Education News - CMS Seeks to Improve District Morale

September 12, 2012 e-Newsletter: Local, State, and National Education News
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Dear Friend of MeckEd,

Last week, Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison made it clear to our community that he is concerned about the loss of so many “irreplaceables” among CMS’ teaching ranks, as well as the overall morale of teachers and CMS employees. He reiterated the importance of having a culture of trust and creativity among all CMS employees. MeckEd understands the concerns of the superintendent and agrees with his suggestion to survey all staff in order to strategically work toward improving employee trust and morale. Please note in this week’s For Your Consideration, Barbara Caldwell from the Teaching Fellows Institute (TFI) offers suggestions about how TFI can help retain effective teachers.

CMS Morale Poll Will Shape Improvement Quest

Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison with a CMS TeacherIn the coming months, Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison will use an outside communications firm to poll all CMS employees about morale. Dr. Morrison believes in the importance of building trust and having a culture of respect throughout the district. He hopes to have poll results by November.
-The Charlotte Observer

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Twenty-Five Charter Schools Receive Preliminary Approval

The State Board of Education has given preliminary approval to 25 new charter schools that will tentatively open in August 2013. These schools were chosen for having high-ranking business plans, mission statements, education plans, and other factors. Final decisions on which schools will open will be made in March 2013.
-Public School Forum of North Carolina

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Education Funding Drops in More Than Half of States

States Relied Heavily on Spending Cuts and Federal Aid to Close Budget Gaps (FY08-FY12) An analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows 26 states will spend less per pupil in fiscal year 2013 than they spent in 2012. Thirty-five states are spending less money than before the recession. North Carolina will spend $148 less per student in fiscal year 2012-13 than it did in 2011-12.
-Huffington Post
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Chicago Teachers Strike As Education Reform Tensions Boil Over

Chicago teachers strike. Image courtesy of U.S. News

Twenty-five thousand teachers and support staff in Chicago Public Schools—the nation’s third-largest school district—are on strike. The Chicago Teachers Union’s concerns with wage increases, teacher evaluations, and job security led to the strike, which will affect about 350,000 Chicago students.
-Education Week

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Manufacturing Skills in Short Supply

The skills gap among the unemployed makes it difficult to fill manufacturing jobs and increases salaries for engineers and technicians who are in high demand. A survey of U.S. manufacturers by Deloitte Consulting found five percent of respondents’ available jobs were unfilled because they could not find workers with the necessary skills. One company, Siemens Energy Inc., provides job training to equip individuals with the skills they need to fill manufacturing jobs.
-Charlotte Business Journal

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As Obama is Nominated, Duncan Speech Finesses Touchy Issues
During the Democratic National Convention, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke about President Obama’s appreciation for teachers, but did not address teacher evaluation or the expansion of charter schools. He also discussed the budget proposed by GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, which he said would cut domestic discretionary spending (which includes education) by as much as 20 percent.
-Education Week

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High Performing Teachers in Low-Income D.C. Schools To Get Fastest Raises

In an effort to retain excellent educators, a new Washington D.C. system will reward teachers for their performance in the classroom instead of basing salaries on education level or years of experience. Teachers who accelerate through the system will earn larger salaries, have more opportunities for leadership positions, and will receive fewer classroom observations. The largest increases are reserved for teachers in schools where more than 60 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
-The Washington Post

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In this week's e-Newsletter:

CMS Will Poll Employees About Morale

Charter Schools Get Preliminary Approval

Education Funding Drops in Half of States

Chicago Teachers Strike Over Issues

Manufacturing Skills Are In Short Supply

Education Secretary Finesses Touchy Education Issues

New D.C. System Rewards High-Performing Teachers

For Your Consideration: Retaining Effective Teachers

Upcoming Education Events

Education Resources

2010-11 Interactive Data Maps of CMS

For Your Consideration

For Your Consideration provides an open forum for individuals to voice their opinions on various public education issues. Please note the views expressed in For Your Consideration are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MeckEd.

Charlotte's Teaching Fellows Institute Promotes Retention of High-Performing Teachers
By Barbara Caldwell

Teaching Fellows Institute at Charlotte

The residents of Mecklenburg County know that having an effective teacher in each classroom is the most important factor in a student’s performance once that student begins the school day and that retaining these effective teachers in the education profession is a difficult task. Recently, the Observer reported that a new study cited CMS as failing to retain its effective teachers.
Charlotte is fortunate to have citizen leaders who joined forces in 2005 to address this issue. The Teaching Fellows Institute (TFI ) was created in 2005 with a generous 20-year seed grant from the McColl Family Foundation. Local private and public school leaders joined with the McColl Family Foundation to address the teacher retention rate among highly effective teachers. By offering highly effective teachers outstanding opportunities to learn and collaborate, TFI encourages these teachers to stay in the field and to develop their
leadership potential.

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About the Author: Barbara Caldwell is the executive director of the Teaching Fellows Institute. The Teaching Fellows Institute honors, engages and inspires the Charlotte area’s most outstanding teachers thereby renewing their passion for the education profession and supporting them in their choice to remain in the education profession.

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Thank you for supporting MeckEd as we cultivate leadership, engage the community, and ensure CMS students are college- or career-ready.

Bill Anderson, Ed. D.  |  Executive Director
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