Are teachers’ voices being included in CMS’ learning plans? District says yes, teachers say no

Teachers raise concerns about CMS' decision-making

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools makes changes to the district’s in-person learning plan, teachers fear their voices aren’t being made a part of the conversation.

“The reality is there are decisions that are being made that appear to be done in haste," says CMS teacher, AJ Hepworth. "Rather than what’s best for education.”

Hepworth and his wife are CMS teachers.

He and many other teachers say they are worried about how CMS leaders are handling decisions across the district.

“Changing from an ABC to an AB group," Hepworth says, mentioning the district’s recent move to, again, change the district’s in-person, remote learning plans. "We’ve seen that with the dates that they’re going back, we’ve seen that with the adoption of some curriculums.”

When you look at his concerns, the timelines add up - and there’s a trend.

At the of start of the pandemic, the CMS board initially voted on the dates for spring break, only to later reverse their initial decision.

In July, the board initially voted for Plan B plus remote, only to change their mind nearly two weeks later and decide to move to Plan C.

Nearly two weeks later in October, the board is deciding to modify those plans once again.

“Many decisions are being reactive, which tells me the thought process was not extensive," says Hepworth.

Teachers also worry their voice and other stakeholders aren’t being included in the decision process.

But the district says its surveyed both principals and staff on their thoughts of in-person versus remote learning.

Meanwhile, CMS is currently battling a lawsuit and one of the key points of that lawsuit? Claims that the district has been taking teacher’s opinions into consideration too much during the planning process.

Sources say that lawsuit is an ongoing battle.

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