Thursday, July 7, 2011

Testing wars: The national scene

The battle over testing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is a microcosm of what education reporter John Merrow dubs "the education wars" being fought among the nation's top educators, policy-makers and journalists.

Here at home, interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh has just invited more teachers to weigh in on the controversial testing program CMS launched during the past school year. And last weekend the Observer ran New York Times columnist David Brooks' piece on why he thinks Diane Ravitch is wrong about testing.

Now Merrow, whose readers recently chose Ravitch as the most influential educator in America, fires back at Brooks and others. His blog post offers a summary of the issues and players, contending that "at stake in this struggle is nothing less than the direction of public education," and that today's public schools are the equivalent of yesterday's pony express.

It's probably worth noting, as journalists such as Merrow, Brooks and NBC's Brian Williams join the fray, that Eric Frazier and I are not opinion writers, even in the blog. Some posters have asked us to take a stand or voice more outrage. That's not what we do; we'll stick to providing readers the chance to explore various views and air their own.


Wiley Coyote said...

Why do Brooks and others defend a system in which success seems to require superhuman effort?

To be blunt, our ‘answer factory’ approach to education is outmoded and counter-productive in a world that technology has transformed, and continues to transform at an unimaginable rate.

What is needed is a major rethinking of the structure of school — a recasting of the basic operating model.

John Merrow

...I couldn't agree more

part-time teacher said...

I have an idea of how to change the 'basic operating model.' As we've seen, teacher turnover hit a record low last year. The argument that there won't be enough qualified teachers in the future because of low morale due to testing, pfp, etc. is specious. There are thousands of part-time college instructors with graduate degrees who would be happy to take their place.

The problem with the basic operating model is that it is tied into the licensure programs in our colleges of education, which are often so dumbed-down that serious students prefer to major in their content area then pursue graduate education. Once they learn that the chance of a full-time job in higher education is slim, particularly in academic subjects like English and History, they may, like me, try to re-enter the licensure process, but find that it conflicts too much with a work schedule, what with the onerous requirements for 'observations,' which often involve watching films like Monte Python's 'Search for the Holy Grail' or 'The Red Badge of Courage,' or 'Slumdog Millionaire.' Nothing against using films in class, but sitting at the back of class observing that is pointless, much like observing a substitute distribute printed hand-outs for the students to work on in silence is pointless.

Then, if you're in a field in which supply is greater than demand, like English, you'll be told there are no lateral entry positions (unless they really need to fill a position or you have a PhD) and you'll have to complete student teaching, even though you've been teaching for years.

These rules protect those who managed to jump through the hoops of a licensure program, and provide thoroughly indoctrinated employees for a system that crawls toward innovation. I can understand why they're mad as hell about being treated the way they are, but when you stick with a stale, long-failing system, you shouldn't be surprised when it implodes.

Wiley Coyote said...

Part time,

You know as well as I do, teachers and teacher testing is not the problem nor is it even a blip on the radar as to what is wrong with public education.

Waayyy too much time is spent on the subject, used by many as a distraction from their own failings; politicians, parents and educrats.

part-time teacher said...

I'd say it is a problem when these students arrive to college expecting to be spoon-fed information which they'll be tested on, and can't be bothered to do their reading assignments unless they'll be taking tests on the material. Their critical thinking skills are typically abysmal, but they do seem able to discern that the mantra of education leading to success can be misleading, particularly as the role model standing before them is a part-time employee.

However, I do see your point about the larger problem in our public education system, which many students see as a system simply to be worked to their best advantage. They don't value education; they value the credential, and will lie and cheat their way to it if possible. Many of them have the idea that if they simply show up on a regular basis that they will be passed along, as apparently they have been passed along before.

Since you're concerned about financial fraud, there is a huge problem with financial aid fraud at CPCC, which had to return over one million dollars to the federal government last year because the primarily part-time faculty didn't report the scam artists who simply stop attending after receiving their money. Some of the students' primary motivation for attending (as little as possible) is to receive their financial aid refund checks, which can be substantial. This is the amount they receive from their pell grants which is more than the costs of tuition and books.

Wiley Coyote said...


Fraud is just a side bar to the overall problem in public education. Fraud at any level sucks money from those who really need the help and funds that could be used for the greater good.

Regarding the root problems of secondary public education, those are problems no one really wants to talk about because those who have pushed the same agenda for 40 years can't admit they haven't worked.

Larry said...

Many Cities have closed their pools during the Summer because some people can only hold on to the side of the pool.

Independent studies and flexibility in Teaching is IMPERATIVE if we are to have any movement toward a positive goal for our Children.

Tests make mediocrity easy to benchmark.

Rev. Mike said...


Merrow is under the spell of the "technological bluff" and as such is full of beans. His argument only holds if the sole purpose of education is to prepare one to enter the work force with the requisite skills for the profession one chooses. But if education is also about cultural transmission, then technology has nothing to do with that, unless a society's technology is its defining characteristic, in which case what a truly impoverished culture that would be.

We test kids for two reasons:

1. Prior to the current regime of testing, so-called "social promotion" was perceived to be rampant, especially in lower SES populations, with the result that we were seen as graduating people from high school who literally could not read, and;
2. More so, we test them because when the day is done, domain knowledge, i.e., knowledge ABOUT something, actually matters. For all the tripe being flung around about "critical thinking skills" and "21st century skills," one still needs to "know" something about which to "critically think." Testing demonstrates the acquisition and retention of that knowledge. If we choose not to maintain that knowledge over an extended period, e.g., myself and the ability to solve partial differential equations, which I no longer retain and have had no use for over the thirty years since I took the classes, than that is a different matter.

As for the second line of comments, part-time teacher and Wiley, you are both "spot on."

Rev. Mike said...

Ann, how do you and Eric ever expect to elevate yourselves to the exalted status of "pundit" if you don't stick your neck out? ;)

Wiley Coyote said...


I took Merrow's comment to mean old vs. new ways of thinking. Later in his blog he compared public education to the Pony Express.

Regarding "social promotions", read this from a story I found a couple of weeks ago dated May 25, 2011:

Among the 275 pink-slipped Stockton teachers is Elizabeth Old, who has taught English at her alma mater, Franklin High School, since 2007. She's worried about how her students, many of whom only read at an elementary-school level, will learn if class sizes keep growing.

A high school teacher, teaching kids with an elementary school level reading capacity.

How do they get that high up the chain with all the testing, etc?

That goes to the heart of my first comment about people turning a blind-eye to the real issues.

part-time teacher said...


If fraud is just a sidebar, please spell out the root problems of our education system for me. From previous posts by you, I thought your main problem with the system was free lunches and some having to pay for a child to play sports (while others do not).

Rev. Mike,

I don't have a problem with testing if it accomplishes something. I agree that you have to know something in order to think about it, but they've been testing for a while, right? Many of the students I see are in no way ready for college-level work, and 'work' might be the operative word there because they do precious little of it and can obviously graduate without having done so.

Your comments on education as cultural transmission are interesting. Most of my students do see education as simply their entry way into the workforce. Of course our mission statement here at CPCC is to be "the national leader in workforce development," so I can see where they get the idea. And as I maneuver the hallways trying not to be run over by students with their face in a cell phone, I would say that our society's culture is defined by our technology. And I would say said culture is impoverished, and I'll provide an example: I stopped teaching an essay titled "Grant and Lee" in a transfer-level class because I discover many of these "college students" had no prior knowledge of which historical figures the essay referred to.

Larry said...

Folks please do not look too much behind the curtains at the Observer.

First you may end up being disappointed in what you will see, second it is best to remember the nature of news today. Big Stories that gets the ratings for a few days are not the major goal.

It is about news relationships and long term profits. This means Writers need to stay close to those in power, and this may necessitate keeping some stories quiet in order to receive favor for other stories.

So when you see a reporter, just remember they have house, car and credit card payments like everyone else, and know times are changing faster than the internet.

So when you read a story like this that they want to remain above the fray understand what that means, they want to remain employed. And in this day and age that is a great goal to keep pursuing.

Wiley Coyote said...


The constant tinkering with education by educrats and politicians, coming up with programs like Bright Beginnings that waste tens of millions and have little to no effect is a huge problem.

Anyone that would dare suggest cutting these wasteful programs is labeled anti-education or a bigot or both.

I've stated before that over 25 years ago, I remember my ex-wife and I having discussions about programs educrats would implement, only to can them a year or two later, by their own doing or the next educrat hired to replace the last one. We wondered how much of a detriment to learning those programs were since they were eliminated.

We are still rooted deeply in the busing to achieve integration mentality. Many people still cannot bring themselves to admit it failed miserably, even though "separate but equal" rightly had to be abolished.

Even today, busing and integration is coded in "high poverty", "low performing" and "minority" terms and how do the self-appointed progressive bleeding hearts deal with spreading all that out amongst the system.

That is one of the biggest issues those people fail to grasp.

People live where they live and that busing a low-income minority child 15 miles from their home to sit between two white kids is somehow magically going to make them learn what two plus two equals, because in their opinions, high concentrations of low-income children can't learn. Why are magnets located in many of these schools?

We already spend more per pupil in these high poverty schools and if you have quality teachers and everything you need FOR SUCCESS to happen in these schools, kids SHOULD succeed. It is not the school system's responsibility beyond the curb of school property as to what happens when students leave.

Stop damning kids from the get-go.

We have groups like the NAACP running around yelling about "what they ain't getting", yet do nothing to address problems in their own backyard; fatherless children, crime, black on black crime, kids having kids and a lack of respect for education, themselves and for the teachers trying to educate them.

Why are more blacks taking their kids out of public education?

Why is the county 60% white yet CMS is 32.8% white?

Why is it almost 56% of students are eligible for FRL (75,000) yet the Census Bureau puts the poverty rate in Mecklenburg County for kids 5 to 17 years old at 30,000?

Eliminate the excuses. Demand accountability from the school system and parents. Get back to the basics and let teachers, teach.

Until that day comes, we'll continue to be mired in the same muck.

Anonymous said...

It's all a money game--- people make money off of selling standardized testing and data management to fed / state /local gov and systems... lobbyists push for fed gov to take more control b/c their clients (like Gorman's new boss Rupert Murdoch) make millions and millions or more--it is a BOOMING industry... why else would all these people "get into" education -- it's the latest money making fad!

part-time teacher said...


Thanks for the comments. I was part of the generation of kids where a lot of affluent students were bussed to West Charlotte (not myself, but friends). It seems there was some success there, in that low-income students were exposed to elite students, and some of the low-income students went on to become very successful, as they modeled (and in the case of our mayor, were mentored by)successful, driven people.

That may have been a brief period in time where it could happen. From my standpoint at CPCC, one of my biggest concerns is the lack of adequate security. Another concern, in common with yours, is getting back to the basics. Many of my students seem astonished to learn that I take off for spelling errors, but from what I've observed, many of their public school teachers don't know the basics. They know all about 'essential questions' and rubrics, etc. but they don't know to from too, there from their. So I reckon I'm with you there on the educrats, although if I want a full-time job it looks like I'll have to become one.

Anonymous said...


One of my favorite sites is It is exactly what it sounds like. Most issues of the day are covered.

Here's the link to their piece on Standardized Testing.

Once you go there you'll find many reasons to return. Their fact checking is top-notch.

Bolyn McClung

therestofthestory said...

I think the success West Charlotte enjoyed for a number of years was due to a non nonsense principal who would take no guff from the smart alecks, who had parents that backed them up with discipline not only at school but at home and a staff that knew the administration had their back.

Attitudes are so much different now.

BolynMcClung said...


The word “test” comes from the ancient Latin form “testum”. Which means the world has had a long time to get testing right with little success.

My drinking buddy Jones saw me writing this and said it was from Latin “testiculus.”

“No,” I said, “that became ‘testicles’.”

“That’s right,” Jones replied. “Kick him in the testicles and see if he’s a man. There’s a real test!”

Well he’s right. Educators have been kicking at each other in groin for years over testing. They’ve been kicking away hoping to be the last person standing. It’s a good plan until you come against two equally solid pair of brass ones. Then it becomes a public brawl with lots of bystanders.

I look forward to CMS’ testing battles this year. At least with a lame-duck superintendent there won’t be much bashing. More like a game of dodge ball until the permanent replacements arrives.

But don’t be surprised if someone occasionally substitutes some brass for one of those harmless dodge balls.

Bolyn McClung

Larry said...

6:54 That would have been Gerson Stroud. He was our Principal when we, the first White Students to ever go to West Charlotte, arrived during busing back in the early seventies.

I would laugh when he would chase down people on the field as he could outrun the kids a lot younger than him.

After I had been kicked during a riot he stopped me at my car and I was mad because I knew he was going to try to stop me from leaving. Instead he said are you alright, and when I said I was fine, he said I need you on the Student Council, see me in the morning.

That guy had my admiration for all he was trying to do from that point on, and I did get on the council and we all made the school a great one.

In fact we kept friends and I spoke at his funeral a few years ago, and still see his bride Daisy and the kids today.

He left a legacy in CMS and at West Charlotte, but he also left a long shadow with a lot of us who knew him that is one which will never be forgotten.

So yes West Charlotte did have an exceptional Principal.

Anonymous said...

In the days during and prior to Mr. Stroud, CMS had many principals with the will and a way. Now, sadly they've all been replaced by subservient score chasers in constant fear of replacement by Pete, Avossa, and now, older brother of Pete. Those brass instruments that Bolyn mentioned have been surgically removed as witnessed by the discipline and security issues that are rampant.
Rev. Mike, this blog is at its best because it's started by facilitators, not pundits. The mere fact that the conversation is continued by the participants is proof that civil discourse needs no punditry.
Finally, many of us are paying mortgages, etc. living in fear of when Hugh will dump us for TFA's. Eric and Ann are no different. Have you counted how many furloughs Ann was forced to take last year? Flono and Batten are the lone survivors of the editorial board and the old Rhino is history. Enjoy and utilize the blog while it still exists. One day it will be replaced by some form of governmental electronic drivel as Ray Bradbury predicted sixty years ago in Fahrenheit 451. Who needs books anyway?

Wiley Coyote said...

Who needs books anyway?

CMS obviously doesn't. I bet my son didn't have 6 books the last two years of high school.

Decide on a curriculum, have all schools on the same page with the same books and allow teachers to do their jobs and teach.

Every child should have a book for each class to reference the subject matter the teacher is presenting.

Duh, wait. Those cost money. We don't need books afterall.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, CMS has tried a policy in the past requiring every teacher to be on the same page in the same books throughout the system. Didn't work very well--didn't allow teachers "to teach", as they couldn't move forward if their class was ready to; nor could they take time to reinforce a lesson if their class wasn't "getting it". I remember how much the teachers hated this policy.One size fits all does not work for a large metropolitan system.
This would be the same idiocy that required every school to have exactly the same equipment, even if it was unneeded at one school. Or, as in the case with my child about 12 years ago, did not allow extra equipment at a school when needed for special situation. My child was extremely strong in math and was ready for Algebra II in eighth grade. His middle school was willing to allow him to take an online course during his math period, but could not accept the donation of a used computer from the principal's husband which would have enabled him to work online at school (there were no extra computers in the school). The husband wasn't giving a used computer to every school, you see. So that would have been unfair.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 8:11..

I disagree.

All students have to pass the same core courses to graduate, right?

They should all be on the same page in these classes, no matter what school. By same page I mean same curriculum using the same book. Whether a teacher at West Charlotte is in chapter 5 versus another teacher at Providence in chapter 3 is irrelavant. The two teachers are doing their job teaching as they see fit for the flow of their classes.

It is up to the teacher to teach the subject matter so his or her students understand it.

The fact that some students in a class might not keep up with the rest is well, just tough. They can get tutoring help.

Regarding the "unfairness" of the computer, I hope you see the $55 million given to West Charlotte and its feeder schools as being "unfair" as well.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Wiley, about all schools having the same core curriculum. But when you say, as you did in your original post, that everyone should be "on the same page" that sounded very much like the former policy of insisting that every school be literally on the same page (and having staff drop in to make sure that was happening). Insanity!

Wiley Coyote said...

No no..that's why I clarified it in the second post.

Give teachers the curriculum. Give them books and let them do their jobs.

Anonymous said...

I'm just hoping I can keep sending my kids to summer school in China.

They just learn so much more.

Anonymous said...

First, we need to see what and where the real problems are.

Our higher education system is still pretty good. People from all over the world flock to our universities.

And in our public schools, white and Asian kids seem to do pretty well and are competetive with their counterparts in the rest of the world.

The blacks and Hispanics, however, DO NOT compete well with the rest of the world.

Throwing money at them doesn't seem to work, either.

The problem is that we are spending proportionally greater money on our losers than our winners.

Other countries aren't.

Eventually their winners will do better than our winners, and our losers will probably not make up the difference.

We simply need to focus more on our higher achieving students to be sure their potential is fully tapped.

Because THEY are our real future.

Putting one thug in prison for life could support Governor's School for several years.

Yet we'd rather close those schools than execute a murderer or imprison them as cheaply as possible.

And now we're running out of both time and money.

The Great Society of the 1960s is no longer as feasible for us as it was when we were kings of the world.

It's time to cut off the non-performers in our society.

Anonymous said...

Ann and Eric
Re your comment that you don't participate by giving opinions even in a blog, that's fair. But it would be really helpful to us, to whom you are teaching the facts, if you included research on the effectiveness of testing programs on student outcomes, or the effectiveness of carrot-and-stick motivation systems on educators and their product, the children. Just because that research may support one of the sides of the argument doesn't mean you are expressing an opinion. It is too important to leave out.

Ann Doss Helms said...

1:39, I get your point, but there are books written about testing and teacher motivation, and those books condense volumes of academic research. There's only so much we can include in any given blog post or print article.

Larry said...

We also have to admit that both these writers Ann and Eric can influence the stories about CMS etc.

They have the opportunity to hard sell a story to their bosses for publication and they can soft peddle others. In fact the can ignore sources if they see fit, or overuse others.

So for them to say they are well above all of this as far as opinion, is not totally honest. They try, but we all understand that they do work for a living, and have a soft spot for certain things just like everyone else.

In fact this blog is just an example of an offshoot of what the Observer requires for their standards in Writers and how they want the public to feel about our needs in CMS.

Anonymous said...

Hard and soft sell? Pot calling the kettle black? I find it ironic you "vaguely" resemble that remark with much of your posting.

Larry said...

Yes and I will admit I not only resemble it I posed nude for it as a model. Imagine how horrible that image?

But we have to ask what is Larry getting from this?

Or actually what is it costing Larry for all the gas and donations, plus the time?

We could, but not once have I ever felt it was not worth it.

So pardon me if unlike paid professionals from a News Paper which we all know with a bent like the Observer, I also have a counter bent.

Anyway thanks for tying to make me look good, but I am not tying to soft sell anything.

I am trying to dismantle the current system and remake it into a system that will. like IBM had to do back when they realized that too big was not going to work, dismantle them and make the smaller units work for the best of all.

Wiley Coyote said...


Don't worry about the Obsrver. It's becoming obsolete like all the others.

It really isn't their fault for the most part, it's the times we live in with instant technology. You know that.

Truw story today as I walked into a Bi-Lo.

Guy sitting at a table trying to sell me on an Observer subscription to which I replied "Sorry, I gave up the Observer about 5 years ago. By the time I get it, it's old news".

His response was, "but, but what about all of the coupons on Sunday?"

Anonymous said...

The issue of giving equal time to two sides of an argument is not confined to the observer or Ann and Eric, who I think, in general need to be commended for the stories they've done on the Broad foundtion, for example, or expressing some of the things the greater powers would probably have preferred to have kept quiet.

Most journalists have moved over to giving "both sides" of every issue, even though there are times that one of the sides is telling lies. I remember when the Iraq war was being justified with lies, journalists gave plenty of time to explaining that side. They are afraid of seeming biased, when in fact, if they were truly investigating an issue, they would instead exposes the lies that they discover.

Clearly, most issues are not as clear cut as that one has become in hindsight, but I'm just sayin'.

Wiley Coyote said...

My personal favorite lie is "shovel ready".....

...all it takes is a tingle up a journalist's leg to perpetuate that lie....

Larry said...

My Parents use to say that many things we dismiss as lies each day are just the point where in laziness or personal prejudice we have stopped investigating them.

They would say, why you left them laying there, why do you think they are called what they are? Go back, pick them up and prove them incorrect, or even better correct.

It has served me well. I now know to not say things are a lie. They are just undone investigations.

Anonymous said...

In today’s article on the testing scandal Chris Cobitz, CMS' top testing official stated he doubts a scandal like Atlanta's could not happen here, He said “educators in CMS have little tolerance for cheating and are quick to report violations”. Mr. Cobitz is right. This is why teachers ,parents and students blew the whistle on the inappropriate questions and misspellings that appeared on the test. This is also why teachers are still outraged how Gorman went behind their backs to pass pay for performance without teacher’s input. Ann and Eric you do a great job keeping us informed.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody catch Dr. Steve Perry and Joel Klein on Book TV on CSPAN2 yesterday? I know they are showing the segment again at 4 am Mon. morning if you have a DVR. If not, plan to order Dr. Steve Perry's New Book: "Push Comes to Shove" Coming Sept. 2011 or listen to him speaking the truth on videos at;

Synopsis of his book:

“Have you been to a school lately? Have you sat through the six hours and forty-five minutes of excruciating tedium we send our kids to every day? When we ask our kids, “What’d you do in school today?” and they mumble, “Nothin’,” they’re telling the truth.”

Steve Perry is like no other educator you’ve ever met. He “gets it.” He understands why some parents are downright panicked about what’s going on in their kids’ classrooms, and how other parents, whose kids supposedly attend the “good” schools, still fear that their children are falling behind. As Principal of one of the best performing schools in America -- one that sends 100% of its mostly minority students to four-year colleges -- Perry delights in poking the system. Present him with a “truth” about how education is supposed to work and – count on it – he’ll show it to be false.

Dictatorial teacher’s unions despise Steve Perry. So do lazy teachers. So do entrenched, unimaginative school boards. So do reactionary “curriculum guardians” who – as a lure to get kids reading – cling to the same old stodgy texts.

“That’s okay,” say Perry. That means he’s making a difference. In this book, his priority is to help kids who don’t have the advantage of going to his school, Capital Prep. He wants to save your kid, and the kid next door, and the kid down the street from getting a typical third-rate American education.

If you’re a parent who has worried recently about how depressed your child seems when he dresses for school in the morning…or how little of what happens during the school day seems to sink into her brain… or how much of your child’s homework is busywork, you need this book.

If you’re a teacher who is putting your heart and soul into the job but are surrounded by colleagues who are “phoning it in,” you need this book.

If you’re a committed, forward-thinking principal who wants to get rid of the faculty bad apples, but are continually stymied by Mafia-style teachers-unions, you need this book.

*If you’re a citizen who worries about the $1 trillion-plus GDP loss that America suffers every year because our system of education doesn’t measure up, you need this book.

In this solution-oriented manifesto, Steve Perry covers the full range of issues holding back today’s students. He shows parents how to find great teachers (and get rid of the bad ones)…how to make readers out of kids who hate to read…how to make the school curriculum thrilling rather than sleep-inducing…how to conduct an all-important education “home audit”… how to “e-organize” if school boards and administrators aren’t getting the message…how to build a “school of the future,” and much more.

The era of third-rate education is over. Steve Perry isn’t going to let the fools and scoundrels get away with it any longer. Push has come to shove!

Larry said...

6:45 You failed to included his ten principles. Everyone should go to his website and see just how great ideas get facilitated by people working for the best of Children.

1. Everyone should care about the state of public education because everyone can do something to improve it.

2. Take an inventory of your time and talents to see how you can help to improve your public schools.

3. Race, income, gender and parents' level of education do not determine a student's ability.

4.Great educators produce inspiration that lasts a lifetime.

5. Educators must believe that all children can learn.

6. When educators love students they take their success personally.

7. Students need structure and respect people who have high expectations.

8. Parents matter.

9. All children can attend great schools when we put children's needs first.

10. We know what works in education, now we just need to do it.

Anonymous said...

I've listened to that CSPAN interview and you can't help but be inspired. You'll be hearing more and more about Dr. Perry. Of course, Joel Klein wrote an endorsement for Dr. Perry's book and Peter Gorman just went to work for Joel Klein, so this post must be an evil trick.

Wiley Coyote said...

Capital Prep capacity is 750 students, ranging from 6th grade to 12th.

If we take 750 6th - 12th grade students in CMS, the cream of the crop, put uniforms on them and make a special magnet soley for the select few, we can duplicate Capital Prep.

That means 0.55% of the CMS student population will be able to attend.

So Larry, in what special tax district do we put a school like this in your deconsolidation plan?

Or in what high poverty, low performing school do we put this type of magnet in? West Charlotte? West Meck?

Do we make two or three additional magnets like this to handle more students?

Wiley Coyote said...

Executive Branch

Education Department 'Concerned' About Wave of Cheating Probes, Allegations

Published July 10, 2011

An Education Department official said Sunday that the department is "concerned" about the wave of investigations and allegations regarding cheating on standardized tests in several school systems, but stressed that most schools are "doing the right thing."

The latest development is in Washington, D.C., where the Education Department's inspector general joined the city's investigation into possible cheating following a newspaper report claiming more than 100 city schools had unusually high rates of erasures on exams between 2008 and 2010. The Washington Post first reported on the federal involvement.

Read more:

...No wonder Obama said DC schools weren't good enough for his daughters.

Larry said...

Willey: If you are worried about the Cherry Picking of students from CMS in the challenged schools and the like, you need not worry. They are already picked.

Today we have a lot of students who go to Private School all with financial aid. This is due to their outstanding Bright Flight from CMS Schools.

Charter Schools have waiting lists like you would not believe, and Home Schooling is growing as never before. Oh and the fastest growing group of Home Schoolers in the Country are African Americans.

And hey in NY and NJ they said these kids would never learn and gave up on them in the Public System, and this school has made them such a success the public system is trying to emulate them.

So as far as paying for all of this keep in mind my proposed schools only cost us about sixty cents on the dollar over the public schools.

Oh and if you want to see the success just look at the waiting list for Charter schools.

For some reason all the success all these years and strangely the fact these schools do not have to teach how to be polite or other waste of time traits, but only educate, seems to be a character builder in itself.

So yes we can continue to waste the future and money and we can fight each other and do what we always do as Americans. Or we can just try something new. Like they use to do when the old thing was not working.

Larry said...

Wiley: What a lot of people did not know is that Obama and his crew had vouchers taken away for the DC kids right after he got into office.

Then the Republicans made it a we will not approve the budget unless they are returned last budget time.

That is the only reason they got them back in recently.

And everyone thinks they do not care about the kids.

Wiley Coyote said...

Willey: If you are worried about the Cherry Picking of students from CMS in the challenged schools and the like, you need not worry. They are already picked.

I rest my case.

Your answer to get back whites, blacks, etc back into CMS are charter schools and deconsolidation.

Good luck.

Larry said...

Maybe you missed my point. I don't want to get anyone back into CMS unless they want to do so.

I want to get Options for every parent and every child for their future.

By doing so CMS will become an excellent school system with smaller units focused on the needs in the areas they serve, and people will want to come to them.

If you look at the numbers from a demographics basis you can see the marketplace has spoken and CMS has ignored them for too long.

Bright Flight can not continue at CMS any longer.

Wiley Coyote said...

Good grief Larry.

You shot your own thought process in the foot.

You just told me cherry picking was over because they have all already left and in the next response you state you don't want to get anyone back and end with "Bright Flight cannot continue any longer at CMS".

I think that sums up why some of us feel you're all over the board.

Larry said...

I am talking about talent here and you might be talking about physical attributes when we talk about students.

And when I say they are already picked, I hope you understand we are talking about a living and breathing entity that has additions and subtractions each and everyday.

So thanks to those who know I cover the whole board.

I hate working with those few who only know about the knight or king and only protect them, oh in fact I don't even play games, I just do the job that needs to be done.

But good luck with finding someone to play with you, the others seem to be avoiding this venue.

Anonymous said...

I wish a group would host Dr. Perry in Charlotte...maybe that group Gorman is joining? I'd like everybody to hear Perry talk about the black psyche as it relates to education..the dumbing down, victimization, etc. To say that Perry's 100% minority school "cherry picked" students is specious. Our attitudes need to change.

Wiley Coyote said...


If you can't tell I'm talking about living, breathing students in my response to you, then your comprehension is shot.

I'll post again what you said, which solicited my response:

Willey: If you are worried about the Cherry Picking of students from CMS in the challenged schools and the like, you need not worry. They are already picked.

Today we have a lot of students who go to Private School all with financial aid. This is due to their outstanding Bright Flight from CMS Schools.

Explain what you think I mean by your definition of "physical attributes".

Wiley Coyote said...

Perry's school doesn't cherry pick. Larry used the term in a rebuttal to me.

It's a magnet and students have to apply, just like magnets here.

The difference with Capital Prep v. other schools is the demands on students are more rigorous and they eliminate excuses.

You either make it or you don't.

Larry said...

W you said it yourself:

"Your answer to get back whites, blacks, etc back into CMS are charter schools and deconsolidation."

Thanks Larry

Larry said...

I just sent an email to Dr. Perry's group asking them about a possible appearance and speech.

I will let you know how it turns out.

Keep up with the details on

Wiley Coyote said...


I believe you've lost the weave of the thread.

That last post of my comment IS factual related to one of your comments.

Your idea of revamping CMS is by charter schools and deconsolidation and you've already stated students who left won't be coming back.

So what's the point of going forward with charters and deconsolidation when the base continues to dwindle because the root problems aren't fixed?

My goal is to reverse the 40 year trend of brain drain, white flight, black flight and overall mismanagement of public education by politicians, educrats and special interest groups.

I want to put private schools out of business or deal them a heavy blow.

Larry said...

I know that, and I understand.

I have understood your desire for keeping a centralist government operation from reading your posts.

That is why other countries now own most of out debt, we Americans are just like England back when we took over from them. A dying power unwilling to accept change as it worked so well in the past.

So pardon the rest as we move on effecting the necessary changes to equip these kids with the necessary skills and flexibility to handle the changing landscape that we refuse to admit is happening almost daily.

All the best as we agree to disagree.

Larry said...

W. By the way it is not a good idea to make people buy GM Vehicles, which still owes the American people money, no matter what they tried to make it seem, by closing down all the Foreign Car Dealers.

You need to start making good GM Vehicles.

All the best.

Wiley Coyote said...


Centrist government? My trying to keep someone from reading what I post?

Did you watch Conspiracy Theory on Starz last night?

Both of us put our thoughts out there. I don't put mine above yours as they are just that - my opinions.

If people agree with you, then fine. I'm sure you'll be elected to the BOE handily.

Larry said...

W: I am sorry if you felt I was doing anything other than affirming your opinion of sticking with the status quo.

I think some things need to remain the same. Charleston or historic places are great examples.

In fact we need more people who enjoy tedium and dealing with the mundane. as that is what the current CMS system is teaching the Children. That way we will have people in place until we get the needed changes.

The new CMS will be dynamic and instead of teaching from a book the Teachers will introduce the Students to a lifetime of exploration.

Just like they do in Charter and Private Schools.

Anonymous said...

One of Perry's comments is that some students have an aptitude but will never be interested in learning the traditional subjects. They may be interested in the arts, music, a trade....but not in calculus. They might be interested in technology or making videos or something else. His idea is that we must offer different schools for different people. But, another point he stresses is that his schools start from kindergarten telling kids that they are on a path to college. Sometimes, it's hard to visualize college when your dad is gone, your mom is working two jobs and you have three siblings. I'm sure there are teachers who keep banging hard on that square block trying to force it into that round hole...year after year and, of course, there is strong push back. It can wear you out where all you want is your check, summers off and then get your retirement. It is a culture...traveling the path of least resistance and being happy with a minor success here and there. Perry talks about a total revamping of the attitude, cirriculum and attention paid to young kids. Obviously, there are bad apples that need to be given a few chances and then escorted out. But, engagement takes loving the kids and pursuing, monitoring and, yes, testing them to keep them on track. Just watch this video: