Tuesday October 6, 2009 | CMS Zoning Process

October 5, 2009 at 9:33 am | Posted in Coming Up | 10 Comments

The Charlotte Mecklenburg School system consists of 176 schools and over 133,000 students, with new ones arriving every year. The task of assigning these students to schools is a massive one, and it’s often marked with challenges from parents, politicians and development. We’ll talk with a man who is at the epicenter of the school assignment process to learn how it works and what CMS parents can expect in the future.
Guests
Scott McCully
– Executive Director of Planning and Student Placement at CMS

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  1. Mike:

    I was twice head of the School Leadership Team at Myers Park Traditional School. I can’t call the show today so I’ll send this message. I’ve heard that a big gang of Dilworth-based Eastover Elementary parents are going to flood your lines today to push their vision for the new neighborhood school that will take over the current MPTS building and shunt MPTS to either the current Eastover building of the Dilworth Elementary building.

    The irony is that this cabal comprises Dilworth parents who attend Eastover. Sure–Eastover may be slightly overcrowded (it’s not a crisis) but it’s the height of arrogance for one group of parents at one school to go, clandestinely, to the School Board, to tell MPTS to move, and subsequently destroy MPTS, which is a wonderful school that is helping hundreds of low-income students do very well in school.

    It’s a classic case of Dilworth liberalism: ultimately, these Dilworth liberals want a school with minimal diversity, despite their Obama-Biden bumper stickers and Bambi-ish support for liberal causes…like diversity.

    Worse, this cabal actually believes (and I can prove this) that moving MPTS will have little impact on the MPTS. This is pure, sheer, arrogance.

    Yours, etc.

    Scott Martin

    • Well, Mr. Martin, I listened to the show, and no “cabal” of Dilworth/Eastover parents ever flooded the lines, did they? As a concerned Dilworth parent, I find your conspiracy theories ludicrous. Nothing the Dilworth group has done has been “clandestine.” Nor are we out to “destroy” MPTS. In fact, we acknowledge the logistical issues with option 3. However, we do think it is fair, and may be necessary, to ask MPTS to be part of the solution of overcrowding at Eastover. After all, MPTS is one of the THREE magnets located in the Eastover zone. And while MPTS does serve students from all over the area, including some low-income students (and serves them well, I admit), there is no reason MPTS can’t be part of the solution and still maintain its quality of education and diversity. As for that lack of diversity you say I want — you are dead wrong about my reasons for opposing options 1 and 2, and I strongly resent your condescending attitude. In fact, my biggest knock against Eastover Elementary is its lack of true diversity. I oppose the rezoning involving First Ward because it has serious problems with discipline, student safey and academic achievement. The same goes for the rest of the Dilworth “cabal”: We just want a good, safe education for our children, plain and simple. Why can’t you just accept that? I’d bet it’s no different from what you want for your children. So come to the table, please, instead of adopting your own arrogant, “NIMBY” attitude.

      • well stated Laura

      • very well stated, Laura. I am fearful if Scott Martin’s points are representative of the beliefs of all the MPTS families, although from friends who are there, I don’t think that’s the case. I know there are groups working on all sides to create community proposals that could better serve all the families involved, First Ward families included, and I hope that these are being seriously considered. I hope we can overcome the divisive speech Mr. Martin used and work together on this for ALL the schools and children involved here.

      • Laura – Thank you for accurately portraying the feelings of all Dilworth families who are impacted by these options. I have attended the Dilworth community meetings and have been impressed by the total commitment of these parents to find additional options that are not only good for our own children, but are good for the entire community. Sadly, CMS shocked everyone with these options and has created an atmosphere pitting neighbor against neighbor instead of one of collaboration. I find Mr. Martin’s comments deeply disturbing and hope they are not representative of the school at large – a school where I count many parents as friends.

        Our challenge is simple – District 5 supports seven neighborhoods. In this district there are four elementary schools with approximately 100 classrooms. Only ONE school and approximately 28 classrooms are allocated to the families who choose to live in this District. The remaining schools and classrooms are part of a magnet program. Therefore, the home school (Eastover) is overcrowded. I know this first hand. My 1st grade daughter is in a classroom in the school’s auditorium. However, the option of being in that environment where she has every opportunity to excel and achieve is far greater, despite the overcrowding, than Options 1 or 2.

  2. Great show. Scott’s got a tough job.

    Question: A lot of us are getting excited about the prospect of a neighborhood school in Dilworth — seems like it would make a lot of sense to relieve Eastover’s overcrowding and wouldn’t involve some complex school swap. What are the prospects for a neighborhood school in Dilworth and for an expansion of neighborhood schools in general?

  3. Mike, I love your show.

    Please ask Scott directly “is MPHS overcrowded?”. We keep hearing it works well at 3000 but my CMS’s own tables, MPHS should at or around 2200. Why is there a nead to need to “right size” every other school but MPHS?

  4. When I bought my home 10 years ago my house near Highway 16 and Mount Holly-Huntersville Rd. was zoned for Hopewell High School which, the nearest high school to my home. Now that my children are of high school age we are zoned West Mecklenburg High School. This takes my children from one of the top rated schools in the system to one of the crisis schools. Hopewell is closed to kids transfering in and the housing market is at an all-time low. My only option was to take my children out of the CMS system and send them to a private school.

  5. Why does the school board back away from changing lines for Myers Park and Cotswold when other school boundary lines have changed sometimes numerous times over the last 5 – 10 years?

    It does not seem fair to the community outside of the MP boundary lines.

  6. Scott: Not all of those 110 Eastover kids are white. Hard to believe, but true.

    Also, if 110 MP kids were under consideration for transfer to First Ward, those parents would be fighting this equally hard.

    I live in Dilworth but I am hardly a liberal.

    You paint some broad strokes, chief.

    Everyone involved on this will have to compromise on this issue. Everyone.


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