Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

As technology becomes fully integrated in classrooms, students aren’t the only ones learning. Teachers must operate computers, a variety of applications and other electronic devices while also catering their lesson plans to these technologies. A growing number of schools provide students with laptops or tablet computers and some Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools are even encouraging students to bring devices to school through a Bring Your Own Technology initiative. A 2010 analysis by the U.S. Department of Education concluded that students whose higher educations' blend online and face-to-face interactions outperform others, but how does this apply to grade school students? What are parents and students saying? We’ll discuss the costs, the risks, and the increasingly digital world of learning when Charlotte Talks.


Educators are not just required to teach a set curriculum each year – they must create it, develop it and execute it. Staying inspired and innovative can also be a challenge. And in times of radical budget cuts there is a degree of competition among teachers to be successful and keep their job. The Charlotte Teachers Institute is a partnership between CMS, Davidson College and UNC Charlotte that strives to cultivate its fellows into exemplary educators. But who decides which teachers get to participate? What exactly is this program providing that the school district is not? And what are the far-reaching effects on students of having a well-developed teacher instructing them? A conversation about developing great teachers when Charlotte Talks.

Much of a person’s success in life depends on their character. Society is also dependent on the involvement of people of character. But how do you build character in a young person? CMS is partnering with parents and the community to foster honest, responsible, caring students and there are other private organizations working toward the same end. A closer look at the process and at what’s at stake for children, parents and society when Charlotte Talks.

Pen Pals Just Two Miles Away Meet For The First Time

May 30, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

Perhaps you've had a pen pal as a kid. Chances are it was someone who lives far away. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools SchoolMates program has a pen pal program among its own schools. In one case, students from schools less than two miles apart wrote letters to each other throughout the school year. Wednesday, they got to meet each other for the first time.

As long as you try hard, grades of zero are not given at Mallard Creek High School. The worst grade a students can get is a 50, even if they turn in homework late or get less than half the questions right on a test. The policy went into effect last fall, and now CMS officials are reviewing it to see if it should be implemented system wide.

Mark Bosco is a big supporter of the policy. He’s the Executive Director of the Northeast Zone of CMS. Bosco says the grading policy doesn’t mean a 50 is the new 0.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

CMS superintendent Heath Morrison recently presented the budget for the upcoming school year. And fiscal challenges exist for all of CMS’ funding sources: county, state and federal. But despite those hurdles, Dr. Morrison says that the school district will continue pushing for success for all students. Under his leadership he plans to personalize education for each student and more fully embrace the diverse cultures of the student population. A conversation with Superintendent Morrison, when Charlotte Talks.

Inexperienced Teachers A Booming Trend

Mar 4, 2013
Ben Bradford / WFAE

The push for high-performing college graduates and non-teachers from other professions to enter the classroom has reached an all-time high in the past few years. Proponents of “alternative entry” see it as a fast way to send motivated, knowledgeable instructors into schools—particularly high needs schools and subjects like math and science—but their inexperience and high turnover rate has drawn fire from critics.

Michael Tomsic

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system gave its seniors a new goal Wednesday to accomplish before graduating– build three houses. CMS is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to encourage students to get their hands dirty.

Hard hats, tool belts and wooden boards were set up in front of the bookshelves in Independence High School's library as CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison announced the partnership, called Senior Buildup.

Morrison said it's all about giving students a well-rounded education.

About 15,000 kids a year drop out of North Carolina schools.  In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the number is about 1,500.  School social workers have long made house calls to many kids who simply stop showing up at school.  They try to figure out why the child left, get them help, and show them ways they can catch up. 

This is a sensitive situation.  Imagine you're a kid who has given up on school and then a social worker shows up on your doorstep. 

"I've had families look through the blinds and not come to the door," says Heidi Berger, a CMS social worker.  

CMS: Back To School

Aug 24, 2012

The buses have been making their trial runs around the city, hundreds of new teachers have been hired, the pencils, paper and notebooks have been purchased. That's right, it's back to school time at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools! We'll hear from a trio of journalists about the issues facing CMS as we head into the first day of school next week. Join us for a conversation about the leadership of new Superintendent Heath Morrison, the reaction to test scores around the district and how school officials are planning to improve them, and much more.