There is now a nice collection of videos from various places that you can view to hear my thoughts on various topics related to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Sonja Gantt with WCNC did a series of well-done interviews of all the candidates, my specific interview is available here.
One of the major themes of this campaign is the issue of standardized testing and how we measure the progress of our students as well as the effectiveness of our teachers and principals. I think the best way to illustrate my beliefs on these issues is to tell you the story of a particular student.I know there are many more stories like this within the school system, but let's start here (note: I've changed the student's name in this story).
In the Spring of the last school year, Amanda’s teachers contacted her parents recommending that they consider placing her in advanced or honors classes for the next school year. Amanda’s teachers felt she was an exceptionally bright student and needed more challenges in the classroom.
The editorial in the August 28th Sunday edition of The Observer started out as a commentary on No Child Left Behind and ended up as a ringing endorsement of standardized testing and following the status quo. You can read it here.
In the second to last paragraph of the editorial, the editors write, "...and it should not pull back significantly on standardized testing, which continues to be the best way to broadly measure how teachers and principals are serving their students."
What they should have written was this: "...and standardized testing is the easiest way to attempt to measure teachers and principals by collecting bad data, ignoring environmental factors and then realizing a few years later that students are unable to apply the concepts they were taught."
The Charlotte Observer published their first editorial about the November school board election. A generalized piece, it nevertheless bulleted some interesting points. To be exact, it listed 7 ideals to look for in a candidate as suggested by the Center for Public Education.
Not wanting to pass up a good opportunity, here are my answers to each of the 7 points:
Conviction that public education is important.
My wife and I are both products of public education and she is a teacher in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. Not only do I believe in public education, I see it as the cornerstone of society’s continued economic and social success.