Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tossed fliers, online comments and other campaign tidbits

Are Tim Morgan and his campaign manager subverting the voting system?  Do Ken Nelson's online comments support white supremacy and violence?  Is Elyse Dashew aligned with outside groups?  And where in the world is DeShauna McLamb?

 Now that the issue pieces and profiles are out of the way,  it's time to delve into some of the other questions floating around the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board race.

As commenters have noted and TV stations reported,  Morgan's campaign manager,  Larry Shaheen,  got caught tossing out campaign literature for Keith Hurley and Ken Nelson at an early voting station in mid-October.  Shaheen says he believed fellow Republicans Nelson and Hurley had put their material on Morgan's table,  which in his view made it fair game for the trash can.  In fact,  it was a Republican Party table,  which the others had a right to share.  Vice Chair Pat Murray saw the incident,  salvaged the material and took Shaheen to task.

Shaheen says he goofed and has apologized to the party and the candidates.  Morgan says he talked to Shaheen about the incident and has elected to keep him on board as manager.  I finally caught up to Mecklenburg Party GOP Chair Gideon Moore today to get his take. He says Shaheen was banned from staffing the GOP tables but is free to continue campaigning for the two candidates he represents (Morgan and Charlotte City Council candidate Curtis Watkins).

Shaheen "made a poor choice in the heat of the campaign. It happens,"  Moore said.  "I really don't consider it a big deal."  Moore added that he was a bit disappointed that Hurley,  who became a Republican too late to be in the running for an endorsement,  opted to go public with the conflict after Moore thought it had been resolved.
Some have also chided Morgan for seeking an at-large seat when he already holds a district seat.  There's nothing illegal or unusual about that;  George Dunlap tried it in 2003.  If he's elected,  the board will launch the application process after Morgan is sworn in for the at-large seat Dec. 13.  The eight members of the new board would vote on a new District 6 representative to serve until the 2013 election.


Commenters have also raised questions about the things Nelson posts in online forums as knelsud92.

I read through quite a few, and if you don't like Nelson's style and views, you won't like them much.

On illegal immigrants, one of his favorite topics:

No mas illegales, por favor 
Get out the country, bar the door! 
Start 'em marching to the border 
Then we can restore order.

On academic achievement gaps:

It's the school's fault that "fathers" abandon their children before birth and end up in prison or dead.  It's the school's fault that a culture values violence over peace.  No amount of money can fix a culture. Hence, we do not have an achievement gap, we have a culture gap.
On the departure of conservative blogger Jeff Taylor: "You've always been a voice of reason in this city full of moochers and looters."

And on a story about 11 Garinger students, including the valedictorian, getting diplomas, only to learn belatedly they hadn't met the graduation requirements:  "He thought he passed English, but when it was realized that Ebonics doesn't qualify as a substitute, he lost the credits."

Nelson says he's a guy who sees many issues in black-and-white terms, and who sometimes aims his online comments to get a laugh from supporters and a rise from opponents.  He notes that he grew up outside New York City,  which makes him  "by nature sarcastic and bombastic  --  that's just the way we are."

But Nelson vehemently denies that his comments show him to be racist or violent.  He argued for the right of a white supremacy group to rent a room and meet in Charlotte, he said, but he does not support white supremacy.  He said he would support  "a second American Revolution"  if the country "becomes like the Soviet Union,"  but says other commenters are wrong in saying he has urged shooting people over election results.  And he says that if his comments have appeared on the White Nationalist web site Stormfront,  it's because someone cut and pasted them from his comments on a Ron Paul site.

"I am certainly not a racist,"  Nelson says.

Some have also asked about links between Dashew's MeckFUTURE and philanthropies and advocacy groups.  Dashew and fellow CMS parent Doug Swaim formed the alliance of families from about 40 schools in January to lobby for money to avert drastic budget cuts.  The group,  which is currently inactive,  has no national alliances and no funding other than a collection members took up to pay for fliers, she says.

Dashew says she believes people are confusing MeckFUTURE with Mecklenburg ACTS, which is affiliated with Parents Across America, and/or MeckEd, which conducted a CMS budget information campaign using money that then-Superintendent Peter Gorman provided from a Spangler Foundation grant.  All three "Mecks" were part of a "55 for 5" coalition that lobbied county commissioners and state legislators to provide about $55 million to avoid cutting five high-priority items from this year's budget.


Finally, the case of the missing candidate remains a mystery.  Last winter and spring,  when the debate over school closings and fairness to minority neighborhoods was raging,  I got several emails from Prophetess DeShauna McLamb of Beyond Ministries promoting efforts to get people engaged with public education.  She announced her board candidacy in March,  filed in July  ...  and disappeared from the campaign.

Having failed to reach her by phone,  email and a visit to the address she listed when she filed,  I tried another address we found on a public-records search.  A man who answered the door this morning said McLamb lives there but wasn't in.  He gave me a new phone number that gets a voice mail for McLamb.  I've left a couple of messages, but so far, no response.

McLamb has never withdrawn from the race, so she'll be on Tuesday's ballot.


Wiley Coyote said...

I've told my son who is enlisting in the Marines that he will be defending the Constitution and the rights of people to be complete idiots, morons, burning the flag, believe in what religion they want or none at all, etc.

You can support THE RIGHT of skinheads to meet but be totally against their beliefs.

To deny one group the right to assemble because you don't like them, leads us down a very bad path.

I support THE RIGHT for OWS to protest but oppose their rants against the "other 1%".

Ann, we'll be waiting on "dirt" from the other candidates.

What about Rankin, Pomis, Stewart, Scher, McCray?

Maybe we can get TMZ or Politico to come up with something...

Ken Nelson said...

This is really close to libel and slander, Ms. Helms.

Anonymous said...

Ken Nelson does not subscribe to political correctness. That he makes the do-gooders uncomfortable does not make him bad, nor does it make him part of the problem.

In fact, it makes him someone who can be part of the solution because he's not afraid to tell the truth. While he gets unfairly attacked YOUR kids and teachers are getting the short end of the stick. YOU the TAXPAYER, are getting the wool pulled over your eyes and your money stolen from your bank accounts.

Ken wants to give YOUR kids and their teachers the opportunity to turn CMS around - he should be applauded and voted FOR, not attacked.

Illegal immigrants, by definition, are criminals. They are here illegally, or more plainly, in violation of our laws. If someone breaks into your car and takes your stuff, what do we call those people? YEP, criminals. Why, because they have violated our laws. That Ken is frustrated that illegals being allowed to stay here cause our limited tax dollars to be diverted from spent on LEGAL citizens to ILLEGAL aliens, does not mean that Ken doesn't care about immigrants. It means he cares MORE about the people and children who are supposed to be here than people who are here in violation of our laws. If wanting to stand up for legal Americans is wrong then we have massive problems in America.

Wake up folks - this school board election is really important. Get your mind past the partisan noise and take a look at which candidates actually have YOUR KID'S best interest at heart.

Concerned CMS Parent said...

I hear someone in leadership has been demoted for questioning CMS leaving students exposed to black mold at one of the middle schools. Supposedly CMS reassigned the "whistleblower" to the very department that left classrooms moldy. What's the buzz? Any middle school principals recently change? Does CMS even have a clue how to remove mold or clean?

Anonymous said...

I think Ken Nelson needs to look up the definition of libel and slander. Repeating his own words hardly qualifies.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wiley Coyote said...

Ann merely reprinted what was already out there.

I think you all should be appalled at the lies Mayor Fixxit is telling about how he "kept CMS from budget cuts and strengthened afterschool programs"

The Mayor nor City Council has any input into the CMS budget process or funding.

Anonymous said...

The ivory tower has a so-called mold guru, but they only send him out when parents get upset. Several rooms in our school had mold but it was only taken care of after parents called our principal. If parents didn’t know about the mold CMS might not have cleaned it up at all. This is concerning especially when asthmatics or young children are in the room!

BolynMcClung said...

Mr. Nelson,

Thanks for the laughable retort.

You wrote of Ms Helm's report, "...really close to libel and slander." That kind of statement isn't going to help a judge rule in your favor. Of course slander is very difficult to prove in the print media unless you've got one of those talking books.

At least the reporter didn't really pile-on and include a Nov. 4, 2002 written statement by a supporting medical marijuana and also legalizing marijuana. The exact words, " should be completely legalized."

But that probably wasn't the same person behind

It would be difficult to believe a school board candidate would support legalizing MJ. So I'm glad you're not related to that fellow.

Bolyn McClung

Concerned Educator said...

We had someone come out who found mold making people sick at our school. But then it took like several weeks for CMS to get it fixed.

Anonymous said...

My thanks to your son for stepping up for Marine duty and the responsibilities it brings. I hope that one day in the future he can walk down the halls of West Meck and show some of those students what dedication, hard work, and respect really are.


Anonymous said...

I had never heard of Ken Nelson before this but now I know I will be voting for him on Tuesday! Thanks Anne

Anonymous said...

Wiley, why are you voting for Ken Nelson when he writes those kinds of angry things? Do you share his feelings on race and the achievement gap?

Wiley Coyote said...


Most polls show support legalizing marijuana is about 50/50, with some higher on either side.

Approval for expansion of medical marijuana is much higher.

Record-High 50% Want Marijuana Legalized
55% of men approve, but only 46% of women By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff

Posted Oct 17, 2011 5:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – A record-breaking 50% of Americans now say it's OK to smoke up for recreational purposes, a new Gallup poll finds. Support broke down along political lines, with liberals 69% in favor and conservatives only 34%; moderates crossed the line at 57%. By region, only the South opposed legalizing marijuana, while Americans aged 18-29 approved (62%) and those over 65 did not (only 31% approved).

I personally disapprove of legalization and obviously you do as well, but Nelson has to answer for himself. If he approves, then we all fall right into what the polls say.

Ken Nelson said...

Mr. McClung,

I suggest that you learn to properly use an apostrophe s before you comment further. Ann's last name is Helms. Therefore, to show possession, you would show her name as Helms'. But then again, you're the expert on all things CMS.

I also have defended the right of Mr. Kojo Nantambu to have his rally on MLK Day, and that I felt it was completely inappropriate for CMS to make up a day of school on Martin Luther King Day. That's hardly a position for a "white supremacist" to take. I told Ms. Helms that in our interview, but I guess that little tidbit wasn't something that would fit her vision of me.

The fact is Ms. Helms has made this election into a referendum on my sarcastic posts, rather than a 74% graduation rate, the BROAD Foundation taking over our schools, the Chamber of Commerce buying candidates, and CMS generally failing to provide a quality education for every child that walks through its doors.

What's more important Mr. McClung, the status quo, or someone who isn't afraid to call out what's wrong with the system and will do everything he can to fix it? Are you more concerned with words, or with action?

Anonymous said...

I do think it is worth noting that Keith Hurley is not an endorsed GOP candidate - so, to be fair and accurate he was NOT entitled to be on the Republican Party table. So I'm not sure why he made such a huge deal about it. As for Ken Nelson, he doesn't have a 'Paid For By...' notation on his paperwork, so his literature can't even legally be handed out. Shaheen certainly "goofed"...not in doing what he did, but in the explanation he gave. These are facts, not Hurley or Nelsons emotions, just ask some of the GOP volunteers who know all about it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Nelson,
I'm curious about who you would work with on the board if elected. You seem to dislike or be angry with most other board members and certainly have spoken disparagingly about their decisions and about CMS in general. What will you be able to accomplish if you do not have a working relationship with fellow board members?

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 9:50...

The "achievement gap" has always been a Black vs. White comparison yet the latest scores released by CMS show 3rd thru 8th grade hispanics outperform Blacks which translates into a smaller "gap" to Whites than Blacks to Whites.

The Black/White gap for 3-8 math is 29 points, magically going to 24 points with retests.

Hispanic gap is 17.

The Black/White reading gap is 37, 32 with retests.

Why is it that the fastest growing minority group, many of which don't speak a word of English, outperform Blacks?

At the rate CMS is going, it will take another 12 to 15 years to close the "achievement gap", even if then.

The Black community has had and still has issues that need to be addressed, but having Kojo running around screaming about "what he ain't getting" is a waste of energy that could be redirected towards low Black graduation and dropout rates, just to name two.

Wiley Coyote said...

USN 68-72...

Thank you Sir for your service and kind words.

We're waiting on approval from the Surgeon General of the Navy as to his final acceptance.

Anonymous said...

Finally someone that has the guts to tell it like it is. Ken Nelson will be getting my vote.

BolynMcClung said...

To: Knelsud92

I apologize for all grammatical errors past present and future. If it weren’t for the miracle of spell check, I’d look more like the uneducated bumpkin I am.

For as long as I can remember, and that includes a little history that happened way before I was born, CMS has always had outside influences that made half the populations’ blood boil. The recent names are McMillan, Potter, Broad. Throw-in Ferguson, NAACP and a few citizens’ committees. And of course, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court.

The town brought in wickedly smart superintendents such as Alexander Graham. It dismantled the all-Black school system and spent thirty years trying to prove that there is daylight at the end of the tunnel. After that it spent fifteen years chasing this thing called equity and then diversity and then economically disadvantaged; all the while beating itself on the back with the Judge Manning-Leandro-State Constitution mantra that not only can “every child can learn but that “every child must learn.” Somewhere in there Magnets and Choice increased the Observer’s circulation and made careers for local TV reporters.

So the long shadow of Broad that stretches from California doesn’t mean much to me. I do appreciate the money. No one else seems as generous at the moment. It would be nice not to have to beg the Board of County Commissioners for $55 million and then settle for half.

Yes, the nation will not let CMS alone. We won’t even let ourselves have any peace and quite. We are the experiment du jour. Just a culture in a human petri dish.

But the point of all of this is the community has taken what it has gotten and done well. I wouldn’t even begin to brag on 74% graduation when that it just an average. Four high schools are clinging to the brink of being dropout factories. But it is one step at a time. I know of no urban-suburban district that handles all of this so well.

The school board needs members that are forward thinkers. They need folks who can accept one moment it is has to be as conservative as a Bible thumping Baptist lay preacher and the next day embark on some fairy-tale federal program hatched in a Madison, Wisconsin laboratory. And all the while, remembering it just isn’t the Ballantyne crowd that wants protected property values; it’s also the folks in Hidden Valley and Steele Creek that want better neighborhoods too.

Good luck on Tuesday.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Bolyn, You've captured it all quite well.
Sharon Starks

Anonymous said...

Funny, but the only time I've said anything about Ken Nelson is when I thought he was being a wishy-washy liberal.

Whew, I must have had too much starch in my sheets that day...

Anonymous said...

Using Ann Doss Helms' logic, since Ms. Helms sleeps on white sheets, she must be a member of the KKK.

Anonymous said...

Why is Ann Helms so afraid to take a shot at Dashew and the funds she has received? Dashew and Pomis took money from none other than the Gorman's, Morgan's , Allen Tate's, Pat Riley (allen tate). These folks want the puppets Dashew and Pomis to get elected so they can have influenced candidates on the board. The brother Timmy can have a 5-4 vote advantage when he goes to be the chair (scary). The Chamber is afraid of Hurley, Nelson and Scher for the fact they cannot be bought ! They cannot face the music from some real folks who want to make a change at CMS in a positive direction.

Anonymous said...

Ann, I hope Mr. Nelson sues that vampire smile right off your pasty white face.

This is a new low, even for the Disturber.

Anonymous said...

Bolyn, at some point, some have to be "left behind". This is America where we cherish choice. The drawback is the screaming liberals and elitists that do not think you should bear the consequences.

Anonymous said...

12:17, Same question for you as asked of Ken Nelson (who has not replied). If elected, exactly who would Ken, Keith, and Lloyd be able to work with on the board--Richard McElrath, Joyce Waddel, and Tom Tate? That does not sound like a constructive coalition, as Richard, Joyce, and Tom are not exactly known to be neighborhood school supporters. Nor are those three very concerned about suburban issues. And Lloyd has indicated that he would like to use assignment to diversify schools. Why would you vote for him along with Ken and Keith? Ken, especially, and Keith have bad mouthed board members and the system. So again it comes down to-who will your candidates be able to work with if elected? Will they accomplish anything or merely return the board to the days of constant in-fighting?

Anonymous said...

There are 4 candidates who matter: Dashew, Stewart, Morgan, and Pomis. These are the ones the Observer and other influential groups are endorsing.

Like it or not, the rest are also-rans. When you vote for one of them, your vote is wasted.

Many voters are complainers and want to vote for candidates who are also complainers.

By voting for one of the angry also-ran candidates who loses, the complaining voter ensures that he/she will something to complain about after the election is over.

Anonymous said...

To Anon @4:34, yeah, vote for the Chamber endorsed lackeys.

They're nothing but a bunch of paid-off tools.

Nothing changes with any of those four. NOTHING!

Ken Nelson said...

To 3:50.

Part of the problem with the Board is this "consensus". Consensus has brought us incessant and unnecessary testing, an extended day that nothing but insane, low teacher morale, a dropout rate that is a national disgrace, and a 74% graduation rate.

Yet, all you care about is who I'd "work with"? I don't understand. You'd rather see continued failure than someone who wants to at least try to change things? Part of the problem in Charlotte is this sense that "everyone has to get along". "Getting along" is sentencing our children to failure.

By the way, all the non-Observer endorsed candidates have all said that they would have no problem working with me. A current board member has already congratulated me as she thinks I'm going to win this race, and win it going away.

Anonymous said...

Don't vote for Truman, the newspaper has already printed that Dewey has won the race! Oh wait, how did that really turn out?

The only wasted votes are those used to vote for captain Morgan, dashew, Stewart and pomis. They will seek to keep cms on their road to ruination.

Wiley Coyote said...

....I wonder if candidates for the Detroit Public School system are asked if "they value diversity"....

Anonymous said...

I'm appalled by Ken Nelson's comments and antics. Definitely not someone I would ever want making public policy. I have seen his divisive, juvenile, bigoted comments on the observer website many times. His reaction to Ann's blog is really making him lose control (more than usual) even if people agree with some of his basic points, he does not express his ideas in an approriate manner. Making jokes at others expense is not acceptable. Those others are who he is supposed to represent. Denigrating children based of their lot in life or their parent's shortcomings is awful. Anyone who cares about good public policy and educating children as their primary agenda would never behave in such a way as Nelson.

Anonymous said...

Slanted much? I realize this is a blog, but wow. Just wow.
Love how Tim Morgan's "scandal" was all just a big misunderstanding.

Now who did the Observer endorse again?

Anonymous said...

In the run-up to the 2003 at large board election then chair of the board, Wilheminia Rembert, had made it quite clear how disdainful she was of suburban parents and their issues (which at the time included assignment reform and the board's refusal to build schools where needed). Despite being the board chair as well as an "at large representative", which in my opinion means you must consider needs of the entire county-especially as the chair, she described suburbanites as privileged and selfish. None the less, the Observer endorsed her (suburbia=bad was pretty much their attitude at the time). However, she did not win the election. CMS went on from there to become much more responsive to suburban issues (still has a ways to go but oh so much better than in the 90's and early 2000's--some candidates need to study history of the time period).

To my mind Ken Nelson is doing what Rembert did but on the opposite side of the fence. He is belittling many who will be part of his constituency if elected (I might add that some other candidates have done the same). At the Meck Ed debate he stated that there was nothing good about CMS. How can someone with that attitude (who has never had a child in the system) be taken seriously? For all of its problems and the unwieldiness of being such a large system, there are many schools that are succeeding, many students-a majority in fact-who are being educated, and many teachers, parents and volunteers who are doing wonderful work. There are also many hard working administrators. At that particular event he also denigrated west side parents and students. And now he apparently is angered by anyone suggesting that the board will need to work together. (and exactly what have those current and former board members who have ridiculed or refused to work with others on the board been able to accomplish?)

How will having this man on the board improve CMS?

Anonymous said...


The Observer endorsed the people Timmy's brother TOLD them to endorse. Including of course, Timmy.

Anonymous said...

Apparently a middle-schooler continues to post.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 9:55...

He couldn't do any worse than Joe White, Vilma Leake, George Dunlap, Tom Tate, or Louise Woods..

Just to name a few.

CMS is a screwed up mess with yes, "bright spots", but as long as status quo people are running it, CMS will languish in the rut it's been in for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that we have a long list of poor school board members, some like Louise, Vilma,and George, who really damaged the system and cost tax payers dearly. They were able to inflict their policies upon us because the thing those three had in the late 90's and early 2000's, was support of the majority on the board (Arthur Griffin, Dr. Rembert, and Molly Griffin completed their coalition).

You might say that by electing Ken we could prevent another coalition from making policy decisions you do not like. But I cannot see anything healthy about having a school board member who seems to be terribly divisive and has little self restraint. We've had those kind of school board members before (see above-Louise, Vilma, George, etc) and nothing good came of it.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add to the above that as I said before I can't see Ken forming any kind of coalition with other board members. He says the unendorsed candidates all say they could work with him, but at the very most that's only two more supporters on the board. The un-named board member who supports him and is sure he's going to win big most likely one of those stepping down.

Again, he can accomplish nothing without working with other board members. He can do a lot of damage with angry, thoughtless rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

State AFL-CIO endorses McCray, Pomis, and Hans.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 11:34...

What did you think of Larry Gauvreau?

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with the Republican party? Former high ranking local officials are endorsing only one candidate who is not a real Republican. This candidate has his campaign linked to tampering with other candidates and no one in the party takes action! When he did not issue a statement, it made me think he was involved.

As for the personal attacks against Mr. Nelson, I have heard him speak at forums and other Republican events. He is NOT a bigot or a racist. He is a matter-of-fact person with New York sarcasm in the mix. He is excatly what the people of Charlotte-Mecklenburg need. I also have a child and am terrified to send him to Rama Road. Ms. Dashew has no room to comment on this issue. Her children live in the Rama Road district, but her children do NOT attend this school. She instead has them enrolled in Smith Language Academy (a Magnet school.) If Rama Road is not good enough for her children, what makes her think it's good enough for mine.

As for this RINO named Mr. Morgan, he is putting a Republican seat in jeopardy. He seems to be more concerned about his selfishness and his brother's narcissitic greed. Because human cloning hasn't been perfected yet, Mr. Morgan cannot sit in two seats, but if he gets his way, he'll attempt to appoint a lackey to replace him in District 6. To go along with the plan, the Chamber recruited a dimwitted airhead (Ms. Dashew) who can't even answer a yes/no question. If this is what a Brown education produces, I'll keep my Community College degree and be proud of it.

Do Mr. Nelson and Mr. Hurley scare you that much? Maybe they should because they are exactly what this community needs.

Anonymous said...

I fully supported Larry, first when he became involved in the busing lawsuit, and then when he first was elected to the board-I had hoped he could help make CMS responsive to the whole county.

I don't remember him at first being nearly as bombastic as some current candidates. And I think he really knew a lot about the system. Also I don't recall him verbally attacking the populations of other districts. But when he was first on the board he was definitely a member of the minority--had to deal with the likes of Louise, Vilma, George, Arthur, Wilhelmenia. And I think he got frustrated that change was so hard to come by. That's when his rhetoric racheted up. and he quickly became totally ineffective, in my view.

Anonymous said...

5:46--You decry "personal attacks" against Mr. Nelson and then turn around and very childishly attack Tim Morgan and Elise Dashew (air-head comment). Isn't that a bit hypocritical?

CMSParentDistrict6 said...

I don't think 5:46 "childishly" attacked anyone. I think he/she spoke the truth.

Made sense to me, but then I only went to a public university for undergrad and grad school......

Anonymous said...

Even if Ms. Dashew was an airhead, she had enough intelligence to send her child to a superior public school available to all. If CMS made the sacrifices now to ensure the language fluency in two, three, or four languages, the future of our children would be much brighter.

CMSParent said...

Magnet schools are not "available to all.". CMS uses a lottery system and gives children zoned for subpar schools first "choice." My transportation zone doesn't have any full magnets in it, so I'd have to provide transport to schools 15-20 miles a day. Look at where magnet schools are, they are certainly not available to all. Maybe if CMS put as much time and energy ino neighborhood schools, we wouldn't need magnets.
Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

As to my last comments, I cannot stay silent any longer. This election for CMS Board is too important. I defended Mr. Nelson because he speaks for me, a Conservative. It seems to be a forgotten term by the current CMS Board. As to Mr. Morgan, criminals deserve what they get. The last time I checked theft and destruction of property were crimes. And for Ms. Dashew, if she does not believe in her neighborhood school, why should I?

If the leadership of our schools does not change we will continue to hemmorage future brilliant minds to other communities and the private schools. My child has already said which private school he wants to attend. I lost a good neighbor to a surrounding county because as parents they wanted better for their daughter.

Wake up people! It is time to take control of our schools and retrun them to the excellence of the past. I believe the next superintendent is in our community. A current/retired teacher or principal.

What is the definition of insanity?....Repeating the same steps over and over and expecting a different result. Again, it is time we parents and tax payers take back our schools away from national interest groups who use our children as social experiments for their own data to prove why they are needed.

Anonymous said...

The excellence of the past would be when?

Anonymous said...

Mainstream conservatives want to improve U.S. education through market forces. By market forces, I mean policies that promote choice and competition such as vouchers, charter schools, merit pay and tenure reform.

Mr. Nelson has espoused none of these policies. If you're a Republican, why would you vote for him? He's a RINO. He appeals to neither Republicans nor Democrats. He instead appeals to those who want to build themselves up by putting others down. Mr. Nelson's 15 minutes of fame are almost up.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 8:43....

You left out one very important group - Independents like me.

If Nelson doesn't fit either party, he fits in the middle.

By the way, where do you see Kojo and the NAACP fitting into this?

Anonymous said...

Again, Mr. Nelson appeals to the party of "let's build ourselves up by putting others down." I don't deny that some people informally belong to this party, but they're not organized or numerous enough for Mr. Nelson to pull out a win.

Anonymous said...

**** State AFL-CIO endorses McCray, Pomis, and Hans.

Interesting. If the lib vote fractures amongst those three, Ellis-Stewart, and L'il Timmy, there's a chance some people with brains will actually win.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 9:48...

Just curious as to your position regarding the NAACP and their continued rants and marches about holidays or about "what they ain't getting", yet the Black dropout and graduation rates in CMS are abysmal.

Although there have been improvements, Blacks still lag behind Whites by about 24 "achievement gap" points in 3 - 8 math and reading while Hispanics outperform Blacks and have a lower gap to Whites than Blacks.

I would think after 40 years, the improvement would be much greater.

CMS projects a 90% graduation rate by 2014.

By comparison, Detroit's graduation rate - depending on which of a dozen studies you look at, with current rates stated between 25% to 65% - projects a 98% graduation rate of 98% by 2015.

Based on the per point increases over the past 4 years, I don't see CMS closing the "achievement gap" for another 12 years, if that.

So for many of us, the time for excuses and the status quo has come to an end.

We've had enough.

Ken Nelson said...

To Anon @ 8:43 PM last evening.

Obviously, you haven't heard much of what I have actually said then. I supported the removal of the Charter school cap. I would love to see more Charter schools here in Charlotte, although, they are not the means to the end some so-called "mainstream conservatives" think they are. Same thing with vouchers. I think they are a great idea. However, private school seats are limited. There are still going to be those "left behind" in Title I schools. What do we do to fix that? I am not comfortable, especially if I were to become a CMS Board member with children that haven't won the lottery, or do not have a "diagnosis" being stuck in a Title I school WITHOUT TRYING TO HELP THOSE ACTUAL SCHOOLS! Why not use the Charter school model in EVERY CMS school? Why not look at what the private schools do and replicate that in CMS?

A full school choice model would be nice too...until we realize that this county is 500 square miles and if a kid in Mountain Island Lake wanted to attend Ardrey is that even practical? See, that's the problem with ALL sides, right/left/conservative/liberal. They are so married to their ideology that they can't think past it. Even if a parent somehow could do that hour drive both ways, getting up at 3:30 AM, someone is going to inevitably claim that something about it is discriminatory, and we will be forced to go back to a form of busing, and it will cost us a fortune in taxes and in quality of life.

If you actually listened to my addendum piece in the Swann interviews, I said that I would like to see CMS move to a "regional" model, with full choice within those particular regions. It hasn't been something that's even come up in forums and "debates" because we've been too concerned with questions about the Superintendent search, and other more pressing topics.

Why are those who want to measure "performance" so married to this testing model, which is NOT working? Students are NOT learning the basics that they need. Even colleges are having to waste a semester on remedial classes because students do not have the basic skills needed for college coursework. Sure, there are bad teachers, but shouldn't we trust our principals and parents to root them out? We don't have a union here in North Carolina, so tenure for bad teachers shouldn't even be an issue.

I suggest you start to think practically, rather than partisanly, and understand that there are too many problems within CMS that can be solved with charters, vouchers, and choice. While those things may improve CMS minimally, they do nothing to actually solve the core issues with are causing the bright flight and the poor graduation rates.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Ken. This post does not sound anything like your other postings--no anger, no sarcasm. So which is the real Ken Nelson?

Anonymous said...

Dashew- cannot answer even the easiest of questions and also drives her kids to a "charter on the other side of town. VOTE NO
Pomis- Has not kids in school is not a county tax payer works at a CHarter School and took money from Morgan/Gorman. VOTE NO
Morgan- Wants CMS to remain the same boy thats original and associates with Larry Shaheen who should be in jail. Chamber connections no success on current board. VOTE NO and his political future is done ! AWESOME !!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Would someone please post a simple analysis of folks running for the Board. The for XXX and expect more of the for XXX and expect change in the Board dynamic. Maybe a PFP column would be interesting as well.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:04--
Elyse Dashew's children attend a magnet school which is part of the CMS system, not a charter school. If Aaron Pomis lives in the county, which he has to do to run for school board, then he pays county taxes.

I suspect you know all of this, but being of a middle school mentality don't know any other way to "support" your candidates except with lies and character assassinations.

Anonymous said...

When I think about it, Hurley, Nelson and McCray would make a helluva team to tackle what is wrong with CMS, fix it and wrest control of the board from the chamber and outside organizations. They would get rid of PFP(TEP), HB 546, and all of this insane testing. Vote for them if you want change and accountability! Vote for Morgan, Dashew, Ellis-Stewart and Pomis if you want more of what you are getting now. They are controlled by the big boys and girls in this town as well as Broad, Gates, TFA, etc.

Wiley Coyote said...

McCray? The union, status quo McCray?

This from the website:

CMAE President Mary McCray and Vice President Dennis Townsend gave rousing speeches. Townsend, who has been a CMS high school teacher for 21 years, opened his call to action by saying, "Today, I feel like we should be in Erickson Stadium. You know why? Because I feel like a political football, and Peter Gorman is the quarterback. We are constantly getting kicked and tossed around. They are using fear and uncertainty to keep us from standing up for ourselves."

Also, this is a bullet point from the CMAE:

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

So how does Ms. McCray intend to keep schools from "re-segregating"?

1 - Busing is dead.

2 - The White student population in CMS is down to 32%.

Lose those 40 year old bullet points and educate the kids.

Anonymous said...

If Nelson is from outside New york, surely he can take it as well as he can give it, but looking at some of his comments here, I am really beginning to wonder. I also don't know how something is libel and slander when it's simply a repitition of one's own words. A little paranoid are we? Anyway, I commend the Observer for bring attention to this and leting the people decide for themselves. CMS does have its issues and needs some effective leaders at the helm who can work together and solve problems. Nelson, and a few others, have shown that they are not stable leaders both i this paper and through their actions elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Tim Morgan wants to give taxing authority to the School Board. That's enough right their to disqualify him from ever being considered for my vote! Plus he's the status quo king and everyone knows the status quo isn't working.

As for the rest of the field, it's a very disappointing group of candidates. I can't find 4 that I'd be close to being comfortable voting for...

Anonymous said...

Christine Mast said...

@Anonymous 11/6 7:25am,

If you want more of the same, vote for Tim Morgan, Elyse Dashew, Aaron Pomis and Ericka Ellis-

See this article for why:

If you want a change in dynamic, vote for Ken Nelson, Keith Hurley, and Jeff Wise. They all want to scale back the testing and PfP initiative. They don't feel you need to bus kids across town to give them a good education.

Here are answers to 6 questions I posed back in October:

Anonymous said...

The only reason I have for hoping Morgan wins is that he will no longer represent my district, but either way, he doesn't represent my views. Obviously, he also isn't a very good judge of character.

I read this after reading the issues piece. I came away from those thinking that Mr. Nelson must do simultaneous backflips several times a day. I had already put an line through his name. Good call, me.

Anonymous said...

@9:52, you realize that if Tim wins tonight he's going to be on the Board for another 4 years, instead of the 2 remaining years on his District 6 seat, don't you? Your logic pushes him on the rest of us for a longer time. I have kids in CMS, so it DOES matter to ME how many more years he's on the Board.

I hope you exercised your right to vote today, like I did. If you haven't, you've still got an hour and a half to get to your polling station.