CMS to overhaul framework that drives student achievement

CHARLOTTE — Channel 9 reported last week that while several Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools increased student growth last school year by double digits, the number of low-performing schools increased from 50 to 59.

Despite that, the district is overhauling the goals and guardrails, which will drive student achievement for the next five years.

“They are lofty goals, but at the same time, we have a new superintendent,” said CMS school board member Dee Rankin. “We have a new staff. I think we have to set expectations of what we expect for our students to achieve.”

School board members reviewed a first draft of those goals and guardrails Tuesday, which were crafted using extensive community feedback, district leaders say.

“We have been through a pretty intense process to get ready for our next strategic plan in time to inform the budget,” said CMS school board Chairwoman Elyse Dashew.

The proposed goals include:

  • Increasing the percentage of second graders scoring at or above the benchmark in early literacy from 62% last June to 85% by June of 2029.
  • Increasing the percentage of third-through-ninth-grade students scoring college and career-ready on their reading end-of-grade assessment from 30.5% achieved this September to 50.5% by June of 2029.

“This is, of course, dependent upon our ability to resource human capital to provide the needed individualized instruction and small group instruction to meet individual needs,” said CMS Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Beth Thompson.

When it comes to keeping the district on track, proposed guardrails include the superintendent not allowing any school or district personnel to neglect the maintenance of a safe environment in schools, events, or transportation.

The proposal would also not allow the district or any school to neglect resources or strategies that significantly reduce achievement gaps between student groups.

Channel 9′s Jonathan Lowe asked Rankin about the latter since the guardrail previously addressed Black and brown students, specifically.

“It will be interesting to see how our superintendent and staff come up with interim guardrails to measure those individual ethnic groups, racial groups, kids with disabilities, to see where they are to specifically target those groups,” Rankin said.

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Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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