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The Educate! Archive

Click above for archived editions of Educate!, the community journal on education in Charlotte-Mecklenburg published by the Fellowship between September 2000 and September 2005.

The Swann Fellowship
1510 E. 7th St
Charlotte, NC 2820

VOTE! .. It's Your Future

Source: democracync.org


“Black turnout dropped by 3.7 percentage points more than white turnout in Kansas, and by 1.5 percentage points more than whites in Tennessee after voter ID laws passed.

“Among 18-year-olds, turnout dropped by 7.1 percentage points more in Kansas than it did among those aged 44- to 53-year-olds in Kansas. Turnout in Tennessee fell by 1.2 percentage points more among those aged 19 to 23 than among the older set.”

– The Washington Post, Oct. 9, 2014, reporting on a General
Accounting Office study; below, a map from that study


Why aren't more adults engaged
in fight for a future for all children?

July 24, 2014

Well, here I sit at this computer in the early morning. I attended the last monthly board meeting of the Swann Fellowship, and was not surprised to find that we have now dwindled down to three members who made the effort to come together (meet) at 7:30 in the morning, and three who could not attend this meeting, for a total of six board members. It was a wonderful day, the sun was out and the traffic had not reached its frantic worst as Charlotteans bustled to work.

Swann Fellowship, an organization that advocates for children, was comprised of concerned educators, parents, grandparents, and interested citizens who cared about all of our Children.

For the last 5 years, I have been actively trying to recruit honest, concerned people to assist the existing board in the fight, yes, fight to insure all of our children are being presented with the best product that CMS can muster – Education that will allow these children to become viable, authentically educated citizens of my, yes, my city, Charlotte.

What happened? It seems that all of the can-do, concerned adults have disappeared from this commitment. As I look around, I find that I am the only person of African Heritage that is left on the Swann board. There seems to be no interest from the community that one County Commissioner has colored as a moral sewer, in helping those among us most in need of our help, our children.

Now, it even appears that some of our elected officials want to dismantle the public school system. If we starve it and refocus our attentions on pay and other adult issues, no one will question why the children are not performing on all of those tests geared to determine whether or not the teachers are effective, or whether we are giving little Johnny what he needs to succeed. We have known that one size does not fit all, but we continue to try and use one educational model which continues to underserve most of our children. Why?

As for Swann, was there rapture? Where did all of the people go? Why aren’t more people engaged and involved in this battle that is vital to the future of our community – ALL of our children?

Well, I am tired; maybe it is time to do something else. Revolution is painful when you find that you are alone. If the parents are not willing to get involved, why should I care? Maybe because I am tired of seeing the CMS system failures going to jail, or worse, the morgue. I am tired. I am very tired.

Moral issues: WWJD?





'Hot Topic' of the day is...


July 6, 2014 

“Welcome to my new page!” Heath Morrison wrote as he launched a “Heath’s Hot Topics” blog last year. “So much of my job has to do with communicating information….”

In a May 2013 communication, CMS said the superintendent would “share his observations, his thoughts on big issues and initiatives impacting our district, what inspires him and what he anticipates for the future.”
Morrison wrote that the blog “will allow me at least once or twice a week to share my observations….”

The Observer’s Ann Doss Helms took note of the new blog in May 2013. At that point, several posts no longer in the blog archive had already been posted. The archive now carries two posts in November 2013, one on December and two in March 2014. The series ends in March 2014 as the superintendent must have been working virtually nonstop on the budget.

I’ve noticed this pattern of broken public communications before. Peter Gorman’s speeches that were noteworthy enough to be posted on the CMS website fell by more than half in the second year of his superintendency, and continued to fall until he departed. What’s perhaps notable about the collapse of Morrison’s blog is how it came so much more rapidly.

What I miss about Morrison’s unfulfilled intentions is the window he promised on “what I see in the future.” The discipline of a deadline is always good, and to have something forcing our leaders to think – and communicate – a bit beyond the crisis of the day seems a public asset.

Success on the biggest issue facing CMS – how to make “educating every student” not just a slogan but a reality – won’t come without a revolutionary culture change in this community. And the community has precious few voices raised in support of that culture change.

I wish Morrison would lead that change. Or at least he could blog about it.

– Steve Johnston