CMS

Flickr/Seth Sawyers / http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/4267034867/sizes/l/

CMS board members have long discussed a new student assignment plan, but only in broad terms. Soon, things are going to get specific as they begin coming up with an actual plan. Michael Alves is the consultant who's going to help the board do that, charging $135,000 to do so. 

Tanner Latham / WFAE

Mecklenburg County commissioners have made it clear they don't want to put school bonds before voters this fall. Still, CMS Superintendent Ann Clark is making the case to do that, but with a dose of reality. She's meeting with commissioners Tuesday afternoon to talk budgets. 

  "In some ways, I hope we get to a win-win solution. That may not be a bond in 2016, but is a commitment on the part of the county to begin addressing some of these capital needs," says Clark.

Mark Hames / Charlotte Observer

CMS had been coming up with guidance to give schools on how to handle transgender students. That work started before House Bill 2 surfaced requiring students to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate, before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled otherwise, and the federal government issued its own guidelines. CMS is now holding off on its work, at least for now. 

Lisa Worf

CMS has hired a lot of consultants over the years without much attention. But that isn’t the case with the board’s latest selection. After all, it has to do with student assignment.  The CMS board voted Tuesday night to pay Alves Educational Consultants Group $135,000 to help design a plan.   

Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

The CMS board has been greeted by an emotional public the last few months, as it’s gone through the early phases of the student assignment process.

At a public hearing Wednesday night, that emotion subsided a bit to make way for questions about the board’s draft of principles for a new assignment plan. Most of the 200 or so people who turned out approached the principles with a mix of support and skepticism. 

Update: The police report indicates the former student was 13 years old when he says the sexual assault happened. 

The band director at West Charlotte high school has been arrested after a former student accused him of sexual assault. 

David Boraks / WFAE

CMS has hired a Charlotte company to do environmental tests around Hopewell High School in Huntersville. The testing comes as families and local officials puzzle over a large number of cases of eye cancer in recent years.

Ann Doss Helms / Charlotte Observer

The CMS school board meeting had a surprise ending Monday night. The board released a draft of guiding principles for student assignment. This is a big step that took more than a year of discussion to make. The draft includes continuing the policy of guaranteeing access to “home schools” and makes socioeconomic status a factor in magnet lotteries. 

The CMS student assignment debate has generated a lot of discussion. School board meetings have been packed. Board members have also hosted forums in their own districts. We recently aired a discussion from one meeting in north Mecklenburg. Now we hear from a forum at West Charlotte High School.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

Project LIFT plans to continue working with West Charlotte High School and the schools that feed into it for at least a sixth year. 

The schools have seen only slight improvements in test scores since Project LIFT started nearly four years ago. But the group of philanthropists and community members say they’ve seen enough positive results to believe giving the strategies more time to develop will lead to strong outcomes.

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