Tuesday, August 3, 2010

CMS assignment: Neighborhoods top priority

Update at 6 p.m.: With most members sounding more weary than enthusiastic, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board tentatively agreed today to support Board Chair Eric Davis's 11th try at drafting guiding principals for an overhaul of student assignment.

Read the draft.

Members rated the four numbered items at the end: Neighborhood schools, stability/predictability, diversity and effective use of buildings and transportation. Those items landed in the order they're numbered. Keeping kids close to home and neighborhoods intact was top priority for six of nine members. Diversity was top priority for three: Tom Tate, Richard McElrath and Joyce Waddell.

The guiding principles define diversity in a way that many members called vague and confusing: "The student assignment plan will reflect the demographics of the school feeder areas in order to create diverse learning environments that best prepare students to live in our increasingly diverse country and to compete successfully in the global workforce."

But the "decision matrix" defines it more precisely as "creating a relative balance of economically disadvantaged students."

Magnets aren't in the matrix at all, though the principles set academic standards for magnets to survive. Some members wondered whether that could put current programs at risk.

There's plenty of work ahead. Davis may tinker with the draft before an Aug. 10 vote. Members could still lobby and change their minds. And Superintendent Peter Gorman said he still needs clear direction on how the board wants to promote diversity.

The goal: Clear plans for school closings, boundary decisions and academic progress in 2011-12, with votes done by November.


Anonymous said...

Oh Ann, I guess this 11th version draft was not run by a CMS National Board Certified English teacher. It is so fraught with contradictions, I will keep this to use in a Composition class when I teach my lesson on faulty logic in expository writing.

Anonymous said...

As long as diversity and social engineering is your priority, nothing will ever change on your downward spiral. Ever wonder why there is "brightflight" in the first place? Perhaps you should go ask those families that have fled your social engineering factories. Successful businesses ask their customers for feedback, perhaps this failing government bureaucracy should adopt some examples of successful institutions for a change.

wiley coyote said...

The latest definition of diversity is: "The student assignment plan will reflect the demographics of the school feeder areas in order to create diverse learning environments that best prepare students to live in our increasingly diverse country and to compete successfully in the global workforce."

What that paragraph doesn't say is whether or not the school feeder zones and boundaries will be changed to encompass their definition of diversity.

"Diverse" is used twice in that paragraph. If a school is 79%+ minority, how does that make a school "diverse", unless of course you allow the other 21% be defined as part of that diversity.

That goes for schools that are majority White as well.

Will they redraw lines to snare more White kids to go to schools with high concentrations of Black kids and vice versa?

Stay tuned....

Anonymous said...

How many 'new and improved' Guiding Principal guidelines has the BOE wasted time on since 2005?

Which guiding principal is MOST important to this particular school board because, as our neighborhood learned, just about any guideline can be used to rationalize and justify changing school boundary lines and magnet schools any which way the student placement office wants to meet whatever the school board majority agenda is.

Contradictions? I'll say. It's not worth my time or anyone else's to read this latest nonsense.

I think I might enjoy taking a expository writing class by 1:46.

Anonymous said...


Synonymous with every Guiding Principal declaration the board has ever passed.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that in this version we now see the "Guiding Principles" referred to as "Guiding Principles for Student Assignment". So, as many suspected, this review process really was all about student assignment, not a grand sweeping overview of the whole CMS organization. Why didn't Eric Davis and Tom Tate say so in the first place? (I don't think others on the board were told what the ultimate purpose of this exercise was). Were they hoping to slip some guiding principles in that would allow "diversity" to become a primary criterion for making assignment decisions? Did some other board members call their bluff? By the way, notice how they refuse to use the words "neighborhood schools".

Anonymous said...

The BOE can write and rewrite the guidelines all they want but until the Student Placement Office and Scott McCully is made to follow the guidelines and not make up their own on a case by case base NOTHING will change. Call and ask Scott how many kids HE let go to other schools for next year instead of their home schools. There's at least 10 families that should be at RRHS but Student Placement let stay at BHS or "transfer" to IHS just so they didn't have to go to RRHS. Things will never change until everyone and every department is on the same page.

wiley coyote said...

I thought this definition might be current:

Main Entry: gerrymander

Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): gerrymandered; gerrymander·ing\-d(ə-)riŋ\

Date: 1812

1 : to divide (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible
2 : to divide (an area) into political units to give special advantages to one group (gerrymander a school district)

By the way, this part of the definition - (gerrymander a school district) is in the definition. I did not insert it.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the current assignment zone system was "gerrymandered" to create the racial balance they wanted 8 years ago. Looks like the "exodus" has unbalanced it too much to Tom Tate's and ACTS's liking.

Anonymous said...

.."3. Diversity – consideration for creating a relative balance of economically disadvantaged
students (EDS), with the understanding that there is currently a predictive link between poverty
levels and achievement gaps."..

Actually it is a "parenting gap".

wiley coyote said...

diversity; di-ver-si-ty

Insert your own definition here, as the real meaning of the word has been hijacked and bastardized for the past 20 years.

Anonymous said...

I see that the football coaches didn't get their provision for zoning by 40 yard dash time a bench press.

Anonymous said...

Why not build one magnet school called The Diversity School and let anyone who wants "diversity" to go there.

Then go back to teaching the rest something useful.

Anonymous said...

I just read the guideline and I'd suggest a suppository writing class...

Anonymous said...

"reflect the demographics of the school feeder areas"

Uuuummm, Isn't this the definition of a neighborhood school? Or are they going to haul our children all over the county just so the “feeder” schools give diversity.

Anonymous said...

Every minute a child is on a bus is a minute that child is not learning, studying, or spending with his or her family.

Anonymous said...

Yep, their usual BS. Next...

Anonymous said...


There could not be a worse announcement if George Dunlap, Kaye McGarry and Louise Woods gathered over some hard cider.

There is only one solution: a serious game of rock, scissors, paper followed by musical chairs...oops musical buses!

Here's the only vote that should be taken: "Will the board accept Dr. Gorman's recommendations or resignation?"

Sad to say that the board doesn't recognize what it has and leave well enough alone. Dr. Gorman saved the last bad school board but if this ones doesn't straighten-out he won't be able to help it.

Say good-night Gracie!

Anonymous said...

Again, we're finally now admitting that it's been all about assignment. So the big question is--are they planning to redraw boundaries county-wide for the 2011-2012 school year? And if so, why exactly? It seems to me there will be hell to pay if it appears to the public that it's being done to promote some vision of "diversity".

Anonymous said...

11TH TRY!!!

You'd think this were the end of World War I.

CAll IT A VICTORY THIS NOVEMBER: THE 11TH TRY, THE 11 MONTH, THE 11TH DAY, 11TH HOUR for the 11th year of this century.

Which brings up an old war slogan: "Over there, over there. That's where we're not busing, 'Over there!'"


Anonymous said...

Things in CMS will NEVER change. They haven't changed in over 40 years. It's still the same issue's race & school location - those who have and those who don't - Share the wealth - isn't that what the government has said...now it's the schools. HOW MANY OF THEIR CHILDREN ARE IN LOW PERFORMING SCHOOLS? How many of their children or grandchildren for that fact are IN CMS schools? They don't care about the children or the families. This has been made very clear. I think come election time there needs to be MAJOR changes. We need younger and parents of current children on the board of Education...and Peter Gorman needs to donate a great portion of his salary to the teachers he put out of work or get the heck of CMS before total free for all starts.

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly, I'm tired of all of this nonsense talk about assignment and diversity. I've taught at a wide range of schools, and I've taught a wide range of students who come from a wide range of neighborhoods. Here's the bottom line. Whether I was teaching in a Title 1 school or one in the suburbs, students succeed when families place a high value on education. When a family provides a child with a lifestyle based on strong moral, ethical and responsible values, it is amazing what they can accomplish in the classroom and in our community.

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about principals or principles?

and yes, it all starts at HOME, not how much money you throw at a school. I have 4 kids and it's a ton of work to manage it all, but they all want to learn. Wish I could say the same about most of the other students in their classes? Toughen up CMS, support Home schools and get over this diversity nonsense. Focus on making each school the best it can be, GET PARENTS more involved. Maybe invite them to school for the day several times a year and make them work with their own kids at their desks... Just try to think outside of the box, please!!

Anonymous said...

All I know is that my daughter has been going to a Title 1 school for three years and she hates it. Her school is 65% Hispanic and most of the parents do not speak English. She has no friends, and is bored and frustrated in class. I just graduated from Chapel Hill, so my daughter has grown up on a college campus. Now, at the age of 11, her class is STILL covering basic subtraction and they have not even touched long division. My daughter is so far advanced compared to the other students that she keeps getting in trouble for "talking back" to the teachers. We considered First Ward and Morehead STEM Academy for this year. However, both those school are almost 70% African-American. My daughter should be exposed to her own culture just as much (if not more so) as the cultures of everyone else. I want diversity and I am begging the BOE to transfer my daughter to a school that is at least 50% white so she can interact with peers that share similar tastes, values, and philosophies. Last year, it was so bad, I pulled her from school and she was home schooled instead. Why do we have schools that are "English As A Second Language" in the first place? My daughter speaks English and should have the right to be educated in an English speaking school.