The Pineville Pilot Education Notes Nov. 2013

Voters pass two education bonds

Mecklenburg County voters approved two education bonds totaling $500 million on Election Day, Nov. 5, bringing much needed upgrades, programs and new facilities to Charlotte’s two largest education outlets.

More than 74 percent of the 112,885 Mecklenburg County residents who voted on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bond pushed the $290 million package forward. The package will fund 17 projects across the county, to start July 2014, to renovate and/or expand some of the district’s oldest facilities, as well as add needed magnet and career and technical programs and three new schools.

More than 71.66 percent of the 112,142 residents who voted on the Central Piedmont Community College bond approved the $210 million package. The bond money will fund 10 projects across the college’s five campuses that also would expand, renovate and add needed programs.

Bailey elected to CMS District 6
The current mayor pro tem of Matthews, Paul Bailey, will soon take a seat on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education.
Bailey came out on top in the CMS Board of Education District 6 race on Election Day, Nov. 5, pulling away from opponents Bolyn McClung and Doug Wrona. Bailey took the seat with 8,509 of the 14,244 votes in Pineville, Matthews, Mint Hill and south Charlotte. McClung and Wrona had 3,801 and 1,853 votes, respectively. District 6 has 114,264 registered
voters.
“I feel really good. I’m really pleased with the outcome and I think the margin of victory shows the campaign I was running showed I could do the job effectively for the students in the schools,” Bailey said.
Bailey will replace the current District 6 representative, Amelia Stinson-Wesley, who opted not to seek re-election. He’ll be sworn in to the board in December.

CMS names police chief
Randy L. Hagler was named Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools chief of police at the CMS Board of Education’s Nov. 12 meeting.

Hagler, who was a police sergeant with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department from 1979 to 2007, has served as CMS deputy chief of police since 2007 and interim chief of police since May. He earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Central Piedmont Community College and serves as president of the North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police.

The CMS Police Department is comprised of sworn officers, detectives, technicians, dispatchers and administrative staff.

“The department’s primary focus is to provide a safe environment for all students and staff,” according to the CMS website.

Common Core tests bring expected drop in scores

The state recently released test scores for the 2012-13 school year, measuring student growth and proficiency with more rigorous standards.

It was the first year for North Carolina students to take new, more rigorous tests linked to the Common Core standards, replacing the end-of-course and end-of-grade tests from earlier years. The standards, which were designed to ensure students graduate from high school ready to enter college or a career, focus on higher-level, critical skills in reading, math and science rather than memorization. The new tests also require higher scores to earn a proficient rating.

Recent results provide information on individual schools’ proficiency rate, or passing rate that measures students performing at or above grade level, which in most schools significantly dropped from previous years. Results of the tests also measured growth. Growth goals, which are set by each school’s own standards, are based mainly on results of tests taken in previous years and measure whether a student has achieved a year’s worth of growth.

The overall CMS performance composite of 47.2 percent proved to be a cut above the state’s rate at 44.7 percent. Called the Ready program, the new tests measure academic progress using standardized end-of-grade tests in reading and math for third through eighth grade and science for fifth and eighth grade. End-of-course tests were given for high school students in math I/algebra I, English II and biology.

“These tests are going to be a hard transition, and it will take awhile,” CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison said about last year’s lower scores and the prospects of improving them in the future. Morrison spoke to a group of community members at a recent MeckEd-sponsored discussion about the scores. “As painful as this is, this is something we have to do and we’re going to take this on the best we can.”

Here’s how Pineville schools faired:

School                         Growth  Performance Composite (%)
South Meck High    Exceeded        53.2
Quail Hollow Middle    Not Met        35.2
Pineville Elementary    Exceeded        47.3
Sterling Elementary     Not Met        22.2

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