CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Project L.i.f.t. leaders and Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) board members are talking about the progress and issues of Project L.i.f.t.
A few years ago, the Charlotte community raised more than $55 million to help students at the nine lowest performing schools in CMS. The program was designed to last five years. The program just completed year three and its report card has been released.
Project L.i.f.t. leaders say they are concerned about inconsistent test scores, students leaving the Project L.i.f.t. Zone, constant changes in CMS leadership, and turnover at several schools.
Project L.i.f.t. Board members say there are some bright spots in the program, but that they realize more work needs to be done.
"You look at some of the stats," Project L.i.f.t. Co-Chair Stick Williams said. "And there have been some drops in some areas, very, very flat results in some areas. So that's concerning to members of our board, but we are still very, very committed to be certain that these kids have a extraordinary platform to takeoff."
Parents, staff, and members of the community filled out surveys so Project L.i.f.t. could know what issues people had with the program.
Many wrote they want to keep the smaller class sizes, continue coaching and development culture for school leaders, maintain retention bonuses. Some say they would like Project L.i.f.t. to end the extra 19 days students are in schools at Druid Hills Academy and Thomasboro Academy.
It cost Project L.i.f.t. $1 million to keep those students in school longer during the summer. Some also say they would like to end the Pre-K 8 school model. Others say they want Project L.i.f.t. administrators to start a way to get rid of ineffective teachers.
The biggest question is what will happen to Project L.i.f.t. after year five when the money runs out. Many want the good things that are happening to stay and have another entity pick up the tab.
"Our commitment is to pick up those things which are successful," CMS Board Chairperson Mary McCray said. "And we've always maintained that and I think that would be expected of us."