CMS

Lisa Miller

Not all schools are equal when it comes to public funding. Districts across the country spend more on schools that have a large percentage of low-income students. In CMS, the funding for some schools is more than double what other schools receive for each student.

But that doesn’t necessarily translate to academic success.  WFAE set out to find out why.

To borrow from a classic, let’s call this a tale of two schools.  One is highly successful.  One is improving, but still struggling.  Tina Yulee sees the difference every day.

A couple years ago CMS was charging full steam ahead with a plan to pay teachers based partly on their students’ performance.  But it upset so many teachers and parents, the district put a halt to it.  Now, CMS officials are reviving the idea and trying hard to avoid past missteps.  They’ve asked teachers to begin working on another plan. 

WFAE’s Lisa Miller joins All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey to discuss the latest efforts.

RUMSEY: Lisa, why is CMS talking about this issue again? 

Charlotte Mecklenburg School officials have a $34 million capital plan to improve security at all of the district’s schools.  It includes cameras and 8 foot tall chain-link fences on all campuses.  But the plan still requires buy-in from the county commission. 

The idea is to limit the number of entry points into schools.  Think about high schools like Myers Park and West Mecklenburg that have sprawling campuses reminiscent of small colleges.  CMS Chief Operating Officer Millard House says it’s too easy for intruders to get inside.  That’s where the 8 foot high fences come in.  

Lisa Miller

This week about 2,200 elementary school kids will be getting free laptops.  It’s part of the Project LIFT effort to boost learning at nine schools on Charlotte’s west side. 

These laptops are made for kids.  They’re white and green and sturdy. 

“It has the handles so it wouldn’t fall when I’m holding it because I really drop stuff without handles,” said Maya Dunbar, a third grader at Allenbrook Elementary. 

Kids are half-way through the school year and no doubt talk of end of year tests has already come up in class.  There are some big changes in store for students across the state.  For one, there will be a lot more end of year tests and they won’t just be multiple choice.  They’ll include essay questions.  It’s not just kids that’ll be tested.  It’ll be a test for teachers in more ways than one. WFAE’s Lisa Miller is in the studio to talk about these changes, including a flood of new tests. 


Lisa Miller

School leaders in the Charlotte area are taking a closer look at security procedures following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. 

At a press conference Monday afternoon, CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison said the shootings prompted the district to ask “tough questions.” For example, what would the response have been if the shooting happened in a CMS school? 

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, private and charter schools don’t have much of a history of working together.  But CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison wants that to change. 

A few weeks ago, Charlotte Catholic High School principal Jerry Healy got an invitation from CMS.  The district wanted to meet with private and charter schools to talk about ways to collaborate.  He was surprised.  

“The agendas don’t seem to really match and in the past we’ve probably been looked on as the adversary, the people that are pulling our kids away,” says Healy. 

Lisa Miller

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison last night laid out his long-range plans for the district’s future.

“It is about every child.  It is about not narrowing gaps, but closing gaps. And it is having every student graduate with a post-secondary plan,” said Morrison.

It was a highly anticipated address at the Belk Theater to help mark his first 100 days on the job. A CMS orchestra opened the evening and a student choir closed out his speech.  

Morrison said he wants to put more students in advanced level classes, provide more coaching for teachers, get kids to create electronic portfolios of their work, and open more magnet schools. 

An African American woman who helped Charlotte navigate the turbulent times around school desegregation and busing died last week at the age of 87.  Kathleen “Kat” Crosby was with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools for forty years.  She started with the district as a teacher and rose up in the ranks to become assistant superintendent before she retired in 1986. 

Local Teens Will Serve In Senegal Through YMCA

Nov 15, 2012
Tasnim Shamma

Deonte Howard is a sophomore at West Mecklenburg High School. His mom had some good news to share with him a few months ago.

"When my mom called me about the interview, said that I passed, I can tell she was crying," Howard says. "I was like, 'Wow, I'm actually going to Africa.'"

Howard, 16, is one of four high school students from Charlotte selected for the nine-day trip to West Africa through the YMCA of Greater Charlotte's Global Service Learning Project. This will be his first time outside of North America. 

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