Tony Burks’ magnet presentation last night

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. I’ll give it to GCS Magnet Program director and former principal Tony Burks…he has to be the most snazziest dresser on the GCS payroll.

Nonetheless, he faced the Gang of 11 last night, and updated them on most of the existing magnet programs.

Here’s is the Board memo sent a few days prior.

Here is Attachment #1.

Here is Attachment #2.

Some analysis:

1. Did you notice a pattern…Chairman Alan “pass-the-buck” Duncan applauded the programs Burks mentioned, but questioned why many of them had available space? Burks said it was due to many of these schools being “opt-out” schools, thus stamping these schools as having an unfortunate stigma of “failing schools” attached to them.

We actually don’t have failing schools…we have failing Board members, who in turn, have failed our children by not giving these schools what they need.


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 2.  You know who.

Did you happen to catch the brief one minute comment from Deena Hayes during the first part of Burks’ presentation where GCS Board member Deena Hayes complained about the language in the text of the report, where she had trouble with the words “minority” and “non-white” and she preferred using the words “students of color.”

And both Duncan and Supt. Terry Grier struggled to provide an answer to Hayes. Duncan then advised Burks to consider changing the language.

What more can be said about Deena?


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 3. In the related-but-unrelated category, don’t forget the next GCS Magnet Fair, coming up on Feb. 9 at the Koury Convention Center from 10-1:30pm. More info on specific magnet programs can be found here.


E.C. 🙂


Dot Kearns…in her own words

…in case GCS Board member Dot Kearns decides to run again, this is grist for a campaign spot…


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. “I know we didn’t mean to cut (the arts), but any time we can I think we should expand and schedule that…” (Dot Kearns’ closing remarks, GCS Board meeting, 1/8/08)

Dot Kearns…wrong on arts education…wrong for our school board…wrong for our children.

I’m E.C. Huey, and I approved this message.

E.C. 🙂

Auld Lang Syne

Warning…listening/watching the video below will make you think, it will make you wonder…it may even make you shed a tear.

And as we say goodbye to 2007, as we prepare to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as we prepare our high school children for upcoming End-of-Course exams for 1st Semester, and as we ponder about the candidates we will choose in elections this year, let us pause to remember the good things about our country, our nation, and how we can be a better society. Let us also give thanks to the one who makes all things possible:

E.C. 🙂

Board meeting briefs from the 1/8/08 meeting

1. Achievement Gap Study Underway

Officially, a study is underway to examine the achivement gap in Guilford County Schools, specifically where it comes to suspensions and student achievement of black students.

This excerpt from the News & Record on last night’s Board meeting:

Church leaders approached the Guilford County Board of Education last year, concerned about the academic performance of male African American students.

By March, school district leaders hope to present research into academic and social demographic data — information they hope will point them in the direction of some solutions to achievement problems.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. “In 15 years, we haven’t been able to make any major progress in this,” said school board member Deena Hayes, who has worked on the research project. “We can count some victories in some areas, but we haven’t moved at all to making some advancement in these areas.”

The study will look at academic performance and school conditions based on gender and ethnicity.

A commenter said here recently that they’d hope that Deena would not take the lead on this issue. And while I welcome this examination in this election year, I have the same hesitation. Nonetheless, I am hopeful that all biases will be put aside, so that we can have a clear cut look at what’s going on.



Gongshu Zhang Gongshu Zhang, chief accountability and research officer for the district, presented a draft of the study design to school board members at their meeting Tuesday night.

He said the research will look at more than 100 indicators, including the numbers of students who receive free and reduced lunch, the education level of parents, whether children have disabilities and students’ test scores.

Zhang said the data will help figure how and why certain students are underachievers. “Then, we can make some meaningful suggestions in terms of measures and solutions to solve certain problems,” he said.

The research will look at all students in the district and will cover data going back to 1993.

“We are looking at all ethnic groups. We are looking at all students. When you do this you will see the gap, you will see the male African American student,” Zhang said.


2.  Board formally ask County Commissioners…to ask voters…for more money

The Board last night took up a formal resolution to send to the County Commissioners that asks them to place the $457 million question on the ballot: can we have more money?  The commissioners will take it up next month.

N&R excerpt:

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. “Statutorily, we need to get this before them so we can keep this ball rolling,” said Sharon Ozment, Guilford County Schools’ chief financial officer…The resolution notes that there are significant facility and equipment needs that must be fulfilled to “adequately meet the demands of a growing student population.”

High Point Enterprise excerpt:

 The Guilford County Board of Education voted 7 to 3 to approve a resolution request­ing that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners place a $457 million bond ref­erendum on the May ballot.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.  Board members Anita Sharpe, Deena Hayes and Wal­ter Childs voted against the resolution during the meeting on Tuesday.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Board member Kris Cooke later changed her vote after first voting against the request.

Kris Cooke voted FOR the resolution, after voting AGAINST it. Someone send her a pair of flip-flops, in case she runs for reelection.


3. Tire-Gate

Your school board last night asked staff to look at other school bus tire vendors to purchase retreaded tires. Board members said last night that they feel that other vendors may be able to provide the same products for a lot less.

HPE excerpt:

The state has held a contract with White’s Tire in Wilson since 1984. “There are other companies that are just as good,” said board representa­tive Kris Cooke at the meeting.
Jeff Harris, director of transportation, said the school system is simply following recommendations from the Department of Public Instruc­tion. “As staff members, we are using a product that is en­dorsed by the state.”

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.  Cooke responded, “I’m not questioning what you are do­ing. I question the state and why there has been one vendor when there are others that have proven to be more reliable.”
“That type of thing really bothers me. I want us to be do­ing the right thing and getting the best bang for our buck,” Cooke added.

Doing the right thing, Kris, would have meant not changing your earlier vote on the Bond resolution.

I’m fired up about this election year…how about you?

E.C. 🙂

Press release: Huey’s six-part plan for addressing school violence

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.





JAMESTOWN/ADAMS FARM (9 January 2008) – Guilford County 2008 School Board at-large candidate Erik “E.C.” Huey today unveiled a simple six-part plan for dealing with school safety and school violence.

In response to recent high-profile, newsworthy incidents on several Guilford County School campuses over the last few months that have interrupted classroom instruction, the candidate said his plan “provides real solutions to real problems.”

“This plan I’m unveiling today addresses the violence and the fights. It includes preventative measures and it is inclusive of both the symptom and the problem,” Huey said today. “This plan helps to make school safety a priority for GCS.”

Huey’s plan includes the following:

1. Audit, examine and strengthen existing school rules. Enforce the rules GCS has on the books and enforce them uniformly across all schools.

2. Conduct an internal audit all of GCS’ existing alternative environments: In-school suspension, SCALE, etc., to determine their effectiveness (or ineffectiveness). Strengthen these programs where necessary.

3. Expulsions for serious offenses.

4. Examination of the “Charlotte model.” Specifically, it is looking at a unique alternative program Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has, which they call 10-day/30-day “suspension centers,” to determine their effectiveness and see what can be duplicated here in Guilford County.

5. Expand partnerships with area churches and other local faith-based organizations.

6. Audit and examine miscellaneous programs GCS has to combat school violence: keep what’s working, toss out what’s not working.

Huey’s plan also includes keeping school resource law enforcement officers, adding and expanding closed-circuit camera surveillance systems in schools, and ensuring parents and teachers are part of any changes, through school PTSAs and school leadership committees.

The candidate referred to an upcoming final report with recommendations by the GCS School Climate Task Force, which may touch on some of these changes, and if it doesn’t, Huey’s plan will, he said.

“If the Task Force’s final report is non-inclusive of any of these items, then GCS is not properly addressing school violence. No longer can our school system provide lip-service to this issue. We need to provide a safe environment for our children and our teachers, so that learning can continue uninterrupted,” Huey said.

Huey, 36, is an unofficial candidate for the 2008 at-large position on the Guilford County Board of Education and will officially file for the position when the filing period begins in February. More information about his candidacy, positions, published statements and blog can be found on his official campaign website: