CMS

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

How quickly the joy of a snow day disappears when all those make-up days are just around the corner. Many districts across North Carolina including CMS plan to call students back to school during spring break. Families are grumbling.    


Tasnim Shamma

Take a group of kindergartners and first graders and let them bounce on exercise balls all day instead of asking them to sit still in their chairs.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s happening at Davidson Elementary. 


There is a lot going on with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, to say the least. The state will open 11 new charter schools in August and 26 next year. There’s a new reading law and many third graders in the state may have to go to summer reading camps. Union County is looking to redistrict hundreds of students. Common Core standards and digital learning are transforming what kids learn and how they learn it. State's school report cards are due for release this week, and CMS has yet to release its long-promised school data reports. And much more. Two of the city’s education reporters join us to share updates on everything going on with CMS.

CMS high school students may find a bunch of incompletes on their report cards when they get them back in a couple weeks.  It’s not their fault.  State exams will delay some first semester grades.  

High school students are taking several new state exams this week.  They’re designed to measure how much teachers get their students to learn.  To make sure kids take them seriously, the tests count for 20 percent of a student’s grade. 

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools expects to have 5,000 third-graders qualify for reading camps this summer as a result of the state's new third grade reading requirement. District officials worry state money won't come close to covering the cost of these camps.  They’re asking the state for flexibility on the camps, as well as all the tests that come with the new third grade reading law. 


Lisa Miller

Seventeen Charlotte Mecklenburg schools are about to try something different when it comes to staffing.  Schools will pay a handful of the best teachers up to $23,000 extra.  They won’t teach one particular class or grade.  They’ll coach other teachers and pick up lessons around the school. 


Teachers did not get a raise this year, but state lawmakers have set aside bonuses for the top 25 percent of teachers next year.  It’s up to school districts to figure out who those teachers are -- and that’s no easy task. 


CMS fourth and eighth graders are performing about the same in math and reading as they were two years ago, according to the National Assessment of Education Progress.  The tests have been given to a sample of students across the country since 2003.  At a time when state tests are drastically changing, these scores provide a way to compare student performance from year to year. 

Jeff Siner / Charlotte Observer

Playing for a winning high school team can sometimes be irresistible.  In 2007, a Charlotte Observer investigation found several Charlotte Mecklenburg School students lied about their addresses to get on top teams. 

The district declared more than 20 students ineligible to play.  Five high schools had to forfeit their seasons and a handful of coaches resigned or were fired.  CMS tightened its policies around athletic eligibility and tracking it.  Five years later, many of those same procedures are in place and violations are in the single digits.  CMS officials say they’re successful at keeping lying to play sports in check. 

WFAE’s Lisa Miller joins us now in the studio:

Kevin Kniestedt: Good morning, Lisa.


'Sacrificial Poets' Teach Students How To Spit Poetry

Nov 15, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

Spoken word poetry is about dramatic storytelling. A Raleigh performance poetry group called Sacrificial Poets is performing at UNC Charlotte this weekend. They're in town for a three-day residency that involves teaching college students and visiting some local schools to teach them about the art of busting a rhyme.

Sacrificial Poets artist director Kane "Novakane" Smego, starts off the class with a piece about growing up in Durham with a single mother.  

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