I still do not understand how CMS could shut down what is considered one of the best magnet schools in the country … amazing.

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They bonded over shovels.

It was a Friday in March, a day off for students. Parents and kids from two middle schools, Davidson IB and J.M. Alexander, met on the Alexander campus. They were partners in an arranged marriage. Davidson was closing at the end of the school year. Alexander would take Davidson’s students and faculty. Nobody was thrilled about it.

Back in the fall, when the school board made the decision, the feelings were bare and raw. Davidson families blasted the board for killing off one of the best magnet schools in America. Alexander families got mad at the idea that their school didn’t measure up. Board member Rhonda Lennon said Davidson parents seemed unwilling to send their kids to school with poor black students. Davidson parents threatened to walk away from CMS.

Now, a few months afterward, everyone had calmed down. But the relationships still needed tending. The principals of both schools thought sprucing up the Alexander campus might be the way to spruce up the mood.

via Starting with a clean slate – together | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

When parachochial schools are closing down in many parts of the country, Charlotte’s diocese is adding a new high school. Definitely refects the changing character of Charlotte.

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The new Christ the King Catholic High School, which is scheduled to open this fall at a temporary location in Huntersville, will host a meeting Thursday to update families on progress on the new school.Newly hired project director Daniel Dolan will lead the meeting, which will be at 7 p.m. at St. Therese Catholic Church, on Brawley School Road in Mooresville.The new school will be run by the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. Mr. Dolan came to the diocese recently after many years of service to the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Richmond and Arlington, Va.

via New Catholic H.S. hosts meeting Thursday | DavidsonNews.net.

 

These cuts are indeed devastating and will have a long-term impact on our community.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter Gorman on Tuesday recommended cutting more than 1,500 jobs – including hundreds of teachers and assistants – to bridge a $100 million budget gap.

His plan also calls for saving money by lengthening the day at schools around the county, and by cutting more than a thousand children from the Bright Beginnings preschool program.

He stressed that his proposals marked only the staff’s “best thinking” at this point, given current projections about shrinking state and federal dollars.

“These cuts are absolutely devastating to the work of CMS,” Gorman said. “These cuts… are going to detrimentally impact that lives of our students.”

via ‘Devastating’ cuts could end 1,500 CMS jobs – CharlotteObserver.com.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools are not faring well in the Great Recession

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One of the most important characteristics of a community are its schools.  Let’s hope that this recession does not destroy the good in our system.

In a night marked by split votes, angry protests and accusations of racism, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approved a sweeping plan to close 10 schools and make other dramatic changes.

In the most controversial item, the board voted 5-4 to close Waddell High and make it the new home for Smith Language Academy, a K-8 magnet. Harding High, which had also been considered as a home for Smith, will turn into a neighborhood school housing many of Waddell’s students, along with the International Baccalaureate magnet now at Harding.

Most other efforts to block or revise the plan failed, often with the board’s only two black members on the losing end of votes.

via Board closes Waddell, saves Harding – CharlotteObserver.com.

 

10.14.2010 … Kudos to CMS and Mr. Gorman!

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education, Charlotte, kudos:

Gorman decided he needed a new approach. He considered simply transferring his best principals to his most challenging schools, but Yale economics professor Justine Hastings talked him out of it. “She told me that if I forced people to switch jobs, I would see the performance of some dip, while others would find another job.” So Gorman decided to try a “pull” strategy—a way to entice principals to view these transfers as a desired challenge. Starting in 2008, with great fanfare, Gorman announced a new annual districtwide competition to identify the most effective principals. Winners of the “Strategic Staffing Initiative” would be chosen based on hard data like the growth in their students’ achievement scores rather than how long they’d served or how well their school was regarded.

Before announcing the winners to the TV cameras, however, the persuasive Gorman met privately with the principals and made them an offer he hoped they wouldn’t refuse: what he billed as the “opportunity” to turn around one of the district’s failing schools. As part of the three-year deal, they’d receive a 10 percent raise and more freedom from district rules. They would also get the chance to pick an eight-person transformation team—each of whom would get a raise, too. The winning principals could also “transfer out” up to five teachers from their new school, including obstructionists, underperformers, and leaders of what principals call “the toxic lunchroom.” In exchange, Gorman said, “we expected them to transform the culture of the school to one in which high academic achievement is expected and achieved.”

Amazingly, every winner accepted the challenge.

via How One District Fixed Its Failing Schools – Newsweek.