by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Residents of Mecklenburg County had an opportunity to set a new course for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), which is seeing flat enrollment growth due, in part, to the availability of home, private, and charter schools. Yet, as Ann Doss Helms of the Charlotte Observer notes, there’s “not likely to be any dramatic shift in the philosophy of education and leadership” after yesterday’s election results.
Only a “dramatic shift in the philosophy of education and leadership” would inspire parents, particularly those who have lost faith in the system and pursued educational options for their children, to consider returning. Perhaps some of those relationships are irreparably damaged and thus unsalvageable. I can’t imagine that is the case generally.
Mecklenburg County is a competitive educational market, and CMS is losing. Shiny new buildings and multimillion-dollar renovations made possible by the passage of the nearly $1 billion school facilities bond will do little to improve the district’s standing among families who feel that their legitimate concerns are dismissed or ignored.