CMS schools getting left behind with new student assignment plan

CMS schools getting left behind with new student assignment plan
McCray (Dedrick Russell | WBTV)
McCray (Dedrick Russell | WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) board recently approved a controversial student assignment plan with the goal to create more diverse schools by shuffling students around, but some parents say CMS is missing the mark with the new plan.

"It could have been a bit bolder and bit more courageous, and touched more schools," Chavon Carroll said, a parent of a student who attends Newell Elementary School.

Carroll wished her daughter's school was impacted by the student assignment plan.

PREVIOUS: Lessons learned from CMS student assignment vote

Newell Elementary is one school of many CMS Title I schools that are being left behind during phase two of the student assignment plan. The student assignment plan touches more than 20 high poverty CMS schools.

The goal is to make schools more socioeconomically diverse. There are more than 70 high poverty schools known as Title I schools in the district, which means more than 50 CMS schools are getting untouched.

The school district tackles the student assignment plan every six years, but Carroll says that is too long to wait. "I want my daughter to be able to be around a variety of different economic levels, so she can be prepared for the future," Carroll said.

Carroll knows the value of students who attend diverse schools. "In terms of your access to Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and honors courses and extracurricular activities that other schools get access to that low income school frankly don't," Carroll said.

CMS School Board Chairperson Mary McCray agrees waiting six years to deal with another student assignment plan is too late.

"If you think about the number of children that have gone through us by the year 2023, we cannot wait that long and I would urge my fellow board members to not even consider waiting that long," McCray said.

McCary is ready to continue discussions and take action to break up more concentration of high poverty schools.

"We have got to look at what we can shore up," McCray said. "The things we can make a little bit better and incorporate some more boundaries."

The hope is that if schools are more diverse then academic achievement will go up, but there are no guarantees that will happen.

"It's not about that," Carroll said. "To me, it's about the access to social capital and the access to network."

Carroll hopes CMS will do more to bring change to more schools, especially her daughter's school.  She wants that to happen sooner rather than later.

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.