Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ann Clark launching Raleigh lobbying public efforts

The North Carolina legislature will soon be back in session, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools hopes to be a prominent voice in Raleigh this year.

Deputy Superintendent Ann Clark is scheduled to kick off her public lobbying effort this weekend at an event sponsored by the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. Called "What happens in Raleigh matters in Mecklenburg," the forum will feature speakers who believe the state budget doesn't properly fund education in the Charlotte area (If you're interested in going, the event is at 10 a.m. Saturday at the YWCA, 3420 Park Road).

Also speaking will be John Dornan, founder and former executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina; and Tazra Mitchell, a policy analyst at the Budget and Tax Center, part of the N.C. Justice Center.

Clark spoke at a similar event last year. But this year, the appearance comes as she will be assuming one of her most prominent roles yet in Raleigh as she acts in the superintendent's role for CMS. She told the Observer last month that she's already been setting up individual meetings with the Mecklenburg County delegation. That group will be getting another friendly face in January when school board member Joyce Waddell steps down to take a seat in the N.C. Senate. Expect that to happen at the board meeting next week.

Clark has said 2015 will include targeted trips to Raleigh to push for increased teacher pay and for support  in recruiting top young teachers.


Larry said...

I am glad she knows the problems at CMS can be taken care of with more tax money.

Too often we hear nothing but we have enough, and the problem is in our operation and over abundance of social engineering programs we hear from CMS all the time.

Now is the time to come up with something like it is for the children. Or something that tugs at everything except the mind thinking the system needs to be overhauled.

Anonymous said...

So she can do better in Raleigh than Heath Morrison ?

Come On Man

Anonymous said...

Ann, when you go to Raleigh can you mention all the recent studies that cite academic improvement and health benefits for high school students with later school start times?

Thanks, The Public

Unknown said...

Hopefully she lobbies for more money for the legal staff at CMS, lord knows it's for the children.
How come the leaders and the elected ruling class never answer the tough questions from the general public, aka. the taxpayer?

Anonymous said...

Love the Lawyers and "Market Adjusters" who seek and get the 15% raises. Just love the equity in it all.

After six years of frozen salary I received a 0.3 percent raise this year.

Health Benefits for students. Ask for the Health Benefits for teachers that were not frozen but taken away never to return such as :
Loss of Vision
Loss of Dental
Loss of 80/20 reduced to 70/30

Even the entry level teacher who received the bulk of the raise on scale know that the future is capped in the profession. Intrinsic rewards can only go so far in repaying the student loans and the grocery bill.

Unknown said...


I would be surprised to see CMS be successful in Raleigh this spring. It’s not an election year. And the Republicans have been emboldened with the victory of Thom Tillis to the U.S. Senate.

If the Republican state leader who had to cut education along with a lot of other budgets can win a state-wide election, then those in the General Assembly this year probably feel they are bullet-proof when it comes to the budget.

However, Ms. Clark can speak the General Assembly’s language. While she can support the advantages of smaller classrooms and better paid teachers, what she is an expert at is professional training for teachers and the long-term benefits of it. Since training is a relative cheap expense, I can see her having a strong connection with those in the House and Senate who made their careers running well structured businesses.

This would be a small victory and a good start in restoring the importance of education to the economic future of North Carolina.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Beware of wishy washy real bully jumbo sized Clark insider who knows the 275k job is a piece of cake and never to rock the boat or buck the board or the sorority to keep the even flow billions of free loot streaming in from tax payers like clockwork.

The holy grail "gap" status quo exaction must remain entrenched and never tampered with plus the redistribution of wealth Marxist guilt factor pc equalization mind wash liberal 60s uncivil rights bowel movement stay solidified.

In other words if you aint down for the movement then you aint wanted. You got to play the game to get dat booty.

It would be suicide to hire some newby outsider again like Morrison who either misunderstood his real job or allowed his honor to get in the way to erase the "gap" and try to educate the CMS 3rd world that would not only give tax payers something to show for their money but more importantly reduce taxes thus damage education welfare booty benefits by billions in the future.
The idea is not to produce but to make you think it will and could if the big bucks keep coming in since expectation is always greater than realization. This is the ultimate golden rule of pc. Shakespeare's Great Expectations applies.

This is not just in education but everything else in European western society.
There has to be a Marxist type race "gap" war between the "haves" and "have nots" in order to keep the revolution intact nonstop.

In other words you cracka fools are being played like a drum and the real bottom line is political power and control by the 1% socialist elite Castro style than makes Obama's mouth water with envy at the thought.
Dont forget Castro and Chavez cleaned out banks, business and private property to the tune of 100 billion each when they revolutionized Cuba and Venezuela.

All you have to do is look at radical socialist Karl Obama doing his best to turn America into a Banana Republic making the Founders puke their dead guts out.

If you tell a lie long enough people will believe it.
There is no bigger liar than Obama libs who want complete and total destruction of Euro America.

There is also the issue of 10 trillion debt MIA since Obama took over in 2009 and Fidel National and Chazez S&L off shore Caribbean banks deposit growth at record levels.
Go fig.

Anonymous said...

Everything aside why is there such an unrealistic glut of sports in this city plus most are pathetically mediocre and poor? Why are mediocre sports stuffed down throats 24/7?

We have lived all over and never seen anything like this. The sports section is always on the front page so it is duplicated and triplicated and everywhere.

The hype of some mediocre local pro players is beyond the logical realm of reality and mysterious. Clearly this hype always involves an over rated over paid over worshiped dumb jock.
Is this some form of social experiment?

Can something be done to reduce the amateurish glut of sports from the media ?
It is so unreal it defies logic. No other cities with half a brain goes to such an effort to overrate sports as this one and they all suck.

Whoever runs or controls the CO sports dept needs to be terminated. Bias is not even the word.

Sports are nothing but rape of the public consumer and taxpayer. Don't add hype to the ignorance and stupidity already in place.

Anonymous said...

Home sick with the flu..

"the forum will feature speakers who believe the state budget doesn't properly fund education in the Charlotte area".

Does this imply that the state DOES properly fund education everywhere else? And how many NC systems have the benefit of an extra 55 million in private donations being pumped into it's lowest performing schools? This is where the disparity in funding between NC rural schools and NC urban schools gets my goat.

On the topic of recruiting "top" young teachers: At which CMS schools? At all schools or certain schools? With more and more HBCU's shutting down their education departments (including Johnson C. Smith), it does make it more difficult for CMS to recruit "top" young teachers who look like most of it's students. Good luck on this front.

The majority of young teachers in my licensure program headed out-of-state to teach. We just lost an exceptional young teacher at my public charter school 2 weeks ago who decided to take a higher paying job in the private sector after working as a teacher for 5 years - which is the average length of time most young teachers last in public education - not just in NC but everywhere else.

Now, allow me the opportunity to go and throw up.


Anonymous said...

The closing marks a symbolic shift in the educational landscape for historically black colleges and universities, which once churned out a steady stream of teachers. JCSU said that while the department “was consistent with the historical mission” of the university, “contemporary realities had begun to erode the strength and viability of the department.”

In an interview with WBTV, JCSU Chief Operating Officer Elfred Anthony Pinkard says the decision was painful but was the responsible thing to do. He said fewer students are interested in teaching because of low teacher pay.

"Members of the minority groups, like every other citizen want to be able to pursue livelihood that gives them the kind of compensation they can make a way for themselves and their family," he told the television station.

Pinkard also expressed concern that the closure would mean fewer minority teachers.

Anonymous said...

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners has voted to put a proposal for a quarter-cent (one-fourth of a penny) sales tax increase on the ballot Nov. 4. If the measure is approved by voters, it is expected to bring in approximately $35 million a year in additional revenue to Mecklenburg County. County commissioners will give 80 percent of these revenues to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Other beneficiaries will be Central Piedmont Community College, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and the Arts & Science Council. CMS’ projected portion of about $26-$28 million in annual revenue will be used to enhance salaries for district employees.

Didn't CMS ask the tax payers for more money last November?

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.

W. C. Fields

Anonymous said...

Ms.Clark, for the past several years CMS schools have been pushing for students, as young as Kindergarten, to bring in their Iphones, and other tech devices to school, called BYOT (bring your own technology).

Please reconsider this policy. According to the World Health Organization, wireless phones and other gadgets have the potential to cause all sorts of health problems, from headaches to brain tumors. The link between brain cancer and cell phone use has been a particularly persistent one, and mounting research has only made this association stronger. Recent research has shown that those who begin using cell phones heavily before age 20 have four to five times more brain cancer by their late 20s, compared to those whose exposure is minimal.

Why is our school system promoting a program that encourages young students to use these devices?

Anonymous said...

Clark sent an email to the Observer: “What I can tell you is that a culture of fear existed in the district office for the last two years separate and distinct from previous years.”

It was only a matter of time before the CYA activities would start among the CMS crowd.

Wiley Coyote said...

"Culture of fear"?

Could it have been the fear of busting up and finally eliminating the status quo that has had a choke hold on public education for decades?

Anonymous said...

ANYBODY can do better in Raleigh than Heath Morrison...

Anonymous said...

She needs to go to Raleigh and lobby for the state to increase social programs outside of school and demand that the schools stop having to deal with all the social issues that come from the loss of the two parent household. That is the main problem, not a money problem. These social issues should not be the school systems responsibility. Raise the classroom standards and stop dumbing down the classroom to cater to little Timmy whose parents never read a book to him in his life and doesn't care if he goes to bed at midnight.

Anonymous said...


If you were driving a truck by now the healthcare benefits would be better for a doctor to treat your illness

Anonymous said...

8:04 PM

Well, I have been a bit remiss in keeping up with Ann's coverage on healthcare.

In the meantime, I'm brushing up on my trucker slang. "Bear in the bushes in Rutherford County"!


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Ann should spend more time in Raleigh rather than ordering a crackdown of teachers who post on the facebook accounts. The ship is sinking and she is worried about rebellious teachers posting on facebook?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:44, what do you mean? Email me at adunn@charlotteobserver.com

Anonymous said...

I noticed in the Observer this morning the state is pushing through the 10 point grading scale and I noticed something else. The amount of credit given to students who take AP, honors or IB classes is to be reduced as well.

I have been a staunch supporter of public education, debating people such as Larry and Alicia on many occasions, however when I read such stories as this one, perhaps my support was misplaced, you were right all along.

I say open more quality charter schools and let us decide whether we want less or more for our children in terms of education!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:56 or Andrew Dunn,

I would like to here more about the hanges to the Honors and AP credits. Right now students in honors curses are on a 5.0 scale while students in an AP course are on a 6.0 scale. How exactly will his change and what is the justification for the change?


Anonymous said...

Anon 7:19,

Great suggestion! Yet it will never happen... Public education is where the liberal left is able to instill in our kids their "world view", and they will continue to use "our children" as hostages in the never ending effort to make the world satisfy their expectations.

Anonymous said...

I am the 48 year old who disagreed with you, "public education is not quite in the toilet just yet". After reading the story about the new 10 point grading scale and reducing the credit for AP, Honors and IB courses, I stand corrected. Public Education is most surely in the toilet! Then to top it all off, Clark wants more money to flush!

Anonymous said...

Flu delirium? Being put in the same sentence with Larry?

For the record, I don't think public charter schools are the end-all and be-all in public education anymore than I think traditional or magnet schools are the end-all and be-all in public education. As we've seen in Charlotte, some charter schools should have never opened in the first place. The good news is they were shut down quickly vs. other types of public schools that are often allowed to languish on forever. Parents who are interested in charters schools need to do their research just like any other school. I'm pleased with the charter school network I'm a part of - TeamCFA. Their educational approach, philosophy and curriculum is a good fit for me. I'm paid on the NC teacher salary scale, receive NC healthcare coverage with the added benefit of my school financially honoring my master's degree which the state of NC recently abolished.

As a reminder, I attended an arts magnet high school and my father is a retired public school superintendent. Like you, I'm a staunch supporter of public education - traditional, magnet and charter.

The grading scale debate is interesting because fundamentally I struggle with the way my charter school grades at the elementary level. Most elementary schools prohibit teachers from giving a grade below a C. My school sends home F's and will unapologetically retain students past 2nd grade which most research has shown does more harm than good. Students who fail sometimes leave and go back to their traditional public school. All students in grades K-11 (we'll have 12th grade next year) are also prohibited from participating in after school clubs and sports with any grade below a C - not just an average below a C but any grade below a C. EC students (which we have an unusually high percentage of) are typically graded on a different scale. Again, I struggle but don't find this to be an issue I'm going to die on a hill over because as far as I'm concerned, failure is not an option. For me, it's a matter of growth and being in an educational setting that's highly supportive of teachers and honors degrees of autonomy. My small class sizes also allow for more individual attention than I could possibly provide in an overcrowded classroom in an area like Ballantyne. My charter school isn't perfect but it feels like utopia to me.


Anonymous said...

10:09am Ask Ann Clark if she is now going against AP policy and letting students who are failing AP classes to drop the class, so her schools still "look" good. I hear this is happening at one of CMS' finest southern high schools. Smells fishy to me.

Anonymous said...

They is always a "culture of fear" when you are exposed as


Morrison rocked the boat by trying to actually solve many of the educational problems with this bloated and wasteful empire we call CMS. It is a shame a good man was run out of town before he could put in a staff of his choosing that would HELP him solve the problems instead of riding out the status quo that is CMeS.

Cant wait for the next flunkie that the Board exalts as the new savior of our tax dollars.

Anonymous said...


Go back and read the CO archive articles about the CMS teachers fired for their comments and picture postings on Facebook.Yes,the CMS gestapo is still alive and well

Anonymous said...

How can CMS spend over a BILLION dollars and graduate only about half of the students ?

Shamash said...

"How can CMS spend over a BILLION dollars and graduate only about half of the students ?"

Probably because less than half the money goes to the student's education.

I'm sure that with another billion, they could make it work.

Anonymous said...

7:15 CMS will continue to push students through the system. At last report, the grad rate was around 83%. The school principal has ultimate say if a student graduates. Possible conflict of interest there.

Anonymous said...


One "exalted" South Charlotte high school's AP policy is "once you enroll in an AP course you CANNOT drop it".

Are you suggesting that that is now changing?

Anonymous said...

re: AP classes being dropped. Dunn should check with the CMS Acountablity Office about this. It is certainly against AP class policy.

Anonymous said...

fyi...overall, research shows that students in smaller classes perform better in all subjects and on all assessments when compared to their peers in larger classes.

Anonymous said...


re: AP classes being dropped. Dunn should check with the CMS Acountablity Office about this. It is certainly against AP class policy.

As troubling as this seems to everyone, I overheard my daughter's friends talking about this very topic last night.

Seems her high school's principal is in jeopardy of too many students failing an AP course.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

CMS made it a goal to have more students in AP classes. Don't blame the kids or school principals for the ideas of the cubicle class.

Anonymous said...

It's all about appearances, the more students enrolled in AP classes, the better CMS looks (even though many of the students don't get passing grades). I certainly wasn't allowed to drop my hard AP classes. Someone (Dunn) should look into this.