MeckEd Weekly Education News-3-25-11

Dear Friends of MeckEd,

This week there were several meetings hosted by MeckEd at various schools across Charlotte where parents learned more about the 2011-12 CMS budget. The Wednesday meeting at Providence Spring Elementary was extremely well attended, as many of these proactive parents are already making very specific plans to influence county commissioners and members of the N.C. General Assembly in the upcoming weeks and months.

I want you to please mark your calendars for a very important community meeting on Wednesday, April 13th from 6-8 p.m. at Metro School. Dr. Gorman and School Board Chair Eric Davis will update the audience on the 2011-12 recommended budget and provide opportunities for Q&A. It is critical we have a large turnout for this event, so please plan to attend if you are able. Please see the CMS 2011-12 Budget Timeline

The results of Crossroad Charlotte’s Get Real 2011 culminated after 75 meetings in three weeks. The results of these meetings are crystal clear. K-12 education ranked number one out of 18 different priorities, all vying for tax dollars. Please read the article here.

Teacher Effectiveness is an extremely important and often controversial topic these days. In an effort to determine what are the best practices for improving teacher and school leader effectiveness, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) recently released a report that examines the lessons learned from three highly effective education systems in Finland, Ontario and Singapore. The report outlines the lessons learned: (1) It takes a system; (2) Get it right from the start; (3) Make teaching an attractive profession; (4) Invest in continuous learning and (5) Proactively recruit and develop high-quality leadership. Read the report.

The CMS School Board moved Tuesday toward privatizing more of its operations in an attempt to improve efficiency and save dollars. This initial move will be in the form of a pilot program that will explore privatization of magnet school transportation and food service at 10 to 20 schools. Listen to CMS Superintendent Dr. Gorman discuss this further. CMS Board Members also vigorously protested a move by the city of Charlotte to shift about $900,000 in costs for campus-based CMPD officers to CMS.  Talk about kicking somebody when they are already down! Read the article here.

On the national front, the annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher reports teachers and parents hold very different opinions when it comes to teacher quality and academic achievement. An example, 92% of parents felt student growth data were important in determining teacher effectiveness, while only 69% of teachers saw it as a priority. There are so many interesting statistics in this article that highlight just how far apart parents and teachers are on important, and often controversial, priorities in education. Read the article here.

Teachers from across the state converged on Raleigh last Friday to speak out against impending public school funding reductions. A key message from the NCAE group is our impending “race to the bottom” in per-pupil expenditures, now 46th in the nation, and our 45th out of 50 rank in average teacher salaries! Read article here.

And finally, on the state level, more than 50 business leaders have joined forces with former Gov. Jim Hunt to show support for continued funding of Early Childhood Programs, like Smart Start. I find it interesting that business leaders from both political parties support Gov. Hunt on this issue. Read article here.

Quote of the Week:
Teaching in the U.S. is unfortunately no longer a high-status occupation. Despite the characterization of some that teaching is an easy job, with short hours and summers off, the fact is that successful, dedicated teachers in the U.S. work long hours for little pay and, in many cases, insufficient support from their leadership.
— Andreas Schleicher of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which oversees the PISA

Thank you, as always, for your unwavering support for quality public education for all children in our communities, regardless of zip code. For we all know it is in every citizen’s best interest to have strong and well supported public schools. I also hope you will mark Wednesday, April 13th from 6-8 p.m. on your calendars for our next community-wide meeting at Metro School. Visit our blog to weigh in on the latest happenings with local public education and feel free to share this email (using the Facebook sharing link below) with others who may be interested in current education news.

Sincerely,

Bill Anderson, Ed. D.
Executive Director

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