CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox is ready to examine the inequities found at some CMS schools. He says his team is working on the report, which should be released by February.
"I just thought it was really important that we sat down and really took an unbiased, candid look at where we are," Wilcox said. "And that's the only way we are going to get better."
At Tuesday night's school board meeting, several local black ministers told board members they should do a better job educating black students. The group cited disappointing test scores and some black students graduating high school unprepared.
"This can't happen," Rockwell AME Zion Church Pastor Jordan Boyd said. "We must come together and turn the tide immediately."
Wilcox believes the equity report should reveal what is happening in some schools to help determine if the lack of resources is the reason why some students of color are not reaching their highest level of potential.
"We may have to look at how we're staffing schools. We may have to look at how we are assigning students to schools. We may have to look at the programs we offer kids," Wilcox said.
Before the equity report is even complete, Charlotte's top educator says he realizes some students are underperforming and that something must be done.
"I do understand that in some ways some of these kids are miseducated," Wilcox said. "They are not getting what they need to be successful in the 21st century. So, as a school system, we have to take a look."
The local ministers told the school board they are willing to help. CMS leaders say they appreciate the assistance. The conversation about the achievement gap between black and white students has existed for a long time in the community. It appears that conversation is now getting some traction.
"We're missing too many kids," CMS Board Chairperson Mary McCray said. "We've got to pay closer attention to our children of color to make sure that they are part of this fabric here in Mecklenburg County, and the only way they can be part of the fabric here is they get educational opportunities also."
McCray hopes the release of the equity report will shine a light on what's really going on inside some schools.
"I know that if they are honest there's going to be a lot of things in it that may make us uncomfortable, but that's OK," McCray said. "I just want them to be honest about things and nothing is being hidden - nothing is being swept under the rug - because we want to protect the image of CMS."