Monday, October 4, 2010

CMS school change details live

Here's the final tally: Highland Mills and Chantilly Montessori and Elizabeth and Myers Park Traditional, all elementary school magnets, were spared from closing. Mint Hill Middle and Ballantyne Elementary were pulled off the boundary-change list.
All other proposals remain active, but that does not mean they will be approved. Voting on 2011-12 plans is scheduled for Nov. 9.

4:50: Motion to pull DavidsonIB/Alexander off the list fails 4-3. Meeting over.

4:46: McGarry proposes no changes to Villa Heights location. Fails 4-3.

McGarry moves to halt consideration of merging Davidson IB into Alexander Middle.

4:45: Motion to take Waddell/Smith shuffle off the list fails 4-3. Voting to stop studying this: Waddell, McElrath, McGarry.

4:40: Motion to pull Torrence Creek off list for boundary change fails 4-3; the four say they don't know enough to vote yet.

Joyce Waddell moves to take Waddell High/Smith shuffle off the list.

4:38: Morgan and Davis: Don't vote on Torrence Creek today because Rhonda Lennon, who represents that district, isn't at this meeting.

4:35: Unanimous vote to take Mint Hill and Ballantyne off the list for boundary changes. McElrath moves to pull Torrence Creek Elementary as well.

4:30: Raible says recession has slowed development and enrollment surge at Ballantyne and Mint Hill; question is how quickly it recovers.

4:26: Morgan moves not to change boundaries at Mint Hill Middle and Ballantyne Elementary.

4:25: Myers Park and Elizabeth Traditional elementaries are spared; board votes 6-1 to preserve traditional magnet program. Only McGarry opposes.

4:22: Merchant: "We have some major problems that we need to solve in this district and they are not at Myers Park and Elizabeth Traditional. ... For God's sake, leave these people alone and let's go fix something that needs our attention."

Raible: There's no "vendetta" against these schools. "It was simply looking for opportunities."

4:14: Merchant moves to preserve Myers Park and Elizabeth Traditional magnets. He calls for continuing to look for a new location for Villa Heights magnet and exploring some kind of lab-school partnership with Queens. Suggests Oakhurst might be new location for VH gifted magnet. Merchant: I believe staff has "fundamental opposition" to traditional magnets, but "I don't care. It's working."

4:11 Montessori magnets get a reprieve: Board votes 4-3 to take the Highland Mill/Chantilly/Oakhurst plan off the table. Because two are absent, less than a majority of the nine-member board held sway. Voting to remove this: McGarry, Waddell, McElrath, Tate.

4:05: McGarry moves to take Chantilly/Highland Mill Montessori consolidation off the table. Discussion begins.

4:00: Officials outline a series of public meetings on these plans, starting this Thursday at Hopewell High and running through Oct. 25. Will post as soon as I get a link. Ditto for the PowerPoint they're working from today; I've been trying to get a link but right now just have it on paper.

3:56:  Harding expected to have about 1,600 students under new plan, about double current enrollment.

Tate: What would the language school at Waddell be called? Gorman: Board would have to decide.

McElrath: I go to football games and see players and cheerleaders all one race. "It would be nice if you would give diversity some kind of attention." No response.

3:45 Up now, one of the most dramatic shifts. Close perpetually underfilled Waddell High in southwest Charlotte and let Smith Language Academy, a K-8 magnet, have that building. Add neighborhood students to the westside Harding High, now a full magnet. Keep IB program at Harding but move math/science magnet to nearby Berry Academy of Technology.

Harding would pull students from current Waddell and West Meck zones. Waddell kids would go to West Meck, South Meck or Harding.

Joyce Waddell (yes, related to the Waddell the school is named for) says she can't support abolishing a high school that's done well with minority students and has a nationally recognized science program. McGarry says she's "on the fence."

Officials say the move would let Smith expand its Chinese language program.

3:37: Waddell: Plan to put students from low-performing middle schools into low-performing elementaries sounds a lot like what Gorman said he wasn't going to do. Gorman: We're "doubling down" that Strategic Staffing will pay off.
Merchant on new hybrid el/middle schools: "I like these. I think these are good ideas."

3:33: Tate worries that closing middle schools and creating new hybrid elementary/middle schools by 2011-12 is too complex to do so quickly. "We may be trying to do so much that we may not be able to do it as well as we should."
Some of the elementary schools that would expand are part of Strategic Staffing, a CMS program that assigns top principals to struggling schools and helps them recruit teams of high-performing teachers.

3:27 Board members ask if middle-schoolers in new preK-8 schools (which would be small and high-poverty) would have the same elective courses as peers in bigger schools. Not necessarly, Gorman says; no guarantee of "full buffet."
Raible says officials are excited about possible enhancement of science and foreign language for younger kids by virtue of having middle schools in the building. But Gorman is quick to say they're making no promises about that.

3:20: School board got a 56-page research report on academic achievement in K-8 schools, done by Johns Hopkins University researchers. I'll try to get a link to that in the near future.
Raible says no phase-in for new preK-8. That means this year's sixth- and seventh-graders will bounce back to what are now elementary schools for grades seven and eight next year. (Ouch -- that could be a tough sell for rising eighth-graders, especially if they're going back to their old schools!) Buildings will have to be modified for older grades and in some cases for 4-year-olds.

3:18: Gorman calls DIB building the worst in the district; "nothing compares to it." Board moves on to plan to close three low-performing, high-poverty middle schools and create new preK-8 schools to take their place.

3:15: Up now: Closing the popular and successful Davidson IB Middle and making the IB program part of underfilled Alexander Middle in Huntersville (Alexander was one of CMS's most crowded schools until a new school opened a couple of years ago). Officials say this means lots more kids can get into a great program, which could make up as much as half of Alexander's enrollment.

Proposed new IB magnet at Blythe Elementary would also feed into Alexander magnet.

McGarry says she opposes this plan because DIB is unique and successful.

3:10: Raible says Cochrane is doing well academically but underfilled: "This would allow Cochrane's success to continue for grades 9-12."

McGarry says safety is "the elephant in the room" in merging younger grades with high school. Unless CMS beefs up safety, she says, younger kids could be exposed to "selling drugs, assaulting teachers, sex and gangs."

3:05: What about sports? Cochrane high schoolers would play on Garinger teams.

Morgan: Will small neighborhood high school at Cochrane offer enough academic options for high performers? Current 6-12 schools are magnets with specialty programs that families choose. I didn't hear a clear answer to this.

3:01: Next up: Plan for turning Cochrane, an eastside middle school that's losing its science magnet, into a 6-12 school. It would pick up some students from Garinger High. Officials say kids benefit from easier transition to high school. Cochrane would get "targeted assistance for perception" (read: image boost).

2:58: Plan calls for closing University Park Elementary arts magnet and making First Ward a bigger arts magnet (First Ward just picked up arts magnet this year). Raible says benefit is better access to uptown arts/culture scene for UPark kids, plus avoids eventual need to renovate UPark building. First Ward would become a year-round school.

2:53: Next up: Close westside Pawtuckett Elementary, demolish building for future new school, put those kids into relatively new Whitewater Academy in northwest, which failed to fill when economy tanked. Little discussion on that.

2:50: Board members discuss whether they're making decisions without full info, especially about costs. Davis: "We're really not making decisions today." Waddell: "Yes we are." She and Tate says pulling schools out of the plan is a decision.

Montessori change continuing to get a lot of resistance; coincidence that that's the group packing the meeting room?

Davis: We've been at this almost two hours and we're less than halfway through. Moving on.

2:40: As questions and resistance about Montessori change continue, Gorman bristles a bit: "We're getting ourselves backed into a corner where we're going to take everything off the list." That's OK if it's what the board wants, he says, but he'll be back at budget time asking where they want to find the savings.

2:35: McGarry, a former Montessori parent, asks if Highland Mill school was built for Montessori program. Parents in audience pump fists and whisper "yes!"

"Instead of putting the million-dollar market uptown, just have the Montessori schools grow their own vegetables," McGarry says.

LaCaria notes Oakhurst would offer more seats than HM and Chantilly combined, thus more kids could get into Montessori.

This plan continues the new 7-8 Montessori magnet at Sedgefield Middle; question is whether merging elementaries would create more kids feeding into it.

2:30: McElrath touches on what's going to be a very tough question: If you merge three schools, such as Oakhurst/Chantilly/Highland Mills, who is new principal? Gorman: Not ready to start naming names yet (or next week -- personnel discussion will be more general).

2:25: Davis: Montessori/Paideia plan seems to be collisions of academic benefits vs. cost savings.
Tate: What about transportation to new Montessori at Oakhurst? Placement director Scott McCully says kids wouldl have to be bused from very large area.
Gorman mentions desire for more magnets in north Meck; loud applause. But Gorman says there isn't space to do that now.
McGarry arrives; it's up to seven of nine members.

2:20 Raible says closing Highland Mill and Chantilly Montessori magnets and consolidating them into new preK-6 Montessori magnet at Oakhurst is about saving money. He acknowledges Montessori programs rely heavily on contact with outside world and have invested in gardens and grounds.
Oakhurst Paideia magnet disappears under this plan. Tate says it doesn't make sense to change either Montessori or Paideia; says smaller schools can be better for Montessori.

2:12 Davis agrees there are "too many unknowns" to end a successful traditional program. No formal decision, but this one looks like it's going down.
On to Montessori, with groups of parents in T-shirts listening eagerly.

2:10: Merchant on ending the highly successful MP Trad: "I think that's crazy. I will never, ever, ever vote for that. ... I have all faith in our team, but they can't stop time. We don't have time to do all this." Explore partnership with Queens for a later time.

Tate: What happens to Villa Hts building? Gorman: Not ready to say.
Tate: What's cost of vacant buildings. Gorman: We're working on that, will present it.

2:05: Interesting if votes are taken today: Only six of nine members are present: Davis, Tate, Tim Morgan, Waddell, McElrath, Merchant. Absent: Kaye McGarry, Joe White, Rhonda Lennon.

2 p.m. Students at Myers Park and Elizabeth Traditional would get guaranteed seats at Myers Park lab school when traditional magnet disappears, Raible says. He says this program would provide what MPTS parents have said is most important about their school. Lab school also helps Queens train better teachers, which could boost all CMS schools, he says. (University lab schools are used for universities to do teacher education and research on teaching.)

Students at the tiny Villa Heights magnet for gifted kids would move to Elizabeth Elementary, with space for more kids. Additional seats for families seeking the talent development magnet would be available at new Mallard Creek Elementary program.

Tate, Merchant and Joyce Waddell all say they oppose plan to eliminate traditional magnets and move Villa Hts magnet. Richard McElrath says anything that makes magnet kids return to neighborhood schools can be good for those neighborhood schools.

1:55 p.m. New plan for Myers Park Traditional Elementary: It becomes a year-round laboratory school with Queens University. Board members are looking at Wake County year-round schedules to get a feel for how that works.
"Multi-track," which puzzled some board members and parents, has to do with kids having their vacations at different times. Because some kids are off at all times, schools can hold more kids. (Challenge for families: What if kids in different schools have different vacations?)

1:50 p.m. New as part of plan to close Irwin Avenue Elementary: Blythe and Mallard Creek elementaries get new magnet programs: IB at Blythe, talent development (gifted) at Mallard Creek. Both would be partial magnets. Not totally clear how this connects to Irwin Avenue uptown.
Kids in IB magnet at Irwin would get guaranteed seats in IB magnets in their transportation zones. Neighborhood kids at Irwin would go to Dilworth or Bruns.
Irwin building would house administrative offices, with historic status recognized.

1:45 p.m. Raible notes the Davis plan would mean K-12 kids riding buses together. Murmurs from audience.
Tate asks whether Gorman would pursue options that turn out to be more costly. Gorman says only if it's a short-term expense for long-range saving, but there will be uncertainties. "It's very uncertain what we can crystal-ball."
Gorman clarifies cost estimates will come next week but not necessarily Monday.

1:40 Board member Trent Merchant says public is still unclear: "Why are you doing all this?" Should make it clearer what's driving each proposal -- in this case, crowding at Hornets Nest. Audience applauds when Merchants says clarity would help with "buy-in."
Gorman says buy-in will be tough in some cases: "Nobody wants to see their home school go away or their magnet school go away." Some magnets recommended for changes "are good schools that are doing good things," but district is in a money pinch.

1:35 p.m. Gorman acknowledges some kids and families will be hurt by changes: "When we close a school or change a school, it's not always a better option for a particular family. We have to be up front about that."
He says proposals are driven by academics but also cost.

1:30 p.m.  Discussion: Leadership magnet at WS would mesh well with military/leadership magnet at Davis, which is currently in an underfilled, recently-removated building serving grades 6-12.
Question arises about 5-year-olds and teens at same school. "We're talking about a global leadership magnet, for crying out loud," Raible says. "If we're not able to have those students on the same campus, then who?"

1:27 p.m. Turning Marie G. Davis into a K-12 magnet school would help kids by eliminating transitions to middle and high school, Raible says (academic performance often drops during such transitions). Winding Springs Elementary, now a global leadership magnet, would become a neighborhood school, picking up students from Hornets Nest Elementary.
Gorman says HN has about 900 students and is using 15 mobiles; another 900 kids from HN zone are in other CMS schools. "We do need another boundary created by Hornets Nest," he says.

1:20 p.m. Board member Tom Tate says it's going to be tough to decide about eliminating options today without cost estimates. Both he and Richard McElrath are skeptical about getting into boundaries when schools are successful and focus is supposed to be on improving academics.

1:15 p.m. Board members ask about adding mobile classrooms rather than redrawing boundaries to ease crowding. Gorman and planner Dennis LaCaria say moving mobiles is expensive and new boundaries could provide longer-term solutions (still no specifics on which schools would pick up turf, but officials say it's pretty obvious what's adjacent).

1:10 p.m. Latest list of overcrowded neighborhood schools that need new boundaries is down from last week's five to three. Highland Creek and Torrence Creek elementaries and Community House Middle remain. Ballantyne Elementary and Mint Hill Middle have been removed, but planner Mike Raible says "they were removed inadvertently and really should be on the list."

1 p.m. Parents from Chantilly and Highland Mill Montessori magnet schools are packing this afternoon's meeting, where Superintendent Peter Gorman and his staff are poised to explain to Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board members how proposed closings and other changes can improve academics and/or save money in 2011-12. Meetings at the CMS Leadership Academy, a little-known building on the Governors Village campus, seldom draw an audience, but interest is high.

Gorman says today's session won't cover costs or impact on personnel; those details are expected Monday.

At the end of today's meeting, the board may decide to eliminate some of the proposals presented last week, Gorman and board Chair Eric Davis say. The session is scheduled to last until about 5 p.m.


wiley coyote said...

It never ceases to amaze me how much time CMS wastes with meeting that offer hundreds of questions but no answers.


Anonymous said...

Torrence Creek (which does not appear to be growing any more or at least is growing only slowly)already has unused mobile classrooms on site so why does changing its boundaries save money?

wiley coyote said...

." Some magnets recommended for changes "are good schools that are doing good things," but district is in a money pinch.

Here's a great idea Gorman. Tell Joe White and Rhonda Lennon to back off middle and high school sports if we're in THAT big of a money crunch.

These two board members are trying to have their cake and eat it to by suggesting they want magnets and sports.

If you're really doing this for the sake of academics with the money you have - CUT OUT SPORTS PROGRAMS AND ALLOCATE THOSE MILLIONS FOR THE CLASSROOM! END OF SUBJECT.

jon golden said...

What steps that cause direct pain to himself is Gorman taking? If he wants to ensure public confidence, why not take a 33% paycut? Why not substantially trim the salaries of his administrative staff? Will this keep these schools open? No...but we will see him acknowledging that if the district needs to save money so badly that it has to close successful and beloved programs, then it needs to also cut salaries that are not protected by statute.

jon golden said...

Why not ask Gorman why he is replacing Assistant Principal positions with Dean of Students positions? Could it be that DoS positions count as teacher positions, thus funded by the state; whereas, AP positions are funded by the locality? The problem with DoS positions is that every DoS means 1 less teacher in the building.

wiley coyote said...

Top 5 "Dean of Students" out of 46.

What exactly do these people do?

Foard, Cheryl L. Dean Of Students Paw Creek Elementary $73,130

Reber, Jeanette B. Dean Of Students Ashley Park Elementary $68,702

McInnis, Sonya C. Dean Of Students Zebulon B Vance High $68,071

Larotonda, Lisa M. Dean Of Students Long Creek Elementary $64,055

Little, Billie T. Dean Of Students East Mecklenburg High $62,436

Dean, Patrick S. Dean Of Students Carmel Middle $60,780

Anonymous said...

I would never had left cms if I were the DEAN OF WHAT...? SOMEONE ASKED,"WHAT DO they do." nothing mdf.

Anonymous said...

Dean of students are allocated to handle all discipline problems in the school...they monitors kids on probation and work with securing the school. so, please do not diminish the value of these people...just blame Gorman for not naming them Asst. Principal.

Anonymous said...

....A Dean of Students must have a principal license, also!

Larry said...

So Ann which is worst?

Having to listen to this babble or having to post up dates about it?

wiley coyote said...

$73,000 for a DOS at an elementary school?

Ridiculous. Especially since CMS does little if any expelling of students for violent crimes.

Also, explain the difference in salaries from $73,000 at the elementary level down to $40,000 for a high school DOS.

Anonymous said...

I dare them to ask how much the "pay for performance" intiative will cost and why is he in such a hurry to get it in place?

Anonymous said...

Wiley like you said before..because it's on the teacher scale that's why the salaries are so high! Some of these guys have 20 plus years in the system with high degrees therefore the salaries will be high!

wiley coyote said...

Tate: What about transportation to new Montessori at Oakhurst? Placement director Scott McCully says kids wouldl have to be bused from very large area.

Very simple solution Tom.

Take your wonderful cost saving approach you came up with this summer for magnets and apply it to neighborhood schools.

If it saves money and is good enough for magnets, why not do it for the huge neighborhood school zones you're about to create?

I've been railing about this for several weeks.

By the way Ladies and Gents. CMS came up with this magnet transportation change only a few months ago, only to turn around today and basically scrap the whole thing for next year, under the guise of saving money.

This one example is indicative of CMS and their total lack of planning ability.

Didn't ANYONE from CMS see this huge change coming?


Anonymous said...

Arne Duncan's pride and joy is charter schools. CMS is trying to make public schools into a charter school like setup. Remember, CMS is the model that Duncan is using. If this goes through, Gorman will shine like the sun...but if it would be bad for Charlotte. Basicaly, Charlotte is being used like gnea pigs in a research experiment...and the gnea pig sometimes does not fair well...

wiley coyote said...

Anonymous said...
Wiley like you said before..because it's on the teacher scale that's why the salaries are so high! Some of these guys have 20 plus years in the system with high degrees therefore the salaries will be high!

October 4, 2010 2:34 PM

Very simple solution that will save money. Eliminate ALL of those positions and put "resource officers" in every school to handle discipline. Pay them $40,000/year.

And oh, by the way. Why are there only 46? Do they handle more than one school? If not, then eliminate ALL of the positions.

These 46 position cost CMS appx. $2.5 MILLION/year.

Anonymous said...

If we knew last year that during this year we would have to have these tough discussion, why is CMS not prepared? They don't know how much an empty school will cost or what will be the transportation costs to bus these children elsewhere. How did they come up with these lists?

Anonymous said...

They are trying to implement a shared services model without understanding the first thing about shared services. Ultimately they are eliminating the schools that perform at a high level and core to CMS, instead of the non core, non performing schools.

Agreed with the time (and money) wasted in these meetings. Think there was a quote "we won't be able to determine anything without costs" - I guess just wondering where these initial decisions were made.

wiley coyote said...

This is a perfect example of why educators need to be eliminated from running the school system/schools and have them run by people who have logistics and business accumen.

wiley coyote said...

2:53: Next up: Close westside Pawtuckett Elementary, demolish building for future new school

Now this takes the cake. Close it; demolish it; build new school later. Move students to school built for over crowding that never materialized.

CMS at its finest folks.

wiley coyote said...

Raible gets all excited about a topic, tries to sell it, yet Gorman "makes no promoses"?

Is the cart trying to lead the donkey here?

Ann, thanks for posting all of this but I don't know how you can sit there and stomach it.

Doug said...

Gorman calls DIB building the worst in the district; "nothing compares to it. What Gorman fails to mention is that nothing compares to the success rate of DIB which is recognized as one of the top magnet schools in the country. Maybe he should care about what's going on inside the building rather than the building.

wiley coyote said...

This is the height of hypocrisy and stupidity:

Some of the elementary schools that would expand are part of Strategic Staffing, a CMS program that assigns top principals to struggling schools and helps them recruit teams of high-performing teachers.

They just agreed to close THREE high poverty, low-perfoming schools, yet why sisn't they do this BEFORE now?

This is why I have no use for educators. It's always a bait and switch with them.

The whole CMS system is about to be turned on its head, with NO benchmarks whatsoever left to compare to going forward.

This whole thing is a complete and utter joke.

Anonymous said...


At the end of the 2008/2009 school year, 40 assistant principals were RIF'd becasue there were "too many".

Beginning of 2010/2011 school year there are now 46 Dean of Students. Does this number not seem familiar?

And who says Dean of Students have to have a principal's license? And even if they do, they only get paid on the teacher scale.

Most of those names listed are retired principals and asssitant principals.

DarnYankie2 said...

I know how to save lots of money.

How about Dr. Gorman gets paid on the teacher scale according to the years of service here in Charlotte?

Since he currently makes $305,000 a year plus has use of a car, that would make 6 teacher jobs if not more.

Oh, and don't pay him for his Ed.D since of course, advanced degrees don't mean anything.

DarnYankie2 said...

Yet again,
The NIMBY effect takes place. What a huge waste of time and effort.
Ann, aren't you ready to throw in the towel yet?
Nothing changes. Next year we will be sifting through the same doodoo as this year.
No one is ready to make any compromises or do the hard job of making cuts and changes.
Blah, blah, blah,… there, we’ve discussed it, I feel better and everyone can see how much I truly care.
Please, it’s time for diner and I’m losing my appetite.

DarnYankie2 said...

"This is why I have no use for educators". Please don't lump all educators together. There are many who are just as repulsed as you are about the self-aggrandizement and self-important do nothings that run the school district.

wiley coyote said...

DarnYankie2 said...
"This is why I have no use for educators". Please don't lump all educators together. There are many who are just as repulsed as you are about the self-aggrandizement and self-important do nothings that run the school district.

I was married to one for 12 years and lived among the "educator mindset" through friends during that time.

While I do believe there is a distinct difference between a teacher and an "educator", both groups have their own agendas.

The incessant whining from teachers who felt they deserved to be paid like doctors and only want to teach at schools THEY want to teach at and the educators who made big bucks who believe they can do no wrong and have it all figured out.

The problem is, they don't and haven't had it figured out in 40 years.

Anonymous said...

funny how mcelrath didn't mind teaching at ag middle in myers park. I guess the lack of diversity there didn't bother him then.

Mike said...

.."Raible: There's no "vendetta" against these schools. "It was simply looking for opportunities.".."

Oh, I did not know there was a vendetta. BTW, when an educarat says there is not a vendeta, there is one.

Anonymous said...

4:38: Morgan and Davis: Don't vote on Torrence Creek today because Rhonda Lennon, who represents that district, isn't at this meeting..."

Errr! District 1 shortchanged again..

Anonymous said...

What is best for the children? How will the children in CMS best succeed? How are these questions being answered by the BOE? Have taught in CMS for many years and have never seen one member of the BOE (or Gorman for that matter) at my struggling school, so how do they know what is going on in my building? Oh, yeah, test scores for 3 days out of 180. Silly me...

Anonymous said...

Your continual rant about educators fails to recognize that our fearless leader is an MBA. Two years as an teacher does not qualify. Educrat or any vapid acronym would be more applicable. When the agenda is smoke and mirrors and the BOE is clueless and split, the leadership on a relentless evangelical educational meltdown, you're left with CMS. It's a mess but I don't see a recall or any groundswell for change until it's too late for the NIMBY's. FWIW Ann, welcome back again to Loserville.

Anonymous said...

Why was this meeting held while the poor parents were at work? They made decisions at a meeting where they said they weren't going to make decisions. Why are they meeting so far away from the schools who are mostly affected? It's time to have a meeting on the southwest side of town. Look the people in the eyes whose children you are dooming to becoming lost in the crowd again. This is about who has the most people at the meaning and the results of these votes are bordering on blatant racism! If not for Kaye McGarry who has a conscience it would be. Thank you Kaye!I haven't agreed with you all of the time but I have always respected your concern for learning. What is going is certainly not about helping children. If you believe it is, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you! Back room deals, anyone? We need an investigation on the proper use of federal funds. Was money taken for a World Languages magnet at Waddell that was never implemented? A magnet they did not receive any support for which has now been "seamlessly transitioned to South Meck"? Check the magnet report. We need an investigation!

DarnYankie2 said...

Are we smarting a little from something in our past?
"The incessant whining from teachers who felt they deserved to be paid like doctors..."
Why shouldn't they be paid a commiserate wage to the years of experience and education they have? And if you think doctors don't "work" where they want to and with whom they want to, you are really smoking some good stuff.
Are you telling me that you don’t' get to work where you want to work and with whom you want to work. If you don't, may I suggest the door?
Speaking for the teachers I know, they all deserve to have their salaries doubled or tripled.
Stop harassing the majority of dedicated people who gave you your education.

wiley coyote said...

Gorman has a job to do and puts his pants on one leg at a time like every other male.

I could care less what degree he has or how many and whether he has Dr. in front of his name and Ed.D at the end.

I've been ranting against educrats for 40 years as nothing has changed in public education during that time.

The exercise presented today is a perfect example of the state of education in this country.

wiley coyote said...

DarnYankie2 said...
Are we smarting a little from something in our past?

Smarting? Trust me, I have more firsthand experience with the pathetic state of public education than you'll ever know.

How many times do we hear "low performing schools don't have the best teachers"? Why is that?

If Gorman needs quality teachers in those schools, he should assign them there. If they refuse to go, fire them. Simple as that. Get TFA teachers in their place and move on.

What you FAIL to understand is that teachers work for us, the taxpayers. They are NOT autonomous.

I work where I want to work. If I don't like it, I can find another job. What you FAIL to grasp is that if I tell my boss I'm not going to do this or that? I'm out the door in 2 seconds.

Teachers are no different, contrary to the pedestal you want to put them on.

As far as your "harrassing" comment.

I have never nor will I ever be part of the status quo as you seem to be. Education is too important to sit here and play the same game with the same lame excuses over and over again, the kind people such as you want to continually perpetuate.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing. Given the amount of complaints being thrown at our board, one would think that the comments being made would be more constructive. The hard thing about reading these comments is how easily they go off topic and turn into rants. Sometimes it seems as though I'm reading a transcript of a board meeting. Just as nutty.

mama bear said...

Just like a couple of years ago, both traditional schools survive. What a surprise. What does that mean for VHAC now that ETS is off the table? The best thing they could do is to leave it alone. They need to use the same reasoning used for the traditionals. If it works, don't fix it.

The Oakhurst suggestion was ridiculous. It takes the school further out of downtown. If centrality is a concern, why not the Irwin building. Does CMS really need another administrative building more than a good building for a space needy school with a much sought after program?

Anonymous said...


I only attended the last hour and a half of today’s board meeting so my comments aren’t as complete as Ann’s. That time period did cover all the votes and all the justifications.

1. The goal is obvious. Have enough money next year to complete the academic calendar at a level that supports 90 percent graduation by 2014.

2. The staff report was dollar directed as requested----for which they received some weak criticism.

3.The board’s response was occasionally education orientated but mostly lacked fire. Trent Merchant was too well prepared for an easy win for two sacred cow elementary schools. Tom Tate did a good job in getting the short answers out of staff. Board still suffers from trying to compromise too much. It’s like a game of chicken between two cars racing towards each other at two miles per hour. They almost make the Panthers look exciting.

Conclusion: Nobody has fun at a funeral.

Bolyn McClung

Mike said...

wiley said .."
How many times do we hear "low performing schools don't have the best teachers"? Why is that?.."

Wiley this is the newest age old trick by educrats. As you will notice from a recent report, Devonshire Elementary has all their teachers in the top 25% of the high performing teacher category in CMS. This trick works the best because they know there is no way most of the teachers would sit still for being ordered around on where to teach. Most teach due to the location to their homes, their children in the school, the special curriculum or the relationships they have with other members of the staff.

Gorman has been moving around principals and teachers the last several years. And a lot of really good teachers have left this system unable to stoamch the politicizing of public education. And in review, only a couple of the several dozen schools have shown any improvement anywhere near the extra money thrown at them.

My basic question is why are we continuing to throw more money at these after years of no results. Cut those costs.

Anonymous said...

Mike, so true, so true.

Anonymous said...

Everyone keeps talking about throwing money and performance cost index. Waddell's performance is 70.1 % Proficient up from 59 % so achievement is on the rise. That proficiency comes in spite of 16% Exceptional Children and 20 % LEP children. 36% of it's students are bringing in more federal dollars, these dollars will follow the students wherever they go. With the federal mandates that means another school's performance cost will increase. Don't forget the Title I one funds. Flawed reasoning and skewed data, Pete's a master at the game. Destroying neighborhood schools to save magnets and shift money to pay for performance. No federal monies to support magnets, all must come from county funds! We need an investigation!

wiley coyote said...

Mike, my question was rhetorical, as I'm on the same page as you when it comes to CMS and their ineptitude at running the system.

Where I disagree is with the teacher issue.

Personally, I don't care how far a teacher has to drive to do their job. In a perfect world, they, along with the rest of us, should be able to walk to work.

I go to California every 4 weeks for my job. Do I particularly like being away from my family for 4 days? No, but I do it because overall, I love my job and traveling is part of it.

I work with a guy whose wife is a teacher and drives over 100 miles round trip each day to her school because she refuses to teach at certain schools within CMS.

Her reason for not teaching within CMS is a safety issue. She say she doesn't feel safe, which I can understand.

We can banter back and forth about our perception of teachers but there is one common reality and that is CMS does little, if anything, to aggressively weed out troublemakers and ensure teachers have a trouble free working environment.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't the Magnet schools converted to charter schools and pulled out of CMS? That would enable CMS to "focus" on the neighborhood schools. It seems to me that CMS is trying to be too many things to too many people and the CMS budget simply cannot afford it, any longer. Obviously, the BOE is reluctant to change magnet schools that are working, yet the budget cuts are going to ahve to come from somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, CMS does absolutely nothing to retain any teacher no matter how good they are except for PR. Your rant about sending good teachers wherever Pete wants them is then followed by your teacher security issue. Why do you think teachers don't want the bonus and leave CMS before moving to these schools? The perception is indeed reality with school security. Remember the superintendent has a security detail for a reason; make space for another photo op with Arne.

Connie Ferrell said...

Waddell High School is still living with old news. We are a committed staff to a committed student body. Waddell reached high growth last year. How do we tell everone?

How can a school board member that has never stepped foot in our building vote to close our school?

Anonymous said...

Why do we vote for school board members when they always agree with Saint Peter.

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