Education News - Heath Morrison Unveils CMS Entry Plan  

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Dear Friend of MeckEd,

Check out photos and video from the first annual MeckEd Teachers of Excellence awards program and reception. Our short 90-second video recap truly captures the spirit of the event.
In other news, incoming CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison shared his entry plan for the district in a media briefing last Friday. Please see his plan for student achievement, effective district governance and a cohesive community below. I also encourage you to pay very close attention to the stories about the consideration of the use of vouchers for school choice. This will undoubtedly be a hot topic for the November election.

Dr. Morrison Unveils His Entry Plan for CMS

CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrson
Incoming CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison recently unveiled five goals in his entry plan for CMS. These goals include ensuring all students are college- and career-ready, closing the achievement gap, establishing highly effective district governance and building public trust and confidence. Dr. Morrison said he will listen, learn, and build strong relationships with the CMS school board, CMS employees, and the public to meet these goals.

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View Dr. Morrison's entry plan

New Era of Testing, Ratings in NC

In the 2012-13 school year, North Carolina will have new tests  (including new End of Course exams for high schools and year-end tests for grades 3-8) and a new "READY" accountability system. The new tests will include open-ended questions and will reflect the move toward national common core academic standards. Also, North Carolina will no longer issue "ABCs of Public Education" reports after this summer.
-Charlotte Observer's "Your Schools" Blog

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Lawmakers Aren't Keen on CMS Calendar Freedom

CMS Board Chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart

-Charlotte Observer
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CMS school board Chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart said the district is not likely to get more calendar flexibility after asking the Mecklenburg Legislative Delegation if the district, or at least the Project L.I.F.T. schools, could be exempt from the school calendar law. On another note, Ellis-Stewart wants the school board to take a stand on the Excellent Public Schools Act, which would do away with teacher tenure, stop promotion of third-graders who are not on grade level, and promote differentiated pay options.

Related article: North Carolina Senate Leader Presents $440 Million Education Package

School Choice Group Rallies in Raleigh

On May 23rd, school choice advocates rallied in Raleigh to support a bill to establish the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program. Through this program, corporations would receive tax credits of up to $40M worth of donations to nonprofit organizations, which would use the money to fund scholarships of up to $4,000 for low-income students who want to attend private or religious schools. If ratified, the program would begin in July.
-Public School Forum of North Carolina

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District Grant Contest Unveiled

As part of a new national contest associated with Race to the Top, school districts will be able to compete for federal grants up to $25M by submitting proposals for innovative educational programs. To be eligible, at least 40 percent of participating schools’ students must qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch, and the program must target low-income communities, as well as have systems for measuring student progress and assessing teachers and administrators.
 -The New York Times

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Despite Downturn, Few Men Sign Up to Teach

According to a 2011 survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of male Pre-K-8 and high school teachers has decreased slightly since 2007. Researchers attribute this drop to the declining value of the teaching profession and other factors.
-Education Week

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Gates Puts the Focus on Teaching

Bill Gates believes publishing the performance rankings of teachers will not improve the overall quality of teaching, so the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is working with school districts to design evaluation systems that the Foundation hopes will improve teaching. The Foundation's pilot project in Hillsborough County, Florida, whose evaluations include test scores, peer review, and principal review, has made the most progress so far. Gates believes test scores are the least important tool in terms of helping teachers improve.
-The New York Times

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Romney Calls for Using Title I, IDEA Funds for School Choice

Mitt Romney

-Education Week
GOP Presidential contender Mitt Romney wants low-income and special education students to be able to use federally funded vouchers to attend private or charter schools of their choice. He also proposes that parents could use Title I and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds at charter schools for online courses or tutoring.

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In this week's e-Newsletter:

Dr. Heath Morrison Unveils CMS Entry Plan

New Era of Testing, Ratings in NC

No Calendar Flexibility for CMS

School Choice Group Rallies in Raleigh

For Your Consideration

District Grant Contest Introduced

Few Men Sign Up to Teach

Gates Puts Focus on Teaching

Romney Calls for School Choice

Learn CMS Graduation Rates

2010-11 Interactive Data Maps

Learn About Mecklenburg County Charter Schools

For Your Consideration

For Your Consideration* provides an open forum for individuals to voice their opinions on various public education issues.

Making Schools Work
By David L. Kirp
-This piece was originally published in The New York Times
AMID the ceaseless and
David L. Kirpcacophonous debates about how to close the achievement gap, we’ve turned away from one tool that has been shown to work: school desegregation. That strategy, ushered in by the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, has been unceremoniously ushered out, an artifact in the museum of failed social experiments. The Supreme Court’s ruling that racially segregated schools were “inherently unequal” shook up the nation like no other decision of the 20th century.

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About the Author: David L. Kirp is a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of “Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children’s Lives and America’s Future.”

*Please note the views expressed in For Your Consideration are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MeckEd.

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Bill Anderson, Ed. D.  |  Executive Director
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