Parent Teacher Magazine Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools March/April 2018 - Page 4

CMS Superintendent, Dr. Clayton Wilcox When grades don’t tell the real story We are living in momentous times! Our community is at a critical turning point and I believe that CMS has a crucial role to play in helping us build a brighter future for everyone in the community – a future that offers equal opportunity to all. In February, CMS released its first equity report in eight years. Called Breaking the Link, the report looked at whether our public schools offer every student equal access to opportunity. The report analyzed data from the 2016- 2017 school year and found that demographics – a child’s race and socioeconomic status – are a predictive link to academic performance: If you’re poor and black or Hispanic, you’re not getting the same access to academic opportunity as your wealthier, white peers and you’re considerably less likely to succeed in school. Breaking the Link spells out in specific detail a shameful lack of diversity in our high-poverty schools, where nine out of 10 students are black or Hispanic. This means that not all of the 147,000-plus kids we are privileged to serve are getting the education that they need. They’re not getting the education that will help them succeed later in life. And we need to be clear about this: Breaking the Link isn’t about the failure of children. It’s about the failure of adults to help kids. Behind the data in Breaking the Link are real kids with hopes and dreams and talents. We have to do better – and as a district, we are ready to change. Breaking the Link is an essential first step. In it, we’re acknowledging some hard truths: Not everything that we’re doing in our schools and our classrooms is effective. But we’re willing to do the work needed to better serve our students. Breaking the Link is also an essential first step because it identifies three key levers for change – levers that we as a district can control. We can’t do the work alone; we need the support of the whole community to succeed. But we can change three things to improve outcomes for kids: time in school, highly effective teachers and access to rigor. Some of our students have all three now. Many of them don’t. Breaking the Link gives us clear direction on where we need to focus. It will help us make the operational and policy decisions needed to make our schools more equitable. One big example: our 2024 strategic plan. We’re developing it now and the findings of Breaking the Link will help us focus our efforts and our energies on the three key levers of time in school, highly effective teachers and access to rigor. This isn’t easy work. Poverty and race have been linked to achievement gaps for decades, and 2 • March/April 2018 • Parent Teacher Magazine that link is visible in every urban district in America. But I believe CMS can break the link if we work on it a comprehensiv RvWGFrW 7GVFVG2f'7BBFWFW&֖rvW&RvR&R6W'frFVvV@vW&RvR&RBvRVVBW"VF7V66VVBvRVVBFWVFRgVFrvPVVB&RvǒVffV7FfRFV6W'2BFRWFVWFVvPVVB7G&rVffV7FfR6VG7G'V7GW&W2FV7GVFVG2vf6P6Vvr6&7V7F6W2BR7V62VvW"BfW'GvRVV@FR7W'BBVvvVVBbW"&VG2ऒW6FVBBF֗7F2&WBF2v&&VƖWfRFBV6V'W&p6VGvG27G&rV&Ɩ2662&VfW"FR6v2&RWfW'vW&PFBW"6VG2vƖrFFFRv&FB6vR&WV&W2FPV6֖2&ƗG&W'BFB&VB6&GFRSFWBbS6FW2FP'GVGF6f&6RBFR7G&r7W'Bf"W"C#"֖Ɩ66&B&WVW7BF6FR6VGvFR6֗FVBFVrW G2V&Bw&rגf'7BRF2W&RfR&VVV&rw&vr66V7W2FBvRW7Bv&FvWFW"26VGF6WfPFW6Rv227WW&FVFVBb426֗GFVBF7G&VwFVrW 662BVrW"G2W&vRWfW'RFR6VGF7W'@W"v&r662WVF&RbW2( 2VGV6F'26FV2V&Ɩ2ff62&VG2( 2vRFBFW"G2WfW'BFW6W'fW2FR'GVGF7V66VVBvR6RF@VvR6'&VFRƖbvR7BFvWFW"B7BrG"6Fv62FR7WW&FVFVBb6&GFRV6V'W&p662( ( ( ( RFR7G'V7FखFfGVƗVB&w&04E$5E0wV&FVVB&W7VG0( ( ( ( &VFpFvVWG'7GVG60( "w&Fp( "vV'&b( "4Bb5@( "B&RW"77FV2FW6vVBF&Fǒ7&V6R6FV֖062B&fR66VG&F7ইGG6&GFRGWF&v6VFW"6