Education

CMS fourth and eighth graders are performing about the same in math and reading as they were two years ago, according to the National Assessment of Education Progress.  The tests have been given to a sample of students across the country since 2003.  At a time when state tests are drastically changing, these scores provide a way to compare student performance from year to year. 

Jeff Siner / Charlotte Observer

Playing for a winning high school team can sometimes be irresistible.  In 2007, a Charlotte Observer investigation found several Charlotte Mecklenburg School students lied about their addresses to get on top teams. 

The district declared more than 20 students ineligible to play.  Five high schools had to forfeit their seasons and a handful of coaches resigned or were fired.  CMS tightened its policies around athletic eligibility and tracking it.  Five years later, many of those same procedures are in place and violations are in the single digits.  CMS officials say they’re successful at keeping lying to play sports in check. 

WFAE’s Lisa Miller joins us now in the studio:

Kevin Kniestedt: Good morning, Lisa.


The North Carolina Court of Appeals says a group wanting to open an online charter school in the state will have to apply again.  The group backed by the for-profit virtual charter operator K12 argued the state should have allowed it to open last year. 

North Carolina families who have 529 college savings plans won’t be able to take a tax deduction for contributions beginning next year.  That’s part of a series of changes state lawmakers made to the tax code this year. 

Like many states, North Carolina has offered a state tax deduction for the first $2,500 of contributions to the plan each year.   

Most CMS parents and students will have to wait an extra week for last quarter’s report cards.  The delay is due to more problems with PowerSchool.  That’s the new software schools across the state are using to do everything from scheduling classes to tracking students’ grades. 

Nicola since 1972 / Flickr

Dozens of new charter schools have opened in North Carolina since the cap on them was lifted a couple years ago.  But the state still does not have an online charter.  This year three groups hope to get approval to open virtual charters. 


NC Supreme Court Dismisses Case Over Pre-K Restrictions

Nov 8, 2013
scales of justice
Scott*/Flickr

The North Carolina Supreme Court Friday dismissed a case involving restrictions on the state’s pre-kindergarten programs. 

An attorney for five school districts who challenged the restrictions, Melanie Dubis, says the ruling was expected.


Duncan McFadyen / WFAE

CMS students scored slightly above the state average on new standardized test scores released by the state Thursday. But new tests aligned with national Common Core standards caused scores to drop significantly for all districts in North Carolina.


Duncan McFadyen / WFAE

The North Carolina Department of Education Thursday released the school-by-school results of last year’s end of grade and end of class tests. It was the first year for more rigorous exams that test for national Common Core standards. WFAE’s Duncan McFadyen gives All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey a breakdown of the numbers.


Districts have long been warning parents that students scored much lower on last year’s end-of-course and end-of-grade test scores.  That’s because tests have changed and standards are higher.  Today, we’ll finally learn how school districts performed on those tests.  WFAE’s Lisa Miller joins us in the studio. 

Michael Tomsic

The Charlotte Mecklenburg School board will soon have two new people with the last name of Bailey. Matthews Mayor Pro-Tem Paul Bailey swept district six, which covers southern Mecklenburg county, receiving 60 percent of the vote.  He said voters wanted someone who is a good collaborator. 


Tasnim Shamma

Johnson C. Smith University President Ron Carter is urging the Department of Education to reconsider changes to the Federal Parent PLUS loan. Carter blames those changes for the school's recent three million dollar budget cut.

Michael Tomsic

Many schools across North Carolina staged something called a walk-in Monday.  It was in lieu of a one-day strike that some teachers had been contemplating to protest stagnant wages, elimination of tenure, and an increase in standardized testing. 


Duncan McFadyen / WFAE

Johnson C. Smith University trimmed its budget by $3 million this week. The Charlotte school announced Thursday it had laid off 21 employees and had eliminated or frozen 30 other positions.


CMS Board Candidate Forum

Oct 25, 2013
Michael Tomsic

A more analytical approach to a massive budget, more input from a neighborhood before closing a school, and a lot more lawmakers in Raleigh who agree with educators in Charlotte.

Those are a few things candidates for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board called for Thursday night at a public forum hosted by WFAE and MeckEd.

There are 12 candidates running for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board’s six district seats.

College Board

The cost of going to a public university has been rising faster in North Carolina than in most other states, but it's still relatively cheap here compared to the rest of the country. Those are a few highlights from a report the College Board released Wednesday.


Hundreds of Charlotte Mecklenburg School students could have more schools to choose from next year.  They include classes on college campuses and another Montessori magnet.  Tuesday night, CMS officials rolled out plans for the new programs.   


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Five CMS district seats are up for grabs this election.  Current board members say they’ve seen the board through difficult financial times and are eager to forge ahead with a new superintendent. Their challengers say there’s room for improvement.  WFAE together with MeckEd will hold a public forum with eleven of the candidates this Thursday evening. The moderator of the event is WFAE’s Lisa Miller. She joins Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt for a preview. 

KK:  So one big difference from the last election is we have a different superintendent. 

Jimmy Wayne / Flickr

The dispute between Union County and its schools is not finished.  Union County commissioners have decided to appeal the jury’s verdict that the county owes the district $91 million. 


Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools start and end times have made for some heated debate since the district added 45 minutes to the elementary school day.  Superintendent Heath Morrison says he’s not willing to shorten the day by much.

Two years ago, CMS officials lengthened the school day for elementary students to seven hours and pushed dismissals at many schools to 4:15.  With those adjustments one bus could serve more schools. 

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