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The Voice of the Black Community

Local & State

District seeks input on school equity plan
CMS looks to public to add suggestions
Published Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:18 am
by Herbert L. White

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools wants public input into the development of a long-term strategic plan.  

The district is encouraging participation in four avenues before crafting a six-year blueprint, beginning with nine workshops across the county in March and April. The first step was the release of Breaking the Link, a report that analyzed ties between poverty, race and academic achievement.
The report, which used 2016-17 data, looked at racial and income demographics, academic outcomes and how key “levers” linked to outcomes vary across the district.

“We need the support of our whole community if we’re going to break the link between poverty and race and academic performance,” CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said in a statement. “This is not easy work. Poverty and race have been linked to achievement gaps for decades. That link is visible in every urban district in America, but I believe we can break the link in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools if we work on it as a community.”

CMS’s analysis found the district has re-segregated by income and race with high-poverty schools enrolling predominantly black and Hispanic students. Testing data also shows that low-income schools consistently score below predominantly white low- and moderate-poverty schools. The Breaking the Link report identified three areas to improve outcomes for all students: time in school, effective teachers and access to demanding curriculum.

“Breaking the Link makes very clear that we must improve our schools so that all students have equal access and equal opportunity to succeed,” Wilcox said. “We are placing a very high priority on public input into our next steps and the strategic plan we’re building to address the lack of equity. How well we address that lack will determine our community’s future, so we want as many community members as possible involved in the work.”

The second track is participation in a community-wide online survey. Residents are invited to hold discussions in homes, churches or neighborhood groups and CMS will be made available to discuss the report and the strategic-plan process at gatherings. The district will also make handouts available for use.

“Every single student deserves the best education we can give them,” Wilcox said. “But the hard truth in Breaking the Link is that we’re not meeting that goal, so we need to do a better job. We also need to be clear about one thing: These numbers are not about the failure of our kids. These numbers are about our failure to help kids.”


Dear Mr. White, As a print subscriber I find the Charlotte Observer most useful in learning about key issues. Your article is most helpful. I would have appreciated having links to the report and survey you mentioned, but overall the article was great.
Posted on March 16, 2018
I found your article most worthwhile. As a print subscriber I find the Charlotte Post a great resource. I would have appreciated finding links to the report and survey mentioned.
Posted on March 16, 2018

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