The Top 10 Come-What-May in 2008

The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.matthewktabor.com/images/gcs_logo.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Okay folks, here’s my top-10 “look-ahead” to 2008, and some things that are worth looking out for related to Guilford County Schools and public education in the old North State as this year unfolds:

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1. School Climate Task Force prepares to make its recommendations. Task Force members were scheduled to brief the GCS Board and issue its final report and recommendations after the Holidays. We will expect this report very shortly, although I really don’t have high hopes for immediate changes, I’m sorry to say. Because we’ve been down this road before. Anything short of restarting expulsions, I will not support this report. Anything short of examining and strengthening our alternative environments (SCALE, ISS, etc.), I will not support this report.

Our tecahers cannot teach, when our schools are out of control.

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2. Will he go or won’t he? That’s the question that has no answer right now. We should be hearing something very very soon as to whether or not Dr. Grier will be leaving GCS for San Diego. So far, there is no official word as to the status, although I keep monitoring events from San Diego. Again, let me reiterate…if we are faced with a vacancy in the front office, it would be very wise for this Board to simply appoint an interim chief, then DO NOTHING until after the elections. I think the process could run a lot more smoothly and intelligently if it is handled this way.

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The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/images/kearns1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 3. Will she retire? Therein lies the question as many of us in Guilford County (me included) are anxiously wondering whether at-large GCS Board member Dot Kearns will graciously retire from the GCS Board or run for an unprecedented fifth term. The February filing period is only weeks away, so her decision is imminent.

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The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/images/sharpe.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 4. Will she retire? Many in the blogging community hasten and shudder to think that GCS dist. 5 Board member Anita Sharpe will retire off the Board. She, too, is a long-time board member, however, rumors have been circulating pointing to her possible retirement. Board observers will continue to wait and see…and speculate.

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The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/images/childs.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/images/cooke1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 5. Will they run again? Likewise, no one is certain if GCS Board members Dr. Walt Childs and Kris Cooke will run for reelection. They’ve been very tight-lipped. I’m still hopeful that a good competitor will challenge these individuals should they run again. The damage they’ve done to our schools is incalculable.

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The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/images/garrett1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/images/quick.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 6. Will they run again? I’m almost for certain that GCS Board members Darlene Garrett and Amos Quick will run again, with either minimal or no opposition. Garrett is extremely popular with parents, teachers, progressives who want change, anti-Grier and anti-busing advocates. Meanwhile, Quick continues to be the primary cheerleader for Dudley High School. While he and I differ philosophically on some items, he’s starting to speak out about the wasteful spending that’s hurting our schools.

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The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.stephens.edu/alumnae/magazine/web/07spring/images/SaveTheMusic.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 7.  Saving the arts/music in our schools. The momentum will continue in 2008 as the grass-roots movement spurred on by SAVE GCS ARTS! continues to churn. Further exploration of this issue and a possible decision is expected shortly on restoring lost art/music elective time in our schools.

See this e-mail dispatch issued this morning from SAVE GCS ARTS!:

Happy New Year!!  

2007 saw great momentum build in our community for restoration of time lost from arts instruction in the Guilford County Schools.  The School Board is considering various options, however these all fall short of fully restoring the instructional time that was lost. Full restoration of the lost instructional time must remain our priority as arts instructional time was already at the barest minimum for effective arts education before the 2007 cuts.

At this point we are aware of no arts speakers scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting.  Please consider signing up to speak at this meeting so we can maintain our momentum.  Equally important is a strong showing in the gallery.  If you can, please attend the meeting to show support for the arts.

Finally, emails to Board Members and letters to the editor of our local papers remain important and effective means of demonstrating support for arts education.  Many thanks to Cathy Barnette for her letter which appeared in yesterday’s News & Record.

Let’s make 2008 the year that arts education returned to our schools!
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 The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:PZaX2S_CBH6A8M:http://www.cabe.org/uploaded/Policy/nochild1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 8. The future of No Child Left Behind-Leaves Many Children Behind is looking very cloudy at this point. It may be a good thing. Because with a presidential election season already underway and a lame duck do-nothing Congress not wanting to do anything at this point, there is a big climate for changing this law, or doing away with it altogether.
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9. Changing of the guard in Raleigh? With elections looming over who will occupy to governors mansion, to elections in the state house and senate, to elections for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, even to municipal elections in High Point, we will need to pay close attention as election season gets underway and throw our support behind candidates who will keep our children’s best interest at heart. If our candidates will not support strong public schools and policies that drive strong public schools (such as examining the state funding formula), they will not have my support.
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The image “https://i1.wp.com/a252.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/13/m_5f1bbd7fabcb1be4c9287409547905fb.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 10. My own election. Time is ticking away until the filing period begins, and with so much at stake and so much looming this year, I cannot wait to get started. Your support of this campaign means so much to me and I’m forever grateful. Even if I’m unsuccessful in winning this year, I still think we’ve brought a better sense of consciousness to our electorate of how our public school system runs and what fixes need to be made.
2008 will be an exciting year. Let’s get started.
E.C. 🙂

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