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Old 03-02-2007, 09:11 AM
 
1,531 posts, read 6,831,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
I sympathize, but I find this post very ironic. The very people that are flocking to Charlotte and causing school overcrowding, are blaming the school district for dealing with the overcrowding.

Let me ask: what did you expect?
Wow...it's like a mirror. I see this in the Raleigh forum (in regards to Wake County schools) almost daily now.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:24 AM
 
1,304 posts, read 3,865,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCmomof3 View Post
I am very disappointed with the school systems in Charlotte. Today I received a letter from CMS stating the school system has missed Adequate Yearly Progress Targets in reading and math for the past two years. The letter outlined steps the district was going to take to improve the situation under the CMS Strategic Plan 2010. I must say that in the past I have shaken my head in disgust at CMS. I always felt it was more then a “little country”, but thought it would get better quickly. Today I realized that it is not get better until at least 2010 and maybe not even then. I also realized that I have lowered mine and my families expectations for education and values. This is really the part that bothers me, I let my family down by moving Charlotte thinking it was utopia, lower cost of living , cheaper housing, nice place between the mountains and ocean. When in fact the money saved was at the cost of my children and their future.

This may sound like a single event but here is the list of other issues that I have seen through the school district.

Over crowding- For instance, last year Lake Wylie, where my children go, was at almost 200% capacity for the number of students. Many students were packed into a large number of trailers in back of the school. Children ushered each other back and forth to the lavatory trailer in the trailer park which was not fenced in. Lake Wylie is not the only school in this situation!

Physical Education - The L.W. gymnasium was converted to a full time lunch room due to overcrowding of the students. The students have PE class in a small trailer in the back lot. I have been told that singing is now considered an exercise. Our children are very active in sports and the YMCA but this is at our expense and time. I feel terrible for the other children that do not have opportunity.

Recess - I recently picked my children up for a medical physical. Upon arriving at Lake Wylie, I found my daughter playing in front of the building next to the parking lot with the rest of the class. I inquired as to why they were out front of the building when there is a nice safe play ground and track out back. The answer was it is to far to walk. I watched with great concern as several vehicles traversed the u-shaped parking lot at 35-40 mph. I asked what happened if the children went into the parking lot. The response was they get in trouble if they go into the lot or touch the cars. Of course, I turn around and find three in the lot chasing a loose ball.

Security – As I mentioned above the kids attend classes in trailers and play near the parking lot. Supervision appears to my untrained eye to be poor at best. Last week we had an armed bank robber flea his car just a less the 1/8 of a mile from Lake Wylie Elementary. Police were on foot, in cars and helicopters for several hours at no time was the school locked down!

The students curriculum is based mostly on reading and little on math. The children can take advance placement tests but in many instances the teacher and room mom tell me the computers do not work or crowding is an issue.

The tax payers foot the bill for the schools and teachers salaries, but the parents are required to purchase supplies at various intervals with personal funds.

I know the “a little country” statement probably peeved some, but parading the children from class to other areas through out the school with one hand on your hips and one on your lips is a little much.

I did not think a school system in a city billed as progressive could be so backward and have such a failed system. My spouse and I grew in an area with a good school district. Yes, there were school taxes but there were no trailers, security was good, there were gymnasiums and we met national education standards. From there we went to several highly accredited colleges obtaining a BS, a BA, a MBA, a MS and numerous certifications. I know what a good education is, what is worth, why it is important and what it looks like. I do not see anything in the Charlotte area the resembles a system that is capable of providing a good education. Luckily, my spouse and I are family oriented and provide addition learning opportunities at home on a daily bases. I really hope you have read to this point of my rant. If you are considering moving to Charlotte for cheap housing please think twice if you value your children's education . As I mentioned above, I feel that I have let my family down by making this very decision. This spring we will be looking for better opportunities for our children and I fully expect that we will be moving back to the northeast.
I also take exception to such a blanket statement. Some things to consider when you are looking at AYP statistics. They measure growth of a school system, not actual growth of a school or individual group of students. When you have the rapid growth that this area has, can you see how we are not comparing apples to apples from year to year? Can you see how areas with high populations of English as Second Language students might have a difficult time comparing favorably until they learn the language? Can you realize that lower income families may not have the same resources available for the children? That being said, I think equating intelligence with whether you are from the city or the country is not smart. Plenty of country folks have gone on from these school systems to become very important degreed adults. One thing for those of you moving to this area looking for "utopia" to consider is that the native population is not here to serve you. We are all in this together. Since growth (you) is a part of the problem, you must be a part of the solution. Sorry to be touchy, but we can't fix this problem overnight when the people just keep on coming.

Just to give you all some perspective of what the growth looks like, download this 2006-2007 Realtor Guide from the Union County Public Schools website (note that it is a large file and takes a while to open). I think the charts and graphs will give you an idea of why the infrasture was so unprepared for the high growth.

http://www.ucps.k12.nc.us/communicat...de_2-15-07.pdf
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
58 posts, read 58,905 times
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While these concerns are certainly warranted, I don't think such an assessment can be applied to every single school in CMS.

As I've been doing my research before moving to Charlotte this summer from Florida, I've been finding that one reason WHY so many people are moving to Charlotte (especially from Florida where public schools truly are poor and have been for a long time) is because of the high quality of the CMS school system.

In fact, even though my daughter won't be ready for kindergarten for 5 years (she's arriving this May), my wife and I are basing (in part) where we will buy our house on the quality of the ES, and the MS and HS into which that ES feeds. It's up to all of us as parents to do this type of research before buying.

In either case, I found this on CMS' website:

https://extranet.cms.k12.nc.us/news/...00744919PM.pdf

Concerned parents can attend these meetings so they can voice their concerns to people who are in positions of power. Also, I would recommend contacting the principal directly to share your concerns.
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:14 AM
 
14 posts, read 64,742 times
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We'll get used to the overcrowding.....all the "good" schools in this are are like that now and doesn't look like it is a changing.

As a real estate agent here working "exclusively" with buyers I'm very proud of the school systems for the most part. As most of my clients have came from the Northeast over the last 7 years very few of their children have excelled initially. I hear over and over how tough the schools are in South Charlotte and Union etc. There are exceptions but not many! Just my 2 cents.

Glad my three girls are all through with HS and two out of three got academic scholarships into college.
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:39 AM
 
108 posts, read 338,065 times
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I just have to say that I think the poster (ncmomof3) is entitled to post her opinion here. I think it really helps people like me(relocating) to hear from people with different viewpoints. Good to see the other side of the coin, right?

Although her first sentence named CM schools in general, what she wrote about was her experience with Lake Wylie elementary.

As for researching first, let me tell you its HARD to know exactly what a school will be like before you move to a place.

One of the Biggest reasons Im moving from NJ is because of the schools! Not so much the curriculum(although the first school my kid went to was horrible in this regard too) but more-so because of the teachers and other students, unfortunately.

Just my two cents...
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Charlotte,NC, US, North America, Earth, Alpha Quadrant,Milky Way Galaxy
3,769 posts, read 6,748,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmeoutofnj View Post
I just have to say that I think the poster (ncmomof3) is entitled to post her opinion here. I think it really helps people like me(relocating) to hear from people with different viewpoints. Good to see the other side of the coin, right?

Although her first sentence named CM schools in general, what she wrote about was her experience with Lake Wylie elementary.

As for researching first, let me tell you its HARD to know exactly what a school will be like before you move to a place.

One of the Biggest reasons Im moving from NJ is because of the schools! Not so much the curriculum(although the first school my kid went to was horrible in this regard too) but more-so because of the teachers and other students, unfortunately.

Just my two cents...

NCMom is entitled to post her viewpoint, and I took it as mostly a vent in order to deal with some trying experiences. But...there were just to many broad brush strokes painted across CMS, and there was no account for some of the whys and no acknowledge of some of the good stuff happening. Given the HUGE influx of people, the very real new need for english as second language , and a host of other issues all happening concurrently, my view is that CMS and Union County schools are doing the pretty decent job with it.

I thought about this yesterday, what if your boss came to you and increased your workload by 2X or 2.5X (which is probably closer to over capacity percentages). Then she said you still have to deliver and perform with virtually no change in resources- but you're promised the resources will arrive some time in the future. Personally I wouldn't be very happy. However I'm very impressed by the majority of school officials particularly at my child's school who deal with this on a daily basis. So we try to do our part, go to the PTA meetings, support the fund raising, bring coffee and bagels for the people directing traffic, etc.

I've seen schools sytem with no where near the concurrent issues to do with come no where near the thought process of the CMS/Union schools (i.e., Lexington,MA which has a lot of money and I wouldn't put my kid there if they paid me...).

You're going to be frustrated if you want everything to work right now, but it goes a long way if you can work with the growing pain but there's still a lot of good happening and a lot to be proud of. I'm not ready to throw the administration under the bus.

Your child's entire future is not washed up at elementary school- if there 35 and living in your basement, well that's a different story
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Trinity Florida
7,928 posts, read 17,742,894 times
Reputation: 1992
we have the same problem here and I have done research for almost a year literally on schools and areas and have made 3 trips already, so with that being said we are very comfortable with our decision to move to the area we are choosing, Ive spoken to Administration 1st hand, and Ive seen the ciriculum which here in jackson is extremely difficult and well Marvn Ridge middle will be using the same ciriculum we have here so I was very happy...You need to talk to people numerous times meet new ones and eventually make number of trips, and if you are comfortable with where u are then u know that is where you should move..I know the schools are over crowded, my son will be going to brand new schools which im fine with, I will live close enough to them so they wont get reassigned and you have to learn to deal with the growth it happens to all states that become popular so to speak, so you either live with it or you move again....I knew that when I researched but it has everything that my dh and I want for our family so what else can you do....
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Rhode Island
476 posts, read 1,450,713 times
Reputation: 100
I also don't think that just because a school is overcrowded, automatically means that the quality of education isn't there. It is definitely too broad a statement to make. People need to find the best environment for their children to learn in but a big part of that is also understanding your child and their abilities to learn. All kids adapt differently in certain situations. There is definitely enough research information available for all heading to NC to know exactly what the school they are considering is like.
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:59 PM
 
146 posts, read 456,859 times
Reputation: 46
I agree that people need to choose the best environment for their children to learn in, and I know my child would do better in a class that is not overcrowded - hence my waiting for her to graduate here. It's just one less factor I have to take into consideration when uprooting my family.

Also wanted to add that people should not be attacked for their personal opinion. I for one, truly appreciate input from all sides of the discussion.
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Rhode Island
476 posts, read 1,450,713 times
Reputation: 100
I agree that all viewpoints are terrific and very much needed especially for so many of us making such a major move in our lives but it is the blanket statements that get dicey. CMS is such a large area and one blanket statment like that could really confuse ALOT of folks, IMO.
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