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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Does Charlotte-Mecklenburg Lead the Way?

From Monday's "BoardBuzz"

Charlotte-Mecklenburg leads the way

While much of the attention in North Carolina centered around the visit by President Barack Obama over the weekend, another story about North Carolina caught our attention from The New York Times.
In an editorial, The New York Times recommends that urban districts around the country look closely at Charlotte-Mecklenburg as a model.  One of NSBA’s CUBE (Council of Urban Boards of Education) districts and a perennial presenter at our conferences, we’ve known about their innovative ways for quite some time.  But to have The New York Times call attention to some of their improvements, and encourage districts nationwide and the U.S. Department of Education to take note, is worth a special mention.  The editorial points out:
  • The district puts the best principals in the schools with the biggest challenges.
  • Principals are given bonuses when the school make academic gains and are able to recruit their new leadership teams.
  • Principals are allowed to remove up to five teachers who are considered “hostile to reform.”
Schools have already seen improvement in the short time the plan has been in place, and the district’s principals are wearing the opportunity to serve in difficult schools as a badge of honor.  In fact, the district was also recently named as one of five finalists for the Broad Prize for Urban Education.  As many urban districts search for ways to improve student achievement, take a close look at Charlotte-Mecklenburg for an urban success story.

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