Lisa Miller

Summer vacation is over for a couple of thousand CMS students.  Kids at four K-8 schools on Charlotte’s west side headed back to school this week.  Bruns Academy, Walter G Byers, Thomasboro, and Druid Hills are the first CMS schools to move to a year-round calendar.  They’re among nine struggling schools in the Project LIFT Zone. 

Druid Hills principal Alison Hiltz says a long summer vacation makes it difficult to catch up students who are behind. 

Lisa Miller

Summer school brings to mind kids hunched over desks in humid classrooms, trying to make up classes they failed.  It’s not the place to be.  But across the country summer school is undergoing some big changes.  It’s not just for kids who can’t make the grade and it’s supposed to be fun. 

Several CMS schools in the Project LIFT zone have begun to offer a summer program that takes this new approach so that the summer slide doesn’t put at-risk kids further behind. 

File photo

South Carolina students can take online classes offered by the state.  But up until last month, there was a limit to the number.  A new law has lifted that cap, making it easier for students to take classes online that their schools don’t offer. 

Relations between school districts and counties can get tense during budget season.  But it’s way beyond that in Union County.  The school board has brought in a mediator and the county has sued the school district for financial information. 

A move to create a panel separate from the North Carolina Board of Education to oversee charter schools is not moving forward.  Instead, the House Education committee supported a bill Tuesday that creates a new advisory board.  Basically, it would reduce the size of the advisory council from fifteen to eleven members and allow the governor only three appointments as opposed to eight.  The advisory council recommends to the state board of education which charter schools should open and close. 


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.

Northeastern-Charlotte Adds Doctor Of Education

Jun 20, 2013
Northeastern University

Boston-based Northeastern University is now offering a third doctoral degree program through its Charlotte campus. The UNC Board of Governors approved a doctoral degree in education last week, making it the school's third doctoral degree. The first two -- in nursing and physical therapy -- were approved in May. They were the first to be approved for a university not based in North Carolina. Cheryl Richards is the CEO and dean of the Charlotte campus. She says a doctor of education or EdD is different from a PhD because it's not focused on research. 

A new rating of programs which train teachers is creating a stir.  The review by the National Council on Teacher Quality finds most college and university education departments have become what it calls “an industry of mediocrity.”  U.S. News and World Report published the ratings this week.   They’re generating a lot of criticism and not just from schools which scored poorly. 

JEFF WILLHELM - / Charlotte Observer

Mecklenburg County Commissioners are scheduled to pass a new budget Tuesday. A group of parents has spent the past year pushing for one line in that budget to increase – funding for school nurses.

U.S.D.A. / Flickr

  Since it can be hard to concentrate on an empty stomach, CMS schools offer breakfast to low-income students.  But district officials worry these kids are skipping breakfast to avoid being labeled “poor.”  To solve that, CMS wants to   provide breakfast to all kids.  The school board voted last night to approve the proposal.