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Old 03-15-2016, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Concord NC
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Maybe if parents from successful students' homes get bused to the homes of the others, there will be some change.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:19 AM
 
1,985 posts, read 1,387,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP2C View Post
Maybe if parents from successful students' homes get bused to the homes of the others, there will be some change.
Ha. I laughed, but this is the truth. Tell it to the +/- 4,000 homeless kids that CMS serves each day and see how funny it is. You're right that there won't be change until our affluent population acknowledges just how impactful (or harmful) their influence can be. I don't care how much we spend on shiny buildings, new computers, etc....until we find a way to get an active, compassionate, supportive community of affluence involved in helping our poorest students, they will continue to flounder. The little things you do for your kids (make sure they have a coat, read to them at night, exhibit affection to your spouse and on and on have unreal positive influence in building their character and success in school/life. There are kids that live in homes wrecked by drugs, violence and abuse.

Of course this isn't the fault of more affluent families, but we should not be surprised that when we dump all of kids in these scenarios into the same schools, they are set up for failure. Granted, I know it's not all kids in the poorest schools. But this makes it worse - there are some great kids with supportive parents that are terribly impacted by attending schools overburdened with poverty. It's no surprise that these schools have trouble meeting the same standardized test standards. Children that come from struggling homes also come with a lot more baggage. Teachers and administrators scurry to account for all the "extra" care required, and the average kid with supportive parents gets carried down hill with them.

So knowing that your proposal is unfeasible and insulting to those parents that are trying hard but overwhelmed by communities battling poverty, drugs, abuse and the stresses of single parenthood; what do we do?

Do children with bad parents deserve to be kicked to the curb by the rest of the community?

Some have mentioned the tipping point. That we basically don't have enough children of affluence to help counterbalance the equation. If only we could find a way to reassure these parents that providing opportunities for our poorest doesn't automatically come at the expense of lower standards/support/attention/quality for their children. CMS has an almost insurmountable task of convincing these parents of the benefits of attending a socially and economically diverse school. I don't think they can do it, but I wish they could. There is a lot of fear and misinformation holding a lot of kids out of the pool. CMS is too large to sell a personalized message. And they represent "anti-neighborhood schools" for too many people. Which is ironic because they have basically bent over backwards to accommodate all kinds of parent requests over the years with choice plans/magnets/etc.

We will all suffer due to our lack of community interest and known consequences of allowing such a segregation to continue. I don't think most involved parents realize just how blessed they are to provide a stable scenario for their kids. And they really undervalue the positive impact they COULD have on a child or classroom that comes from a much different one. It's such a tough issue because the impacts are known but insulated to the poorest areas of town, and slow growing. It's particularly tough in a fast growing community like Charlotte where parents bring preconceived notions of failed desegregation efforts from other parts of the country.

I know I'm naive. I know it's idealistic. I hate that fear seems to trump compassion in this debate. I just know we could do so much better for our community if we started considering others and the impact of our actions when we disregard the poorest kids in Charlotte.

Last edited by Essequamvideri; 03-15-2016 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:29 PM
 
31 posts, read 44,409 times
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Default Simple question to Essequamvideri...

Do you support the below suggestion? Answer yes/no... answer will reflect your real intent.

"Another option is to close poor neighborhood schools and use those resources to expand current successful neighborhood schools and move kids from poor neighborhood schools to these bigger and better schools. This is a win-win for everybody, poor kids get to attend good schools and communities near these good schools will be happy that their property values are not impacted and all kids get better social environment."
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:01 PM
 
830 posts, read 1,316,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbusgc View Post
Do you support the below suggestion? Answer yes/no... answer will reflect your real intent.

"Another option is to close poor neighborhood schools and use those resources to expand current successful neighborhood schools and move kids from poor neighborhood schools to these bigger and better schools. This is a win-win for everybody, poor kids get to attend good schools and communities near these good schools will be happy that their property values are not impacted and all kids get better social environment."
May have some merit strictly from a numbers standpoint, but you'd then also
- have less neighborhood schools
- have more bussing
- would place even more burden on schools that are already over capacity. Even with expansion, how big is too big for a school before it becomes too unwieldy?
- is kind of like magnets with walk zones...

We have some of this in place now - with less affluent pockets being zoned to a Dilworth or Eastover, and by most accounts, those schools are working. The question is whether it is practical from a county-wide perspective?
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:15 PM
 
1,985 posts, read 1,387,340 times
Reputation: 1407
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbusgc View Post
Do you support the below suggestion? Answer yes/no... answer will reflect your real intent.

"Another option is to close poor neighborhood schools and use those resources to expand current successful neighborhood schools and move kids from poor neighborhood schools to these bigger and better schools. This is a win-win for everybody, poor kids get to attend good schools and communities near these good schools will be happy that their property values are not impacted and all kids get better social environment."
Is this the best option? I don't know.

If the outcome of shutting down some schools results in more integrated schools I would support it. If the outcome is just shuffling these poor kids to another majority poor school it would be hard to support - especially since our community is growing.

Let me be clear about where I stand. I think our schools are too segregated by race and socioeconomics. We simply struggle to provide a fair, basic education to all students with populations so segregated. We've been through this debate already btw. Can any of you remember why we already decided that segregated schools don't work? Now that they happen naturally, what should we do? Seeing where we've been and the relative success of busing in Charlotte, I think you'd have to say that while no solution is perfect, the scenario of the 70's-90's was better for Charlotte than it is now. I don't think busing was perfect, but saying it "didn't work" is pretty lazy analysis and neglecting the current scenario. How has not busing worked for our community? It turns out to be largely responsible for putting us at the bottom of this list. We've turned a blind eye to valuing diversity and the results are pretty much what they should of expected to be.

I think we are kidding ourselves if we think allocating a couple more teachers to poor schools or pumping in $ for new facilities makes a lick of difference where it matters. Do you know the difference between teaching 15 of the poorest kids with crazy home lives and 30 from stable scenarios? Of course it's never this cut and dry, but I think you would be surprised which classroom is easier to teach. Honestly, teaching sometimes takes a backseat to other, more basic priorities in the least affluent kids' lives. People are out of touch with what life is like for our poorest community members. I think that's why it's so easy to sweep their perspective under the rug, or blame them for their circumstances. And guess what - since they don't have parents that advocate for them, they disappear! It's easy to forget about them!

I agree that we spend enough as it is. I think we need dollars to get to the teachers but at the end of the day, student success is determined in so many other places than the classroom. We are totally undervaluing the less tangible components of having supportive community members tied to schools. An invested PTA can make a huge difference. My high school struggled to raise $500 bucks my senior year while the school across town had spent 20k on a scoreboard for the football field. Should they be allowed to do this? Of course! I don't think we are in touch with the realities of teaching and learning in the poorest schools. I think we are skeptical based on our own nostalgia or personal experiences but pretty out of touch with what is actually going on behind those walls. I think we are really undervaluing the importance of parents.

I don't know the answer. There are no simple answers. I don't know what to do. I do know that blaming teachers/administrators/systems for "failing" schools that are comprised of over 95% poor students is pretty obtuse. This is our entire communities problem. Schools with student populations coming from the poorest and most victimized segment of society are set up to fail. We can do better than that.
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Old 03-15-2016, 02:10 PM
 
5,875 posts, read 7,716,388 times
Reputation: 3372
Quote:
Originally Posted by stlterp View Post
May have some merit strictly from a numbers standpoint, but you'd then also
- have less neighborhood schools
- have more bussing
- would place even more burden on schools that are already over capacity. Even with expansion, how big is too big for a school before it becomes too unwieldy?
- is kind of like magnets with walk zones...

We have some of this in place now - with less affluent pockets being zoned to a Dilworth or Eastover, and by most accounts, those schools are working. The question is whether it is practical from a county-wide perspective?
Agree with this pretty much.

I think it is a good idea in theory, but there are issues. The biggest one probably being as you mentioned that many of the top schools are already over capacity so you would either have them be even more crammed or need a lot of money to expand them. And then you also have the additional transportation costs of bussing the kids from other areas there. Plus what the heck do you do with all the now-closed schools? Having an abandoned school certainly wouldn't be good for an already lower-income area, and it'd take more money of course to potentially convert it to some sort of community center or something, but that could be beneficial.

Possibly as big of a concern is where do you draw the line between which are the "better" schools? As far as high schools go I'd probably argue that there are only 3 top "segregated" schools - Ardrey Kell, Providence and Hough. So IMO those would probably be the only 3 areas that could withstand an influx of lower-income students and still receive high ratings. Would schools like Myers Park which score well but already have a mix of incomes still score well if the population now became more lower-income? I dont know the answer. But by my count there are 18 total high schools (not counting technical-type schools and counting Olympic as 1) in CMS...if even roughly half of them were closed for this proposal, that's a lot of kids to be added to other schools.
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Old 03-15-2016, 02:58 PM
 
1,985 posts, read 1,387,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
Agree with this pretty much.

I think it is a good idea in theory, but there are issues. The biggest one probably being as you mentioned that many of the top schools are already over capacity so you would either have them be even more crammed or need a lot of money to expand them. And then you also have the additional transportation costs of bussing the kids from other areas there. Plus what the heck do you do with all the now-closed schools? Having an abandoned school certainly wouldn't be good for an already lower-income area, and it'd take more money of course to potentially convert it to some sort of community center or something, but that could be beneficial.

Possibly as big of a concern is where do you draw the line between which are the "better" schools? As far as high schools go I'd probably argue that there are only 3 top "segregated" schools - Ardrey Kell, Providence and Hough. So IMO those would probably be the only 3 areas that could withstand an influx of lower-income students and still receive high ratings. Would schools like Myers Park which score well but already have a mix of incomes still score well if the population now became more lower-income? I dont know the answer. But by my count there are 18 total high schools (not counting technical-type schools and counting Olympic as 1) in CMS...if even roughly half of them were closed for this proposal, that's a lot of kids to be added to other schools.
I think you're thinking about it the right way. It doesn't have to be a one way trend though. There is no reason affluent families can't become invested in the success of their local public school.

Many gentrifying neighborhoods can be a part of this, more positive trend. But it takes faith and reassurance that the public option is a good one. CMS isn't doing enough to prove this. Sure, some families are just set on other options no matter what, but I think many are persuaded that the public schools near them are not an option when they are good schools and would only improve to be great with their involvement.

Ardrey Kell High School
David W. Butler High School
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
East Mecklenburg High School
Garinger High School
New Technology High School @ GHS
International Studies @ GHS
School of Math and Science @ GHS
School of Leadership and Public Service @ GHS
School of Business and Finance/ ending in 2015 school year
Harding University High School
Hawthorne Academy of Health Sciences
Hopewell High School
W.A. Hough High School
Independence High School
Mallard Creek High School
Myers Park High School
North Mecklenburg High School
Northwest School of the Arts
Olympic High School
Providence High School
Rocky River High School
South Mecklenburg High School
The Scottie Stowe High School of Arts
Zebulon B. Vance High School
West Charlotte High School
West Mecklenburg High School
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:20 PM
 
6,630 posts, read 4,576,419 times
Reputation: 13283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essequamvideri View Post
I think you're thinking about it the right way. It doesn't have to be a one way trend though. There is no reason affluent families can't become invested in the success of their local public school.

Many gentrifying neighborhoods can be a part of this, more positive trend. But it takes faith and reassurance that the public option is a good one. CMS isn't doing enough to prove this. Sure, some families are just set on other options no matter what, but I think many are persuaded that the public schools near them are not an option when they are good schools and would only improve to be great with their involvement.

Ardrey Kell High School
David W. Butler High School
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
East Mecklenburg High School
Garinger High School
New Technology High School @ GHS
International Studies @ GHS
School of Math and Science @ GHS
School of Leadership and Public Service @ GHS
School of Business and Finance/ ending in 2015 school year
Harding University High School
Hawthorne Academy of Health Sciences
Hopewell High School
W.A. Hough High School
Independence High School
Mallard Creek High School
Myers Park High School
North Mecklenburg High School
Northwest School of the Arts
Olympic High School
Providence High School
Rocky River High School
South Mecklenburg High School
The Scottie Stowe High School of Arts
Zebulon B. Vance High School
West Charlotte High School
West Mecklenburg High School

Affluent families are already involved in their neighborhood schools. They live in the most affluent neighborhoods and their kids attend the neighborhood schools. Problem is, those aren't the schools that need help. They're already the best performing schools.


There are only 2 ways to get affluent parents involved in neighborhood schools that are low performing: 1. Entice affluent parents to move to the neighborhoods where the lowest performing schools are located and send their kids to those schools or 2. Bus their kids to those schools.


Since I doubt anyone living in Eastover is moving to Freedom Drive, busing affluent kids into the low performing schools is the only viable way to engage affluent parents in that school. And many will just leave the public schools for one of the many private options in town if it came to that. While that would help the over crowding in schools like Ardrey Kell, it would accomplish little for the underperforming schools.

Last edited by UNC4Me; 03-15-2016 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
71 posts, read 66,132 times
Reputation: 60
In the meta-picture, having a larger proportion of poor people (or dysfunctional families, single parent, absentee parents) than functional affluent families is hard to reverse. Especially if the worse off are not observing and learning and adopting the behaviors of the better off: waiting to procreate until after marriage, finishing school, pursuing a career, sexual fidelity, extended time horizon planning etc. Not to say the affluent don't violate these guidelines; they can with impunity because more bread makes a ****sandwich easier to palate.

So, if you were to bring the worse off into the affluent environment, would they automatically buy into the philosophy? Because all I see is those values mocked, maligned and disparaged as old fashioned white people thinking. And I see no encouragement or enforcement of them if they are ignored, because that would be considered culturally insensitive and redolent of white privileged.

So, in light of all carrot and no stick, how are the affluent supposed to passively change the lives of others if there is no guiding principle of what is expected?

How many worse-offs could you inject into Ardrey Kell without adverse effects? 5%? 10%? 50%?

Oh, and just to throw another bomb into the discussion, this is the rational why I and so many Americans vehemently oppose any immigration reform that allows 10-30 million poor Mexican/Central Americans into our nation. We have more poor than we can handle now, let alone the ones south of our border. There. Now I wil strap on my helmet and wait for the name calling.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:54 PM
 
5,875 posts, read 7,716,388 times
Reputation: 3372
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbusgc View Post
Another option is to close poor neighborhood schools and use those resources to expand current successful neighborhood schools and move kids from poor neighborhood schools to these bigger and better schools. This is a win-win for everybody, poor kids get to attend good schools and communities near these good schools will be happy that their property values are not impacted and all kids get better social environment.

Note: A school is successful due to a number of factors ... 'busing' kids around is unfortunately not one of them.
Wait, are you for the above proposal? Isn't that still "busing kids around"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNC4Me View Post
There are only 2 ways to get affluent parents involved in neighborhood schools that are low performing: 1. Entice affluent parents to move to the neighborhoods where the lowest performing schools are located and send their kids to those schools
Well there are already programs to help lower-income people or teachers/firefighters/policemen buy homes, why not a program for higher-income people with kids to move to "school improvement zones" or whatever you wanna call it? Just brainstorming here, I don't know how effective that'd be since those areas likely already have the cheapest home prices. No, you may not get many takers in West Charlotte but it could probably speed up the revitalization of areas that are turning around but are zoned for "poor" schools.

I think the elephant in the room is the number of people that avoid Meck Co. altogether for the "better schools." A commuter tax could help but could also hurt attracting businesses.
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