Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy anniversary, school board

I was pestering board Chair Eric Davis with what seemed like the millionth question about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' monster review of student assignment on Tuesday when it hit me: It's just one year since he and four other board members were elected.

Davis, Rhonda Lennon, Richard McElrath, Joyce Waddell and Tim Morgan were all voted onto the school board -- and to their first elected office -- this time a year ago. And what a year it's been.

Say what you will about this crew, but you can't call them slackers. They've plunged into what seems like a nonstop season of budget cuts, tackled some major policy issues and pushed through the current quest to revamp schools. They've created a schedule of meetings that's hard for me to keep up with, and it's my full-time job. Some of them have full-time jobs apart from the board, as well as young children to care for.

And they do seem committed to tackling tough issues with dignity. They've clashed with each other and with constituents over race, class and how to educate children, but they haven't resorted to ugliness, at least from what I've seen.

For the most part, citizens have responded in kind. For all the pain and anger floating around the proposed school closings, it's been inspiring to watch high-school students ask questions that would make a reporter proud. Parents and teachers have brought in-depth research and well-told stories to the table.

I couldn't help grinning last night when an adult speaker at Olympic High said his mother had seen him on TV speaking at a previous forum and was distressed by his behavior. He apologized, and explained how he'd been caught up in the heat of the moment.

"My points were valid," he said. "My tone was not."

What a great example of admitting a mistake while standing firm on what's important. I suspect everyone will need to take a deep breath and regroup after Tuesday's vote, however it turns out.

Because as demanding as this year as been, all signs point to a rockier one ahead.


therestofthestory said...

None of these folks were "new" to what CMS is and does. They knew it was in financial trouble as well as failing large numbers of students. I still stand my observation early in the summer after I attended the public meeting at Hopewell High. There is little brain power on this BOE.

They know few facts when challenged. They fail to challenge Dr. Gorman on his off the cuff remarks. They fail to look at the facts and look at the huge amount of dollars being thrown at programs that have no effect on academic achievement. They fail to direct Dr. Gorman to hold students accountable for their behavior. They fail to expel students who assault students, teachers and staff.

Their guiding principles do not even give academic achievement a priority in any process. This by itself should allow us to remove this board. Hopefully with the Republican majority in the NC Legislature, we can get some real reform in public education even in the form of vouchers, charter school cap being removed, and dissolving the State BOE if they attempt to deny funds to CMS if they conduct a FRL audit.

Anonymous said...

So... "no school is safe"... that's the word now? GRREEEAAAAATTTT.... maybe they read the comment about selling the Myers Park property and they think that's a great idea... maybe they want to rename the schools after them...maybe they are going to turn all schools into K-8.... maybe they are going to invite Arne Duncan back to lead the cha cha slide at the next BOE meeting and thus they are too busy practicing their dance moves to actually do something useful! Who knows... it becomes more and more irrationally illogical each and every day... (to the left, take it back now ya'll, hands on your knees, hands on your knees... one hop this time...right foot left stomp, Charlie Brown!)

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with therestofthestory. Most of the BOE have served, in some capacity on various CMS committees prior to their elections. They should have been aware of what is going on. I am not sure they read anything outside of what Dr. Gorman brings them. One of the things that this BOE continues to do is to not challenge some of the things that Dr. Gorman brings forth. Pay for performance being one.

They seem to have this mutual admiration for the guy. Why? I don't get it. He rarely presents more than one position on subjects....using data and studies to move forward his agenda. If an idea comes from somewhere other than Pete, it is discounted or ignored.

Dr. Gorman has had over 60% executive staff turnover since his arrival. The ship is sinking all around, people are jumping off and others are being thrown off.....especially if you disagree or question. I wonder if they exit interview these executives when they leave the district. I bet they would get an earful if these folks felt comfortable in telling truths about this megalomaniac.

I do think they are slackers because they have allowed this craziness to happen. Gorman serves the citizens of Charmeck. It is time that these elected officials recognize this and get him out.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of you, no dissentions; except that I do not believe in vouchers. If you want a private school education, pay for it.

I can't say it any better than you all have said it. This BOE inept.

wiley coyote said...

I have no problem closing schools as long as it is done in a well thought out, fact based manner. Unfortunately, CMS has failed to do that.

For the past two years, CMS has used the dart board approach for making cuts.

In 2009, many people questioned why the Board talked openly of cutting middle school sports and still laid off teachers. Two years later, we still have sports and the budget deficit is getting bigger.

When will CMS pull the trigger on all middle and high school extracurricular activities?

This summer, CMS announced a new magnet transportation plan to save an estimated $3.5 million dollars. OK, but didn't they see deeper issues looming on the horizon? Why go through all the magnet changes to save the $3.5 million only to turn right around and gut the system - again?

Why all of the changes to the original plan? I understand parents fighting for their schools and programs, but in the end, you either based your original changes on facts and optimal facility use or you didn't.

Anonymous said...

For those who are so eager for Dr. Gorman to go--I am curious about what kind of superintendent you would like to have for this 135,000 plus school system. Those of us who were here in the 90's and early 2000s remember a school system much less focused on achievement, with terrible facility issues (both maintenance and capacity). It was a real shock to enter the CMS system after years spent in school systems in other locations. I think it is extremely interesting to hear Harding parents complain that their high achieving students would be used to bolster scores at Waddell. Using high achievers to balance schools was a given back in the 90's--and woe unto anyone that didn't buy that line of thinking. I don't agree with how Dr. Gorman and the board have handled this review--too much too fast without adequate explanations, but overall I believe he has been willing to make this a system that supports achievement over any kind of balancing act. The system, of course, is way too big and has too many competing demands, but unless the state legislature addresses this (perhaps there's some hope now that Republicans are in charge) that is not going to change.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte's first graduating KIPP charter school class is preparing to enter area high schools and possibly some boarding schools next year. (KIPP/Charlotte currently enrolls grades 5 - 8).

This morning, Charlotte Latin School donated money to KIPP/Charlotte. Other local private schools are also preparing to accept KIPP students including Providence Day School, Canon Day School and a few others (in addition to CMS).

KIPP charter is a public school that receives public funding. So, how about doing a story that looks into where KIPP students will be headed next year since we keep talking about public-private partnerships as a means of improving education?

Dear KIPP-sters,
Great tour this morning. I was inspired.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Following up on the KIPP students is on my to-do list. Hadn't heard the part about private schools; that is interesting. I had wondered where those students would land for high school. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that you are willing to follow up on this unfolding story.

As a parent who has been on both sides of the public school/private school fence here in Charlotte, I believe successful charter schools like KIPP need to be included in any discussion that pertains to U.S. education. Although KIPP leaders were careful this morning to say that it is not a school for every child, some of it's innovative practices are already being tried and replicated at traditional public schools across the country. One of KIPP's goals is to establish good working relationships with CMS and area private schools that their students can feed into. It isn't about us versus them. It's about how do we make progress and share our strengths together? How refreshing is this?

KIPP/Charlotte practically shares a campus with a CMS elementary school which I thought was an interesting juxtaposition. Thank you Charlotte Latin for taking a leap of faith on behalf of students who attend KIPP (90% of whom qualify for free or reduced priced lunch). My children currently attend a different private school. I can only hope the school my children attend and other area private schools, including faith based schools, might be willing to step up to the plate and follow Latin's example.

Anonymous said...

One more interesting observation...

Outside of one KIPP classroom was a "recruitment" letter from a nearby CMS magnet high school.

Note to CMS:
One would hope you don't plan on taking full credit for closing the achievement gap when it comes to KIPP students who transfer into the CMS system. Also, it's worth noting that 90% of KIPP/Charlotte teachers are part of the national TFA movement.

Anonymous said...

((In response to therestofthestory….”None of these folks…” ))


Recovering from a mental illness is difficult and that is a fair comparison for the one-year anniversary of the board. It’s an anniversary well worth celebrating.

For decades the community tried multiple protocols with its sickly boards. Intervention. support, no support. Withdrawal of love. Too much love. Money. The courts. As in all these cases the family suffered as much as the patient.

Today the patient has come out of the dark side only to discover the world has changed. He’s not as prepared as the doctors had wished. The house has that was neglected during the sickness needs repair but the money is gone.

The major skill he learned in treatment, not getting to caught-up in the details, is ill suited to the unanticipated dilemma. A second skill, developing support is going to be difficult with everybody caught-up in his own problems. If he looks a little like a deer caught in the headlights its OK.

But I’m not referring to this specific board. I believe any board elected from the 2009 ballot would have been this way. Restofthestory, you’re right. They’re rookies when we need pros. But this town has had its fill of highly technical fireball pro board members and they haven’t gotten us much. As the signs on the highway read, “Let’um work. Let’um live!”

This is a good board. Far better than past, but maybe subject to a small relapse or two. I’ll accept that.

Happy Anniversary.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

I understand that money is the root of the changes or at least that is what we've been told. In order to appear fair and non-partisan as the job description says for Board Member, I think that a serious effort should be made to ensure boundaries are equally drawn. At the Olympic forum Mr. Davis said that redrawing the boundaries would take too much time. I wonder if he thinks that these 15 forums have taken less time. Just a thought. Within this year a lot has transpired and a lot emotion has been expressed. It seems odd to me that Mr. Gorman is an employee of the Board of Education not the employer per se. Transparency has been cloudy throughout this process. Although, the board has made an effort to meet with parents, students, school staff and the community many of leave these meeting even more confused. I know that all answers can be given at that time but the Board should be well versed in the details. How can they make a solid decision if they lack the answers?

Anonymous said...


While you're writing about KIPP maybe you can mention that students are required to attend much longer hours (when CMS isn't even allowed to have them come to tutoring), parents must agree to a certain amount of participation (when we can't even get working numbers), and troublemakers can get kicked to the curb easily. Right back to CMS.

Give me ANY CMS school which can enforce the rules of KIPP and I can work magic as well.

Anonymous said...

6:27, I totally agree with you. KIPP kids are put out of the program when they do not follow the KIPP rules. How do I know? One such student is in my class.

"TFA movement" When are you folks going to realize that TFAs get everything handed to them without having to put in the years of hard work to figure out what works. Who wouldn't be successful if they had everything neatly packaged for them.

KIPP is only keeping 10% of the veterans to train the TFAs. Wise up people!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "Harding parents complain that their high achieving students would be used to bolster scores at Waddell." Actually many of us are worried that what will happen is that our high achieving students scores will go down, and of course that will not help Waddell at all either. There have been studies to prove that test scores go up when students move to higher achieving schools and when students move to lower achieving schools their test scores go down. Seems like common sense to me. Perhaps the school board doesn't truly want to help any of these students.

Anonymous said...

Tell me how your "high achieving" scores would go down when you are taking the IB program there intact? You actually would be a school within a school, having your own IB teachers. How would being ignored help Waddell's students? At least let them be ignored in their own house.

No student whose work ethic remains high will experience a reduction in test scores but you may learn not to denigrate people about whom you know nothing. Until you have walked a mile in the shoes of a Waddell student, you do not have the right to judge. Scores, scores, scores...give me a number and I can manipulate it to say whatever I want it to say. How many IB Diplomas have Harding's students earned? How many made 4s and 5s on those AP Tests? One year of high test scores does not make a school great. It means you rejected everyone you thought might require extra resources to make the grade. A neighborhood school does not have that option!

Greg Garrison said...
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Greg Garrison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Smith parents, you are shameless! You are using Harding's students and their love of their school to get what you want, which is Waddell's facility. You care not one whit about those students. High achieving students will rise to the top no matter where they are. As for improving someone's stats, Waddell has almost 1100 students versus probably 300 that will be involved in the IB program from Harding. Do the math! Waddell's students will have to continue their current progress or Harding will then become a struggling school if those students are moved there. Stop this shameless act of spreading your elitism and turning minorities against minorities to achieve your goal. By any means necessary you are trying to take Waddell's facilities because its campus is one of the most beautiful in the county. Stop hiding behind a mask of concern about Harding's students and admit how much you are coveting Waddell's house.

Greg Garrison said...

Therestofthestory, you make an excellent point about the need for considering academic achievement. This should be the first thing that the board considers. That said, you discredit yourself when you engage in ad hominem attacks ("There is little brain power on this BOE").

It is always a mistake to personalize the political; the key problem with CMS is not its leadership per se (Eric Davis and Richard McElrath, the only two board members whom I have met personally, are clearly intelligent and passionate men), but a set of incentives and constraints that are unable to produce successful educational outcomes, coupled with an unwillingness or inability to address the fundamentals. Few politicians are willing to do so (notable exception: NJ governor Chris Christie).

Most failing schools suffer from a set of similar problems, due to a combination of factors that I'm not going to rant about here. Vouchers and more charters would go a long way to helping to ameliorate these.

However, proponents of education reform make a grave error when they blame individual politicians for systemic failures. Politicians should be held accountable, of course, especially if they allow inertia to rule, and we should seek out innovators who are willing to push for a robust school choice program. Whatever the problem with Charlotte's schools is, it is not a lack of brain power or grasp of facts on the Board of Education.

Anonymous (@ November 6, 2010 7:21 AM), you make the same mistake as therestofthestory regarding ad hominem attacks. Smith is a majority-minority school with relatively high free/reduced lunch rates, and if you met me and saw what my family looks like, you would immediately realize how ridiculous your charge is that I have any interest in turning minorities against one another.

At no point did Smith Academy set its sights on Waddell. The Board of Education came up with the plan. Personally, I don't have a problem with staying in our current, kind of crummy facilities. Harding presents more of a problem because its layout is not well suited to Kindergarteners, and it is such a great distance from the current campus that it will likely lead to economically disadvantaged students having to leave the program because they cannot get there. Parents at all three schools have the same goal: ensuring that our students--especially our most vulnerable--are given the best possible education and set of opportunities.

The justification of the means by the end ("by any means necessary") is an immoral, indecent, inexcusable philosophy, and anyone who holds it is not worth knowing. You would do well to exercise more care when accusing others of adhering to it, because this is simply not so.

Likewise, it is not true that students with the ability to be high achievers perform at the same rate of success regardless of their academic surroundings. I recommend The Education of Minority Children by Thomas Sowell.

Thanks for reading.

Greg Garrison
Father at Smith Academy of International Languages

Greg Garrison said...

One last note, Anonymous (the "by any means necessary" one), if you are a Waddell parent, I understand your fear, anger, and frustration, and I don't mean to minimize them. If I came across as callous or uncaring in my response, I apologize.

When I comment on the Internet, I always use my real name, because the sense of anonymity that it provides leads to things getting ugly more easily, and I want to be held accountable for anything ugly that I say (I deleted two comments that I made earlier because I had an "Ohmigosh, I don't want to make Smith look bad" moment, although in retrospect, I didn't say anything bad and probably should have left them up). This is why I'm adding a PS to what I wrote a few minutes ago.

The problem that we face is essentially one of brokenness--a broken school system, a broken society, people whom these have broken. Setting our sights on one another will not change any of the underlying fundamentals that cause a lot of social and educational problems. Ones that everyone can agree on include poverty, substance abuse, ignorance, bigotry, gangs, the ability of people with money to get away with doing things that would get others locked up, etc.

If Charlotteans form a circular firing squad and seek to win battles against one another, we will all lose, because will be unable to make things better for our kids and our neighbors' kids.

If we approach problems like the current one with a sense of care and charity in the classic sense of "faith, hope, and charity", then we will be able to come up with solutions that help all children whom we are able to engage.

Let's make sure that your passion (and mine, and everyone's) is directed in the right direction--not casting aspersions on one another, but creating situations and schools that allow everyone to rise together.

Anonymous said...

I'm only theorizing, but I suspect the private schools and boarding schools that are willing to accept KIPP students are doing so for some of the reasons people on this post have mentioned.

1. KIPP students stay in school 60% longer than CMS students as a means of improving academic achievement. (what a novel concept).
2. KIPP students and their parents/guardians must sign an agreement to adhere to behavioral and academic expectations. Being a KIPP student requires commitment. With a wait list, students know that being at KIPP is a privilege not a right. Students and parents who don't live up to their end of the bargain are asked to leave or chose to leave on their own volition. (what a novel concept).
3. So what if TFA teachers have "everything neatly handed to them"? They seem to be making strides in academic performance and can be easily fired if they aren't cutting the mustard without the threat of a teacher union lawsuit - just like teachers who teach at some of Charlotte's best private schools. I don't recall a single college professor who held a state education license to teach. (What a novel concept).
5. The bare bone facilities at KIPP/Charlotte do not come close to meeting CMS equity standards and yet students are learning and making strong academic gains suggesting that maybe having the most SMART boards isn't the most effective way to make students smarter. No fancy football stadium either. (what a novel concept).
6. KIPP doesn't publicly elect ditsy school boards with conflicting agendas to run the show. (what a novel concept).
7. KIPP measures itself against other KIPP schools across the country, other public schools across the country as well as measuring students according to the same state EOG/EOC tests CMS students are required to take. (what a novel concept).
8. The U.S. education reform train has left the station apparently with some private schools, universities and other people of influence already on board. The status quo is no longer acceptable or sustainable. Like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Garrison,
First of all, let me correct you on one piece of information about Smith. It's free and reduced lunch student population is only 33.4% as opposed to Waddell's 83%.

I have read the article by Thomas Sowell published in 1993 which you recommended. I found it to be a treatise on educating minority children successfully no matter what their surroundings, citing examples from before integration and after. I found statements such as these: "This was not in any sense a middle-class school or a magnet school. It was just an ordinary ghetto school run by an extraordinary principal."; "Aside from work and discipline, the various successful schools for minority children have had little in common with one another-- and even less in common with the fashionable educational theories of our times."
Nowhere within did I find evidence to support your disagreement with my statement that high achieving students would continue to strive no matter the surroundings. It certainly did not address the fact that Harding's IB would remain intact with its teachers and its students.

You stated, "Likewise, it is not true that students with the ability to be high achievers perform at the same rate of success regardless of their academic surroundings." Please point out the areas in Mr. Sowell's article that you believe support your statement.

There is some recent research that addresses what happens to fragile students when their schools are closed. South Meck and Myers Park would fit more aptly the definition of a highly successful school in the vein mentioned in the article below because Harding IB is a program not a comprehensive high school.

The following article relates how long it takes for the tree of intense and caring labor for children takes to bear fruit. Waddell is on the rise so it should be left alone at this time. Dr. Gorman and his staff recognized this and are no longer recommending its closure. Are you saying that Smith is not actively campaigning for it to be placed back on the table?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Garrison,
Smith's free and reduced lunch student population is 33.4% as opposed to Waddell's 83%.

I have read the article by Thomas Sowell published in 1993 which you recommended. I found it to be a treatise on educating minority children successfully no matter what their surroundings, citing examples from before integration and after. Nowhere within did I find evidence to support your disagreement with my statement that high achieving students would continue to strive no matter the surroundings. It certainly did not address the fact that Harding's IB Magnet would remain intact and that most of Waddell's students would not meet the entrance requirements.

Recent research, such as the article below, addresses what happens to fragile students when their schools are closed. South Meck and Myers Park would fit more aptly the definition of a highly successful school in the vein mentioned. Harding IB is a program not a comprehensive high school.

The following article relates how long the tree of intense and caring labor for children takes to bear fruit. Waddell is on the rise so it should be left alone at this time. Dr. Gorman and his staff recognized this and are no longer recommending its closure. Are you saying that Smith is not actively campaigning for it to be placed back on the table?

Anonymous said...

11:52, you can brag about KIPP all you want, but the fact still remains that their structure is not the same as public schools. Instead of kicking kids out who are nonconformist, why doesn't KIPP keep those students and make them perform? Oh, I forgot. They have freedom and flexibility to do whatever they want with kids.
Huhhhh, I am glad KIPP is working for some students. Goody, goody, for them.
Just a note, TFAs wouldn't be $@!t without the ones training them. Like the old saying goes, behind every good man, there's a great woman. Behind ANY successful TFA there is a great veteran teacher supporting him/her. Recognize that.
Sometimes I really wish that veteran teachers would just pull back and let TFAs sink, but I know that the kids under their instruction would fail. And if TFAs are so great, why not have 100% of them teaching...all across America, without the help of vets.

Greg Garrison said...

6:52, sorry if I created the impression that Smith contains as high a concentration of struggling students as Waddell. I mentioned the minority-majority nature of Smith (~60% non-white, I think) and the free/reduced lunch metric to point out that the facts belie charges of elitism and accusations that Smith parents are attempting to foment intra-racial tension. Such charges are serious and all too common. While demonstrably false, they are dangerous, and they do nothing to advance the conversation reasonably.

I don’t think that there’s a coordinated Smith effort to take over Waddell. I do know that there is concern about Harding:

1) Its layout is not conducive to a K-8 program. One of the problems with the current Smith campus is that it relies heavily on trailers and has multiple buildings. Harding is also a multi-building campus. This presents logistical hardships and the same security concerns we have now; in many ways, it puts Smith in a position that is worse than today because...

2) It is ~8 miles from Smith. We’ve been through the difficulty of the 5-mile busing zone, and if we move 8 miles, it will change busing geography. It’s not an issue for me (Harding would be less of a commute), but there is significant concern for those students who are on the margins, who are at risk, who are fragile. We don’t want to lose any students, especially those who are economically disadvantaged; every student is valuable, and we want to retain 100%.

Note that this is the opposite of elitism and racism and serves to reinforce the fact that any such insinuation is scurrilous and uncalled-for. Parents at Smith (such as myself) really do care about outcomes for students at Waddell and Harding. When the Waddell move was announced, there was no celebration; it was clear what this would mean to Waddell students. Just because we can imagine bad intentions doesn’t mean that others have them.

Thank you for the articles.

The point that I was attempting to make with Dr. Sowell’s piece is that there is no magic program that creates success, but the make-up of a school (particularly, I suspect, the administration) plays an important role. Otherwise, some schools would not have better outcomes than others of a similar demographic. It is not true to say that a high achiever will work just as hard or be as successful regardless of surroundings.

Perhaps Harding students would continue to thrive at Waddell, perhaps not. It is reasonable for their families to be concerned and for others to cry foul. There seems to be an attitude that these kids are successful, so we can do whatever we like with them, and they will be ok. Their success is due to hard work, and their hard work is due largely to the program at Harding as it exists today. Good students are not invulnerable.

Dr. Sowell (who lived in Charlotte until he was 8) dropped out of school at 17. After a string of low-paying jobs and a stint in the Marines, he got his GED, went to Howard, transferred to Harvard, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He earned a PhD from the University of Chicago. He is one of the most important and original thinkers in America today. A brilliant mind does not necessarily lead to a good high school outcome.

This debate is becoming poisoned with the politics of personal destruction, and if we do not speak more appropriately, there can be no good outcome. Inflammatory language now will intensify natural resentment later. We cannot control the Board’s decision, but we can set a tone that will reduce harm to our children and community. None of us chose this situation. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and our community to respect one another.

There are no good or bad guys among the parents or the Board. This is a situation caused by economic factors and a recognition that our schools are in a state of crisis. Changing the tone is all that I seek to accomplish in this conversation, because it is all that I can hope to accomplish.

Anonymous said...

Gregory and Anon, I want you to know that the board does not NEED to close any school, at least not yet. There are other areas (programs) within the budget that should be cut, before they close schools.
For one, there are still academic facilitators in all schools. Their role is to support teachers. If the board cuts all of these positions, and put these teachers back into the classroom, that would save millions of dollars. I have no clue why gorman continues to cut teachers before he cuts these positions.
Next, the Bright Beginnings program could be cut. K-12 education is the responsibility of public schools.
Millions are still being poured into other ineffective programs.
gorman and the board doesn't really care about students. they have you all chasing your tails, while they screw the powerless.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Mr. Garrison,
Smith's free and reduced lunch student population is 33.4% as opposed to Waddell's 83%.

Why is it that 90% of so called poor students are fat as pigs? Nobody going going to bed hungry but thats just what they need.

Anonymous said...

This is not Garrison, but they are fat because healthy food costs more than cheap, fattening junk food.
I never believed that people hated the poor, but more and more I am finding that to be true. Humans love people who have money, but the poor are a disgrace.
Bless you.

therestofthestory said...

To 12:42 PM, let me see if I can put this in a different light for you. What we see with "today's" poor is only the demand for more and more wealth redistribution. Whether the demand comes through politicians, community organizers, the mass media, whatever is irrelevant. You are now a thief depriving my family of my hard earned livelihood. The politicians push for this even more because they know this group on a government diet with reproduce with no thought of responsibility and they are useful to extract more and more tax money from which the politicians can extract their 75% overhead.

We the dwindling middle class have carried this group for far too long. This group must grow up and accept responsibility for their own actions. My favorite African Proverb, "He who is carried on an another's back does not appreciate how far off the town is."

Anonymous said...

8:32, thanks for enlightening me.

I feel like I am a part of that dwindling middle class. Many of us, however, are only a paycheck or two away from becoming ones of modest means. The tone of some of these comments is hateful. As if to say, "Shame on you for being poor. Do something with yourself...and your kids!"

By no means am I a proponent of redistributing wealth. After all, this is America, the land of opportunity, where everyone has an opportunity to create wealth.

However, this CMS problem is way deeper than poor people.

Did you know that CMS is paying for a select group of teachers to become principals? All the while there are teachers with administration certificates that CMS will not promote (perfectly good candidates). Did you know that CMS is still paying for some teachers to work their masters? Did you know that CMS pays for food, transportation, and accommodations to charter teachers to an AVID retreat in Atlanta each year? Did you know that there people in CMS whose job is to sit and watch teachers plan?

Now, please tell me what does any of this wasteful spending have to do with the poor?

Your efforts would probably be better spent trying to figure out how we can stop the fleecing of Char-Meck tax payers' dollars within CMS, than being afraid that someone is going to take your money and give it to the poor.

Poor and rich kids alike, are not receiving a good enough education in Charlotte. gorman is giving it to the entire city and you are worried about redistributing wealth?!

Wake up sir/ma'am. gorman fires teachers two years straight and some classrooms in this district haven't had a teacher since the first day of school in August. If you all really knew what was going on in CMS, you wouldn't blame poor people for this mess. Or maybe you would. That's how some folks get their jollies.

Oh, and don't worry, if you tithe, God will protect what you have worked for.

Anonymous said...

CMS spelled backwards: SMC - Surreptitiously Managed Con-job.

Anonymous said...

I have lost the little respect that I had for gorman and the cms boe last night.