We knew that denying teachers equitable resources would be problematic.
We knew that gutting the equity policy would have catastrophic results down the road.
We knew that having too many inexperienced teachers in front of poor children would be wrong.
We knew that if you prioritized and talked about meeting growth measures more than proficiency in reading and math, you would be here one day.
The recent release of school performance grades gave grades A through F to most N.C. schools. The CMS schools with F’s are marked in red, the D’s in blue. The grades remind me of the title of the book “Inequality by Design.” If you want something to fail, you simply design it to fail.
The North Carolina Legislature raised the performance standards, gutted teacher assistants, increased the class size, ignored experienced teachers, failed to fully fund pre-K, gutted funding for instructional and staff development and literacy coaches and school technology and mentor teachers.
Who knew that cutting over $1,000,000,000 in state education funding would result in low performance grades?
And Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools decided to overuse inexperienced teachers, focused on growth rather than proficiency, gutted the equity policy, and assigned sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders to hypersegregated schools designed for only kindergarten through fifth grade.
North Carolina and CMS have made morally bankrupt decisions. And it is equally morally wrong for us as individual citizens in this community to become complacent with what is happening to poor children and children of color, both in CMS and statewide. In fact, we should be concerned with all of our children to include white, rich and others. According to NAEP, all of our students could do better.
President Barack Obama has made many speeches on the dwindling middle class and income inequality. He has spotlighted the gap in earnings between the top 1% and the rest of us. The gap is by design, not chance. And we know the demographics of the next middle class.
Voters in Mecklenburg and statewide will elect the next Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, Charlotte City Council, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education and the North Carolina General Assembly. It is those bodies that will determine the next design of how we live life together.
Will the next design focus on equality, or inequality? The decision is really in our hands.
Click here to view School Names arranged by grade
Click here to view Middle Schools Map
Click here to view High Schools Map
Data: 2013-14 School Performance Grade, School Performance Score and Growth Status by District/School, released Feb. 5, 2015 online here
Base maps: CMS Planning Services