Friday, February 1, 2013

Charter schools as reform labs?

Charter schools are popular and proliferating, across the state and in the Charlotte region.  But have they fulfilled the original mission of serving as innovation incubators,  using their flexibility to test ideas that can  benefit students in all public schools?

That was one of many questions discussed at a MeckEd session on charter schools on Thursday, with a crowd of about 70 education leaders who ranged from charter advocates to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board members and administrators.

The consensus seemed to be that there has been little formal effort to catalog and reproduce charter successes.   "It's got to be somebody's job,"  said former state Sen. Eddie Goodall, head of the N.C. Public Charter School Association.

But informally there's been plenty of idea-swapping,  with more in the works,  leaders of charter schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools say.  Sugar Creek Charter,  an urban school that has had success with low-income students,  has traded teacher visits with CMS schools serving some of the same neighborhoods.  Socrates Academy,  a Matthews charter that teaches Greek, Chinese and Spanish,  has partnered with CMS language magnets for teacher training.

If nothing else,  it's clear that since the state legislature lifted the 100-school cap created in 1996,  the independently-run public schools are becoming a bigger player in the public education scene.  CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison has convened a group of charter and private school leaders to explore common ground.   Leaders of Durham County Schools are making a similar move.  Like CMS,  that county faces a surge of potential competition from new charters.

MeckEd data maps
MeckEd,  a public education information and advocacy group,  has been collecting and presenting data on charters for the last couple of years  (see the latest data maps of CMS and charters here).  The group held one discussion group about charters Thursday,  with another planned later this month.

Much of the discussion revolved around whether charters have an advantage over traditional public schools.  For instance,  Bolyn McClung said a school board member had told him charters use CMS as a  "dumping ground"  for students who create discipline problems.  Tiffany Flowers,  co-founder of KIPP Charlotte,  said it's rare for her school to expel students.

Charters,  like CMS magnets,  can set up requirements for families that choose to apply.  KIPP requires students and parents to sign contracts detailing the work they'll do to ensure success. Socrates requires each family to provide 36 hours of volunteer work -- although,  as Goodall noted,  that's not actually a binding requirement.

On the other hand,  charter schools can have their charters revoked for consistently weak academic performance.  So far such actions are rare;  Goodall said only one has been closed statewide,  though another half dozen are at risk this year.  Sugar Creek was threatened with closing after a rocky start in 2000.  The local board brought in Director Cheryl Turner after firing the for-profit management company that had opened the school.  "That threat of death thing is a real motivator,"  Turner said, getting a laugh.

There's one other big difference:  Charter school teachers don't have tenure.  They can be dismissed at will,  or required to work longer hours if they want a job.  Charter school operators also have more flexibility on how they pay their faculty.

"I can really seek out the brightest,  the best,"  said Janis Dellinger-Holton,  principal of Socrates Academy.  As a longtime principal in Wake County schools,  she said,  it could take her two to three years of documentation to get rid of a weak teacher.

And that's likely to be the prickliest question ahead.  Some districts,  including CMS,  have asked the state for the same flexibility granted to charters.  Bill Anderson,  executive director of MeckEd,  told the group that deregulating school districts and rethinking teacher tenure are among the issues that legislative leaders have identified to tackle this year.

MeckEd's instant polling showed there was some broad agreement among the audience.  Eighty percent said it's important to have charters to provide  "healthy competition" and parent choice.  Ninety percent agreed traditional public schools should have similar flexibility  "with guidelines and procedures."


Anonymous said...

The charter beach head looks pretty secure now. Legacy schools will have to change or face the pressure of death, much like those in the legacy press. This may be a battlefield the left will have to abandon and coopt from within. A much longer and slower struggle.

Parents and kids intent on educational success used to be dumped in with general population. Now they have a choice.

Anonymous said...

Charters, like CMS magnets, can set up requirements for families that choose to apply. KIPP requires students and parents to sign contracts detailing the work they'll do to ensure success.

I notice you left out LIFT, with the same requirements, out of the discussion.

Anonymous said...

So as soon as regular public schools can set up the same requirements and not be required to provide things such as bussing and lunches with the result that there is better behavior on the part of the students and the parents and more money available for needed supplies...then those who criticize CMS teachers and results may have a valid point.

Anonymous said...

Many charter schools provide busing and lunches.

Charters do not receive any extra public funds for supplies.

Christine Mast said...

But have they fulfilled the original mission of serving as innovation incubators, using their flexibility to test ideas that can benefit students in all public schools?

So now we're going to blame Charter Schools for the woes of CMS? This is laughable. Charters provide competition to CMS, and that's a GOOD thing.

Missouri said...

Here is the reformed education ideas they push, they actually teach and educate in these schools. Unlike CMS where too many teachers spend time dealing with uncivilized students, having to be parents to neglected children, and on and on.

Anonymous said...

I am a CMS teacher, and from my perspective charter schools do seem to have some built-in advantages over a traditional public school.

One doesn't simply show up at a charter school and enroll. There are waiting lists and some, as mentioned require a contract. This in and of itself will attract the parents who are more involved simply because they have to make an effort. Then, there are performance and behavior expectations that are required. By the way, the KIPP person was telling the truth about it being rare to expell students. They instead are well-known for "counselling out" students who are a problem.

Contrast the enrollment process at a charter school with my school in CMS. A huge mob descends upon our school on the very first day to enroll because they were "unaware" that the school year has started.

As for the idea of competition, I don't have a problem with that, let alone the idea of parent choice. The problem is, CMS and charters play by different sets of rules. Charter schools, unless I am mistaken, can assign grades lower than 50. They don't have to provide breakfast and lunch. They aren't required to provide transportation. They can require more of their teachers and employ them at-will. I am not even sure if they really accomodate EC students. Someone more knowledgeable will need to clarify that one and anything above.

Now, I am NOT advotcating that charters behave in the same way as CMS; nor do I advocate them being under the authority of the CMS school board!!! That completely defeats the purpose of charters in the first place.

I just don't know how we can be expected to compete when we have to take any student who shows up, regardless of academic and/or behavioral history. We don't have waiting lists, we simply make room. If the kid has special needs, we make the accomodations.

In my view, CMS needs to change far more than the charters do. We need to be able to expel students who won't behave and self-contain those who can't.

Anonymous said...

Bill Anderson who has RECEIVED money from Petey Gorman now odes not like Charters as they provide a competitive outlet for students? I was at the meeting and have seen the numbers. Charters granted are not surving food or providing transportation (some of them) and their cost to educate a student is still thousands less than CMS. CMS is too big we all know that. Groups like Meck Ed drive up that cost to tax payers as well. CMS needs to stop worrying about others and provide a better quality education before vouchers come into play. At that point CMS will be reduced by 30 to 40% with private and charter schools growing rapidly. Go talk to a CHarter school teacher and I bet they came from CMS. Ask them why they ran from CMS and if they are happier in the Charter school. I have and you will not be surprised at their response.

Ann Doss Helms said...

7:26, I wasn't aware of the LIFT contracts. But those schools are neighborhood schools, so I can't imagine they could deny admission to students who don't sign. An application-only school, be it a charter or CMS magnet, can say "if you don't agree to the terms, you don't get a seat."

9:34, I haven't gotten the impression that Anderson opposes charters. If anything, his group has been active in making them part of the broader public-school discussion.

Anonymous said...

This is 9:03 and I would like to respond to 9:34. I know some charter school teachers and you're right: they ALL came out (more like escaped from) of CMS. I am not in the least bit surprised by their answers. I too was looking at running but am now at a much better CMS school, so I am ok for the time-being.

None of them mind having given up their career status. I don't mind giving mine up AS LONG AS IT ALSO APPLIES TO ADMINISTRATORS!

That is CMS' biggest weakness: the (mis)management. These people are usually ineffective in the classroom and went into administration, or were burned out from teaching. Some are truly inspiring. Many are useless baggage who get shuffled around since they are on five year contracts and it is a hassle to get rid of them.

Charter schools are more attuned to the realities of the "real world" since their charters can be revoked. Their administrators can be replaced more efficiently as well as teachers.

They attract parents who WANT their kids to be there and are less likely to have an adversarial relationship with the school.

CMS needs to start standing up to the kids (and their parents) who misbehave, are insubordinate, and disruptive. In other words, stop coddling those who violate the rights of others. Remove them. Stop making excuses and quit enabling the students who prevent teachers from teaching and classmates from learning.

And please CMS "leadership", please start standing up to them. Lancaster County, one of our neighbors, doesn't tolerate a fraction of the garbage we put up with. They expel students who act like fools. They even still paddle.

Crack down on disruptive students, LET ME DO MY JOB, and then I will happily compete with any charter school. Now, time to take some more flu medicine.

Anonymous said...

To the folks all wrapped in food and busing, it is true. But Charters do not receive bond money for facilities. My son went to a great Charter. 15 to 20 percent of monies went to pay rent. Something CMS really doesn't pay. And yes we had many EC kids that fell through the cracks at CMS, but thrived at his school.

Anonymous said...

It's not about denying admission to students from the neighborhood for Project LIFT.

The story is about whether alternative education outlets, specifically charters, are "taking away from CMS" and what is required of parents for their kids to attend those schools.

Project L.I.F.T. has established the following goal for increasing parent and community support:

 80% of parents will attend at least three school-related events per year that focus on parent education.

 90% of parents will attend at least two conferences per year to discuss their child's progress.

 90% of parents will respond positively to questions on annual parent survey related to motivation, perception of school, and partnership with the school.

 All students and families will have access to the community services, mentors and interventions needed to support them through adverse situations that distract from education.

LIFT requires the actions above, yet taxpayers are still providing much of the LIFT monies to operate the schools.

Why don't we require the same engagement for ALL parents regardless of magnets, charter, LIFT or traditional, everyday public schools?

Anonymous said...

10:19, hopefully the results of the goals you itemized will be reported truthfully at the end of LIFT. Well end of LIFT is probably more accurately said as the end of the first 5 years. Extortion will be rampant to find more funding to continue this endeavor. Results will be unverifiable of course. They are using their hand picked auditors payign them out of these same funds. Who bites the hand that feeds them?

Anonymous said...

10:09 Exactly my point! CMS focuses on people's rights, especially those who violate the rights of others. With rights, come responsibility and it's high time that parents and students live up to their end of the deal. It can't always be on the teacher. We can reform teaching and learning all we like, but until there is also a reform in discipline and parenting, nothing will change for the better.

Anonymous said...

Project LIFT should become a CHarter school on its own. Stand alone from CMS with all that cash. Lets see the results from such a leader as the failed Ms. Watts. I would like their results to be measured and parents can hold their babysitting duties in high regards. The Charter on Sugar Creek does it.

Shamash said...

Maybe we could just have the "Ballantyne Charter System" and avoid all the secession talk...

If that works, other suburban groups may want to join the movement.

Anonymous said...

Mandatory bussing for our schools might be a good thing.

After all, everyone needs a good kiss every once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Mandatory spelling (busing) as well.
Shamash - That could work for Ballantyne , but Pineville would have to keep that stooge Bolyn.

Shamash said...

Anon 9:55 wrote:

"CMS needs to start standing up to the kids (and their parents) who misbehave, are insubordinate, and disruptive. "

I think we ALL know that this is a big problem in the schools and why there is so much "flight" away from some of them.

But it's been that way for decades.

The problem today is a little thing called "disparate impact" that protects the little thugs.

You've probably seen the statistic about who gets suspended the most.

Yep. They're black. That means they're protected against "disparate impact".

And not only are they protected, but they are now going to get official excuses for their misbehavior from our race baiting consultants (as soon as they're hired, of course.

Then everyone will learn how "white privilege" makes these kids misbehave.

Or rather, how white culture makes it appear that these children are mis-behaving when they are only exhibiting "normal" behavior of "another" culture that whitey just can't understand.

(None of which applies Asian kids, of course, who are the lap dogs of the Bourgeoisie and do exactly what their white masters wish without complaint.)

So, good luck with that.

Moving to Lancaster county might be a good solution in the short term (say next 30 to 40 years) though.

Anonymous said...

I just read the Friday Focus email from the superintendent. In the middle, he wrote about the achievement gap (effot gap, more like it) and the need for being "culturally competent." I have a solution to address the problem without the need to hire some "consultant" with a very doubtful track record. Here is an idea in 10 easy steps:

1) Sit down
2) Shut up
3) Pay attention
4) Follow ALL of the rules
5) Do ALL of the work
6) Behave like a human being
7) Be respectful of others and yourself
8) Be responsible
9) Make an honest effort
10) If you don't understand something, raise your hand and wait until the teacher calls upon you and then ask politely.

Net cost = 0$


Ann Doss Helms said...

Anyone up for playing "beat the official channels"? I requested a copy of the Friday Focus from public information this morning. Can anyone forward it to me first?

Ettolrahc said...

Imagine where we would be today with out Charters.

Thanks Eddie Goodall and other great elected officials like Malcom Graham for voting to raise the cap on Charter Schools.

You understand that competition and success go hand in hand in the real world as it does with education.

Ettolrahc said...

Anne: Do not poke sticks at the CMS beast by trying to get information until they send it to you.

The times I have tried to get information, they have been so good at double speak and subterfuge, it puts a four term Senator in Washington to shame.

Shamash said...

Anon 2:00

Prepare for your trip to the re-education camp.

As soon as the race consultants are hired (which is a foregone conclusion, BTW), you will learn why your 10 step program will not work.

It's not because it WON'T WORK because others have followed these steps successfully.

Rather, it won't be ALLOWED to work because it is "culturally insensitive".

You are asking people to behave in accordance with the rules of the "dominant culture".

And that isn't going to fly anymore.

(KIPP, of course, being given a "pass" on those types of requirements, because, well, they hire teachers who "look like" the kids, I guess, so it's OK).

Of course, I'm not sure why anyone would want to follow a "subordinate culture" as a path to "success" in any given culture, but that's apparently the way things are going to go from now on.

Anonymous said...

Shamash, this is 2:00. I have confesed my crimes against the people and have admitted to being a bourgeois oppressor. Thanks to the enlightened leadership of the CMS Politburo we will further the revolution against the reactionary elements.

I have been fully reformed and am ready and willing to be a good Communist - oops! I mean, I mean a teacher....yeah that's it.

Comrades, let us admit our white privilege, be more accomodating to our lower achieving - I mean, disadvantaged populations. Onward we will toil for a glorious future!

Anonymous said...

Ann, I sent you a copy of the Friday Focus via Annonymous

Anonymous said...


Communications Dept. still a mess? Go figure that one. Why does career status matter. If CMS want to fire you, they surely will. Tenure has no real tangible value. Steps are made on your career ladder but the pay stays the same.

Health Care
Bonus Money


Ann Doss Helms said...

3:33, I haven't seen it yet, in my inbox or spam. So far it's CMS zero, Anonymous zero.

Anonymous said...

Ann, I guess the anonymous email didn't work so what I did was copy the relevant part from Dr. Morrison since a lot of the Friday Focus consists to kudos to staff and students.

"Reaching all of our diverse learners -- and how cultural competency is part of that -- was a specific question that came up this week when I attended a breakfast for the Northeastern University's Speakers Series. CMS has made a commitment to help all students reach their full academic potential. Despite great progress in this area, we are not there yet -- the achievement gaps are proof of that. So to help advance that effort, all of us have an obligation to be more culturally competent -- to understand how to successfully educate students who come from all backgrounds. Defining what cultural competency means and feels like at CMS is something we'll do together. This work will be complex and at times emotionally laden but it's essential work if we're going to succeed as a district. It's not about criticizing or blaming anyone, especially not our educators. It's about helping all educators develop professionally and about learning to reach all of our students most effectively. Everywhere I have been in CMS, I've seen teachers, principals and support staff working every day helping our students. The work on cultural competency can and should be part of that shared determination."

Anonymous said...

Ahh, the work of becoming "culturally competent". It's "emotional" work, it's "essential" work, it's "something we all must do together". And of course there will be no criticism or casting blame on anyone. Just because Glen Singleton's organization blames the achievement gap on "institutional racism" there's no reason to think he blames whites in our fair city for the CMS achievement gap. See how Heath goes out of his way to pat us all on our backs and tell us we've been working hard all these years but we just cannot succeed without cultural competency. He and Mr. Singleton (and I imagine some of the local holier than thou members of Meck Ministries, Community Building Initiative, etc) will instruct us in all we need to know.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:19pm
Yeah, funny how the Chinese are leaving so much of this Maoist BS behind just as we're starting to practice it.

Oh well, it was fun being at the top while it lasted.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This conversation is so serious, I have decided to lighten the mood a bit by asking two questions.

Will those whose culture looks down on its members who work hard and study be made to be culturally competant too?

Will the "courageous conversation" on race include the perspectives of white teachers in urban schools and how they are treated, especially the female teachers?

Ann Doss Helms said...

Thanks, 3:55. And ... the commenters win another round!

Anonymous said...

As a Project L.I.F.T. parent that previously praised the idea and concept of the program while looking down on charter schools, I am ready to pack my bags and run! I have never seen such mismanagement of time, resources, and money! No one should ever compare Project L.I.F.T. to Charter Schools! I have several friends who took their children out of CMS to place them in private and charter schools and I HOPE TO SOON FOLLOW!
As far as Project L.I.F.T. contract requirements goes for parental involvement, well,it looks good on paper. Unfortunately, the only way it appears to succeed in a Project L.I.F.T. school is to be insubordinate and disruptive. Please don't send a child there who knows how to behave, respect others, and teacehrs- they encounter bullying, name calling, and much more but very little learning.
God forbid you ask the staff a question that challenges them or use CMS resources like Parent Assistant, then you become a problem.
And for those of you who are wondering,I am an African-American parent whose child was sent there as a student based strictly on home address and for no other reason.
My question to the readers: Are there any publications or reports of the increase in test scores or postive behaviorial improvement at these schools? I haven't seen any, wonder why? Good Luck on reaching those graduation goals in 5 years, because based on this year, your rate may be lower than when you started. CHARTER SCHOOLS HERE I COME!

Ann Doss Helms said...

5:38, I'd love to talk to you in person about your experience. It's going to be hard to show anything based on test scores, because North Carolina is rolling out an entirely new set of tests. I will be amazed if you do not see a big drop in proficiency this year (and we won't have any results until October). Then things are likely to start edging up in subsequent years, though I suspect there will also be revisions to the tests that will make it hard to get a solid trend for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:53

All that must wait until after the Revolution...

Anonymous said...

I am an African-American parent whose child was sent there as a student based strictly on home address and for no other reason.

Up until this year, you could opt out due to the dismal performance of these LIFT schools.

This fall, the FEDS are changing that and you will no longer be able to opt out of a low performing school.

Talk about a complete mess on the horizon, it's coming.

Good luck. You're doing the right thing!

Anonymous said...

Ann, You wrote an article about West Charlotte in 2007. Here is one part of it:

"English teacher Stacey Clark came to West Charlotte after three years teaching in Virginia.

Culture shock struck the first week, as her students filled out back-to- school forms.

"I'm tired of doing this s---," one girl announced.

Clark had never imagined such disrespect.

Like most of her students, Clark is African American..............

This fall West Charlotte 's entire faculty met after school to study the culture of poverty, where social relationships and daily survival often trump work and long-range goals.

Many children born into these circumstances can lack the vocabulary, values and motivation to succeed in school , writes educator Ruby Payne, whose book, "A Framework for Understanding Poverty," the staff studied. Teachers who hope to break the cycle must understand the students' world, which starts out hostile to authority."

Did these workshops make a difference in 2007?

Anonymous said...

The Ruby Payne/SIOP/ CMS flavor of the week survey/ vendor Ponzi scheme continues ad nauseum. Contrast that to AP workshops where content, curriculum, and personal achievement of student and instructor are accentuated. NC is at a crossroads in public education. Similar to Robert Johnson, many school districts, school boards, and administrators have sold themselves to Ol' Scratch and his wares. Wonder what the deductable is on i-Pads? Wonder why the universe is fleeing CMS?
As a true indicator of employee brand loyalty Ann,
does CMS have any idea what the number of
retirees is since December?

Anonymous said...

No comment, posted as of 9:59 pm, has spelled the word "accommodation" correctly. This post is from an "old geezer" who attended Mecklenburg County schools prior to city-county consolidation. We had our neighborhood schools -- and, yes, we followed the "ten easy steps" outlined in 1:32 pm post.

Anonymous said...

5:38, I do not know how well it is known yet but LIFT is already a huge success. And the words will be repeated again, again and again until everyone understands that. The group auditing the program for its results are paid by the program. The success is $55 M, well at least a large part of it, lining the pockets of those who have been more than successful at playing the race card and accelerating the mantra of "white guilt" and now with the assistance of PEG, brought ebonics to a whole new level that this demographic is just misunderstand and it is not, nor never their fault. Interesting that this demographic is not granted the privilege of a free public education anywhere else in the world. What has the rest of the world learned about this demographic we refuse to acknowledge?

So much for those that think our illustrious institutions of higher education have been helping us with with their advanced skills in critical thinking.

Anonymous said...

Hey West Charlotte

I am tired of doing this sh%% as well.

Thats why I am leaving and going to drive a truck. I just doubled my salary and no talking back with disrespect. So happy now.

Anonymous said...

Morrison and BOE


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

Anon 3:55 quoted from CMS memo:

"Despite great progress in this area, we are not there yet -- the achievement gaps are proof of that. So to help advance that effort, all of us have an obligation to be more culturally competent --"

Again, the hiring of the race-baiting consultants is apparently a foregone conclusion.

However, no one has EVER shown that PEG or Glenn Singleton has ever done a SINGLE THING to close the "achievement gap".

Yet that is the "excuse" given for hiring them.

They've been peddling their wares for nearly 20 years now and have been in some school districts for as long as 15 years (as San Jose claims).

And what do they (the school districts) have to show for it?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Except "feelings" that things are a bit better here and there.

Yeah, sure they are...

I'm sure we all can barely wait for the tremendous improvements these "courageous conversations" will bring to "black" performance.

Or maybe the intent is to lower "white" performance by driving the smart kids and their families away.

And PEG just cannot adequately explain Asian success without sounding like the racist fools they are.

Just ask and see what they say.

(They actually manage to "blame" whitey for Asian success, too...)

Anonymous said...

Shamash, it doesn't even account for how Hispanic kids are performing better, on average, than black students. This is in addition to overcoming the challenge of learning English. I have had many years of experience with Hispanic students and for the most part, they are well-behaved and studious.

Is there some sort of "Hispanic privilege"? Are they actually "white" in disguise? Or is it simply the fact that most of them come from stable two-parent households, are taught decorum, morals, and hard work?

Anonymous said...


All one has to do is look at the gerrymandering of the Census.

Mecklenburg County is either 60.7% White (White persons, percent, 2011) or 50.4% White (White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2011), yet Hispanics alone makeup 12.4% (Persons of Hispanic or Latino Origin, percent, 2011 (b)) (b) denotes: Hispanics may be of any race, so also are included in applicable race categories.

Have you figured that mess out yet?

The Black/White argument is easier and historic and allows educrats and the race hustlers to exist. Without it, they wouldn't know how to put one foot in front of the next.

Anonymous said...

The worst case of college athletic scholarship fraud in US history worshiped and adored by the local media and why the education and college system has to be changed to avoid unqualified shysters such as this although shame on Carolina and its owner for drafting this one 2 years ago with more baggage than US Air.

Shamash said...

A glimpse into our future?

http://www. breitbart .com/Big-Government/2012/09/15/Portland-Oregon-schools-spent-526-901-to-learn-that-pb-j-sandwiches-are-racist

"Dr. Verenice Gutierrez, a principal with Oregon’s Portland Public Schools, has become convinced that America’s “white culture” negatively influences educators’ world view and the manner in which they teach their students."

"For instance, last year a teacher in the district presented a lesson that included a reference to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Gutierrez says that by using sandwiches as an illustration, the teacher was engaged in a very subtle form of racism."

Bwahahhahaa. PB&J is racist...

Good thing Lancaster County is building a new elementary school just over the state border near Ballantyne.

I think they're going to need it.

Anonymous said...

When I was in elementary school, prior to integration, one of my favorite lunches was PB&J sandwiches.

I can still taste it today.

It's amazing how 50 years later the race hustlers have put a sandwich on their hit list.

As I said in a comment above, without race hustling, educrats and special interest groups wouldn't know what to do with themselves.

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I just read it! I especially like the part about "In addition to teaching that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are racist, PEG trains educators to view “rugged individualism,” “adherence to rigid time schedules,” and the belief that “hard work is the key to success” as traits of the dominant white culture."

Really??? What about Hispanic and Asian students? They are far more likely to be prompt and believe that hard work is the key to success. Oh, in fact black students from Africa and the Caribbean feel the same way.

"PEG teaches that minority cultures value “color group collectivism,” “interdependence,” group success, shared property, learning through social relationships, and making life choices based on “what will be best for the family or group.”

Ok, the above is very interesting. I mean, do high school and college graduates get a collective/group diploma or an individual one? Do companies interview individual candidates for a job or collective groups? If one person in this color-conscious group deems that paying his creditors isn't a priority, will the rest of his collective group take up a collection or let the deadbeat get collection calls? Yeah, I thought so.

Anonymous said...

So adhering to a rigid time schedule is a trait of the dominant white culture? Well, go to places in Asia and that time-conscious mindset is prevalent.

So does that mean that companies that expect their employees to adhere to a schedule are inherently racist? If someone shows up at a doctor's office 30 minutes late for an appointment, should the doctor neglet the other patients and wait for this person to show up? Or, is the doctor somehow a racist if other patients are then called?

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

Anon 10:56.

Oh, PEG and Singleton even miss the mark much closer to home.

He misses more than just the other "brown" people's successes.

Even blacks from OUTSIDE the US don't seem to have the same problems with "racism" and academic performance that US born blacks have.

http://www. washingtonpost. com/blogs/therootdc/post/rethinking-the-achievement-gap-lessons-from-the-african-diaspora/2012/09/04/eebc5214-f362-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_blog.html

"John Ogbu, then a professor of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, contended that immigrant black Americans live in more racially diverse communities and aren’t burdened by perceived black underachievement on standardized tests.

This is largely because they lack a connection to predominantly U.S.-born black communities and they trust white institutions more than non-immigrant blacks. This leads them them to make housing choices based on the potential for greatest opportunity in education and employment, which tend to be in more diverse communities."


Singleton and PEG, of course, are pushing in the WRONG DIRECTION.

Note that black success in the "diaspora" basically comes from "acting white".

Or at least NOT by "acting black", but by assimilating and trusting "white institutions" and looking for more opportunities.

Funny how it always seems to take foreigners to see all those "opportunities", eh?

This makes it sound more like an attitude rather than aptitude problem in the "black" community, doesn't it?

But that's exactly what Singleton and his race-baiting consultants fear the most...


No one wants to pay to hear it because it is old news and doesn't soothe white liberal guilt.

He's making a fortune catering to the same old left guard in race relations in the US.

The same ones who benefit the most from repeated failures of "their" people.

Shamash said...

Anon 11:42.

You should read what the race-baiters have to say about Asian success.

They do it just to please their white masters and meet our expectations of them as "model" minorities.

That's why the trains in Japan always run on time.

Just in case a white person needs to get somewhere in a hurry.

See, it all makes sense as long as you're "culturally sensitive"...

Such foolishness and more will be coming soon to a school near you.

Anonymous said...

This incident sums up they way many Blacks think in America and why there is such a divide when it comes to racism:

...The comment that got Rob Parker fired came on December 13th, during an episode of ESPN's show "First Take." Parker called the popular RGIII a "cornball brother" and questioned Griffin's commitment to the African-American community based on the fact that Griffin is a Republican and has a white fiance.

ESPN suspended Parker after public outcry, but the real action that got Rob Parker fired came this weekend.

Parker went on television in Detroit and said he was "shocked" by the backlash, and that he still had "concerns" for Griffin.

Supposedly, Whites don't understand why they are racist, yet Blacks seem to have a problem with being a bigot and racist themselves.

Anonymous said...

Shamash, I would love to read more. If you don't mind and have the time, could you please share with us a list of your information sources? I already noted Breitbart but I would love to be exposed to more if you could do so. I would really appreciate that!3

Anonymous said...

5:38 I really admire your willingness to do what is best for your family and get the heck out of CMS/LIFT. The fact that you are willing to make the effort and do what you can to get what is best for your child proves my earlier point: charter schools have the built-in advantage because they attract parents like you: involved and willing to do whatever it takes.

If you are a renter rather than a homeowner, you have the options of moving somewhere else either in Mecklenburg or a surrounding community. This is in case your child is on a long waiting list for a charter.

If you are a homeowner, it might be harder to pack up and leave so quickly. Since you mentioned private school as well, there are a lot of smaller ones, usually Christian, which are pretty reasonable as far as tuition is concerned. They have high academic and behavior standards and your child will be allowed to learn in peace. Many of them even take a traditional approach to learning (stuff that has been PROVEN to work over time) rather than fads of the week.

Believe me, I am a CMS teacher who would GLADLY teach in one of those small Christian schools if the pay was enough to support my family on. But alas, it isn't and so I remain in CMS. What that means is that the teachers in those schools aren't there for the money but for the love of children and teaching. I encourage you to explore this is you can afford it.

Shamash said...

Anon 12:14 pm

I try to post my sources as often as I can (esp. when I quote), but I don't want to get caught up in the CO website referencing restrictions.

A lot of what I get is from original sources (NAEP on Achievement gaps, Singleton's books - a huge portion of which is on Google books, BTW, other books on Critical Race Theory, Anti-Racism, etc., etc. and from schools which are implementing PEG projects).

A lot of this can be Googled, of course, and some of it is just a matter of just reading what's out there.

I generally weed out some of the nuttier stuff, but some of that turns out to have a grain of truth as well.

The connection between Singleton, PEG, and Marxist Critical Theory is pretty widely available, for example, if you know that the missing link between them is called Critical Legal Theory.

For the most part, I just follow where PEG has gone and look for the local news and commentary that follows.

I also look at information in other places (such as Toronto, Canada) where they have had similar movements to see where they've ended up. And some of that is interesting, too.

I'll try to post more references in the future, though, as long as they don't get my posts deleted.

Shamash said...

Anon 12:14...

Just to give an idea how these articles and other info I find flow:

From my original Google for information on "PEG Glenn Singleton success", I found the PB&J story.

From there, following up on the principal Gutierrez who pronounced the sandwich as "racist", I found a blog talking about people leaving the Portland schools in droves:

http://victoriataftkpam .

and from there, I found an article in the Portland Tribune:

http://portlandtribune . com/pt/9-news/122281-whiteness-is-constantly-thrown-in-our-face

And all this came from me TRYING to find examples of PEG/Singleton SUCCESS!

And I'm still looking...

I guess "success" depends on how you define it.

And while these searches sometimes lead to interesting opinionated sources, they usually point back to something in the mainstream (Portland Tribune being a good example).

There are a few exceptions, though, so I keep an open eye for more.

Shamash said...

I swear, I couldn't make this stuff up...

Portland Oregon is a real hornets nest it seems.

Note the reference to the apparently new "Office of Equity" which has grown from 1 to 7 employees in a year.

And their 93 EMPLOYEE week long "field trip" to San Antonio for a Courageous Conversation meeting?

Bet that took some bucks.

Anonymous said...

Shamash, as I read what you write and read some of the same on my own, I am more and more convinced this is just a more sophisticated method using the old race card game to help more and more up to the tax payers feeding trough via extortion of communities, politicians and educrats. They simply are unwilling to be a productive member of society and choose to be leeches instead.

Shamash said...
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Shamash said...

Anon 8:25

I tend to agree. What bothers me, though, is that they don't seem to have any solid success stories out there, either.

A lot of their partner schools ARE NOT heavily black, many are mostly white. And even after a decade at some, they don't seem to really close that achievement gap, either.

Anti-racism doesn't seem to work anywhere else I've checked, either.

It seems to lead to segregated schools.

Just look where Toronto, Canada is headed with their first segregated "black" (or, rather, Afrocentric) school.

They've been on a similar "anti-racism" kick for a while.

(And this seems to be a logical extension of those efforts...)

Not sure who their consultants were, though, probably NOT PEG.

Which may not be such a bad idea.

Back to the 1950's, I guess.

However, I WOULD NOT be opposed to giving Singleton/PEG ONE CHARTER SCHOOL for their experiment.

Get a bunch of like-minded folks together and see if they can make ONE SCHOOL work.

Before infecting a whole school system.

Anonymous said...

CMS will never understad that their greatest asset is the teacher.Way to much time and effort is spent on the quest for the Federal Money that is somehow the holly grail in education.The face of your organization and the quality of the product produced will never change until the morale and motivation of the teacher changes.


Anonymous said...

CMS’s “greatest asset is it’s teachers“. As North Carolina prepares to grade it’s teachers, and later their pay based on their student’s test scores, our community will see a further decline in what teachers are willing to offer to our educational system. ( You can kick a dog only so much). This is not solely about our student’s skin color, where they live, or who their parents are. Many students have become successful or fallen short in spite of these attributes. The decisions being made for our students are all about politics and power…you know the inauthentic kind of power. However, reading some of the comments on this page, one can’t help but feel you all get what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

11:30, I agree with your that public education needs to an extreme reformation to refocus its efforts. I know that 100 years under the Democrats was not going to get us there. I am willing to give the Republicans a shot for at least 25 years. There is a lot of "old guard" that has got to go.

I do though see a chance for good teachers to get better pay. However, a lot of the "old guard" could still derail it because they do not believe in it. The trick is going to be how can the sytem be set up to minimize the "sorority sista" effect in CMS or the gothca among jealous techer team members.

Ideally, I'd love to get the feds out of public schools. Sufficient laws are in place to take care of most issues. The public schools have to spend an extra $2 for every $1 they get from the feds. The percentage of public school dollars going to the schoolhouse is too low. Many states have passed laws to ensure at least 80-85% of funds must reach the schoolhouse. I'd love to see NC legislature do this because one of the travesties in CMS is the parade of consultants brought in every year to drain dollars and have yet to see where anyone has done anything to help the achievement rates.

Anonymous said...

Shamash, years ago, PBS did a special on public education and of course did a lot on Horace Mann. Also as part of the telecast, they brought up how forced integration could be argued as the worse thing to have happened to the education of black children. The black colleges specialized in training lawyers, doctors and teachers. So in the black community, teachers held a highly respectable position. With integration, most back only schools were closed and most of those teachers lost their jobs. The telecast made the point that white teachers were mostly housewives who were college graduates but not necessarily with education degrees. You hear some theme to that these days when people think teachers are just a part time gig.

Just some interesting background I have come across.

Shamash said...
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Shamash said...

Anon 4:22.

At one time Washington DC had one of the best High Schools in the country, Dunbar High, for blacks.

Many of its teachers were Ph.D's.

Of course, some of this was because the best job a black with a Ph.D. could get was HS teacher, but it does illustrate a point.

A lot changed in the 1960's with both "black" and "women's" liberation.

For one thing, it opened opportunities outside teaching for educated women and blacks.

On the other hand, it meant that a lot of smart people left teaching for other professions.

And schools like the one in DC were slowly turned into regular, failing urban ghetto schools.

One of those unintended consequences I don't think we've quite recovered from.

In some ways, I feel like the real problem is an economics problem.

We haven't done much to encourage our brightest people to go into teaching.

And teaching seems to be more bureaucratic, almost like factory work with more regimentation and rules and regulations from on high.

I'd like to see us wake up as Finland has and help make teaching a more desirable profession for the best college students.

I think I have some quotes about how some of the earlier civil rights leaders had their doubts about the benefits of integration in education.

Maybe they were right.

But once the war against segregation was won, a lot of people thought everything would turn out just fine.

Apparently it hasn't.

I'll see what I can dig up on those quotes...

Anonymous said...

"Bumping teacher salaries to where they would have been before the freeze is prohibitively expensive"

This statement from the CMS salary article says it all. How much has been spent on surveys and consultants to try and find money for another rug to be pulled out from the employees?


Anonymous said...

Shamash, as many keep saying to those who bring up Finland, Finland has one of the most homogenized population in the world, snow/ice people to some. Second, the heavy hand of a central government coupled with a heavy taxed GDP, makes for any reality they wish to pay for.

I for one do not accept the Finland model can work in America. I would advise those that long for a Finland model to move there. While Obama strives for the US to become another European country, there are enough real Americans who still believe in the promise, only the promise though (not the guarantee of success), of American opportunity.

For more information on the real story of Finland's public education system, you do not get that from the American mass media, read "Waiting for a Miracle".

Shamash said...
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Shamash said...

Anon 10pm.

Well, I think you HAVE to mention Finland since they get some of the best results out there in the international testing and they do it in a somewhat unique way, cutting against the grain of so much of what we are trying to do.

And while we are not Finns, some of what they are doing could apply to SOME of our schools and students, if only the well-to-do white kids.

So why ignore them?

Also, Finns aren't Asian like so many OTHER of the top performers (such as Singapore, Korea, etc.), so they may be more like us than other examples.

And Finland performs better than Norway which is very similar demographically and yet gets performance more like the US.

How does Finland beat Norway and other Scandinavian countries with similar socialist systems and homogeneous populations?

I still think there's a story to be told there...

I don't think it hurts to look at ALL the top performers to see what we can learn from them even if we can't be exactly like them.

One thing they did, though, that is NOT unique to Finland is increase the status of teaching and draw more teachers from the top of their college student pool.

I don't think teachers in the US come from the top 20% of the pool of college students by a long shot.

More like the middle of the pack.

I think you will find that teachers in Asia (Japan, China, etc.) are treated with more respect and have a higher status than most teachers in the US.

Our white and Asian kids do fairly well compared to the rest of the world. Perhaps a little below where they should be, but not dramatically so.

I don't like to see us ignore out top performers, though, just because they are "good enough" because the competition is getting better all the time.

It's still our best against the best of the rest of the world that matters most.

And yet, we keep acting as if it's our bottom of the barrel which will lead us into the future.

The biggest problem I see is probably in our culture, though.

And I don't really see that as anything we can "fix" or really should have schools trying to "fix".

Ultimately, I think we'll need another "Sputnik" moment to wake us up.

I haven't seen the "Waiting for a Miracle" book anywhere but would gladly read what it has to say.

If only because I rarely believe the media stories, either...