A report came several days ago that the Dover Foundation has donated $75,000 to the Community Math Academy. So, I did some checking.
The first thing I found, was that I could not find confirmation of the report. But the source is trustworthy and I believe that the report will turn out to be true.
Next, I checked out the Math Academy’s website. The Board of directors included Larry Corry, Lamont Littlejohn, Richard Hooker and Ron Harrill. Names that I have heard from sources who consider them “Uncle Toms.” Perhaps there are other “Uncle Toms” on the Math Academy Board. One has to conclude that the Math Academy Board of Directors are heavily involved in prolonging the Platation Politics that has permeated Cleveland County for so long.
I searched for any verifiable information that students who attended the Math Academy had any long-term measurable improvements in their math skills. I could not find any such information. I did find that the Math Academy makes large efforts to increase funding and expand their operations to all Elementary Schools in all CCS Zones. The Zones being Shelby, Kings Mountain and the County-Burns and Crest. Same as before the failed school merger about 20 years ago. More proof that the so-called school merger did not merge the three original school districts in Cleveland County. A clear indication that the present Cleveland County Schools have failed their original purpose and also appear to be failing our students as well. Otherwise, there would be no need of a Math Academy, Communities-In-Schools and other such organizations that say they want to “close the gap.” But the gap never seems to get closed.
I also looked for Math Academy financial information. Just how much funding do they receive. A breakdown on where they spend their money and any information that indicates that the students are benefitting in any way that justifies the cost. I could find no such information. Without such information and measurement of results, you have to make the considered judgement that the Math Academy is a waste. Maybe a total waste. One student stated in his testimonial that he “had fun at the Math Academy.” This was at the top of the testimonial list. Having fun without results that show improvements are not good recommendations in my book.
Another thought regarding my search for information about the Math Academy. I found where the Math Academy was going to expand into all the elementary schools in Cleveland County. But no mention of the Math Academy needing to include the elementary school grades at the charter school, Pinnacle Classical Academy. One has to wonder why students attending Pinnacle Classical Academy do not need such help as CCS does from the Math Academy. Although it appears the CCS students are not getting much from the Math Academy either.
Does that indicate that CCS should be looking more at the curricula and teaching methods at Pinnacle Classical Academy instead of sending kids to the Math Academy? It certainly appears so.
All this is what I found from MY research into the Cleveland County Math Academy. Maybe some readers can find some good in the Math Academy and share it with us, but I didn’t. What I found was just another costly gimmick to hide the many failures at CCS. Perhaps the School Board could provide the information that I was looking for on the Math Academy’s website that I could not find. The information I have found on the CCS website on such matters is that CCS has failed in the education of our students just as much or more than the Math Academy.
End of Report.
But this is the Beginning of the effort to elect a new majority on the School Board in the 2020 elections. We certainly need to look for good school board member candidates as well as Commissioner candidates who can recognize that the Math Academy has not worked and the Pinnacle Classical =Academy does work. And make the right choice in deciding what direction the failed CCS needs to take. More Math Academies or more Charter Schools? More successes of a continuation of costly failures.