Thursday, October 6, 2011

Report captures school changes

The 2011-12 enrollment numbers from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools provide a snapshot of schools going through big changes  (read the CMS report here and the Observer's chart here).

For instance:  Last year Harding High was a magnet school with just under 900 students,  86 percent of them African American.  Now that CMS has closed Waddell,  a neighborhood high school,  and moved many of those students to Harding,  it has grown to about 1,770 students,  with a larger Hispanic population.  (Of course, enrollment numbers can't answer questions about what will happen to school culture and achievement,  since the merger blended one of the district's highest-performing schools with one of its lowest.)

South and West Meck,  which picked up parts of the former Waddell zone,  also grew.  West added about 300 students,  for a total topping 1,800,  with little change in demographics.  South went from about 2,000 to 2,373,  with white enrollment going from 52 percent to 44 percent.

Phillip O.  Berry Academy of Technology picked up some of the former Harding magnet students,  growing by almost 200 students to 1,455.  It remains majority black and Hispanic.

Marie G. Davis Military/Leadership Academy,  which has struggled to fill its classrooms since it opened in 2008,  added an elementary component,  making it CMS' first K-12 school.  That roughly doubled enrollment,  from about 350 to just over 700.  Each grade remains small,  ranging from about 78 in middle-school grades to a senior class of 24  (last year Davis had nine graduates).

The K-8 language academy formerly known as Smith,  which changed its name and location when it moved into the Waddell building in August,  shows no major changes in enrollment or demographics.

Alexander Middle in Huntersville grew from about 600 to 850 with the addition of the Davidson IB magnet program.  The merger of a majority-white magnet and a majority-black neighborhood school has yielded a student body that's 45 percent black, 38 percent white and 11 percent Hispanic.

Finally,  some in the north have been warily watching changes at North Meck since Hough High opened last year,  carving off the northernmost and most affluent territory.  North had about 2,163 students in 2009-10,  61 percent of them white.  Last year, with Hough's opening,  it dropped to 1,726 students,  35 percent white.  That included most of the 12th-grade class from the original zone,  since CMS doesn't force seniors to switch schools.  This year it's down to about 1,590 and 23 percent white.


Anonymous said...

Now Ann the next report would be employee race breakdown by administrative, teacher, and all other departments, especially HR and communications. The numbers are there, just ask the PR queen.

Anonymous said...

That actually would be fascinating Ann....a breakdown by department of the racial makeup. Take it even further. Look at how many are members of AKA, DST, SGR, and the other "sorors!" Those sisters are like the mob in their promotion of their members. They take care of their own for sure. Look in their offices and you will see the colors....always looming in the background!

CMS Wasting More Taxpayer Cash Right Now! said...

The CMS plan to abandon taxpayer funded school buildings shifting a large population of students to trailer classrooms must have positive numeric impact, but how? What is the angle of their plan Wiley, therestofthestory, Answerman? Local taxpayers are interested in how long we will be paying debt service for the newly renovated but to be leased Midwood school? How can CMS and the County afford to lease a publicly funded newly renovated school building to a private tenant? This is the opposite of fiduciary responsibility to the public at all levels. If it quacks like a quack it probably is a quack. Do the Board of Education and Board of County Commissioners believe Mecklenburg taxpayers are stupid enough to accept the long term renovation debt for a school they lease out to their cronies for private works.

Anonymous said...

CMS Wasting 9:18
Rumor has it the Board of Education is spending over a million dollars on new carpeting for the ivory tower administrative offices in the works. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. No expense is too much for CMS brass.

Anonymous said...

There is NOBODY in this town that has the fortitude to give an employee position demographic breakdown. It is a kown issue that goes unstated in the media. All hush hush with NO white man in the head postion will touch with a ten foot pole either.

therestofthestory said...

9:18, I started poking on that when I read about the bidding process and how CMS awarded the leases. What is more interesting is the schools they did not bid out. I asked about them and got stonewalled by a school board member and Chamberlain's office never returned both my calls.

I have not gotten back on it due to working with a few others on some plan to neuter MeckACTS and Swann.

Wiley Coyote said...

You already answered the question regarding school properties.

We have a little over 3,000 more students this year than last year with what, 10 fewer schools?

It just goes to show how inept previous school boards, administrators and policies were.

We built schools that were over capacity before the doors opened, built schools that are land locked and can't be expanded and built schools that were underutilized. All this while some schools were falling apart.

Regarding mobiles, West Meck over the past couple of years had many mobiles but a lot of them sat empty. I'm willing to bet other schools had the same issue.

I have no problem leasing out unused school properties. It's better than having them sit empty, but I do agree with you that it is an overall waste.

Until we get away from the BS of gerrymandering schools and the system to achieve "racial diversity" that will never happen, there will still be the temptation to build schools in places that may not make practical sense.

Fiduciary What? said...

What about using Midwood for administrative functions? Seems a pitty for taxpayers to pay debt service so a private tenant can benefit from taxpayer renovation. Midwood will again need new updates when the tenant leaves. Why not move administrative functions to Midwood instead of leasing or renovating support sites elsewhere? Midwood is ready to go. If CMS could offer FRL might it then be considered?

Larry said...

Not a problem. Those closed schools will be reopened and take care of all this as well as getting busing back for those suburban schools.

Those running have all said they should never have been closed. So the addition of even two new people will give the right number to get them back open.

So Machiavelli would be proud of the way the previous boards ignored the suburbs and forced the hands they were dealt upon the suburbs, I think now we can truly understand why they call it an Urban System.

Anonymous said...

therestofthestory 9:37, You should call Lacaria's office. He calls the shots for CMS facility management.

Larry said...

And just in case you wondered where the needs for building schools were this might help?

Schools with classes over 35

Myers Park: 173

Ardrey Kell: 137

South Meck: 101

Mallard Creek: 96

Providence: 93

Hopewell: 73

Hough: 70

Butler: 63

North Meck: 47

Independence: 35

Vance: 35

Waddell: 25

Olympic Renaissance: 21

West Meck: 18

Olympic Math/Science/Technology: 17

Olympic International Business/Finance: 7

Rocky River: 7

East Meck: 5

Northwest School of the Arts: 5

Olympic International Studies: 5

Garinger Leadership: 4

Garinger Business: 2

Harding: 2

Garinger International Studies: 1

Garinger Math/Science: 1

Olympic Biotech: 1

Berry: 0

Cato: 0

Marie G. Davis: 0

Performance Learning Center: 0

West Charlotte: 0

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Call the school architect. She has to submit plans to pull a permit. Good luck on getting anywhere with her.

CMS Permit Office said...

CMS owns the county permit office and gets what it wants. So, you might have the votes Larry but that might not get you the change of use permits. Once the closed schools are re-opened as private non-school operations they may well be written off the public balance sheet. Good luck changing the use back to schools. Niccolo Machiavelli would be proud.

Permits R Us said...

How are they able to change the use anyway. Seems like public funded buildings would not be able to shift from school to private use without a sale. Is CMS into public property management as a core function? Maybe that explains this mess. Where do those funds end up? CMS owns the permit office?

Wiley Coyote said...

I believe the County (taxpayers) ultimately owns the buildings, don't they?

Anonymous said...

Ann, is there a conflict of interest between CMS and the county permit office? There could be real pubic policy implications here. Is the county permit office doing it's job? Can CMS own the permit office?

Anonymous said...

Wiley 10:37 The pulic owns the buildings, but public employees oversee the public trust. Feeling better?

Wiley Coyote said...

It wasn't a question of "feeling better".

It is what it is and we'll probably never get out of the properties that we put into them if they are ever sold.

CMS has much bigger problems than empty school buildings.

therestofthestory said...

10:47, public employees? No, bureaucrats.

Larry said...

Just so we understand, I feel we should start a building program like we have never seen in the suburbs to provide for the needs we have ignored for decades.

This will give the necessary funding for the students we have ignored in these same areas so they do not get just four thousand while some schools get up to twelve per student in closer proximity to the city.

This will then give those students the funding to achieve the full potential they deserve and not hamstring them by sacrifice as some seem so satisfied who are running seem to think works so well.

If anyone gets in the way then we have so many courts and can go around so many people necessary that it would be a privilege be involved in making sure all Children are protected in our School System.

This is what happened back in the seventies to make things happen to achieve the rights of children and as a product, participant and victim of that here in Charlotte, I feel I have the right to demand that these Children have those rights enforced today.

We can no longer tolerate any of misuse of our system any longer for our children by groups and people with agendas no matter what they feel that agenda may be.

Education must be the only thing CMS does and is in our community to do.

therestofthestory said...

Sorry Larry but "strangling" the suburban kids is the only way the "educrats" and Washington know how to close the achievement gap. Their political capital is at stake.

Shortly after Dr. Gorman came here he recognized this problem and spoke about dealing with it. Within a few months, someone got to him and changed his tune.

Anonymous said...

Today's article about changing school demographics includes "Some argue that CMS should revise its neighborhood-based student assignment plan to balance schools by family income." and goes on to quote Swann's Steve Johnston.

I find it extraordinarily interesting (but not surprising) how the desire to return to busing is cropping up in this school board election. Those of us who have been expecting this all along were mocked by some and considered tiresome by others. The link between Meck ACTS (Swann's partner and obvious busing supporter on the Swann videos) and a quest to return to busing was frequently denied. A relevant quote from this blog:

On May 9, 2011,Pamela Grundy said...
"Actually what's been interesting about this whole thing is to see those folks who for some reason seem to be terminally consumed with resentment over busing flounder around trying to connect this issue with their pet obsession. I wouldn't describe this as ironic, though. I think pathetic is a better choice."

Larry said...

No matter how you vote this election you are going to get busing back in.

The other candidates have all said they should not have closed the schools they did in the middle rings.

This means that you are going to get at least two if not three of them who will vote to reopen those schools to appease the voters and get them to elect them.

This is sad and will just get that same old busing going again. Especially under the guise of overcrowding and costs.

So sorry, but in gamesmanship the previous board who voted these schools which never should have been built in these areas and ignored the overcrowded suburban areas won.

This one day will serve as a testament to bending the will of people and achieving a goal that has been tried but has proven unsuccessful over and over and over and over and over until one day nothing is left to prove but a shell of waste and bravado along with destroyed futures and lives.

Wiley Coyote said...

ANon 9:15..

Pam Grundy is the poster child for resentment over busing. She's as much stated that on her blog.

Pam Grundy, aka Parents Across America, Swann Fellowship and MeckACTS, wants busing to resume.

This time it isn't for racial integration but income integration.

Anonymous said...

Never mind, Wiley. The rest of us have been a pathetic bunch of klutzes for attempting to point this out. The motives of Meck ACTS have been nothing but pure and aboveboard and the information they provide to our thinly stretched journalists has been most useful.