Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Charleston Progressive: How to Progress

Commenters have left so many details on the gap between the two magnet schools in District 20 (Buist and CPA) that I'm trying to pin down what's going on.

The puzzle is what makes Charleston Progressive a magnet school?

Does it have a stated mission? What perceived need was it supposed to meet? What did CCSD promise when it was founded? How long has it existed? Why did CCSD move it to Courtenay?

Then, if the information posted over the last few weeks is correct, why does it get $1000 less per student than Buist? Why is no foreign language offered?

If Buist has a full-time assistant principal and full-time PE, art, and music teachers, what exactly does CPA have that makes it different from other non-magnet District 20 schools? Does it share its part-time teachers with any other school? Does it have any National Board Certified teachers?

If its library has been stocked using Title 1 funds, is that library appropriate for a magnet school and/or CPA's mission?

How has CCSD treated Charleston Progressive in regard to NCLB? What percentage of its students live outside of District 20? Are students who qualify for SAIL at CPA bussed to Mitchell along with other students from District 20, or does it have its own program?

And, as long as Mayor Riley is flogging the "circle" of businesses around Dist. 20 schools for their support, how about their setting up a Charleston Progressive Academy Foundation?

Three signals that will tell if McGinley seriously wishes to improve District 20 schools:
  1. The Buist lottery system will undergo renovations to make cheating impossible;
  2. Charleston Progressive will receive the resources it truly needs to be a magnet; and
  3. The planned District 20 charter high school will receive her support.

Gregg Meyers (and some others) won't like it. I'm still trying to reconcile the idea of Meyers as Civil Rights advocate with the one who sits on the CCSD school board.

UPDATE: This blog may also be reached through www.linkcharleston.com/ , a web newspaper covering the Lowcountry.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Someone should send this to Ms. Sheats the wonderful principal at Charleston Progressive. She could help answer a lot of these questions. Gregg Meyers, Nancy Cook, Hillary Douglas and Brian Moody are to blame. Anyway that has sat on the school board for so many years and ignored District 20 should be ashamed. They only look out for the magnet schools. Toya Hampton Green needs to remember who elected her. She has betrayed the black community by saying she doesn't represent downtown.

Anonymous said...

Toya Hampton Green does remember who elected her. Her supporters are white "enlightened liberal intellectual wanna-bes" but who are as shallow and NIMBY as any right wing reactionary. She's everyone's favorite token who is an acceptable guest at their cocktail parties but who isn't "too" black. Sometimes a real brick in the punch bowl is what we need to champion our downtown schools. Toya just ain't going to do it. She's "too" bought by the no change crowd.

Anonymous said...

I like your last comment, Babbie. I want to know what happened to that Gregg Meyers, too. The one that sits on the county board is no better than the segregationists of the 50's and 60's that he likes to wail on.

Anonymous said...

Give Gregg Meyers a break. He was elected to represent people East of the Cooper. He's doing a great job for them and the magnet schools. You downtown types need somebody like Gregg downtown. It's your own fault you elected Toya Green.

Anonymous said...

The excuse is that Charleston Progressive "wasn't set up like Buist. The parents didn't ask for foreign language, etc." The reality is that Buist wasn't set up with so much either. It just got more and more as school board members continued to have their children there.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Ruth Jordan will be the one to stand up for Charleston Progessive and the other District 20 Schools. She seems to be her own person and less POLITICAL than Toya Hampton Greene.

Anonymous said...

District 20 has some big news. Buist might be moving the middle school program to Citadel Square Baptist Church on Meeting Street. This move would be to make room for what population? District 20 children that have no options but failing schools? I doubt it.

What is really shocking about the possible move is that it would be even closer to Charleston Progressive. Why not put the Buist Middle School program at Charleston Progressive? Come on, really! Come up with a good excuse besides race.

What is CCSD planning? Would Sallie Ballard be the head of both schools just as Moore is set to be the principal of both Fraser and Sanders Clyde? Something tells me the Buist parents wouldn't have to put up with that crazy scenario.

Anonymous said...

The real fear that the Buist-County Board axis have is for there to be viable alternatives to Buist. A second, third or forth "Buist" would be less controlable and could possibly be used as a yardstick to more accurately measure the others within this catagory. Measuring itself in the real world is something Buist has never been forced to do. Any attempt to split Buist yet keep it under one principal only confirms the theory that this is a special exception that CCSD doesn't want to replicate or allow to be truly compared within a larger universe of schools. Sounds crazy, but I believe Buist was an accident (for better or worse) that CCSD doesn't want to repeat. Otherwise, they would have allowed CPA (at Courtenay) to have the admissions standards, foreign language, support personnel, smaller classes and enrichment programs they have repeatedly requested but the county board has just as frequently denied them.

Anonymous said...

let's see....Chas. Progressive moved really because the old building has mole and they wanted to expand the school. Remember, that crazy CCSD plan that got everyone in Charleston upset.Chas. Progressive took that opportunity to move.At time Chas. Progressive was suppose to be the better option over Sanders-Clyde and Wilmot J. Fraser.

Anonymous said...

let's see....Chas. Progressive moved really because the old building has mole and they wanted to expand the school. Remember, that crazy CCSD plan that got everyone in Charleston upset.Chas. Progressive took that opportunity to move.At time Chas. Progressive was suppose to be the better option over Sanders-Clyde and Wilmot J. Fraser.

Anonymous said...

Accident? Buist was no accident. It was created and given the moon because Gregg Meyers and Robert New had ten children total and they wanted the best for them. Janet Rose sent her child there. Robert New's wife is a teacher there. Our tax dollars were used to benefit a small number of well connected parents and their cronies.

Charleston Progressive is given hundreds of thousands of dollars less than Buist to pay for staff because there are no children of school board members attending. In fact, what is the actual difference in dollars?

Take away Title 1 funds from the federal government and what does CCSD give Charleston Progressive? The Buist staff consists of full time Art, PE, Music, an IB coordinator (who the Post and Courier covered at the lottery surprisingly getting a wonderful number), 3 SAIL teachers, 4 foreign language teachers, a full time nurse, an assistent principal and a full time guidance counsler! Buist even has a Resource teacher-strange since it is for only the "best and brightest" as some of you posters have desribed them.

I don't know what the average teacher makes but add in the fact that Buist unlike Charleston Progressive has teachers with national board certification. I suppose CCSD thinks Charleston Progressive is not worthy of such teachers. Shouldn't it be public record what CCSD is paying for all of this extra staff at Buist? It might be as much as half a million dollars a year more. Why would our tax dollars be spent to benefit so few District 20 kids when so much of the money comes from downtown property taxes?

Typically, a school like CP made up of mostly of kids that fall under the free or reduced lunch catagory would need a nurse and guidance teacher more than Buist. According to this blog and the Post and Courier Buist has only a handful of children that are in the free or reduced lunch catagory. I don't know who this Greg Meyers guy is but he doesn't sound like a civil rights attorney if he is the one that has been calling the shots at CCSD for ten years.

Anonymous said...

Charleston Progressive was flooded with North Charleston kids last year via NCLB transfers. Buist had 11 spots but didn't have to take NCLB transfers because it is a magnet school. Goodloe needs to decide if Progressive is a magnet school. Also, what was wrong with the name Courtney? Was this name change another Goodloe idea?

Anonymous said...

Buist looks like an old mold infested building too. I went inside a few years ago and there was nearly no natural light.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think CCSD is doing what it always does. Let the Black Community use the School buildings until City needs them.It sadden me to say this. CCSD is not in the business of educating black children. It is a Shear MIRACLE if any make through.

Anonymous said...

What would Mayor Wm. A. Courtenay say if he could see how low Charleston city schools have sunk? This was a progressive mayor who forged this city's public schools into some of the best in the SE. This was a reform minded mayor who also gave the city its modern fire department, standardized paved streets/sidewalks and electrified public transportation system. He also secured the first real city sponsored public housing for the elderly in America with the construction of the Wm. Enston Homes. All this was accomplished in the wake of the economic depression following the civil war and under his administration the city was hit by an earthquake, too, that would have made hurricane Hugo look like child's play. Mayor Courtenay was a great mayor when the city desperately needed one. In a time of corruption and growing racial segregation despite (or even because of) post-war reconstruction, he was a forceful advocate for the city's poor and blacks. He pushed for broad progress for all; not just for a special few. CPA occupies a site that was set aside in the 1850's for a public school system. Even then the city was using public money for educating black children despite a state law against it. The school originally built there was later named for Mayor Courtenay because he was a strong advocate for public education as a way to push his city forward. In 1955 the old gothic revival building was replaced with a new and expanded Courtenay designed by Gus Constantine, a remarkable man in his own right. CPA is fortunate to have become the beneficiary of this well designed and very functional school building/campus with its legacy of the city's original commitment to public education. With just a little support from CCSD and the current mayor CPA could be a great school that could rightly and seamlessly assume the name and the history of "Courtenay School". Dr. McGinley and Mayor Riley would be missing an obvious opportunity to do the right thing if they don't encourage this to happen at CPA. The questions Babbie and others have raised here deserve complete answers and soon.

Anonymous said...

An imaginative and generous civic leader, Wm. Ashmead Courtenay served as Mayor of Charleston from 1879-1888. He is exactly the role model the students at CPA would be wise and proud to follow. Buist School has a distinguished history also but I doubt anyone within CCSD has bothered to check it out because it probably doesn't serve the present agenda.

Anonymous said...

Wow-
I take a few days off from reading the blog and Babbie has done it again. Babbie actually "gets it" - AND
Gregg Meyers,etc..."get it", they just choose to ignore it.
Thanks, Babbie, for making it so clear...once again.
We'll be waiting, Dr. McGinley...

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't the Post and Courier done a story on the disparities between these two "magnet" schools?
They're a few blocks from each other and the disparities are black and white (pardon the intended pun).

Anonymous said...

If Toya Green is personally benefitting from this apartheid education set up downtown she should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

This is to clarify some of the previous information about the school's library and media center. Chas. Progressive was originally established in the early 1990's as an elementary school that went no further than about 3rd or 4th grade. The middle school grades were added later with the 8th grade added last, I believe, only around 2005.

Since CPA was a totally new start-up school when it began in the early 1990's, not one that previously existed as a non-magnet or one that took over a recently vacated school, it's original library collection was non-existent. It was put together from scratch with a hodge-podge of cast off books and materials, largely through the dedication and persistence of CPA's staff, parents and supporters. CCSD gave it minimal funding for maintenance but certainly not enough to establish a permanent foundation of core subjects and media materials.

When CPA took possession of Courtenay at the end of the summer of 2005, of course CCSD had left the library empty (again, see separate post below). CPA moved its limited library collection from Archer. It was still an out of date collection designed for elementary students with some new materials made possible by the very meager maintenance or replacement oriented book budget allocated by CCSD. The lack of books was painfully obvious to anyone who saw the beautifully designed and dedicated library space in Courtenay during the 2005-06 school year. CPA's book shelves were mostly empty, but especially missing were the upper level and up-to-date science materials needed by the older grades. Even the latest reading programs designed for younger grades were missing because of high initial costs these comprehensive educational programs demand.

I'm not sure exactly what CCSD gave CPA in 2005-06 to stock their new library space to meet the demands of an K-8 school with just under 400 kids, but the gap between CCSD funding and the Title One funds the school decided to use for this purpose was something like $5,000 from CCSD and $10,000 from Title One, for a total of $15,000 for the year. That would be slightly less than $40 per kid to stock a totally new library with new books for 9 grade levels, including maps, periodicals and software packages.

These figures need to be verified and I know nothing of standard funding practices for modern school libraries.

I'd like to know what Buist has received over the years (1986-present) for its library and media center materials. CPA should have been funded exactly the same. If not, then CCSD needs to make amends starting now. Better late than never.

Please notice, I'm not suggesting that Buist be cut, only that CPA at Courtenay be treated equitably and allowed to fully meet its needs and reach its potential.

Anonymous said...

More on CPA and Dist. 20 school libraries.

When the reasonably successful Courtenay Middle School was closed by CCSD and merged with Rivers in 1999, its well established library was removed and dumped at Rivers where a fairly good collection already existed. (OK, those middle school libraries were reasonably good because of having fairly consistant and dedicated librarians, though the collections were very old and under funded by CCSD.)

Courtenay School was then used by the Burke 9th Grade Academy which occupied it for a few years starting about 2000. The library was empty when Burke students arrived. I think Babbie will recall the awkward situation at Burke when it was discovered by the public that well into the school year no books at all existed in the Burke library there, not even a dictionary.

You would think that with the main county library located only 3 blocks away, some cooperative arrangement might have been worked out by CCSD to have CCPL stock this important feature within so needy a program as Burke's 9th grade. Again, it was another example of CCSD's extremely poor planning involving Dist. 20 schools. Then again we should remember the books found in the CCSD dumpster incident in early 2005.

In order to not repeat these mistakes, Dist. 20's Board in 2005, requested upon the closing of Rivers, that its library (containing much of the original Courtenay library) be made available to Burke (for its newly added 7th and 8th grades), CPA (at Courtenay, only recently expanded with 6th-8th grades) and any other Dist. 20 school containing at least one middle school grade. The request was made for the library assets to be distributed in that order of priority. CCSD took no action to affirm the Dist. 20 Board's request in 2005, only the proactive action of the Burke librarians accomplished at least part of the desire to benefit the downtown schools.

Anonymous said...

This superintendent and the sitting majority on the county school board are not unique for their incompetence regarding library resorces and school assets.

So as not to single out the more recent CCSD administrations for this type of oversight, you might recall CCSD's actions in 1982 which turned the 100 year old library of Charleston High School into landfill. Out into the dumpsters went thousands of one-of-a-kind historic photographs (including most of its yearbooks and a nearly complete collection of school publications dating to before the 1890's). Also trashed were first edition copies (some gifted and signed by the authors) of what would now be considered great early 20th Century American literature. Lost were many other rock solid library resources that would be expected to form the foundation and core of a classic public urban high school's library.

If these materials were "out-of-date" by CCSD standards, at least they were part of the larger community's wealth of original historic resources. Who had the right to order its destruction without first competently assessing its value?

Although there have been rumors that some valuable materials were salvaged following CCSD's ordered sacking of Charleston High, including some of the school's national athletic championship trophies, the locations of these items remain largely unknown.

Dr. McGinley might want to think about the results of a recent appraisal of the holdings found in Philadelphia's Central High School and what turned up as to their value (millions of dollars in original artwork alone) while considering what CCSD did here not too many years before.

Will this waste and destruction of public assets by CCSD never end?

Babbie said...

Ouch! I didn't know about that one!

Anonymous said...

And some wonder why Dist. 20 supporters appear so passionate or even a little bitter. Experience reminds them to be highly suspicious of CCSD, no matter who is in charge of the organization.

Anonymous said...

The District 20 Families group started a book drive for CPA last month! The librarian seems happy about this. I have heard that that Earl Choice was not.

Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Lisa Sexton and I am a member of the District 20 Families group. Judging by all of the posts here many people read this blog. Yes, we are having a book drive for Charleston Progressive.

Florence Gibbes is the wonderful librarian and she has been a pleasure to talk too. We have donated about 5 boxes to the school so far. Please consider donating new or gently used books to the school. She can determine which books can be used for the school collection. Other books, videos and children's DVD's can be given to children to take home and keep. I understand the greatest need the library has is a lack of books for the older children.

The school is located across the street from the Visitor Center on Meeting. The problems in District 20 can be overwhelming but here is a chance for all of you to make a small difference.

D20 resident D10 parent said...

As a parent who is familiar with CCSD's double standards, I recognized a problem that a local board member relayed to me recently. The parent of a Brentwood student with special needs (physical disability) asked to be transferred to CPA earlier this year because of problems associated with threats made against the student at the North Charleston school (Brentwood). It was discovered that the lack of an elevator at Courtenay School would have made it impossible for that student to attend most if not all of the student's classes located on the 2nd floor at CPA. It was also discovered that the same student had been denied access last fall to a highly rated one story school located west of the Ashley. No reason was officially given by Earl Choice or any other CCSD official for the rejection of the original transfer request made months earlier. CPA appeared to be the student's only choice but it still posed insurmountably physical barriers without an elevator. When CCSD officials at the top (those well over Earl Choice's head) were almost immediately challenged about this student's case it was suddenly (after a half year's delay) worked out to the student's benefit. The original tranfer request was finally granted. Earl Choice later made it clear that he was highly indignent that Dist. 20 board members had interceded on behalf of a non-Dist. 20 student. The student had only come to their attention as part of the inter-district transfer process which the Dist. 20 Board was insisting that Earl Choice abide by. In this case the process worked, at least from one student and parent's perspective. Without that process working properly, no one would have pointed out that the student had previously been rejected in error by a more appropriate suburban school located in another constituent district. To the credit of a near top administrator (whose name should be obvious by now), the problem was quickly worked out, but not without some implications that an OCR (Office of Civil Rights) complaint might be in order unless all legal services, including transportation, were provided to this student by CCSD without further delay. As it was relayed to me by a board member, it was very troubling to see that Earl Choice appeared to be more concerned with the fact that he had been bypassed, even if only to address this student's very pressing needs. It was also doubtful this student's needs would have been met any other way. According to the local board member, it took a gem of a principal, and persistant guardian, some alert constituent board members and a politically savy "number two at 75" to solve this problem. Earl Choice could have done it on his own, but didn't. Something is also still very wrong at Brentwood and the other constituent district that rejected the student's transfer request in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Buist reports 4 foreign language teachers in support of both Spanish and French programs which begin at the earliest grades in the K-8 school. In 2005 CPA requested permission to start a Spanish program with only 1 teacher. Their request was not supported by the superintendent and it was also denied by the county school board. Other than "no teacher points" no reason was given by CCSD for this inequity with Buist. To date CPA is the only magnet school in Charleston County that doesn't offer a 2nd language. Only in Dist. 20 (with the exception of Buist, but not CPA) is a 2nd language not available to middle school students. As a result several parents withdrew their children from CPA because they felt their children needed exposure to a 2nd language before entering high school in order to be ademically competative. CCSD and its board appear to disagree through their policies that favor Buist and penalize CPA. This disappointment with CPA's inability to expand its course offerings was a direct result of CCSD's failure to deliver what was promised to the school years ago. One of the students withdrawn was a grandchild of one of CPA's founders.

Anonymous said...

Another irony of the divide that exists between CPA and Buist is CPA enjoys the use of the original Courtenay School gym (sans seats). Buist has no gym, only an out door basketball court. Yet Buist has long participated in a community basketball league that involves many local private schools. But instead of through Buist, it was through the encouragement of the principal of James Simons (former Buist AP), CPA started its own basketball program this past year. It's now participating in the same league as Buist, James Simons and many private schools. For it's help JS now shares CPA's gym, but where was Buist before this? Mr. Dixon went on to become JS's principal which may account for the belated league networking for both JS and CPA. Buist's leadership doesn't seem to mind leaving other downtown schools behind, even though they certainly could have shared another magnet school's gym only 3 blocks away. Maybe now their combined efforts can persuade CCSD to restore CPA's gym seats taken away from Courtenay many years before.

basketball mom said...

It would be great if some private school parents could see how nice the Courtenay facilities are instead of having to haul their kids for games at St. Andrews or James Island Middle School as they now do. It would also be nice to show that some public school facilities downtown can be quite good, but CCSD will have to give them a place to sit down first.

Anonymous said...

Some of this sounds like what the segregationists did when blacks demanded seats at public lunch counters 50 years ago. The segregationists just removed the seats. I see what people mean when they say Greg Meyers is starting to look like a closet segregationist. They should restore the seats at Courtenay and I'll bet CPA can do a good job helping to host this public/private school league's games downtown. And that might also cause some of those rich politically powerful white private school parents to realize they may have a dog in this fight to improve public education downtown. Let's see how long it takes for CCSD to get CPA's gym seats replaced and open for business again. CCSD's response to this might say something about whether they really want these people involved in public education or not. I think the CPA parents would be happy to have them, but would CCSD really want this kind of cooperation to begin to take place? CCSD doesn't mind taking private school parents' tax money, but what happens when these same taxpayers want to sit down at the proverbial lunch counter (i.e. CPA's gym)? Ironic, isn’t it?

Anonymous said...

CPA was required to take over 40 NCLB transfers from Brentwood this year. That would be more than 10% of its total school population. Some of CPA's 6th-8th grade classes were overbooked because of these transfers. No NCLB transfers were accepted at Buist. Buist also reported its 7th and 8th grade classes were underbooked by 11 seats this year. Eleven otherwise qualified NCLB transfers from low performing schools such as Burke's middle school program were effectively denied by CCSD officials who wished to keep Buist beyond the reach of NCLB rules.

Anonymous said...

Babbie, you asked what makes Chas. Progressive a magnet school. What makes any school a magnet school in Charleston County? There is no magnet school policy. Even Goodloe-Johnson in 2005 said there wasn't one. That was her excuse for not granting any expansion or additions to the program at Chas. Progressive. Almost 3 years later there still isn't a policy.

Babbie said...

Well, that is just plain bizarre! What incompetence went into that lack of policy? Where did the "magnet" label even arise?

Anonymous said...

According to some, CCSD officials and Hillery Douglas, the Policy Committee Chairman, have deliberately kept this item off the agenda for years just so they can continue doing things as they please and without any uniform guidelines that define exactly what a "magnet" school is and how it is funded. That's how Buist is exempted from NCLB and Chas. Progressive isn't. It's because CCSD and the superintendent say so and not because there is any real policy.

Anonymous said...

County School Board Vice-Chair Douglas and his policy comm. didn't have any problem approving a policy defining exactly what a prayer is for county board meetings, so why can't his committee define what a magnet school is?

Anonymous said...

If the P&C can't get their teeth into this issue and the elusive definition of what makes a magnet school different, then the reporting and editorial staffs must be surviving on a diet of nothing more difficult than milk toast. Just the special funding alone and what the county gets back from the extra spending for these programs should raise some some questions. Clearly Chas. Prog. Academy isn't getting what a lot of other magnet schools are receiving in support. It definately isn't getting what Buist is getting.

Anonymous said...

It's budget time. What's Toya Green going to say about all this going on in her backyard? She may not want to represent her neighbors, but she took an oath that said she would.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with Gregg Meyers about these issues 2 years ago (oh, how I wish I had saved the e-mails)...he said Charleston Progressive WAS a magnet school, not because they received magnet points, but because they accepted children from various parts of the county. What a jackass...its the only magnet school under that definition.
I guess when you start to compare CPA to the "Gregg Meyers Academy" a/k/a Buist, you're going to get those type of ridiculuous answers. I'm so relieved people are finally seeing Mr. "I'm a civil rights attorney" for who he really is...

Anonymous said...

I wonder if things would change at Buist if the Principal was forced to leave. She's such a joke AND a major part of the:
Y (Yacht)
C (Club Members and)
A (Attorneys are...)
T (Terrific)
corruption...it's not even funny anymore...(like it ever was...)

She's never had children and doesn't have a clue. Who tells parents whose 5 yr. olds can READ that they're not eligible for kindergarten with A STRAIGHT FACE? You guessed it...Sallie!!

Anonymous said...

Then, who would be the next person worthy to replace Sallie? I heard the Assistant Principal hired for next school year seems to be promising. And, guess what? He is coming from Burke. We lose another to Buist Academy! What a shame!
Does anyone know any more about this person?

Anonymous said...

He was the only permanent French teacher at Burke and this was his 1st year on the job. Before that he was said to have helped start the elementary level foreign language program in several schools located in the northern neighborhoods of Columbia which in some respects is comparable to North Charleston. At least he helped give some high risk schools there the opportunity of bringing in a 2nd language at the elementary level. What's wrong with doing the same thing here? He grew up in Charleston on the Eastside and is a Burke grad. Time will tell if he's sincerely interested in helping kids from downtown from his position as the new AP at Buist. Or he may just be another roving opportunist stepping on people just to get himself ahead. He has a lot of work to do if he's going to fill William Dixon's shoes there. If he can, then he should replace Sallie Ballard.

Anonymous said...

I know this doesn't have much to do with Charleston Progressive but I found something on the Seattle School blog that is interesting for what it illustrates. It seems in Seattle their individual school board members actually hold regular (even weekly) "drop-in" meetings at public locations in the communities they represent. This allows board members to hold informal and mostly unstructured meetings with their constituents.

Wow, what a concept! Can you imagine any Charleston County School Board member actually agreeing to having a free exchange of words with any voter? They looked pained as it is when they have to attend the two regularly scheduled monthly board meetings. Imagine it anyway, but Nancy Cook would be lost without her 2-minute clock, Hillery Douglas would need Jerry Adams to bail him out on most subjects and Gregg Meyers wouldn't be comfortable without a uniformed police officer nearby, just in case. Brian Moody wouldn't do it because he only does regularly scheduled board meetings anyway and Toya Green doesn't represent anyone except (in her words) the entire county. It sounds like if you expect to keep your seat in Seattle those school board members have to mingle directly with the masses and do it on a regular basis.

Here's the story from Seattle:

School Board Member Community Meetings
by Beth Bakeman

Board President, Cheryl Chow is now planning to hold regular community meetings. The first one, scheduled in April, was cancelled, I believe because Cheryl was traveling to Charleston and Philadelphia as part of the superintendent search.

Another one is scheduled for tonight, from 6 pm to 7 pm at Tully's on Rainier Avenue (4400 Rainier Avenue S., corner of Rainier and Genesee). It looks like she is planning to have these meetings on the first Monday of the month.

Brita Butler-Wall, even though no longer Board President, continues her weekly drop-in office hours at the Honey Bear Bakery in Ravenna every Thursday morning from 8 am to 10 am.

And Sally Soriano continues to hold monthly community meetings on the second Friday of each month from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Meadowbrook Community Center.

These are great opportunities to talk about issues with School Board members and, in my experience, are more satisfying than testifying at School Board meetings because they present an opportunity for real dialogue.

Anonymous said...

I think the new Buist AP is named Nathaniel Bryan. Perhaps he can help clean up some of the corruption at Buist...but what about all of the children that should be there now that have been kept out because of false addresses? I hope that if Buist Middle is really moving to Citadel Square Baptist church (by the way, can a public school be in a church?) room is made for all qualified District 20 children. This might be a brain drain for the other District 20 schools but academic opportunities for CHILDREN should be CCSD's first consideration.

Anonymous said...

Babbie,
Can we add one more thing to your list? Dr. McGinley needs to deal with the fake addresses at Buist. The District 20 board opened the can of worms last summer, yet what did Dr. Goodloe do? She pretended there were none. From what I've heard, the fake address issue has been a serious problem for many years. The deeper you dig, the more you discover.

memminger1945 said...

"...academic opportunities for CHILDREN should be CCSD's first consideration." I agree. So what's this thing that's in the mail about a meeting at Burke on May 22 to discuss the future use of Rivers? I thought we had many issues to discuss concerning the phantom various reconfiguration plans for D20, not just the proposed use of one school. They need to look at the whole mess they've made of our downtown schools, not just manipulate it one piece at a time. This sounds to me like an ambush agaist the real stakeholders in D20. Once again CCSD has already decided the outcome before the public has any input.

Anonymous said...

Anyone out there that cares about the children in downtown Charleston should make sure they are at Burke on May 22. Registration begins at 6. The audience will be divided into small groups by CCSD. It is obvious why the format is set up this way but you can make a difference by showing up and speaking out for District 20.

Anonymous said...

This appears to be exactly the same format they used in late 2003 and early 2004 when Harvey Gantt was also asked to moderate the last District 20 Reconfiguration Plan discussion. Goodloe guided that process too. Now that plan sits on a shelf somewhere gathering dust.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 11:13PM that there needs to be a large turnout of those who are concerned about District 20 and all downtown schools. I suspect that some who don't live downtown or have kids are being called "stakeholders" and will be taking part in this process to see that nothing changes. There is a divide and conquer mentality with these people. We want change; they don't. The turnout at this meeting may be very important.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Marvin Stewart and the District 20 Board. They have just received an opinion from the State Attorney General that would indicate that Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson overstepped her bounds by "expanding" (appointing) one principal to preside over two schools in downtown Charleston. What is really interesting is that the AG implies that the CCSD Superintendent has NO AUTHORITY to appoint principals under the Act of Consolidation. Interesting.

Babbie said...

Finally some good news! It will be interesting to see how Goodloe-Johnson and the Board react to this one.

Anonymous said...

Marvin Stewart and the District 20 Board should be very proud. Fraser parents will not stand by and accept "just trust us" from Toya Green and Hillary Douglas.

Anonymous said...

Remember the old question. When a tree falls in the forest does it make any noise if no one is there when it falls? Unless the County Board and the public are made aware of the AG's opinion, it may make no difference. Goodloe is a law unto herself. She pays no attention to the opinions of others unless she is forced to confront the issues.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear. Goodloe-Johnson's appointment can't take effect without the approval of the D20 Board and the D20 Board wants a separate principal for Fraser. What's next? Will McGinley take action? Will the County Board continue to defy its own rules? Can the D20 Board declare an opening and begin advertising for candidates without the support of the Super? Will two attorney's on the County Board ignore the AG?This is going to get ugly.

Anonymous said...

How did Nancy Cook's organization in North Charleston get awarded $10,000 from the Dethrick Fund? This is an endowment administered by the County Board that was originally set aside to benefit educational and youth development programs in District 20. Since when is a sitting county board member able to benefit from a charity overseen by CCSD? Isn't this some sort of ethics law violation?

Anonymous said...

I heard that Nancy Cook is financially involved with another organization that also received money from this same CCSD fund last year. No wonder county board members don't like District 20 people raising questions, it might put a limit to how much they are able to rip off for their own personal gain from downtown schools, students and residents.

Anonymous said...

How much involvement is G-J going to have in putting together next year's county school budget? This will have a lot of influence on Chas. Progressive getting additional support for its programs or not. If G-J leaves for Seattle in June, why should our schools continue to struggle for another year under the budget limitations and inequities she leaves behind? Chas. Progressive got $1000 less per student than Buist received in 2006-07. Will that school continue to be shortchanged next year?

Anonymous said...

With more than 350 students, the extra thousand bucks per student in their budget could easily pay for a full time Spanish teacher at CPA. To the well meaning Buist parents who said they would help another Dist. 20 school develop an IB program, that’s not possible until a 2nd language is offered at one of them. Buist w/its new IB prog. has both French & Spanish.

Anonymous said...

Is Goodloe signing contracts for next year? Look, she's "short" but she's still calling the shots. Why? Sounds like she could be giving friends jobs they may not be qualified for or filling principal slots with appointments that may not be in the schools best interest. She's already beaten up the constituent boards with her many interim appointments. Now we hear that these are against the law. It might be worth knowing how many of her husband’s relatives get promotions just before she flies off to Seattle.

Anonymous said...

She's already resigned. CCSD and the board should have immediately given her 2 weeks to wrap it up and then granted Maria paid leave until her time runs out. She should only be allowed to come back for the graduations or to explain whatever isn't obvious, if invited or as needed. Put her successor in charge now. Once again CCSD is encouraging a messy transition. As it is now, she'll be long gone when the board is still trying to work through the entanglements created in these last few weeks of Maria's reign.

Anonymous said...

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT PRINCIPAL YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT ? THE MS. SHEATS I KNOW IS NOT A WONDERFUL PRINCIPAL AND NOT A NICE PERSON. I CAN NOT BELIEVE SHE IS SO CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING FUNDS FOR HER STUDENTS WHEN SHE DOES NOT WANT TO ACCEPT OR APPRECIATE DONATIONS MADE TO HER SCHOOL FROM INDIVIDUALS OUTSIDE OF HER SCHOOL. I FIND HER TO BE RUDE, NASTY AND A BULLY.