Wednesday, June 22, 2011

McCray jumps into CMS board race

For most of Superintendent Peter Gorman's tenure, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher Mary McCray has been a public voice for her colleagues.  Now she wants to be part of the board that hires his replacement.

In her five years as president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators, McCray was sometimes supportive and sometimes critical of Gorman and the board.  Most recently, she raised questions about their performance-pay plan and opposed the CMS-backed legislation that would let the school board launch such a plan without teacher approval.

"I know we're going to have to have pay for performance,"  McCray said Wednesday, noting that it's part of North Carolina's Race to the Top plan for federal money.  But she said she wants CMS to slow down and get its approach in sync with what the rest of the state is doing, instead of rushing to launch new tests and push the plan when money is tight.  "If there is no money for it, I don't know how we're going to do it."

McCray said she has just stepped down from the CMAE post and retired as a teacher after 24 years with CMS and 10 with Union County.  (To address a question that pops up occasionally:  When McCray worked for CMAE full time, she remained on the CMS roster to allow her eventual return but the teachers group paid her salary.)

She says she wants to hire a superintendent with education experience, and wants to help the board do a better job of listening to the community and earning the trust of CMS' 18,000-plus employees.  "Trust and morale is at an all-time low,"  she said.

McCray, 58, is a registered Democrat making her first bid for public office.  Filing begins July 1 for the November election of three at-large board members.  For posts on the race so far, click here and here; also look for candidate web sites and other information in a rail at the right of this blog.


Anonymous said...

I am glad she is going to run. Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

I'll support her!

Anonymous said...

Holy Hell. I guess when it comes to publicly-funded matters, the only move available after one step forward is two steps back. After all, regardless of returns on investment, we have no choice but to keep shelling out the cash.

Jim said...

Without question, the inmates should be able to choose the warden. Right?

Wiley Coyote said...

Ms. McCray, the problem(s) with CMS and public education has nothing to do with Gorman nor PFP/testing.

We all know that.

The inmates have been running the asylum for decades and nothing has changed and if you get elected to the BOE, nothing will change on your watch either.

Until this country gets serious about forcing parents to be accountable for their children's education, no amout of entitlements and money is ever going to fix the problem.

Anonymous said...

Well done Whiley, that is exactly the issue at hand and no PC fool can argue that fact with any merit.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately 06:57 AM is absolutely correct. God Almighty the way this generation has squandered the gains made by Dr. King's era. What an absolutely worthless culture.

Anonymous said...

I believe someone's experience and track record are the litmus test---not race. As a classroom teacher myself, I have had any number of slugs of all races...I have also had brilliant, amazing, dedicated, thoughtful students of all races. This is going to be one of the most important School Board elections in recent history--as this new Board will be in charge of shaping the face of education for years after through their choice of Superintendent, PFP, Testing, etc. All very serious matters as we see to education the youth in our community. Race should be be a part of it...and it is a testament to your own lack of perspective and understanding to state such in such a crude manner. Instead, the issues should be the focus!

Anonymous said...

**pardon the type-os in the above** : )

Anonymous said...

Like I've said many times before.


It's all going downhill from here.

Birmingham, here we come...

Anonymous said...


Below are the issues Mary McCrae supported through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators website.

To maintain the 1% sales tax that is set to expire in order to sustain teaching positions for class size stability.

  Raise the tax on beer and wine, canned/ bottled soft drinks and teas, as well as all energy drink sales by $.05. Also increase cigarette sales tax by $.25 to fund teaching assistants.

Do not support vouchers (tuition tax credits) that allow public school funds to be used for private schools and home schooling.

 Do not allow charter school language to be changed to eliminate demographic and accountability requirements.

Do not create Pay for Performance plans based on individual employee value-added scores.
   Fully fund Pre-K programs and North Carolina Public Schools.

Do not support over-testing of students.

  Maintain the state insurance and retirement systems in their current form so that we can recruit well-qualified applicants to the school systems.

Do not support the re-segregation of public schools and public school programs.

 Tell Gorman NO to his budget proposals!


NC residents should be taxed like the dickens

Parents shouldn't have an option to public education

It's not possible to make a connection between a student's grades and a teacher's pay.

Dump more cash in the teacher retirement fund.

Don't tell anyone that white students aren't the majority

Spend, spend, spend and then spend some more

Bolyn McClung where you'll find all the information on THE SEARCH.

Anonymous said...

No surprise that the purveyors of vitriol and racial characterizations (while always blaming others of playing the race card)used Mrs. McCray's announcement as an opportunity to spew derogatory insinuations. Actually, it's only two or three people who comment under a multitude of identities, wishing they could clone themselves. They wish to appear as many to lure others to their way of thinking.

This response indicates Mrs. McCray's candidacy is a legitimate threat. The threatened ones resort to Politics 101, negativity. Larry, if you are going to use this blog as a campaign tool, at least take the time to disguise your many postings a little better, you are too transparent.

Bolyn, you do not have to interpret what Mrs McCray believes by what's on a website, she has been directly quoted in many arenas and in multiple sources over the years. I think if you listen with an open mind you will be surprised at the inclusiveness of Mrs. McCray's thinking about public education today.

Anonymous said...

Reply to 8:37p, sorry I didn't get the name.

So now you understand politics.

Those in the race must deal with what the poor voter thinks of the candidate. They must determine the source of voter angst and how they came to them. The goal is to drive those to the polls that express favor in them.

I'm looking for three good people to fill the At-Large seats on the board.

So I gave a little feed back about what her website's statements mean to me. No candidate should ever be so secure before the race as to expect voters to take her at her word. We want to pry. To challenge. It is the American way. It is also the way the candidate learns what she has to overcome to win.

It's a long race. I just posed six thoughts which she'll be asked more than just this time. If she has good responses, maybe she'll pickup a few unexpected votes. If her team's responses are to fire back with both barrels loaded or are defensive, then that reinforces something I'm not interested in. If the response is statesmanlike then that's encouraging.

It is an At-Large race. She might get the luck of representing us. If she does she'll either have to go find out what we think or listen to what we say. That the process. I didn't think I had to ask permission to start the prying.

And just for the record, I bet Ms McCrae won't be the only one to find herself on a hot seat. I hope they all do and I hope it helps us find the three best people.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

We need Volunteers to help in our campaign in calling on CMS Board of Education in support of converting the 11 Closed Schools in Charlotte to Guardian Community Centers for the benefit of the entire Charlotte Community.
Public assets should serve the public.
email us at

Anonymous said...

Dear fellow citizens of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District:

As you may know the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Board of Education has decided to close 11 area schools. They have solicited and received a number of proposals from interested parties regarding what to do with these facilities. Of the proposals submitted to CMS, all but two were from either for-profit or sectarian non-profit organizations. Only the Guardian Foundation, a public-spirited non-profit, and the town of Davidson proposed converting these properties into Community Development Centers.
Guardian believes that these facilities, which have been constructed and maintained at taxpayer expense, must continue to serve the taxpayer and the surrounding communities and not be relinquished to special interests. Public assets should serve the public. The Guardian proposal consists of converting all these facilities into Community Development Centers that would support and foster the mission of CMS and serve as physical hubs to enhance the quality of life of local residents. The Guardian Community Development Centers will be open from 6 AM to 9 PM year around offering a vibrant, healthy, stimulating, inspiring and safe environment for all.
All these services will be self-sustaining and will not need additional tax-payer funding.
If you would like to see the closed CMS facilities become vibrant centers for community activity and development, please contact your CMS board members and let them know that you support the conversion of these facilities to Community Development Centers. A list of CMS board member names and phone numbers are listed on the reverse of this letter along with a list of the closed schools. The complete Guardian Foundation proposal can be found at:

Thank you for your support of our greater Charlotte community.
List of Closed Schools
1. Amay James Pre-K Center 6. Double Oaks Pre-K Center
2. Plaza Road Pre-K Center 7. Tryon Hills Pre-K Center
3. Pawtuckett Elementary 8. Davidson Middle
4. Smith Middle 9. Wilson Middle
5. Midwood High 10. Former Sedgefield Elementary/Family Application Center
11. Former Wilmore Elementary/Professional Development Center

Board Of Education Members Contact Information
1) Eric C. Davis, Chairperson, District 5
Phone: 704-651-0217 Fax: 980-343-7128 Email:

2) Tom Tate, Vice-Chairperson, District 4
Phone: 704-502-3093 Fax: 980-343-7128 Email:

3) Kaye Bernard McGarry M.Ed., Member, At-Large
Phone: 704-366-8971 Fax: 980-343-7128 Email:

4) Trent Merchant, Member, At-Large
Phone: 704-517-9747 Fax: 980-343-7128 Email:

5) "Coach" Joe I. White, Jr., Member, At-Large
Phone: 704-542-2192 Fax: 980-343-0348 Email:

6) Rhonda Lennon, Member, District 1
Phone: 704-564-3382 Fax: 980-343-7128 Email:

7) Richard Allen McElrath, Sr. , Member, District 2
Phone: 704-488-5360 Fax: 980-343-7128 Email:

8) Joyce Davis Waddell, PhD, Member, District 3
Phone: 704-549-4777 Fax: 980-343-7128 Email:

9) Timothy S. Morgan, M.P.A., Member, District 6
Phone: 704-577-3102 Fax: 980-343-7128 Email:

CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman
Phone: 980-343-6270 Fax: 980-343-7135 Email:

Stand up for your rights and ask them to do the right thing and keep these public assets in your community for your community. Tell them that you support Guardian's Initiative in converting these closed schools to Community Development Centers for the benefit of all.

For more information please email us at:
Or visit our Facebook Page at:

Larry said...

Thanks for the advice 8:37PM. But people on these boards know I have never hidden my name ever.

At this point we need to show these kids that we need more people who have worked hard and made it so that, being transparent and being able to volunteer for free for inner-city communities and Schools and now the school board for all the kids is something they can do to help. Just like I now do.

And only with almost total transparency will we be able to create and foster the necessary team and spirit we need to make our schools function once again.

Oh and this was a very nice story.

Anonymous said...

6:57 and 7:53

South Africa-Apartheid



Abe Lincoln-murdered

Appears as if one race takes pleasure in dominating and oppressing (killing, stealing from and destroying) other races.

Even in CMS the best black leaders/principals are working in white schools.

White people (in general) think that they should have the best of everything and will even lie, cheat, and steal to get it. This has also been proven a trillion times.

So look here, that street runs both ways. Stick to the facts, not race, because if we are looking at history, I'm assuming that white men are lazy rapists with frigid wives....Thomas Jefferson.

Careful, careful.....

Anonymous said...

Guardian CDC,
It really seems like yours is a worthwhile effort to support so I tried to find out more about your group and it's members. Since I am not on facebook, I could not access any information. It would really help to know who is behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

WE all have an obligation to the youth of this community to rise above our individual latent hostilities and make this election an opportunity to listen to each other and seek common ground. No one wins and no one loses if we search for and implement what's best for all. We all can gain if we move forward with one purpose in mind: educating all, resources for all.

I would like us to really clear one thing up.....the disparities in per pupil expenditure amounts are due to the number of personnel, the years experience of that personnel and the number of degrees those teachers and administrators have.

So Title I has added extra staff personnel to some schools, weighted staffing has also...but the children themselves are not being allotted any more money. It also because those schools have smaller student populations. It was to Gorman and Eric Davis' benefit to couch this in terms that lead to us fighting each other. What a sham those school closings were. "Found" money? Yeah, right

The data... subtract personnel costs from total operating budgets for each school and see how little difference there is between schools.

Anonymous said...

I am glad some of you are trying to get the conversation moving in a positive direction, because I have had enough of the one-sided hate taking place here.

Just because some of us are silent, it doesn't mean that we are not intelligent enough to respond to the repeated racist remarks.

That's why I love this site, we can have a say IF we so desire.

And to 6:57 and 7:53 once the Native Americans saved the pilgrims' lives, they slaughtered the Indians and ran them off of their land and onto reservations...thieves and murderers, the lot of them!

And they have the audacity to NOT want illegal immigrants here. Hypocrites!

Anybody who wants to run for CMS school board should!

This land is your land, this land is my land...right?????

Anonymous said...

Sorry you are so angry.

It is love that makes the world go round