Archive

This primary site archive is by date. Other subsidiary archives are by subject category.

    2016

  • Bestiary 2010, 4
  • Ready for kindergarten? 8-20-16: CMS has a “Ready for School – Parent Checklist” posted that accompanies an update on how adults can prepare children for the new experience of kindergarten. There are immunizations to ...
  • Tackling fear and indifference Aug. 12, 2016 From a commentary published in Educate! on April 22, 2005 in the days immediately following the resignation of Supt. James Pughsley. The community can tackle the big issues of ...
  • What will it take? July 30, 2016 Excerpt from a subsection headlined “The public interest” in a commentary headlined “Big issues calling: Schools may be about to close, but difficult challenges lie ahead needing focus, ...
  • Bestiary 2010, 5
  • Environmental scan 7-14-16: Using KPMG data, the Business Journal noted that Charlotte has “the ninth-most favorable tax structure for businesses” and for manufacturing operations “the fourth-most cost-effective tax structure among the U.S. ...
  • Integration is ‘about reconstituting what we have, including ourselves’ July 1, 2016 Comments at a 2002 UNC Chapel Hill conference by john a. powell, currently a Berkeley School of Law professor, as first published in Educate!, Sept. 5, 2002: Produce a ...
  • The search for consensus in a divided community June 16, 2016; first published in Educate! Feb. 3, 2002 From a report headlined “Board Retreat: 3 one-act plays; School board hears good news about goals achieved, bad news about prospects ...
  • Gangs: High schools beefing up security forces to meet rising challenge June 11, 2016; first published in Educate!, March 3, 2006 Supt. Jim Pughsley said CMS is adding security associates at high schools as evidence increases of gang activity. “Some situations we are ...
  • ‘A Superintendent Speaks’ Taking guise of a candidate for a top schools position, longtime reformer calls for fundamental cultural change to refocus public schools on children’s needs July 9, 2016; originally published in Educate!, Aug. ...
  • Helms: Community must buy into schools accord June 9, 2016; first published in Educate! Jan. 14, 2001 Lawyer Parks Helms isn’t known for defying courts. So it may have given some folks pause when, in his State of ...
  • A summer hiatus June 8, 2016 Starting Thursday, the Fellowship’s board will be on hiatus for the summer. This site may be just as active, or more likely less so, as members disperse. But to ...
  • Bestiary 2010, 6
  • Non-assignment agenda 5-29-16: The June 2 CMS Policy Committee meeting will NOT explore student assignment issues. The agenda shows discussion of revisions in policies JBA about harassment of students by employees; GBA on ...
  • Bestiary 2010, 7
  • Brown? Brown who? 5-16-16: “Both racial and poverty segregation create educational challenges for students and are related to unequal opportunity. Many schools are affected by both at the same time in a pattern our ...
  • Wrestling with the main assignment policy May 12, 2016 The morning’s Policy Committee meeting was a slog through the details of how CMS assigns students. With a consultant on how to revise student assignment identified but not ...
  • Clark: Bond issue would open new paths to reducing concentrated poverty April 14, 2016; Agenda handout In a couple of weeks there will clearly be much more said about this subject, but today Supt. Ann Clark announced at a CMS Board Policy ...
  • Staff draft of guiding principles recommits to nearby assignments April 13, 2016 Supt. Ann Clark presented a staff-written set of guiding principles Tuesday night. The Observer’s Ann Doss Helms wrote about the presentation here (cached here). The early website version is here. The ...
  • Bestiary 2010, 8
  • More on Pre-K 4-1-16: No April Fool’s Day prank, a News & Observer op-ed column by professors at UNC Chapel Hill and Duke argues that the study that found no lasting benefit to ...
  • Swann 45 years later: It’s not about the lawyers anymore April 2, 2016 The lawyers gather today in Chapel Hill today to mark the 45th anniversary of Swann v Board of Education. That case, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court ...
  • Bestiary 2010, 9
  • What principals bring March 27, 2016 “Research shows that principals’ subjective evaluations of teachers may offer valuable information on teacher performance beyond what student test scores alone can capture, including contributions to the school’s ...
  • Bestiary 2010, 10
  • Clean it up 3-21-16: We’re delighted to see another group rolling up its sleeves to learn about CMS. And the CMS Families United for Public Education, which has abandoned its narrower moniker of “for ...
  • 2010 Bestiary, 11
  • Together we can 3-20-16: The Census pegs Joe and Joanne Average’s household income in Mecklenburg at $56,472. So if all their income went toward buying the new $98.4 million high school that CMS ...
  • 2010 Bestiary, 12
  • Making choice work 3-17-16: The first report from the CMS survey about community attitudes about student assignment raises may issues. Among them: On map at right (click to enlarge), by board district, are percentages of ...
  • 2010 Bestiary, 13
  • It’s not about busing 3-11-16: The Charlotte Chamber’s Natalie English asked CMS Supt. Ann Clark to summarize her March 9 message to the chamber’s Workforce Development Committee. The message? Parents are “looking in the ...
  • Average class size, by school March 10, 2016 For all CMS K-5 and K-8 schools, the average number of students per classroom, in descending order: Hawk Ridge 22.44 Davidson 22.13 Prov. Spring 21.98 Eliz. Lane 21.74 Park Road 21.54 Polo Ridge 21.49 Washam ...
  • Where the mobiles are March 7, 2016 For all CMS K-5 and K-8 schools, the perentage of all classrooms at a school that are outside in mobile units. Collinswood 51.1% Park Road 50.0% Albemarle Road 46.2% Windsor Park 43.5% Montclaire ...
  • No magic, just work 3-7-16: Between 2011 and 2015, Garner High cut its annual dropout rate from 5.62% to 1.42%, a 75% drop, Matt Dees writes for EdNC. Assistant Principal Joe Bundens: “I don’t ...
  • Conference to ‘imagine a path forward,’ 45 years after Swann March 6, 2016 The flier above is for a conference to be held Saturday, April 2 at the UNC School of Law, 160 Ridge Rd., Chapel Hill. Entitled “Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg at ...
  • A Golden Moment – and a teachable moment March 3, 2016 This article was first published on this website Dec. 27, 2008 when the writer was a CMS teacher trying to organize a support group for educators working in ...
  • Reading, phase 2 3-1-16: We’ve heard this before: Drill-and-kill may give young children decoding practice, but drill-and-kill won’t make them proficient readers because the next step – understanding what they are reading – ...
  • A great return on a public investment Feb. 29, 2016 First published in Educate! March 27, 2003 “Writing for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, research director Art Rolnick and analyst Rob Grunewald say that one study suggests that ...
  • New look, same goals 2-26-16: This website’s new format launched this morning. The conversion should make the content more accessible on today’s variety of screen sizes.
  • Is this a trial balloon? 2-22-16: School board member Eric Davis speaking to his District 5 constituents at Myers Park Baptist Church.  

    2015

  • The new elephant in the room Dec. 10, 2015 Meeting materials here Listen in as Policy Committee chair Tom Tate tries to summarize a discussion of goals for student assignment that members had offered at today’s committee meeting: The four ...
  • Are all the ‘great’ educators just alike? Nov. 27, 2015 Here’s a question you can ponder while you’re sitting quietly digesting the turkey leftovers: Do you remember having a teacher you really connected with and learned so much from? ...
  • Will all children benefit, or just some? Nov. 12, 2015 In the video of this meeting is a striking exchange, just a little over 3 minutes long, that goes to the heart of the fears and anxieties gripping ...
  • What is known about reading, and when Nov. 9, 2015 There has been much talk about reading by third grade, and about reading readiness. What members of the Swann board, meeting Oct. 8, wanted to know was: What does ...
  • League holds session on assignment ‘guidelines and opportunities’ Nov. 7, 2015 Matt Ellenwood talked about the Obama adminstration’s guidance letter on how race, socioeconomics and other factors could be used as factors in student assignment. Tom Tate talked about ...
  • Champagne, or beer? Oct. 15, 2015 Meeting materials here It was Thelma Byers-Bailey who offered the CMS Policy Committee a headline metaphor that probably rings true for parents at a number of schools across CMS. Under ...
  • The past, present, and a possible future for CMS Oct. 7, 2015 Lawyers Luke Largess, James E. Ferguson II and UNCC researcher Amy Hawn Nelson addressed the past and future of student assignment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at Covenant Presbyterian Church. ...
  • Line by line, row by row Sept. 10, 2015 Agenda here With seven of the nine members of the Board of Education present at one point or another, the board’s Policy Committee continued its slo-mo romp through the ...
  • Our nation’s Race to the Bottom Aug. 21, 2015 From “The Condition of Education 2015,” published by The National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Dept. of Education, NCES 2015-144, May 2015.
  • Talk of surveys, consultants, avoiding disruption Aug. 13, 2015 Meeting materials With eight Board of Education members either in the room or participating via phone, the CMS Policy Committee Thusday wrestled again with their own aggressive timeline and ...
  • Wake and Meck – A tale of demographics Aug. 8, 2015 Back in April, the members of the CMS Policy Committee began looking at student assignment. And one of their first questions was: Help us understand the differences between ...
  • Magnet review: A first look July 28, 2015 Below is the portion of the July 28 CMS school board meeting that deals with a presentation on an initial report on visits by officials of the National ...
  • Tables removed – but not stumbling blocks? July 26, 2015 The July 9 Policy Committee meeting was held without a desk separating board members and staff. But there was a great deal of distance separating them – not ...
  • About struggling readers: The adults are failing July 8, 2015 A reading score in Level 1 ”denotes limited command of knowledge and skills.” Level 2 ”denotes partial command of knowledge and skills.” None of the students on Level ...
  • New terminology, same reality July 5, 2015 Above is the latest revision of an old chart. The message is always the same: Schools full of economically disadvantaged children record unacceptable levels of academic achievement. The ...
  • Temporary detour – or descent into fault lines? June 23, 2015 Most issues going before a public meeting of the Board of Education are put on paper and arrive in board members’ hands or inboxes several days before the ...
  • Charleston: In memoriam June 17, 2015
  • What programs sell? Magnet lottery results offer one clue June 20, 2015 When parents vote with their children’s future, what programmatic offerings sell in Charlotte-Mecklenburg? One gauge each year is the magnet lottery. The results of the first lottery this spring ...
  • Vision, Goals, Principles: Draft 2 June 15, 2015 To be adopted by Dec. 8, 2015 PDF version here Parents, educators and others are invited to submit draft rewrites of the Guiding Principles for publication on these pages. Vision & ...
  • Board offers feedback on student assignment approach June 11, 2015 Board members meeting as the Policy Committee began on Thursday to home in a bit on how staff should proceed in crafting changes to the current assignment plan. Many ...
  • New baggage rule June 9, 2015 Araminta Johnston, shown in this clip from the school board’s Requests from the Public section of its June 9 meeting, is a co-founder of The Swann Fellowship.
  • Morgan makes pitch for school bonds June 9, 2015 Tim Morgan is an at-large member of the school board.
  • UNC expert briefs board on ‘disruptive demographics’ May 26, 2015 Demographer Jim Johnson from UNC Chapel Hill met with the Board of Education and walked them through a presentation he called “Disruptive Demographics and North Carolina’s Education Challenges.” The ...
  • Board reviews assignment plan, identifies some issues May 26, 2015 “We would not get a fully accurate response if we asked parents why they choose to go to charter schools, let’s put it on the table here, because ...
  • Rewriting Guiding Principles: Draft 1 May 20, 2015 To be adopted by Dec. 8, 2015 PDF version here Parents, educators and others are invited to submit draft rewrites of the Guiding Principles for publication on these pages. The Board ...
  • Are these the guiding principles we need? May 14, 2015 A second meeting of the CMS Policy Committee this morning finished the first review of the district’s guiding principles for student assignment. Most of the discussion from board members ...
  • ‘A Dream Again Deferred?’ May 5, 2015 Steve Crump, above left, led author Frye Gaillard and researcher Amy Hawn Nelson through an evening program devoted to the legacy of Swann v. Mecklenburg. That case challenged ...
  • A process to re-examine student assignment begins April 29, 2015 Four members CMS Board of Education Wednesday set in motion the 16-month review that will look at whether to change the way North Carolina’s second-largest school district assigns ...
  • Any second thoughts? 2-19-15: So you arrive at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter is squinting at his ledger. He looks up. “Old Man Thrugbottom, your business competitor. He came by here awhile ago. It ...
  • Returning our eyes to the prize Feb. 18, 2015 Last week’s school board meeting included an update on literacy efforts within CMS. The CMS chart below at right details the crisis: At most grade levels, fewer than ...
  • Paris   Jan. 8, 2015

    2014

  • Independent eyes Dec. 11, 2014 Two conversations at the Fellowship’s meeting this morning bore on current topics of public interest. Procedural oversight CMS board member Eric Davis continues to suggest publicly that the school board ...
  • The ‘culture of fear’ Nov. 7, 2014 We used to see it in schoolhouses in the ’70s and ’80s. Some teachers lived in fear of old-school principals who could wield unchecked power on a campus ...
  • VOTE: It’s your future Source: democracync.org Oct. 11, 2014 “Black turnout dropped by 3.7 percentage points more than white turnout in Kansas, and by 1.5 percentage points more than whites in Tennessee after voter ID laws ...
  • A turning point in Ferguson? Aug. 15, 2014 Perhaps Ferguson, Missouri will once again bend the arc of history toward justice. After many nights of horrific conflict reminiscent of the 1960s, Highway Patrol officials walked with protesting ...
  • Why aren’t more adults engaged in fight for a future for all children? July 24, 2014 Well, here I sit at this computer in the early morning. I attended the last monthly board meeting of the Swann Fellowship, and was not surprised to find ...
  • ‘Hot Topic’ of the day is… July 6, 2014 “Welcome to my new page!” Heath Morrison wrote as he launched a “Heath’s Hot Topics” blog last year. “So much of my job has to do with communicating ...
  • ‘Don’t ever, ever shy away from a good struggle’ June 20, 2014 “Science actually shows that when you’re struggling to solve a problem or to understand a concept, you’re forming new pathways and connections in your brain. “So struggling isn’t a ...
  • Tribalism in CMS: An update June 16, 2014 In a school district in which no racial or ethnic group accounts for a majority of the students, more than half of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, and more than half ...
  • Comments, responses on the Manning article June 1, 2014 Our May 15 article, “Judge Manning issues a report on ‘the reading problem’ ” prompted a few inquiries after a shorter version of it was published on the ...
  • Judge Manning on ‘the Reading Problem’ May 15, 2014 N.C. Superior Court Judge Howard Manning’s May 5 report on N.C. education is a blunt reminder that North Carolina is failing to educate its children. The message can be ...

      2011

    • New CMS board faces immediate test of direction Dec. 10, 2011 Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting allows the public an opportunity to speak out on how to serve the district’s high-needs children. The Eric Smith superintendency of 1996-2002 saw the ...
    • A new Board of Education Dec. 14, 2011 Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting marked the installation of new members and the beginning of a new chapter in the board’s work. We congratulate Ericka Ellis-Stewart, lower left, who ...
    • Reviewing school board election results Nov. 10, 2011 The Fellowship’s regular monthly board meeting always seems to fall two days after a school board election, so it has been a tradition for the Fellowship to gather ...
    • Thanks for all who ran for CMS board; congrats to winners Nov. 8, 2011 Today’s victory by Ericka Ellis-Stewart, Mary McCray and Tim Morgan closes out a long and difficult, if possibly momentous, election for the CMS Board of Education. But first let ...
    • At-large school board candidates interviewed on 10 topics Sept. 30, 2011, from material from 26 pages originally posted on or before Sept. 30, 2011 Fourteen candidates in the 2011 election for three at-large seats on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of ...
    • What type of leader? June 9, 2011 Within an hour of my hearing the news of Dr. Gorman’s departure, a retired journalist all but stuck a microphone in my face and asked what kind of ...
    • ‘Segregation is an educational and social disease’ March 20, 2011 “Segregation is an educational and social disease. Sometimes its impacts are ameliorated for a while in some places, but the broad relationship is clear and strong. “Isolation by poverty, ...
    • ‘Focus’ middle schools for 2011-12 Feb. 20, 2011 Circles mark the K-8 and middle-school attendance areas covered by the CMS Focus School initiative for 2011-12. That program has given teachers additional resources, and given principals additional ...
    • School board decisions on budget cuts Feb. 8, 2011 On Bright Beginnings: Delayed until Feb. 8 meeting Voting to delay: Eric Davis, Rhonda Lennon, Richard McElrath, Kaye McGarry, Trent Merchant, Tim Morgan, Tom Tate, Joyce Waddell. Delayed until regular budget ...
    • An appeal in Wake to ‘place our children first’ Feb. 1, 2011 Our commitment is to a student assignment plan that strengthens student achievement, not weakens it. That strengthens communities, not weakens them. That strengthens parental involvement, not weakens it. ...
    • Gorman on how to treat children Jan. 27, 2011 … treat every child in the community like they were your own child.” – Supt. Peter Gorman in Jan. 27, 2011 interview with qcitymetro.com   The quote above was taken from ...
    • Redirect anger over proposed budget cuts Jan. 9, 2011 To the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community: Have we in a year’s time lost 8% or 10% of our interest in our children? Do we think 8% or 10% less of their ...

      2007

    • Swann Board endorses League’s Equity Funding ‘Call to Action’ Dec. 20, 2007 At their Dec. 13 board meeting, directors of the Swann Fellowship endorsed the League of Women Voters’ “Equity Funding – A Call to Action.” The vote was unanimous. The ...
    • Little Rock school district declared unitary Feb. 23, 2007, Arkansas Times “Federal Judge Bill Wilson ended the Little Rock School District’s long entanglement with desegregation litigation Friday with a 49-page order that declared the district unitary. “The district ...
    • Law dean asks whether Charlotte assignment puts children at risk Feb. 9, 2007 The following is the text of a speech delivered to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bar Association on Friday, Jan. 26, 2007 by John Charles Boger, dean of the School of ...
    • Number of CMS dropouts skyrockets Feb. 1, 2007, The Charlotte Observer “The dropout rate for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and several area districts soared last year, fueling an increase across North Carolina, according to a report released Wednesday. “The ...
    • How North Carolina counts dropouts Jan. 24, 2007 N.C. dropout rate accounting is about to change. An explanation from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction: North Carolina’s current method for calculating dropout rates has been widely criticized. A ...
    • Schools turning to wealth, not race, to integrate schools Jan. 11, 2007, USA Today “A small but growing number of school districts are using – or are thinking about using – a child’s socioeconomic status to help determine what school ...
    • Leandro-type lawsuit underway in Washington State Jan, 5, 2007, The Seattle Times “School-district officials, union leaders and civic activists are poised to file the most sweeping lawsuit against the state of Washington over education spending in three ...

      2006

    • Reviewing the legacy of the 1966 Coleman report Dec, 7, 2006 Equality of Educational Opportunity: A 40-Year Retrospective Wisconsin Center for Education Research, December 2006, 27 pp. Adam Gamoran and Daniel A. Long   “Equality of Educational Opportunity, the 1966 landmark ...