Education

Ways to Connect

State lawmakers approved a budget last week and Republicans praised it by pointing out that it sent more money to schools this year without raising taxes. But some Democrats said, "No, it actually cut schools budget." So who's right?

Mountain State University To Lose Accreditation

Aug 24, 2012

A university based in West Virginia with branches in Mooresville and Hickory will soon lose its accreditation. Mountain State University has about 140 students enrolled at those campuses. The regional Higher Learning Commission posted on its website Tuesday that the school had failed to correct major problems which include leadership, learning support for students, and inadequate financial resources. The commission notified the university of those problems in February. The chairman of the university's board of trustees Jerry Ice says the school has made significant changes since then.

A 3-percent pay raise for CMS teachers is in question today. Governor Perdue vetoed a budget that would have made those raises possible saying lawmakers need to send even more funds to schools. Republican state lawmakers are at this hour attempting to override that veto. The action coincides with CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison's first day on the job. In this segment, WFAE's Julie Rose discusses the issues with WFAE's All Things Considered host, Mark Rumsey.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has been trying to get its best teachers and principals in the most struggling schools through an initiative called strategic staffing. The schools have made big gains, but they're still far from where the district expected them to be at this point. 

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.

CMS Police Go Door-To-Door Uptown

Aug 20, 2012

Police officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District are going door-to-door Uptown giving parents the run-down on bus changes and security restrictions during the Democratic National Convention.

CMS Police Chief Bud Cesena says the first week of September will pose some challenges for the 372 students and their families who live inside the I-277 loop.

"Some bus stops - because they're in the hot zone - won't exist any more," says Cesena. "So we're making sure the children and their parents know exactly where to go."

Charlotte Mecklenburg School teachers headed back to work Thursday to start preparing for students' arrival on August 27.  The district doesn't expect to be scrambling to hire teachers as the school year starts like in past years.  CMS Auxiliary Services Director Kathryn Block says CMS has a lot of hiring out the way and is in good shape at this point.  The district has filled nearly 99 percent of teaching positions. 

"It's not about putting a body in the seat.  It is about the quality of the teachers we're putting in our classrooms," says Block.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has been trying to get its best teachers and principals in the most struggling schools through an initiative called strategic staffing. The schools have made big gains, but they're still far from where the district expected them to be at this point. Several school board members voiced frustration about that at Wednesday night's meeting.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has released student end of year test scores for all of its schools, except two. West Charlotte and Harding high schools didn't have enough students taking the tests to post official scores for those schools. The state requires a school to test 95 percent of students in a course. Last night, school board members asked what happened.

Superintendent Heath Morrison questioned whether leaders at West Charlotte tried hard enough to get students to take them. But at Harding he said it was a different case.

Kids spend a lot of time playing video games. They spend hours fighting zombies, building underground worlds, waging war, and shooting pigs. Video games can be addictive and an escape. They're just the thing that some teachers are trying to bring to the classroom.

Joel Bonasera is a 7th grade math and science teacher at Albemarle Road Middle School. He knew his students played video games, but he didn't realize the full extent until he overheard a sweet, friendly girl in his class.

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