Tuesday, August 16, 2011

School board candidate headed to White House

Aaron Pomis, one of 16 candidates vying for three at-large seats on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board, is joining other former members of the Teach for America program at the White House today, where they are slated to meet with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other senior policy advisors.

According to a press release from Pomis, the event is organized by Leadership for Educational Equity, a nonprofit group that supports Teach for America alumni as they engage in civic activism and public leadership roles. The group will visit the White House, then have meetings at the education department with Duncan and other officials.


Anonymous said...

It's good to see somebody with a TFA and charter school background running for the board.

Charter schools have better test scores and show more student improvement than NC public schools on average. CMS could learn a lot from the charters.

Anonymous said...

Cite your data please. National data consistently shows that the majority of Charter schools do about the same, or worse, as public schools.


Wiley Coyote said...

After watching Aaron Pomis during a question and answer panel, I found him to be very articulate and the only one on the panel that is willing to attack the status quo.

Having said that, charter schools are not the answer to what ails public education.

Another candidate of the "17" is pushing for more and more charter schools and vouchers.

If charter schools are SO great, why not tuen EVERY school - into a charter school?

At this moment in time, charter schools are fads that are not sustainable to the overall quality of education in this community or the US.

I keep saying it folks.

2+2=4, no matter what school you go to.

You either learn it or you don't.

Anonymous said...

The percentage of NC charters that are ranked as "honor schools of excellence" according to testing results in NC was recently 25% versus about 7% for district schools. In other words, this means the charters are more than 3 times as likely to be honor schools of excellence.

Some charter schools like KIPP have trouble becoming honor schools of excellence because of the level students are at when they enroll at the schools. But many of these charters still make incredible gains in student achievement.

More information on this differences here.


Eric, you should cover what's going on with local charters more.

BolynMcClung said...


This speaks volumes for the quality of all the candidates for the At-Large office.

Many of the other candidates have also traveled afar for education. All have served with national, regional and local groups. Gone are the days of successful single issue candidates.

I've gotten to meet seven candidates so far. All have something to offer and in most cases that something is enough to make each unique.

I encourage everyone to get out from behind the blogging keyboards and meet these folks. Ask them questions and bring that back here for vetting. You don't have to wait for Eric or Ann to start the conversation.

Sixteen candidates. It's not a question of whether there are three good ones among them but rather which three are best for you.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

EDITORIAL IN THE WASHINGTON POST Regarding Pres. Obama's Education Chief's preference for Charter Schools.

Arne Duncan's Advocacy for Charter Schools

Monday, June 22, 2009

AN ESTIMATED 365,000 students are on waiting lists to get into charter schools. More than half of all charter schools across the country report having to disappoint parents who want their children in better schools. Yet many states, for reasons that have nothing to do with sound educational policy, discourage or even forbid the growth of charters. It's a ridiculous situation, and we hope that Education Secretary Arne Duncan is serious about not rewarding states hostile to charter schools.

Mr. Duncan recently put states on notice that they risk their shot at millions of dollars in federal stimulus money if they are not open to public charter schools. As a former head of Chicago's public schools, Mr. Duncan knows firsthand the benefits of charters. Freed from the constraints of union contracts and one-size-fits-all school policy, they've been able to innovate successful new approaches to learning. They give parents an important choice about where their children go to school and, in many cases, are the best bet for a decent education.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 12:10...

Why not turn all CMS schools into charter schools?

CMSTeacher said...

Charter schools get to choose which students they admit, meaning they can take students who are already high-performing and deny entrance to students who are not high-performing. Then the public schools that those students would have attended have a higher percentage of students who are low-performing, which makes them look worse than the charter schools. It's a shell game. Also the public schools that the charter school students are pulled from lose per-pupil funding. Charter schools are pseudo-private schools supported by the state.

Wiley Coyote said...


Here are the requirements from the state.

I don't see where charters can cherry pick and if they do, they could probably be sued.


What is a Charter School?
Charter schools provide parents a choice in the education of their children -- and it is a public choice. Public tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools. Local, state, and federal dollars follow the child to a charter school. The schools have open enrollment with no discrimination, no religious associations, and no tuition.

How do you enroll in a charter school?
Parents must contact each individual school to see if they have openings. If they have more applicants than available slots, an open lottery must be instituted to fill the remaining spots. For a list of schools, please visit http://www.ncpublicschools.org/charterschools/schools/.

How much does it cost to attend a Charter School?
Charter Schools are tuition free. They are public schools and funding for the schools come from federal, state, and local taxes.

Are charter school teachers certified?
Yes, but with more leeway. The state requires 75% of charter school teachers in elementary school to be certified while 50% in middle and high school must be certified. However, charter school teachers must follow NCLB requirements for highly qualified staff.

Do charter schools take the state mandated ABCs tests?
Yes. All charter schools are required to take the state mandated tests. For charter schools test results please visit http://abcs.ncpublicschools.org/abcs.

What are the requirements for acceptance into a charter school?
The only requirement to get into a charter school is the availability at the school in the requested grade.

Larry said...

Hey a lot of you would fit right in with the group at the Tuesday Morning meeting.

They are also hoping to vote for more clones of what we have and have the same results.

Just wait till you see the video when they post it. They did not want to hear the truth or how the future is already walking away from our Students either.

And Aaron Pomis was the only Candidate that I have clapped for when he said something to the affect, that he had a student who looked to him for promises that not only he had made, but that every adult had ever made to that child in that child's life.

You can not make up that kind of care for kids.

I wish him well.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, I like our idea of turning all CMS schools into charters. That's what's happening in places like Washington DC and New Orelans.

However, I doubt it will happen any time soon. Instead we'll probably continue to see a slow leakage of CMS students to charters, private schools and oher counties for the next decade or so. At that point, there may be more of a political will for substantial change.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Charter schools have to admit all applicants (or choose by lottery). BUT they don't have to offer meals or transportation. So if the parents who can't drive their kids to school and/or pack a lunch don't apply, you do have a narrowed field.

Larry said...

Yes and if we have a Charter School in every neighborhood, say for instance something as good as www.AchievementFirst.org which took the kids in NY which the public system said would never learn and you have to see it.

Anyway having them in the neighborhoods means they are the neighborhood schools. Choice is a wonderful thing and will make the public system better.

Larry said...

Oh and if comes down to lunch for these charter school kids I am sure a lot of people will donate.

Spangler just gave 100k to Mecked so I am sure money for food would be a great donation from people like these all over Charlotte.

Hey are we could do the same thing and next year at this time be carping about how much worse things are. We seem to be having a lot of fun at that in Charlotte.
, Mecklenburg.

Wiley Coyote said...

Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for school lunches for those in public schools who don't qualify, but we do.

Overpaid to the tune of $1.5 billion in 2010.


By the way, there is a link to report fraud in the bottom right.

We need to get a handle on the gross overspending and neglegence of the USDA and demand out politicians allow school districts like CMS to conduct full, in-depth audits of the program.

Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for programs like More at Four and Bright Beginnings that don't work yet a judge is trying to legislate that into the mainstream from the bench.

Congress can vote to cut funding for Head Start, why can't our legislature vote to cut spending for MA4 and BB?

Anonymous said...

Maybe some charter schools outperform some of the cms schools. Queens Grant a charter school didn't do that great compared to other schools in the area: Bain, Mint Hill Middle and Indy. The proficiency rate the QG was 82.6%, Bain-93.4%, MHM-87.8% and Indy-87.7%

Larry said...

Yes and those numbers are correct and we are sure of them. At least one of them.

Anonymous said...

Not unusual to see that Pomis is a former TFAer. Wiley, what's the breakdown on "former" TFA's in CMS? Cobitz can develop all the data he wants for his material, but I've never seen a spread sheet on TFA remorseful departures from a reputable source.(Measurement Inc?) I'm sure Larry has proof from Achievementfirst.biz with some data that might id the exodus numbers from the Amway of education.

Larry said...

853 Not sure what your fishing for?

If you want the success of the group I have mentioned go to the site and look.

Otherwise I understand my ideas are not everybody's cup of tea.

Just like watching the parade of kids who have no job and not much of an education being pooped out of CMS every year is mine.

Why not just try a few ideas and if they do not work I will be the first to say all is lost.

Wiley Coyote said...

TFA in my opinion is a smoke screen. A convenient whipping post.

We've had 40+ years to make a difference since busing without TFA and what are the results?

The problem is not TFA or certified teachers.

Larry said...

And Teach for America.

Does anyone know how that works

You have around 50 thousand of the top College Grads from all the schools across the Country who vie for 4000 jobs.

This means the Schools get the top of our Education System for a few years and some actually stay in teaching.

And those who do not move on to most often Executive Positions and can you imagine a better friend for Education?

Yes it is scary to see changes to the old system but the Shark in the Fish Tank does make things move.

Anonymous said...

The Daily View said most candidates support giving taxing authority to the school board without asking candidates individually. Here is Mary McCray's answer from her website:

"I do not support giving taxing authority to the school board at this time. With the present economy, another level of taxing bureaucracy in this county isn’t needed. I believe every governmental agency needs a system of checks and balances. The County Commission provides that for CMS.

If the school board is given taxing authority, my fear is that the county would no longer be required to assist with funding the school district, especially with school construction. I do concede, however, that it would lessen the budgetary strain and cause the general public to be more in tune with what’s going on in our school district. Accountability of the school board and superintendent would be paramount because they would assume stewardship of the community’s monies and assets.

Finally, I do believe this must be a community conversation. Mutual agreement by all is necessary because, at the onset, this could prove to be very costly for some, namely Senior Citizens on fixed income and families living below the poverty level. Our greatest push back may come from families whose children attend private schools and charter schools."

Anonymous said...

Aaron Pomis reminds me of Peter Gorman...slick talking, a wolf in sheep's clothing. There is a hidden agenda with this young man that I am trying to ascertain. Are the Gates and Broad Foundations supporting him?

Charter schools with a large high poverty student body tend to emphasize rote learning which narrows the gap on a specific test. It does not prepare students to succeed where higher order thinking and 21st century skills are needed.

Anonymous said...

Seems a bit unfair to claim Aaron Pomis has a "hidden agenda" which you can't yet "ascertain". How do you know he has a hidden agenda?

As for charter schools for high poverty students teaching rote learning, a few years ago I attended a meeting about the teaching of math in CMS in west Charlotte. The parents were vehemently opposed to the current math curriculum and were demanding a return to rote learning. Perhaps these parents are choosing to enroll their kids in charter schools that adhere to the kind of teaching they prefer.

CMS Teacher said...

Aaron Pomis is an individual who has one main priority - student achievement. If anyone is searching for his hidden agenda, that's it. Helping students, no matter their background, race or age, achieve in all areas of their education.

He has remained absolutely dedicated to closing the achievement gap well after his years in Teacher for America. He is an advocate for our under-performing & under-served students & a role model for all involved in improving our education system.

Wiley Coyote said...

No way on Earth should CMS get taxing authority. Period.

They can't manage their own system as has been proven time and time again.

The County has even made them return money for overestimating enrollment numbers in the past.

Let's don't even get into bond monies unspent or spent on schools built in the wrong places, etc.

The County should setup a CMS contingency fund to handle the overlap in funding sources due to different fiscal year ending dates.

Larry said...

Does anybody think CMS spends money wisely or has any potential to do so in the future?

So I think that answers the question of should they get taxing authority.

Even if you get a decent board in it will still be just a matter of time before the same clones get back in.

BolynMcClung said...


Always on the lookout for humor. Here's the best I've seen today. It's from the blog.

“Yes and those numbers are correct and we are sure of them. At least one of them.”

Bolyn McClung

Larry said...

Hey anybody remember the cheating stories on Atlanta or our own system?

And here we have The Bolyn making this observation.

Glad I could make you laugh.

I will think of you as my Rascally Grandfather.

So you too are like family.

Wiley Coyote said...

Hey, hey, hey watch it.

I have "rascally" and "wascally" copyrighted....

Kwazie Wabbit

Larry said...

Sorry I forgot about that.

Oh everybody I will get a link to all the interviews from the Louise Woods and the Swann Fellowship interviews at the St. Martin’s Episcopal Church as soon as I find out when they have them up.

You have to see mine. They were not...... impressed with my not saying that CMS is the cause of our problems in the fact they do not send students to schools that help create the right.....mix.

Well to be honest, that was not the only reason they were not impressed, I said a lot of facts they did not want to hear.

Here is their website http://www.mecklenburgacts.org/

Grundy is a supporter from the site info.

Wiley Coyote said...

Louise Woods, Swann Fellowship and Pam Grundy.

Where do you go from there?

therestofthestory said...

Their mindset, ala Swann like, is what has put CMS on this downward spiral since the mid 1980's when CMS could not handle the growth and could not address educational needs and all the BOE's and superintendents could do was reaarange the chairs on the Titantic deck ala student reassignment plans.

misswhit said...

Larry, I think that the interviews will be posted on the following webpage: http://www.swannfellowship.org/.
There may be a link to this on Meck ACTS webpage--in fact, I'm sure there is because the Meck ACTS folks also are Swann supporters.

Wiley Coyote said...

Let's call what it is they support by its truthfull name:


Larry said...

Thanks, I think we now know why if you go to the Charlotte Observer Search, and type in, say Pamela Grundy as one of the names, you come up with 15 results, and see that persons point of view is printed over and over.

But of the letters I have sent in over the years showing my view as a native, none have appeared and I am mentioned only as having filed to run for office in all my life.

But as was said by one of the Education Reporters on this blog, they keep in touch with all sources, and use all of us for facts and quotes.

So maybe someday they will use us all and our ideas. Not just those of the Swann or Meck what ever groups.

Anonymous said...

Larry--I don't agree with a lot of what you have to say about CMS but you certainly have hit the nail on the head about Observer education coverage and who they use as a primary source, both for news coverage and for editorial philosophy.

misswhit said...

On the Swann webpage (http://www.swannfellowship.org/) it actually says that the interviews are being conducted by Meck ACTS and the Swann group (almost one and the same). Some on this board have mocked those who have continued to be concerned about attempts to return CMS to some sort of busing scheme, calling it an obsession. However, you don't have to delve far into the Swann website to see what their goal continues to be. And for all of those naive enough to have believed otherwise, the Meck ACTS (and its leaders) link to Swann is now out there for all to see.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in knowing how many people actually participate in the Swann Fellowship and in Meck ACTS (not how many were bamboozled into supporting Meck ACTS during the PFP debacle--but how many actually understand and support the basic tenets of the organization). I know that the League of Women Voters supports their agendas as do most of the participants at the Tuesday Breakfast Forum for which Steve Johnston, one of the directors for Swann, is the scribe. NAACP probably should be thrown in there too. These groups all have small and overlapping memberships--it's all very cozy, and it's oh so convenient that the Meck ACTS folks have become the darlings of the press.

Larry said...

I am headed over to the YWCA on 3420 Park Road for a League of Women Voters thing right now. Why not have a bunch of people come on over and ask yourself.

It starts at 11:30AM.

The Other Candidates should also be there.

Anonymous said...

Mainstream Democrats and Republicans realize that the main problem with our public schools is a lack of accountability.

The far left however still wants to prevent reforms and make the battles instead about things like race and what they call "high-stake tests." These groups are members of the far left. They favor the status quo because it allows them to continue their existence.

Anonymous said...

BINGO!!!!, 10:53 AM

Letting them continue to fan the flames also gives ed reporters and leftist editorial writers a reason to exist as well.

Anonymous said...

Larry, I hope you can find us a link to that forum after it is over. Also please let us know size of attendance and look for Meck ACTS and Swann folks. Inquiring minds want to know all about it but not all can attend.

Larry said...

I just got back from the League of Women Voters thing at the YMCA.

And the way the did it was they had 12 candidates going around the tables like speed dating.

We had five minutes to sell our products and wares.

The majority of the people I spoke to wanted to kill the idea of Charter and spend more on the inner city schools. They also felt it would be great to bus kids from the suburbs to closed schools to take care of the over crowding.

I actually had to just stop talking at a couple of tables as they already had the answers.

I don't think they have a site for this meeting but they are going to tape us for their website in a few weeks.

I don't think I find my dream voter in this group.

Anonymous said...

I have never met a more genuine, hard-working educator than Aaron Pomis. He stands for students, parents and the community. He is committed to education and staying in education. He is an INCREDIBLE science teacher and administrator. Charlotte will be better off with him on the School Board.

Larry said...

I met his Wife at the meeting at the YMCA.

She is a Powerhouse.

You will be getting some talent if you vote him in office, both from him and in his support from this very special Lady.