about schools in CMS that need urgent attention during a work session
The three-hour session focused on an expanded list of schools. The
list presented at the Sept. 7 work session had 32 schools; the
expanded list had 37. Five elementary schools were added.
The Board session began with a presentation by Meaghan Loftus, a
compliance facilitator and special education teacher at Cochrane, and
Carol Rodd, now principal of the School of Business and Finance at
Garinger. The presentation summarized a study completed by Loftus
during a summer internship in the CMS planning department, which
looked at the effects of homelessness and frequent school moves on
academic achievement. The study found that the more students move, the
less likely they are to succeed in school. Homeless students have a
high level of mobility.
Several of the schools on the list have large homeless populations and
Board members discussed the challenges inherent in successfully
educating these students, as well as other challenges present at the
Poverty, homelessness and frequent school changes are present at many
schools on the list, and Board Chairman Eric C. Davis said that
educating poor and homeless students is the particular challenge
"This is the crux of the issue we're dealing with," he said,
characterizing it as "a test of our will."
The Sept. 9 meeting continues a series of Board workshops and public
forums intended to engage the public in improving CMS and to help the
Board establish a framework for improvement. The public forums began
in June and continued during the summer. The Board adopted its guiding
principles in August and first applied them on Sept. 7, when the list
of schools needing changes was introduced.
Called The Case for Continuous Improvement: A Comprehensive Review of
CMS, the process used by the Board will help it refine policy in such
areas as transportation, student assignment, magnet lottery and other
Staff will offer further recommendations to the Board Sept. 14. Public
comment on the recommendations will begin after Sept. 28.