Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Providence tops magazine's "best" list

Providence High again took the No. 1 spot on Charlotte Magazine's "Top Public High Schools" list.

Providence is a neighborhood school in southeast Charlotte with a long history of strong academics.  Second on the list is Cato Middle College High,  also part of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.  It's made up of juniors and seniors who apply to get in and take classes at a campus of Central Piedmont Community College.

The magazine ranked 47 schools in Mecklenburg,  Union and Cabarrus counties,  giving each a rating in environment --  class sizes, students in AP classes and teacher qualifications,  for example  --  and performance (SAT scores and graduation rate).

Third on the list was Union County's Marvin Ridge High,  which edged out Providence  on performance but landed much lower on environment.  East Meck was No.  1 on environment,  but 28th on performance.

North Meck jumped from No. 8 overall last year to No. 4 this year  --  interesting in view of the questions raised about how that last year's opening of northern Hough High would affect academics at North.  The list doesn't answer those questions,  because it's based mostly on 2010 data.  Neither Hough nor Rocky River High,  which also opened in August 2010,  is listed.


On another issue,  I'm curious to know what CMS staff thought of last night's presentation on the "talent effectiveness project"  (if you missed it, it's on video here).

There was vigorous discussion among board members and top administrators about how different this is from last year's "pay for performance" push,  which most are now describing as a bad start to a worthy goal.  Some members said it sounded mostly like repackaging;  others say this is a far more constructive approach to using "assessment" (the t-word is taboo in the latest presentation) to benefit kids and teachers.

I'll be heading back to the Government Center soon to hear more about this from the top folks.  Let me know what you think.


Wiley Coyote said...

Providence High School.

That's where the elusive "achievement gap" can't seem to find directions to...

therestofthestory said...

Congrats Providence High. Keep up the good work teachers, parents and students.

Sadly the class envy crowd somewhere will try to get this school in their target for their social engineering agenda. Where else to start to try to convince CMS educrats to get in and to mess and attempt to destroy another successful education institution.

As for the TEP program, the devil is in the details. Just wait for some educrat to slide in under the radar that "tests" are "the" asssessment tool and this ends up being the same pig (as PfP) just with new lipstick.

Anonymous said...

Rest of the Story--All the more reason to be careful who you vote for for school board. All it takes is 2 "assignment based on diversity" folks to land on the board and the social engineering will begin.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 1:02....

The social engineering hasn't abated... is alive and well.

csawyer said...

Ann -

This is an article and interview with Melinda Gates about "multiple measures" that shows how the the multiple measures are all validated by test performance:

Anonymous said...

I would agree with your comment about social engineering, but you ain't nothin' yet (or at least not since the 90's) if the Swann/MeckACTS favorites take over.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 1:45...

I saw and lived it firsthand between 1969 and 1973 and then again when my son started school in 1998 until he graduated this year.

The one thing that social engineers really couldn't change, even with busing, is where people live. Then and now.

CMSTeacher said...

CMS has invited teachers to help design the "Teacher Effectiveness Project." Basically they are asking us to decorate the scaffold from which we will be hung, so that it will be easier to sell to the public. The time commitment is 3+ hours per week after school for working team meetings (not including drive time) from October 2011 through April 2012. What sort of compensation will participants receive? They "might" receive Continuing Education Units.

If CMS needs to push this agenda in order to keep the Race to the Top money, at least they could be honest about their reasoning. The other option is that they are actually philosophically committed to an ideal which would serve to harm both students and teachers.

darylmc57 said...

Why no comparisons to local charter schools?? Can you guess why they might not want to include the charter schools in these comparisons?

BolynMcClung said...


The Executive Staffs presentation of “TEP” was effective enough to get the point across that they wished that the last 12 months hadn’t happened. They took some blame. They tried to soft pedal words like “Talent” and “Assessment”. The team veered away from graph laden PowerPoints. I felt like if they could have used sock puppets they would have.

While the staff tried to create the impression that this wasn’t Pay-for-Performance, it clearly was. Tom Tate didn’t miss that.

They gave several reasons why isn’t wasn’t PfP. NUMBER ONE: funding isn’t available. That lead them down the path that teachers don’t do a better job because they are offered more money. The offer of more money was said to be almost like an insult that teachers had to be bribed to do a better job. But they did recognize that schools systems need to be able to pay teachers so that if they wish, they can be in single-income families that can afford to send their kids to college. What a conflict:

So they get an “A” for effort.

But what I don’t like is the idea that it is important for every one of the 19,000 employees to participate in talent improvement in order for “Tommy” to succeed. That reeks of bureaucracy and expensive budgets. It’s a combination of a 5-star hotels’ zeal to provide perfect client comfort and an army’s demand for precision. The two aren’t compatible. The CMS Executive staff needs to pare down the TEP participants.

I’m a PfP supporter. If CMS now wants the touchy, feely approach that’s OK. For others “TEP” will still be test, test, test even though the staff tried to deflect that. But for all of those who are involved in this change there is this to remember. TEP is about more accurate tracking of employee performance. It is about redefining the word “skill”.

And as Coach White said, the end of tenure and career status is being talked about widely.

Bolyn McClung

therestofthestory said...

Thanks 1:02 and WC. I saw the "evils" of forced busing and it denigrated the black students and eventually the white students when they soon realized they were just pawns of the social engineers and libs and public schools had ceased to be the institutions of learning to prepare them for the future.

Hopefully, it will become rather obvious who the "non" MeckACTS/Swann candidates are and that we can trust thgem to hold to those principles.

Leni Riefenstahl said...

Looks like the spin doctors are already busy at work at public relations 101. Find a way to say the same thing using less offensive language. Dumb it down and then begin claiming victory. The masses are sure to follow. Next, expect polling numbers or more generic statements showing wide spread public support in the coming months. They should take some courses at Providence HS. Those Black Panthers could teach them a thing or two.

Anonymous said...

So, what's the school's black and Hispanic population?

Around 10% or so?

Gee, I wonder why they're doing so well...

Anonymous said...

Ok folks. Let's get real here. Providence is certainly a fine HS. My kids attended PHS but what is the real story. How difficult is it to teach children born for the most part into families where most of the parents went to college, have incomes in the upper middle class and above range and are highly active in their children's lives? I think their success has more to do with the families the students are born into than the instruction found in the building. Give credit where credit is due please.

Mudd. E. Diction said...

10:23 HOW CORRECT YOU ARE! Certain segments of society are inherently disadvantaged. What are the odds a large group of kids on the "other" side of town could make achievement like the example of Providence? Kids whose parent(s) are working two or three jobs just to pay rent and keep food on the table. Are parents like that supposed to be guilt tripped by CMS into spending study time with their kids? Well they just can't. To borrow a Chairman Coach Joe phrase, "duh." How do formative and summative tests gauge the level of nutrition a child has or the number of hours parents can dedicate to mentoring each night. Providence kids as a specific demographic have the advantages of good meals, parents with spare time, and people like Wiley Coyote fighting to take away meals from kids whose parents can’t afford to spend time studying because they are working to pay rent….in many cases to the Providence kid’s parents. All these factors work to advantage the advantaged to keep looking better as the gap is artificially narrowed by strategic school closings and other mathematical manipulations.

Wiley Coyote said...


When you post totally false information within your comments, you render that post completely VOID!

At no time and in no post have I EVER advocated taking away meals away from kids who TRULY QUALIFY FOR THEM. <----- READ that again so you can comprehend it.

The FACT is, there are thousands who game the system and get those meals when they DO NOT QUALIFY FOR THEM <---- READ that again so you can comprehend it.

I have posted article after article about the lunch fraud and even a government FACT sheet showing the USDA OVERPAID benefits to the tune of $1.5 BILLION dollars.

What you don't get is tha fact that by defrauding the government and taxpayers, these people actually hurt the kids who need the help by diluting the group and causing the government and school systems to put more resources to cover the fraud than targeting the real needs more efficiently.

If you aren't capable of undersanding those facts, I can't help you.

Anonymous said...

Whew, Mudd E. Diction, Nice class warfare going on there!

Mudd E. Diction said...

Wiley, I get what you are saying. Let’s see, freeloading rich who do not need to have free lunches for their kids get them through FRL program fraud committed against CMS. I do not like that either so we agree. However, I go a step further; freeloading rich not in the FRL program get free lunches for their kids by simply not paying for the meals their kids eat. This is worse for the local tax payer because we pay for this freeloading activity. At least the fed pays CMS for the freeloading rich who are in the FRL program even if by fraudulent application. This is a problem for the attorney general, NOT CMS. What I fail to understand is how your FRL position advances Charlotte Mecklenburg region children, their education and the ability of CMS to educate?