Friday, January 13, 2012

CMS per-pupil spending report is out

This is kind of a do-it-yourself blog:  For those of you who might want to spend your weekend crunching Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools numbers,  the 2010-11 per-pupil spending report is online.  Click here and look down the list (it's marked "new").  CMS is also posting progress reports on each school that include a lot of other data.

I've got to finish a story on those school progress reports before I can go home for the weekend,  so you won't get any insights from me on what the per-pupil numbers show.  I will offer a brief guide to CMS acronyms and jargon:

"Perf comp"  is the composite pass rate on state exams,  which include reading,  math and science in elementary and middle schools and various End of Course exams in high schools ("perf" stands for performance).

"Focus school"  indicates whether a school gets extra money based on the poverty level.

"SPR"  has me stumped;  can any of you insiders help us out?

"Teacher FTE"  means "full-time equivalencies,"  a way of counting employees in which two half-time workers would count as one FTE.  It's a basis for calculating student-teacher ratios.

  "EDS %"  is  "economically disadvantaged students."  Commonly known as the school poverty level,  it's the percent of students who receive federal lunch subsidies.


Ann Doss Helms said...

And Wiley, that's your cue ...

Anonymous said...

SPR = school progress report

Ann Doss Helms said...


DistrictSix said...

Of the saddest of words, spoken and of pen, the saddest of these, what might have been.

Wiley Coyote said...

One thing off the top I noticed is the ambiguous notations of the number of preschool/pre-K/elementary including pre-school numbers.

*The total 20th day enrollment includes 3,169 preschool students that are typically reported in our enrollment.

**Enrollment figures include preschools students (1,570) at elementary schools only. Enrollment at the preschools are not included.

The seperate line item in the Summary for preschool shows 1,576 yet above it says these are included IN the elementary numbers.

I have to laugh.....

Anonymous said...

separate - one of the most highly emphasized spelling words ever

BolynMcClung said...


Many years ago, before the evil Mr. Mortgage Lender was brought to his knees, I looked carefully at these expenditure numbers for all the elementary schools. The spreadsheet was much more difficult to read. Performance data had to be culled from elsewhere.

These are significant numbers. They are the actual expenses for the previous year. Not the less meaningful budget that the principal prepares at the beginning

I’m going to suggest a radical way(at least for back then) of looking at these numbers. The key thing you want to discover is how effectively is a school spending its funds compare to other schools.

The most significant number is school population. Try to compare only schools of like size.

The most difficult number is FTE teacher. There is absolutely no way to convert this to a reliable divisor.

I’m not going to give any specifics from this year’s numbers, but here are two sorts that reveal effectiveness.

Find two schools of same population and same EDS ratio. Then see if the FTE is different. Look at the dollar amount. If they’re different by a significant amount start asking about teacher staffing and the effectiveness of the principal.

Here’s the last sort.
Find two schools with same population but polar opposite EDS ratios. Then look at the dollars. When I did the 2006-2007 investigation, I was surprised. I even found like population schools with opposite EDS(FRL at the time) that had the same expenses.

There is a lot to be learned from these numbers about how CMS is run. If you go for the quick dollars divided by students you will have missed the boat completely.

Bolyn McClung


Wiley Coyote said...

#3 most misspelled word on the internet.

I get it right about 98% of the time....

The other 2% I'm tired and don't care and don't use spell check.

Who do I make the check for the fine out to?

Grammar Police?

Anonymous said...

Dear Pete-
What's that again about years of experience has no impact on student achievement? Tell that to the top performing schools who also have the teachers with the most years of experience... correlation? Oh, I think so.

Anonymous said...

p.s. Grammar police=my S/V agr. error years/has was done on purpose for sarcastic effect.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest one other approach to analyzing these numbers. Look at how these numbers change, or don't change, over the course of several years.

Wiley Coyote said...


....I know

Anonymous said...

Another rather large group of career teachers are leaving next week retiring to escape the wrath of downtown yes persons and their Catch 22 fad of the week requirements from DPI and Basketball Arne. Do you think they would wait to the end of the year? Did Avossa care when the slices of Lartarza's cake were the highlight of the last retirement honorees two years ago before he abandoned ship?
"Let them eat Mcrel.......,uh cake.)

Anonymous said...

I can say nothing more than this. CMS is perhaps on the edge of losing most of its experienced teachers because they now realize that a few thousand dollars more is not worth working for this ineptly ran system. In my school alone we have lost so many experienced staff members within the last two years it has become a running joke. We have school secretaries, security guards and anyone else who will volunteer covering class for full time teachers who have quit. CMS can continue to spend millions on disadvantaged schools and it WILL NOT CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP! The achievement gap was only closed by high performing students leaving and entering charter and private schools.

Anonymous said...

I am very surprised by the number of teachers retiring from my school at the semester. Some of the best teachers I have ever worked with. Granted they have 4x4 classes so it's not like they are truly leaving kids in a lurch, but the hiring process in CMS makes it where it will be weeks before a "teacher" can be placed in the classroom--I suppose good news for December grads, but word on the streets is that CMS is encouraging the placement of long-term subs over hiring a certified person. One of Mr. Hattabaugh's strategies for those raises = not replacing the retirees. This will result in yet another increase in class size. You try walking around a room meant for no more than 30 desks with 43 stuffed in... Not to mention the management and grading--multiply those class sizes by all of your classes = 160+ kids and all their papers, etc. the manage. Just 8 years ago, I had about 120-130 maybe tops. I wish the retirees well. They have earned it these last few years 10x over!

Anonymous said...

To much money is being wasted on these public/Gubment schools. All we are paying for is a sorry money grabbing union and a gaggle of stupid, so called teachers that want to be called educators. What a sad joke.

Anonymous said...

Swann Fellowship's take on the per pupil spending report: Concern about the "racial isolation" of white students:

Do you suppose they think we need to do something about that? Do you suppose they have the ear of the new school board?

Anonymous said...

NC Law specifically denies teachers the opportunity to collectively bargain. The "union" only serves to lobby for their members' interests at the state and occasionally local level.

I guess as a teacher, I am a little dispirited by treating what (when I was raised) was a profession that was decently paid and well-respected now as a group of lazy failures. The narrative that if we don't like the way we are treated we should quit is absurd, since we have families to raise and can no more quit than any other group of workers who suffer under poor conditions.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 9:26....

Swann could care less about the "isolation of Whites" unless they are a majority in individual schools.

Of the 103 elementary schools, Whites have a majority in only 28, which is greater than 50% of a school's total student body (Blacks have a majority in 39 schools).

Whites have less than a 10% representation in 37 elementary schools.

Whites makeup 32% of all elementary students, Blacks 39%, Hispanics 19% and others 10%.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you, Wiley. I'm sure you realize I was being sarcastic in my comments. But we've long had academics, like Roz Mickelson of UNCC, around who like to claim all students do better in diverse schools and thus race based assignment benefits white students as well as "minorities".

Frankly, I think that Swann's latest graphs (and I wonder who came up with those) make a mockery of the organization. To spend time on such nonsense rather than seeking solutions (not excuses) for the dismal performance of so many minority students does not lend much credence to The Fellowship.

Anonymous said...

The original purpose of the Swann lawsuit was so the student could attend their neighborhood school. Look what has happened since.

The UNCC education department (undergraduate) is a laugh. In a leagl proceeding where one of their professors was being used as a material witness, the judge dismissed all their testimony due to the misuse of data and fabrication of conclusions unsupported by the data.

For Mickelson to suggest what he did shows he is unaware of the "closing achievement gap strategy" used by most school systems now, lowering the top end students.

Some guy years ago tried to use this Swann Fellowship as a vehicle to link the lower achievement numbers by racial/FRL numers. Clearly he was trying to paint a picture of an uncaring school system because I challenged him with the complete chart Swann had published before. He went away quickly. His fame (the Observer was trying to promote) did not last.

Wiley Coyote said...

Ahhhh......yes.....closing of the "achievement gap".....

....good times....good times....

Anonymous said...

I have never seen as many GREAT teachers "retiring" at mid year as well. I would like to see if the stats merit this. In private most tell me they have just had enough. Years of loss of salary and benefits combined with the almost doubling of workload is a losing game.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 10:54...

Two years ago, my son's math teacher in high school told CMS she was leaving at the end of the first semester, as she had enough.

My son liked her a lot. He would attend her afterschool math tutoring and for a few minutes each session before he left, she would teach him words and phrases in Dutch, as my son was in the language magnet.

Dutch was certainly not one of the magnet languages but my son can't get enough of learning any language.

Everytime a teacher of this caliber leaves, everyone loses.

Anonymous said...

Ann, Didn't I once read somewhere that a quirk in NC's retirement system is part of the reason so many teachers retire during the school year rather than at the end of the school year? I have never lived anywhere that this seems to happen so often. When I taught in other states, retirement usually started at the end of a complete year.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous writers making references to experienced teachers leaving CMS in record numbers, I am in agreement with you. Ever since Pete Gorman and the previous board decided that CMS needed these teachers’ salaries beginning around 2007-2008 until now, this has become a true tragedy for the future of our community. This data proves it. Many of the closed schools were out performing their peers. My advice to CMS teacher’s is to always, to constantly prepare yourselves for something greater more respectful -you deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Where do we see the breakdown of per pupil spending by schools. In the past we could see that high schools on the westside were receiving over $12 grand per student compared with about $5 grand in the eastside suburbs. It was a great tool to acutally see the taxation without representation of out inept school board.

Anonymous said...

"needed these teacher slaries"...What?

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 11:31...

Here are the Top 10 High Schools based on 20th day enrollment, all expenditures. This includes activities, custodial, electricity, etc.
School……$ per 20th Day Enrollment

E.E. WADDELL…$6,582

Data, data, data... slice it and dice it, depending on what story you want to tell.

dscienceguy said...

Anon 11:39

The poster was referring to those teachers on the higher end of the salary scale. They "cost" more than teachers with few years of experience, i.e. less salary supplement, etc. The state sends money on a per pupil basis, so there is a lot of money floating around for administrators to as they wish. If you are on their good side, you win.

dscienceguy said...

My use as they wish.

Anonymous said...

Digging into the data this weekend. Fun times.

Interesting the change in ES schools with the most $ per pupil spent.

Lincoln Heights is tops at $9047, Westerly Hills $8983 and Pawtuckett was $8706. Also, the student populations were so low that the non teacher portion of expenditures has a greater impact not assuming those are funded on a per student basis and a part funded position may be shared with another school. Leaders in the past like Thomasboro and Shamrock Gardens fell a little. Still, it makes you wonder if the smaller school really helps. Does a principal serving a 200 student school give 4 times to a student than a principal serving an 800 student school. Sure there are usually more assistant principals, dean of students, etc.

Bottom schools again are predictable, Polo Ridge $4312, Highland Creek $4324, and Elizabeth Lane $4386.

Got to look back and see if the bottom portion changed much. Polo Ridge was low one last year at $4429.

Ann Doss Helms said...

11:31 a.m.: Click the link in the blog and go to the sixth document on the list, "Per pupil spending 10-11" (it's for the past school year because they tally actual spending at year's end). It's an Excel spreadsheet with separate worksheets for elementary, middle and high.

Ann Doss Helms said...

11:08 a.m., I'm pretty sure you're right. I was thinking there's another surge in March, of people who want to retire so they can sit out the required six months to draw a pension and return in August. I've told Daniel Habrat I want to loop back and write about this; he also thinks it's a counterproductive system. Looks like I should do so soon rather than wait until spring.

And thanks, y'all -- I knew I could count on readers to launch the analysis here.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, so that's it, Ann. Teachers are retiring mid-year so they can begin drawing their pension, sit out for 6 months and then return. Does that mean they then draw a salary and receive their pension? If so, folks, does that make CMS the bad guys or does the state create this problem by allowing teachers to sit out for 6 months, begin drawing a pension, and then return to teaching, thus upping their income?

Yes, Ann, I think you should tackle this issue now. There's a lot of blame being placed on CMS for the retirement situation when it sounds like the state has created this mess. Public should know that.

dscienceguy said...

Anon 2:31

Here is where your question may be answerer. Whether CMS is causing the retirements is another question.

dscienceguy said...

answered...Geez, my fingers are not meshing with my brain today.

Anonymous said...

2:31 PM

As you suggest that these employees are retiring now to sit their 6 months and then return in August drawing paycheck and pension, According to CMS PR spin, this was the first batch of employees CMS let go when it started this downsizing practice 2 years ago or so.

However, they might now be returning to CMS but to some other neighboring school district.

As Ann correctly states, there is no indenpendent auditing unit for public schools. I have always been troubled by the inability to double check much they say. I tried to construct a proposal for doing such and it became so expansive, I knew we would never get it funded by the BOCC.

Maybe someone knows an organization that might be interested in such. The problem is even this team would require some backstopping since I am sure CMS would push hard for many of the team to be "friendly" to CMS's cause.

This is far beyond the certification independent auditors give that simply says CMS follows standard accounting practices.

Anonymous said...

Many do retire in February because as it is the shortest month there is usually a moderate increase in their pension. If there is indeed an increase in the number of retirements overall, I think we can blame it in part on the atmosphere in education in general and CMS in particular, which has not improved since Dr. Gorman left.

However I believe that the state mostly closed the door to double dippers 4 years ago. Retired personnel may return in a part time, no benefits capacity at best.

Anonymous said...

Ann, perchance might the Observer check into CMS classroom air in light of the CCN focus tonight. My practice has treated many ill CMS students and staff who have symptoms while at CMS and subside when away from CMS. CMS’ own reports show chronic conditions that hurt children and impair learning particularly in the more sensitive. Schools like Lebanon Road, Nations Ford, Bain, Hornets Nest, Lansdowne, University Park, McClintock and more are shown by CMS to have conditions that hurt children and teachers. Leave it to CMS to put testing and public relations budgets above the health and performance of select area children. Healthy children are better at learning.

Anonymous said...

Does CMS know classrooms make children sick? Doubt it. The mantra today is raises for all! Didn't see any high performing schools on the 8:49 list.

Ann Doss Helms said...

8:49, what's "the CCN focus tonight"? I'm totally missing that reference.

BolynMcClung said...

Anon 1-14-2012 10:34am is wrong about the purpose of Mr. Swann's 1st and 2nd complaints. I often hear this and that about the reason so I reviewed the case.

Here’s what I re-learned.

“…In 1968, petitioner Swann moved for further relief based on Green v. County School Board, 391 U.S. 430, which required school boards to come forward with a plan that promises realistically to work . . . now . . . until it is clear that state-imposed segregation has been completely removed….”

To put this is clear terms, Green had found that states had used “all due speed” and parts of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to legislate segregation.

Regardless of what Swann requested, here is what he got:

(from the Supreme Court's decision)


1. Today's objective is to eliminate from the public schools all vestiges of state-imposed segregation that was held violative of equal protection guarantees by Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, in 1954. P. 15.

2. In default by the school authorities of their affirmative obligation to proffer acceptable remedies, the district courts have broad power to fashion remedies that will assure unitary school systems. P. 16.

3. Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not restrict or withdraw from the federal courts their historic equitable remedial powers……

4. Policy and practice with regard to faculty, staff, transportation, extracurricular activities, and facilities are among the most important indicia of a segregated system,……..

5. The Constitution does not prohibit district courts from using their equity power to order assignment of teachers …..

6. In devising remedies to eliminate legally imposed segregation, local authorities and district courts must see to it that future school construction……

7. Four problem areas exist on the issue of student assignment:

(1) Racial quotas. The constitutional command to desegregate schools does not mean that every school in the community must always reflect the racial composition of the system as a whole…….

(2) One-race schools. While the existence of a small number of one-race, or virtually one-race, schools does not, in itself, denote a system that still practices segregation by law, ………
An optional majority-to-minority transfer provision has long been recognized as a useful part of a desegregation plan, ……...

(3) Attendance zones. The remedial altering of attendance zones is not, as an interim corrective measure, beyond the remedial powers of a district court. ……

(4) Transportation. The District Court's conclusion that assignment of children to the school nearest their home serving their grade would not effectively dismantle the dual school system is supported by the record,……..

8. Neither school authorities nor district courts are constitutionally required to make year-by-year adjustments of the racial composition of student bodies once a unitary system has been achieved.

BURGER, C.J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Bolyn McClung

BolynMcClung said...

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ON WHAT SWANN MEANT…or the birth of Uncle Sam’s School House.

If you were a parent with children in CMS in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, Swann seemed to mean cross-town busing. As they say, “that was only the tip of the iceberg.”

The real impact of Swann was that under the Equal Protection clause, the Supreme Court established that it could set local education policy all over the U.S. While there was an exit strategy that was successfully used in 2002 in Mecklenburg, it is clear that the Executive Branch now believes it has equal authority to control local education under the principle of Checks and Balances.

The most recent extension of this incursion is “Race to the Top” and “Common Core Standards. Without saying whether either is good or bad, it should be noted that in order to win Race to the Top money that Common Core had to be part of a state’s proposal. Thus was born Common Core, the plan to destroy local and state control of education.

So here is the thread

1954 Brown –end of separate but equal
1955 Brown – all due speed
1968 Green – puts in place right of Court to punish school districts
1971 Swann—first application of Green
2001 Belk – Unitary decision
2001 No Child Left Behind
2009 Race to the top
2009 Common Core Standards

The impact of this locally is a CMS school board majority and a CMS staff that is committed to implementation of Common Core Standards. Yes, the CMS BOE may be no more than an arm of Washington, DC.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann,

Last night Dr. Gupta aired examples of how schools make children sick. The report highlighted the NYC school board withholding information from parents when they knew a school was problem for children. Dr. Gupta expressed shock as a parent to learn schools are impacting children’s health at his CNN blog. This may be a CMS school health team issue. Can you share a link to the CMS reports 8:49 says are out there?

Wiley Coyote said...


Your latest blog story went poof....

Anonymous said...

Does Mr. Chamberlain remember mold at Cornelius Elementary? CMS was never interested in finding that either. Ann, you might ask Jack Betts how many NC teachers are double dipping in VA where sales tax is 5%, gas is 30 cents cheaper a gallon, and small counties appreciate education more than GUM.(Gorman Urban Model)

Anonymous said...

9:31 The "urban model" was most definitely not started by Dr. Gorman. In fact he came in here calling this a metropolitan school system, which it actually is.

The push to have CMS considered an urban system had been going on for a long time. Dr. Pughsly considered it so--he proudly declared that it was "getting browner every day" when speaking to the 2005 CMS Task Force. School board chair Arthur Griffin definitely thought of it as an urban district and famously said that he would never allow another school to be built south of highway 51. I remember the school board taking a tour of the far south Charlotte area, probably in the very early 2000's, after which several board members expressed absolute amazement that there was so much development "out there". They were totally unaware of the suburban growth Mecklenburg County had been experiencing, despite the fact that they were supposed to be governing a countywide school system.

I think Dr. Gorman got quite a bit of pushback from activists and some civic leaders for not initially labeling CMS solely an urban district.

Sharon Starks

Anonymous said...

Ms. Starks,
KW would probably say that timeline goes back even further. The two corporate episodes that were early inspiration for the GUM acronym were lame 2001 professional development textbook sessions. The majority of the materials were public domain because the publisher refused the pay the fees. Then, came the Texas two step called Focus Lessons from Brisket BBQ country. It actually worked if you were teaching to the test. Where is it now? Open Court? TRICA?

Thus the corporate influx enlarged.

The GUM label fits Pete because he never met a program that didn't need resources to support his manifesto or trusted his own in house talent to
back him.
He just escalated the egotistical waste of funds on data, travel, Broad, and middle management to a level suitable for a Fox wannabe. No data, just thirty years in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Boyln but let me reiterate my point. The "original" complaint was that Swann was not allowed to attend his neighborhood school. What you reported is correct but my point was to demonstrate how the Swann complaint had been cooped by many for personal recogntion and fame and essentially put education on the back burner at schools. If you had been to school reassignment hearings here in the 80's and 90's, you would have clearly seen this school systems' sole purpose was to mix the races and be a soclai services delivery engine. Education had minimal focus in a lot of schools. Schools which were not affected by busing did continue to focus on education.

These are essentially the words of Louise Woods when she and I argued this point one evening after a hearing. She said it was okay for the middle school kids in my neighborhood to have middle busing assignments changed every year for 3 years. The board needed our middle class neighborhood in these different schools to keep their scores from looking too bad. And yes, there were some standardized tests used back then that got reported as school performance reports (NAEP, Iowa, etc.).

Anonymous said...

Forgot about that one 9:41.

Cornelius Elementary is one of the few examples where parents learned what was going on with children and sick CMS buildings. The principal got fired for seeking help from the community when CMS was looking the other way! Gupta interviewed NEA and parents because it is well known that school staff can lose their jobs and or standing for speaking out.

BolynMcClung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BolynMcClung said...

Reply to Anon, January 15, 2012 1:45 PM

That is an interesting thought about Mr. Swann wanting to go to his neighborhood school (Seversville Elementary instead of Biddleville). The current definition of Home School includes “Proximity.” If the 1960's board had today's rules, it could have avoided the suit all together.

Some of the new members of the BOE have made positive comments about neighborhood schools, but I wonder how far away a school can be from a neighborhood before it is not in the proximity. For example is the neighborhood around Hornest Nest ES in proximity to schools on the other side of I-77 or up in Lake Norman.

You may add this idea of what is a neighborhood school to what the BOE will be looking for in a new superintendent.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Your neighborhood school could easily be on the opposite side of town if that is what the BOE defines where your neighborhood goes.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, folks. We know it is foolish and tiring to be concerned about a return to some sort of busing scheme.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 10:19

30 days ago from the Justice Department...

Department of Justice and Department of Education Joint Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race

Assistant Attorney General, Thomas E. Perez, and Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, Russlynn Ali, have posted joint guidance on the voluntary use of race to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation in schools. The guidance is intended to help schools, colleges, and universities lawfully achieve compelling interests in diversity, and for K-12 schools, the additional compelling interest in avoiding racial isolation. The guidance is presented in two documents, one for elementary and secondary schools and the other for postsecondary institutions.

Guidance letter

Elementary and secondary school guidance

Postsecondary education guidance

Anonymous said...

From 10:19--Sarcasm, Wiley, sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

From a frequent poster May 9, 2011:

"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."

Anonymous said...

Boyln, 1:12 AM post, (are you on the west coast this week?).

2 corrections, 2001 unitary decision was Cappichione (Gauvreau), not Belk. Belk was an intervenor supporting the school board and continued busing.

Second, there was no exit strategy under Green. CMS exited forcefully against their will by Cappichione. Green did provide 5 test conditions however CMS was not interested in ending the federal court order. Interesting that a school system wanted to continue being seen as a discriminatory institution against blacks rather than solving the issue. CMS paraded a couple of teachers into the court who testified they deliberately discriminated against blacks and that section of the courtroonm applauded. The teachers should have been dismissed but they were deemed heroes.

Schools around the country were actively hunting out deliberate acts of discrimination against blacks so they could justify to the feds they needed more money to right past wrongs. However they were not required to prove the expenditures would do so. Essentially prostitutes.

Anonymous said...

In conjunction with the comments on this blog about the new board's possible inclination to return to some form of busing--below is a link to a July presentation by Dr. Roz Mickelson to the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum. Takes a little time to go through the question and answer videos but extremely instructive, especially in light of Swann Fellowship's recent graphs showing the "isolation of white students" in CMS.

Roz Mickelson link:

Swann Link:

You can see that there has been some organized effort around trying to make this a federal issue once again.

Sharon Starks

Wiley Coyote said...

...I wonder how Detroit Public Schools practices "diversity"...

...I wonder how the "achievement gap" is measured in Detroit Public Schools....

Detroit Public Schools.... 2.5% White.

Detroit Public Schools...all 100,000 kids get FREE lunch...

Detroit Public Schools...24% to 62%graduation rate (depending on which report you want to believe)...

At some point, children have to learn no matter what their skin color is, household income is or where they live.

Until the mindset changes, the way funding is changed and excuses eliminated, there will be no improvement in CMS or public education as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Ha, you know the answer to that WC. It only changes once you have run most of the whites out, run most of the conservatives out, and run out most of the businesses you could blackmail.

It was laughable the title of the Swann report. It is entitled Racial Isolation of Whites". Ha, it will be a cold day in you know where before you can convince me they care anything about white kids.

I would not be so dead against anything CMS does addressing educating poor kids if I thought they truly cared about poor white kids. They are so for the "urban" title it should sicken any true believer of the Constitution.

Wiley Coyote said...

The point I'm trying to make is that some people still have that worn out diversity-guiding-principle ingrained in their brains and use it to drive all programs.

It doesn't matter whether they try to use race or income diversity.

Take the Director of Project LIFT who said: "I grew up just like many of these kids, so I feel morally and professionally obligated to work towards ending the dual system of education based on a child's zip code."

How would you go about applying that statement to Detroit Public Schools?

It's that backwards thinking that damns kids before they even start school by telling them they won't succeed because of where they live.

That sort of thinking does a disservice to all children.

Anonymous said...

Swann and company have spent years making sure that we continue to view everything through the lens of race, which of course means divide, divide, divide. Keeps Community Building Initiative, Crossroads, Meck Ministries,the Levine Museum, etc. in business.

BolynMcClung said...

To Anon 8:56a

To support your get federal dollars point, CMS joined Leandro so as not to be left out when the money it thought would be forthcoming was distributed.

Guess it didn't see that the Achievement Zone wouldn't be free.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

From 8:56:
"Schools around the country were actively hunting out deliberate acts of discrimination against blacks so they could justify to the feds they needed more money to right past wrongs."

During the past ten years local activists were doing (and are probably still doing) much the same thing, although they were/are concentrating on disparate results and framing that as proof of discrimination. Probably not interested in more federal money but instead a return to more federal control (and, I suspect, the power trip they get from "taking care" of the folks in districts 2, 3, and 4, who they seem to feel can't take care of themselves).

Anonymous said...

I looked at last year's school funding report on the state web site the other day. I was curious if Leandro had panned out. Lo and behold, the top funded counties (Leandro counties) in this case were getting $10k to $13K per student and the county was essentially excused from funding the school system. (BTW, the technical term for a school system is LEA, local education authority. There are 115 in the state of NC.) As for state funding to Mecklenburg and Wake Counties, their funding level was around $4400 ranking them like 103, 105 ranked or close to that. The state's view was these counties were well off enough that they could pick up the funding levels.

So, in the end, we the county taxpayers are stuck again. The state constitution says LEA's are only responsible for supplying buildings. While I do not bemoan paying teachers better than the state does, I bemoan we citizens do not have much recourse when a BOE decides to put the screws on the taxpaying portion of the population, allowing non taxpayers to vote on bonds they do not pay back, and a BOE denies capacity in population growth areas of the county but chooses to build/rebuild schools not needed in certain areas seen by the need for closing those and nearly crippling this county in debt.

Pamela Grundy said...

For clarity, the "frequent poster" cited from the May 9 blog was me. For further clarity the "issue" to which I was referring was testing madness and pay for performance, not per-pupil spending. I still find it silly when people try to suggest that Mecklenburg ACTS' opposition to testing madness is somehow connected to a secret plan to bring back busing.

In addition, Darius and Vera Swann did not file their lawsuit because they wanted their son to go to a neighborhood school. They filed it because they wanted him to go to an integrated school. Their intentions are well-documented historically, and for what it's worth I've also heard them say it themselves. I hope that Forum posters will cease from misrepresenting their intentions.

Wiley Coyote said...

Swann's letter to then CMS BOE...

This should squelch erroneous

Ann Doss Helms said...

Wiley, you must live on this blog! I poofed that item myself. It was intended to accompany a Sunday story, which my editors failed to tell me had been held to make room for a murder story. So once I saw my paper, I pulled the item and am about to reset it to post tomorrow. Let's just hope my story actually runs then, too.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, Could not access the letter through your link but found this one:

Hope it works for others.

Mr. Swann gave 3 reasons for asking that his son be reassigned to Seversville School: 1)so he could go to the nearest school (i.e. the neighborhood school), 2)so he could attend an integrated school, 3)there had been plenty of precedent for the board reassigning students on request.

Anonymous said...

Yep, neighborhood school! Got it! Thanks for the letter. Got it bookmarked.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 5:54...

The original linked worked for somereason but here it is from another...hope this one works.

Wiley Coyote said...


I was actually in the middle of typing a response to something in the story when it poofed.

Good timing eh?

Pamela Grundy said...

Here is what the Swanns had to say about integration in the letter.

"We believe that an integrated school will best prepare young people for responsibility in an integrated society. Having lived practically all of his life in India, James has never known the meaning of racial segregation. We have been happy to watch him grow and develop with an unaffected openness to people of all races and background, and we feel it our duty as parents to insure that this healthy development continue."

Again, the Swanns will tell you that integrated schooling was their main goal for their son. The dry tone of the paragraph about proximity compared with the more heartfelt tone of the integration paragraph, underscores that priority.

Wiley Coyote said...

The Swann's original complaint was valid and they did what they felt was right for their child, just as my parents did in a similar circumstance for me back in 1969.

...but the Swanns still "demand" integration 47 years later....

That argument is over.

Anonymous said...

Forcefully integrating CMS schools now will be a much more difficult task. Not only are there more people here that would not tolerate this but the NC legislature has a much different outlook at failed liberal experiments.

Based upon how the student population at CMS has changed, the hoopla may be just that, a bunch of talk to make these people "legends in their own minds".

Anonymous said...

Let's clear up the subject on "double dipping". The state of NC teaching district put out a call to all retired teachers to come back to work because of a teacher shortage. The incentive was keep your pension and draw a salary. It was legal. Over the years some teachers took the offer. When the economy took a turn for the worst, NC could no longer practice this incentive,understandable. But what CMS is not telling the public is that many of these teachers that were let go,are willing to come back to work, (coming out of retirement). The NC state says it is legal, if you rescind your retirement and contribute back into the retirement system. CMS does not want to pay these veteran's salaries. Instead they hire substitutes,FTA's that leave in two years and as their own adds put it, you don't need a degree in teaching. Face it, teachers are retiring now because CMS is an ineffective educational institute that has been managed very badly.