New superintendent vows to get student assignment plan right

by: Elsa Gillis Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The new superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officially signed his contract Tuesday night.

Eyewitness News reporter Elsa Gillis was at the school board meeting as Clayton Wilcox vowed to get the district's controversial student assignment plan right.

"To the board members, thank you so much for demonstrating your confidence in me," Wilcox said.

Wilcox addressed the community for the first time as the new superintendent after signing a four-year contract starting July 1 for $280,000 a year. Current superintendent Ann Clark makes $262,000

"I pledge you my unyielding commitment to make our schools the schools of choice," Wilcox said.

Wilcox didn't shy away from addressing what he's walking into -- a district that is currently revamping its controversial and complicated student assignment plan.

"As a school community, we will get the student assignment plan right,” Wilcox said. “We'll work on closing achievement gaps, reducing disproportionality."

Wilcox said he plans to spend his next visit in Charlotte concentrating on the work the board has done so far, which is increasing school choice by moving students out of poorly performing schools and into more magnet programs.

"I hope to be very involved in the process,” Wilcox said. “I think every family should make a choice, having a great home school."

That work on home schools is next for student assignment. Phase 2 looks at high school feeder patterns and neighborhood schools.

The board announced the community will be able to weigh in starting at the end of January, and any changes wouldn't start until the fall of 2018.