At the final CMS board meeting of the school year, Deputy Director Alec Macaulay called on Superintendent Anne Clark to uphold her promises to the children of Charlotte and ensure every last one of them has access to the best education possible.
Good evening. My name is Alec Macaulay and I am a former CMS teacher at West Mecklenburg High with Teach For America and West Charlotte High with Project LIFT, and now the Deputy Director of NorthCarolinaCAN, a non-profit devoted to ensuring equitable access to education for all students.
But I am here tonight to speak to you as a citizen and future parent who is zoned to elementary and middle schools that have received a D or F school rating for at least each of the last three years. While many are here to speak this evening because their schools are being affected, I am here to speak for the dozens of schools—chronically failing schools with high concentrations of poverty—that are NOT being affected and where NOTHING is being done.
It has been well publicized that 74 of the district’s 170 schools are being impacted by some phase of this plan. However, of the 96 schools that are not being impacted at all, a dozen of these are schools with over 90 percent of their student population living in poverty.
On a radio program this morning, Supr. Clark called the passage of this plan “an important first step”, and tonight I have heard many here say the same thing. I am here to tell you that we, as citizens, parents and organizations that care deeply about equity, plan to hold you to that statement. Vote as you must tonight, but do NOT stand by for three, five or 10 years, while we lose an entire generation of students to failing schools, before taking the next step toward equity. The segregation of our city is increasing every day and it’s not waiting for you to act.
Members of the board, I urge you, under the leadership of our new Supr. Wilcox, to take this first step, but then immediately take up this issue again. Don’t just create partial magnets and hope parents will come. Do not just give lip-service to breaking up pockets of poverty in our schools. Actually make it happen. A whole generation of Charlotte students are counting on it, and counting on you.