushman told the board that the concentration of poverty was a negative both for low-income children and the more affluent children at the school.

"It is not an issue of our children and their children, of us and them. This is an issue for everyone," she said. "The stakes are high. All children at Huntingtowne Farm are at risk."

The board didn't respond directly to any of the comments. I spoke with Scott McCully, executive director of student placement at CMS, after the meeting.

He said the district still has a community meeting or two left to go before any decisions start being made. A potential STEAM program at Oakhurst has come up in some of these meetings that have already been held.


Anonymous said...

CMS, Why no STEM programs in south charlotte? I think Endhaven ES is the ONLY elem school in south charlotte to offer a decent science program to their students.

Cornelia said...

I really wish school administration types would quit making verbs of of nouns. "Choiced, excesses, districted..." One would think they are illiterate, as opposed to just stupid.

Coulwood said...

Twice as many National merit scholar finalists locally going to private schools, even though the local public schools have 1000's of more students. Should tell you something right there.

Anonymous said...

Providence and Ardrey Kell are the only 2 schools that do not have the newley created CTE position of community coordinator that secures job internships and job shadowing for high school students.

Why CMS Why?
Why Dunn Why?

Anonymous said...


Why are you letting ILLEAGAL ALIEN PARENTS into our schools? They are breaking the laws of the United States.

Do you think there is any likelyhood that this new lung epidemic in our elementary schools has anything to do with the influx of ILLEAGAL STUDENTS?

Anonymous said...


Is there anyone over at the CO that can do any investigative journalism ?

There are over 100 teacher openings and even more classrooms that are not being taught with qualified teachers or staff. How much is CMS spending to recruit and train the teacher who will leave in the next 1 to 3 years ?

The graduation numbers are smoke and mirrors , but the dollar spent on this will be much harder to hide. Follow the money Dunn !

Bolyn McClung said...


One of the better moments in last night’s Board of Education meeting was Earnest Winston explaining that CMS’ second attempt at Cultural Competency was going to be a better effort than the first. Now if he could put some of that charm into practice in getting undocumented families who want to volunteer in the classrooms to some level of resolve.

There is no way that CMS should yield on the Criminal Background Check. Why let the County pay $19 million for new school security if someone is going to prop open the door with a brick. For some the crisis goes further than that. They don’t even want there to be a CBR made unless it is used to send the undocumented back home. They would say “illegals.”

There is a lot at stake here. On the short-term the County has an expensive human health services problem. In the long term these apparently permanent visitors, or at least the children, will become citizens. Will they remember that it is a mostly Democrat Board of Education that denied them? Will County Republicans, who certainly don’t have a strong Afro-American following, begin being the champions of the undocumented?

This is a very serious clash of cultures. At the moment it is clearly a legal problem. But even Plyler v. Doe isn’t keeping the children from being the wedge issue.

Now back to the Cultural Competency thing. CMS is bringing it in to deal with the Black – White conflict that inhibits learning. Maybe it needs to take a second look at the process. Because, while it is smoothing over 150 years of Black/White conflict, it is birthing something very similar within the Latino community.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Explain please how a "black/white conflict" inhibits learning, please, Bolyn. Are you meaning that some black children think doing well in school means they would be "acting white" as the Rock Hill student said when she told police she was bullied? Please explain, since i did not attend the board merting.

Anonymous said...

I believe as of today there are over 400 instructional and non-instructional positions open in CMS (255 teaching positions).

Wiley Coyote said...

It's magic!!!

All of a suddent we found money to open all the schools that were closed and even build new ones.

CMS is so pathetically incompetent that to even suggest or talk about "cultural competency" before the BOE and politcians get their collective heads out of their ____ is laughable.

Mountain Island STEM, Coulwood STEM. Poster schools for CMS incompetency.

Busing is over folks. You want to reopen schools and make them neighborhood schools, have at it. Stop dabbling in race mixing.

Again, you're running out of White people.

Bolyn McClung said...

TO: ANON 6:42P

I will explain but don’t take-it-out on me for what I’m about to write.


First a little history. In 1965-1967 the Swann Case was brought against CMS by the Swann family. They were represented by Julius Chambers with the support of a Boston lawyer named Derrick Bell. Mr. Bell is largely credited as the originator of “Critical Race Theory.” I’ll let you read-up on the subject but what is important is that “Cultural Competency” is based on CRT. Mr. Bell, who died several years ago, is back in spirit in Mecklenburg almost 50 years to the day to finish what he started.

Now back to your question. I’ll explain it in terms of a CMS teacher who is White. But in general we could be discussing a White public health nurse or a White police officer…and even an African-American in any of those roles.

Cultural Competency says that something either unconsciously or consciously is causing a White teacher to be less concerned about the Black children in her classroom. This is the root of the Gap between Black achievement and White achievement. Remember, I’m giving a lesson. I’m just the messenger.

Dr. Morrison, from before he was elected CMS Superintendent, has had Cultural Competency near the top of his list of things that will make education better. His first attempt at it didn’t impress our community but being the person he is, found a way to re-shape the idea so it might counter the racial disharmony within this community.

CMS is putting out bids for a Cultural Competency specialist to come to Charlotte and make our White teachers, and some of the Black teachers, aware that while they thought they were good teachers with good intentions that something in their upbringing just makes them deny equal opportunities to Black children…or it could be an EC student or just a kid off the streets who doesn’t fit the teacher’s vision of worthy student.

You may think that last statement is harsh and goes beyond the pale. But I know three CMS Black administrators who have high achieving sons. They know that when anyone of those kids walks the streets they are likely to be mistreated for no reason at all. CMS’s justification for wanting to use Cultural Competency specialist is that same bias likely exists in classrooms.

So there you have it. It is not about students acting-out or acting-up. It is more serious. It is about teachers not realizing that they are not using all their potential for the students in the classroom.

Just the messenger,
Bolyn McClung

Pamela Grundy said...


Allowing a parent to use a passport as identification instead of a social security number still allows for a criminal background check. CMS would simply need to use a different system, which a number of other major school systems do. I came away from one of the committee meetings wondering whether CMS is in fact getting its money's worth from the current system, or whether it is providing a false sense of security.

Bolyn McClung said...

To: Pam

I've looked at the three ways the NC Court system does Criminal checks.

One is by fingerprint and the other is by name only.

There is a warning by the state that it can not be held responsible for 3rd party CBCs even though they use the court's database.

CMS had a bad experience in 2006 with SSN's for daily criminal checks for employees. One of the big hang-ups was that background checks have to go to each and every jurisdiction to be effective. CMS in 2006 just didn't get reports from every source. I suspect that would happen now.

I wish there were a way to deal with this. It truly is a cultural problem: A culture of fear.


Anonymous said...

Then, Bolyn, if Morrison thinks that white teachers teaching black children is the riot of the achievement gap, then why doesn't he simply have only black teachers teaching black students, only Latino teAchers teaching Latino children, etc.? Of course, that would require assigning students to classes by race, but, wouldn't that address Bell's and Morrison's concerns?

Anonymous said...

I hope some of you heard the NPR report this morning of
npr ed
The Myth Of The Superstar Superintendent?
by Eric Westervelt

This should not be confused with
The Myth of a Competent School Board

The Myth of a Working Security System in a CMS
The Myth of Maintenance Cost Savings by Vendors

Anonymous said...

Bolyn, I absolutely do not believe that. Maybe some input from some teachers would be helpful here?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:49, i don't think that Bolyn believes that white teachers neglecting, conciously or subconciously, black students is the cause if the achievement gap, either. I think he was merely stating that Morrison claims to believe that. You know, simply another way for Morrison to kick the can down the road...

Anonymous said...

Good/ Bad teachers come in all forms shapes and sizes. However, what we are seeing in CMS is a lack of experience in the classrooms,as well as on the administration level.
Even excellent seasoned teachers are faltering in CMS's crowed classrooms with a lack of resources.
The saddest part about this is it is all by design.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that the CMS bell schedule task force is making some headway. How could anything be more fundamental to children's sleep than a culture that allows them to get it?

Of course good habits matter. I'm not sure many parents realize what time students have to wake up in this country to get to school. 85% of US high school start before 8:30 am, 40% before 8 am, and 10% before 7:30 a.m. We have buses starting pickups as early as 5:30 am, and some kids have to walk up to a mile to get to these bus stops (in the pitch black?). Asking teens to wake at 5 or 6 am is going to leave most seriously sleep-deprived no matter how perfect their habits or demanding their parents are.

That's why school hours are a fundamental issue that will help ALL children, and their communities, and that is why it is being emphasized so much. It is fundamental!

Yes, of course families have a responsibility for healthy bedtimes. But that responsibility will mean nothing if schools and communities don't take responsibility for healthy WAKE times.

Anonymous said...

When we moved here my son was starting 4th grade at Billingsville under the old busing for diversity system. The behavior of some of the children in his class was quite a shock to him as well as to us. 3 days in I get a call that he had attempted to stop two boys from fighting, with a suggestion for him to refrain from doing that. He also quickly learned that some of his classmates were called "minorities", as opposed to the rest of the class who were simply "students". And boy, did he soon start spotting "minorities" around town, something we never had to deal with in our previous school district where students were not differentiated by race. Did I mention that his teacher was black, as was his principal? And there could not have been a finer teacher or principal in my opinion. His teacher was willing (and able) to crack down on unruly students, many of whom were "minorities" without being accused of being racist. The principal told it like it was--wondering aloud at PTA meetings why so many south Charlotte parents could make the long drive to PTA meetings while the neighborhood parents couldn't "walk across the street" to attend. "Cultural competency" instruction had better tell both sides of the story, Dr. Morrison.

Take back our schools said...

Didn't Vilma Leak make a comment in the recent past about having teachers that look like the students in the Project LIFT schools?

Anonymous said...

I'm a young white teacher and I don't have a single white student in my classroom. Last year my students outperformed the district and state averages, despite beginning the year several years behind in both reading and math. The credit goes to them...they worked incredibly hard and picked up very quickly. However, I don't think my kids would've performed like they did if they were taught by a racist with low expectations of black kids. Maybe instead of blaming certain races of teachers we should actually look at the data teacher by teacher. There are white AND black teachers failing our black students.

Wiley Coyote said...


So what were the reasons why the students were "behind several years" when they got to your classroom?

Were they previously taught by racist teachers? Not racist but incompetent teachers?

If you were able to use your skills last year to get all these kids up to and past that grade level in one year, you must be doing something right.

If that's the case, then CMS should be looking at you very closely and implement the process you used to acheive such a great outcome.

Congratulations on your success.

Anonymous said...

Apparently someone forgot to tell the Huntingtowne Farm group that they already have a partial magnet at their school- IB. One that is so popular at Cotswold that it has a waiting list is over crowded. IB is also doing well at it's other locations in Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

No magnets, IB's, STEMs, or STEAMs in south Charlotte. I wonder why?

Andrew, can you ask CMS or the BOE why this is the case?

Anonymous said...

"Apparently someone forgot to tell the Huntingtowne Farm group that they already have a partial magnet at their school- IB."

They apparently want more.

But the idea was not theirs. The first discussions about STEM/STEAM were at and for Starmount, the soon to be reopened elementary. That school is within walking distance of the Blue Line light rail -- literally, from the Starmount stop. Everyone, everywhere, would have access to it.

Most magnets have drop off points, meaning you have to have both the time AND a car for your children to be able to attend, making these economically self selecting. Starmount would not have that limitation. Huntingtowne Farms would.

Bolyn McClung said...

TO: ANON Sept 12th 7:28A


Magnets are to southern Mecklenburg schools what the Trojan Horse was to Troy.

While those southern schools suffer under the unlimited class size of neighborhood schools; the parental support in terms of time, special talents and money create their own kind of unique magnet that isn’t limited by a lottery system.

Bolyn McClung

Robin Angelotti, Starmount Resident said...

It's true that the talk if STEAM magnet was never for Huntingtowne Farms. There is a long history of the creek that runs between Huntingtowne Farms and the Starmount Neighborhoods being used as a dividing line between the " Haves" and the " Have Nots". Starmount is being bullied by the well-organized, well- heeled, savvy people in Huntingtowne farms because they are unable to organize themselves, be literate enough in many cases to write letters, or simply are working 12 hours a day and don't get off in the middle of the afternoon to attend a meeting. Huntingtowne Farms has an IB program. Now they want more. By getting a STEAM magnet they seek to "push the ESL student, And Free Lunch Student back over across the Creek line where they belong" creating an exclusive ''neighborhood' school for themselves. This is racism and predjudice. Eric Davis, our elected official was not at our community meeting, but we really need him to step up and be a hero for equal access to great education.

Anonymous said...

Kind of suspicious that the immigrant integration survey that Meck County is doing has a community engagement meeting to take place,....guess where? Huntingtowne Farms Elementary. I think Starmount Should build a road through Starbrook Dr. To Huntingtowne Farms and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

Starmount is right on the Lightrail, Bus system and is one of the most socio- economically diverse neighborhoods in the South Charlotte region. It should get the STEAM magnet. It would be wrong to put it over at Huntingtowne Farms if the already have an IB.

Anonymous said...

@ September 12, 2014 at 9:29 AM

As the individual who wrote the comment you quoted:

I was at the Starmount meeting, I live in the neighborhood and the reopening of the school has great potential of affecting me. My family is zoned for Montclaire, but my home is about equal distance away from Starmount. We have a stake in this and would love for Starmount to become a STEAM/STEM magnet.

I am very aware of where the light rail stop is, as we use it often when going downtown.

Being my children do attend a partial magnet, I am very familiar with how magnet busing works, and while some schools require drop off points, those typically are county wide are full magnet schools, not partial magnets like Huntingtowne Farm. Their students have full transportation as long as they live in the right the transportation zone color. We have full transportation to our magnet as well.

Anything else you'd like to educate me about? ;)

Wiley Coyote said...

Make all schools STEM/STEAM.

Next question?

Anonymous said...

After just reading the CO article about how local public and private institutions met with Heath Morrison and talked about how expensive remediation is when the unprepared students from CMS show up to college. Is this for real? I thought we were just promoting how great CMS is and how the graduation rate has soared. Students are obviously being pushed through the CMS system (every teacher knows this) and they are showing up to college unprepared. It's all about making those numbers look good, isn't it?

Sam S. said...

I very much enjoy reading these comments and feel compelled to share our experience.

We have two sons in college, one went to a local CMS (very highly rated) high school and one went to a local, private school. Although I realize both have somewhat different learning styles, our son who went to the private school is significantly more well-prepared than our other from CMS.

Just sharing our observation and story with your readers.

Anonymous said...

Could agree more 9:52. The Washington Post did a huge story about this with the DC schools. Kids just being pushed through the system. They wrote some of the story about one of the Valedictorians who when he arrived in college could barely pass a college remedial English course and was reading at 8th grade level.

One of the reasons Project Lift better have their act together or they are going to significantly hurt these kids and make them feel like bigger failures. But hey, they have a new $200,000 football stadium turf to "make them feel better" as stated by Denise Watts. Once these kids get into the real world they will learn real quick they are all alone, they better be at equal or better than their peers and the life decisions you make stay with you forever.

Anonymous said...

Too bad too many white families are learning the hard way that their children will get little if any attention from the classroom teachers due to the pressure the administration forces for high poverty students achievement improvement.

Anonymous said...


Ask CPCC to give you their data abuout how many of CMS students come into the CC system unprepaired for college classes. In other words how many have to take remedial classes ?

Do some investigation. These numbers will show just how bogus these back slapping CMSers are on the graduation rate going up. Dumb down the curriculum and credits will certainly increase the numbers. The true facts on the numbers are how many graduates are not college and career ready when they leave CMS.

Anonymous said...

Growth is a relative term. Schools, teachers, and students can make growth especially if previous scores were low or very low to begin with. Gains are made but that does not indicate that grade level knowledge is met. So when data shows that an increase of knowledge was acquired, students may still lack skills for the next grade.
It really saddens me to know that 9th graders don't know their multiplication facts by heart.

Anonymous said...

and remember, these numbers are all at the discretion of the school Principal. They don't want their numbers to look bad. It's all smoke and mirrors, we are being conned.

Anonymous said...

Personalized learning-turning our children in salesperson each day.
My children come home with a hard sell to donate money for furniture because "we need it."

Wiley Coyote said...


Voters in Mecklenburg County are either brainwashed or incredibly naive everytime they pass bonds and these same voters will surely follow the status quo talking points as to why "we need to pass a sales tax increase".

If you want to send a message to CMS and people like Bill Anderson and his group, VOTE NO on the sales tax increase which will do absolutely nothing to improve education in Mecklenburg County.

To 4:33's point, that's why CPCC is salivating at more funds from sales taxes.

The state should be funding teacher pay and not the county.

Paying teachers double what they make now will not increase student achievement.

sweetwater said...

The graduation rate is irrelevant. How many ex-CMS students don't go to college or are in remediation at college? Those would be interesting numbers to talk about.

College is on their own dime, not on the county or State. Heath, you are pushing students through the system in order to "save" money.

Anonymous said...

I find the furniture comments interesting. Like that really matters. I would be furious if I was being asked to provide money to buy furniture for my child's school, on top of everything else we have to provide. we do not attend a title 1 school. Does the school administrator know this is going on? Are the teachers requesting this? How about have the students go outside and sit under a tree, it's free.

Wiley Coyote said...


I agree and what's interesting is that I haven't seen one teacher from this school (unless I missed it) comment on this issue.

If in fact this is true, and I believe it is based on comments here, it should outrage every taxpayer in this county.

I also believe that the previous writer of this blog would have already published answers to the questions surrounding the claims parents are being "strong-armed" to provide funds to buy classroom furniture.

Anonymous said...

All the administrators in CMS are making $100,000 +

Have them stand for a change and walk the school. What a concept.

Anonymous said...

2:19 That's called Management by Walking Around, I learned about it in Business School.

CMS Administrators should take note.

Anonymous said...

We should definitely vote "No" on future bonds until CMS can get itself together. I just had to buy a rug with little squares on it for one of my kid's kindergarten classrooms to the tune of $300 because The school doesn't provide and I didn't want the kids to be without. All of the parents at EE Waddell are required to buy all the copy paper for the year for the teachers. While the board makes how much and can afford to take trips overseas. But can't give schools copy paper? People need to read the minutes of the CMS board meetings, which they often close and vote those board members off that need to go.

Coulwood said...

to 6:44pm

If there was no clear way to pay for all this needed furniture, who gave the school's principal permission to proceed with such a plan? Is the school PTO funding the project? I would imagine the school's principal and staff have sufficient furniture to do their jobs? Just more crazy from CMS.

Anonymous said...

6:44 and 7:50,

Boy oh boy, can't believe what I'm hearing....

Sounds a just another interation of the Boosterthon Fun Run.... turn the kids into sales people and shame the parents into giving the schools their hard earned money.....

Shame on you CMS!!!

Anonymous said...

Here is the letter from the Principle at the popular topic school:
"As we are moving toward a truly Personalized Learning Environment for our students, the structures and physical features of our building need to look different as well. Several projects are already underway and others will continue throughout the first month of school. Throughout the process, our school will look and feel different. I firmly believe that these differences will inspire your children and leave them desiring to be here every day. I am asking our parents and community to partner with us on this redesign. As parents of a student in this school, your classroom teacher and I are asking you to partner in specific classroom oriented redesign. This is exciting work that your child will reap the benefit of each and every day. Our classroom teachers have spent the second half of the summer researching, watching webinars, and talking with colleagues about how a classroom that truly has the students in mind should look and feel. Please ensure that you have viewed your child’s classroom digital redesign board.
As you look at these redesign plans I am hopeful that you will see the potential for increased engagement within the teachers plan. Please join us in this redesign. The teachers and I cannot do it without you! We are dependent upon your Adopt A Class Donations for this initiative. All donations should be made out to the Hawk Ridge PTA (tax receipt will be given) and have this in the memo line: Redesign-Teachers Last Name. Any amount is of huge help as all classrooms have an initial goal of $1000. Your classroom teacher (and your child) will be keeping you informed each day on additions to the classroom due to donations coming in. To aid in the success of this initiative, there will be no other upfront costs to start the year as in the past with the exception of the PTA Membership Drive."

Wow! Could you even imagine if this letter was sent out to Title 1 students and parents. I know many think that those in South Charlotte are just so darn rich, they can just throw money around, it is further than the truth. What an audacious letter, putting kids in the middle of it at that. How infuriating.

Once again a proven point, that anyone who is working for the public sector and has the ability to use peoples tax money or donated money should be required to read "The Forgotten Man" essay.

"They therefore ignore entirely the source from which they must draw all the energy which they employ in their remedies, and they ignore all the effects on other members of society than the ones they have in view. They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and, forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion - that the State cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man."-Forgotten Man

That is what is happening to CMS, all the money is going towards Title 1 and Project Lift and they are forgetting the ones that pay for it, they don't realize the damage it does to the tax payer, the one footing the bill, they don't realize how when they send out a letter as at H.R., how much it effects those tax payers attitudes.

Absolutely deplorable CMS!

Anonymous said...

In many cases a student graduating from high school means nothing. It does not mean they are ready for a job or for college. It just means they attended a school. A majority of those students, if attending college, need remediation. CMS, stop trying to fool us and yourself.

Anonymous said...

Slow down everyone. You're getting WAAAAYYYY too excited here.

CMS is doing your children an incredible service. With this sales experience, your child will be ready for a high pressure sales job before they graduate from elementary school....

What other school do you know that will teach your child to beg for the sale like this one????

Anonymous said...

Boosterthon Fun Run, SmartBoards, BYOT, and now Personalized Learning.

All innocent sounding names for getting school parents to fork over their hard earned money to the school......

Oh, and CMS wants you to increase the local sales tax rate, so they can get more money still.

A college education is the new high school diploma, because those who graduate from our public schools are ill prepared to enter the work force....

Wiley Coyote said...


As deplorable and pathetic as the Hawk Ridge money grab is, voters will most likely VOTE TO RAISE the sales tax in Mecklenburg County, with the end result doing NOTHING to raise achievement in schools.

VOTE NO! on the tax increase.

Anonymous said...

I get the feeling each teacher is pressured to meet their $1,000 "quota." But again this is the school that cancelled teacher appreciation week as the PTA thought the teachers weren't appreciative enough. And the school were teachers are too afraid to ask for supplies due to red tape. HR parents do not back down to pressure!

Anonymous said...

HR parents do not back down to pressure!

Pressure is all these poor parents are going to get at this situation progresses.

Each year pressure comes in slightly different forms, but all with the same intent - CMS shifting the burden of limited funds onto a portion of the Charlotte community perceived to be able to shoulder this burden.

Title 1 school parents would never receive this pressure.

Anonymous said...


District 6 parents seem to be asked every year to fund school what their local schools "lack" funding to cover.

Would it be possible to provide a tax breakdown by Mecklenburg County district to illustrate who is really shouldering the tax burden for CMS?

This data compared to per student spending will highlight where the money is coming from, and where it is going?

Andrew Dunn said...

Hey everyone (Hawk Ridge parents in particular), don't think I'm not listening! I've been in communication with school officials on the classroom furniture fundraising you described. Yes, the principal over there has organized an "adopt-a-classroom" style fundraiser to physically outfit the school for its personalized learning program. I'm planning to write more about this and explain just what personalized learning is in an upcoming article.

Anonymous said...

Follow the money DUNN

Westside schools receive 3x the money spent on the schools in District 6. This is even before the 55 Million dollar Project Lift money is factored in. They have classrooms with a maximum of 15 students compared with classrooms of 45 in District 6.

It is nonsense that District 6 schools must beg money from parents. All they are doing in paying at least TWICE into the CMS system.

Some folks will always drink the water and NEVER EVER carry it !

Anonymous said...

Yes, the principal over there has organized an "adopt-a-classroom" style fundraiser to physically outfit the school for its personalized learning program.

"adopt-a-classroom" style fundraiser?

Sounds more like, if you want your kids to have furniture in their classroom you'll give me money that I have no business demanding, but will anyway......cause it's the CMS-way!!!

Anonymous said...

In One State, More Children Homeschool Than Attend Private Schools. Why That Shouldn’t Shock You.

It shouldn't surprise anyone after reading the previous posts how the home school population in the state of North Carolina is growing so rapidly.

In 2003, 85 percent of parents said they chose homeschooling because of “a concern about the school environment” which included worry about safety, drugs or negative peer pressure. That number jumped to 91 percent by 2011.

In 2003, 68 percent said “dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools” contributed to their decision. By 2011, that was up to 74 percent.

Naturally, those representing the public education establishment don’t find homeschooling up to their standards. The National Education Association, the country’s largest teacher’s union, declared in a 2011 resolution: “The National Education Association believes that homeschooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience.”

But, there is quite a gap between what the NEA believes about homeschooling and the actual results from homeschooling. According to Education News:

Recent studies laud homeschoolers’ academic success, noting their significantly higher ACT-Composite scores as high schoolers and higher grade point averages as college students. Yet surprisingly, the average expenditure for the education of a homeschooled child, per year, is $500 to $600, compared to an average expenditure of $10,000 per child, per year, for public school students.

What is not calculated in the cost line above for homeschooling is the time spent by a parent teaching. But the bottom line is still the same – overall, homeschooling costs less than public education and produces better results.

Anonymous said...

Home schooling rate accelerates in North Carolina

If you’re dissatisfied with public education, you really have two routes,” said Kevin McClain, president of North Carolinians For Home Education, a statewide support group. “You can send your child to a private school – which is really expensive – or you can home-school. The economy means that, for many people, you home-school.”

“We want to keep public schools, but if people want to home-school or send their kids to private school that’s their choice,” said Christopher Hill, director of the education and law project for the N.C. Justice Center, a liberal Raleigh think tank. “But taxpayer money shouldn’t go for that.”

Anonymous said...

Andrew Dunn, the parents will anxiously await your explanation of what personal learning is, because we don't know yet from our school.

Are all the schools using this new program getting new furniture? Sounds silly to me, and a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

(from the HRES wesbite)

The Hawk Ridge community is very supportive of the school. The PTA and School Leadership Team work with the staff to make Hawk Ridge a holistic learning environment. Last year, more than $30,000 was raised to purchase Smart Boards.

Andrew, When you speak with the HR principal, could you please ask him why $30,000 of parent provided money was spent on SmartBoards?

Maybe he could have set some aside for furniture...

Anonymous said...

Are all the schools using this new program getting new furniture? Sounds silly to me, and a waste of money.

The real question is whether or not the parents in these other "Personalized Learning" schools are being asked to pay for classroom furniture?

Anonymous said...




The only 2 options the State of NC should have. MOrrison and the rest of the CMS back slappers would finally have to scramble for a change

Anonymous said...

There is a District 6 (city council district 6, which includes everything south of 51) town hall meeting Saturday morning at Providence High School, from 9 to noon. Those speaking will include the city managers for planning, budgeting, and transportation planning. There will also be a CMS planning specialist there. Attendees will have the opportunity to both listen and ask questions, as well as make suggestions.

Belmont said...

The question is Home school or private school. I say both are great options. Just read the article about National merit scholar finalists, most are either homeschooled or from the local private schools.

I think there are some good cms teachers but parents are fed up with inconsistent policies, inconsistent teaching abilities, politics and never ending behavioral issues and social pressures in the classroom, locker rooms and sports events.

Anonymous said...

No STEM schools in South charlotte-offcourse,coz,they would be super successful schools and the county will not spend on anything that is 100% guaranteed to work.IT WILL ONLY SPEND ON UTTER FAILURES.