The Turning Point Academy has developed a new “dress code.” No hoodies, no “pants on the ground” (my words) and no cell phones caught my attention the most. But Board members Jo Boggs and Kathy Falls found the color schemes more compelling to comment about since Navy Blue and Black are hard to tell apart in certain light conditions. I would have thought there were more important considerations for board members to discuss than that since they mostly just adopt what is recommended by the CCS administration without question, especially from what you will see below.
Probably the best presentation that met only “sleepy” responses form the Board was the Title I presentation. Title I is a government program set up with the idea of helping students from low income families and families in poverty. CCS and about all the liberal educators say poverty is the biggest cause of education problems we face today. Those folks always forget that some of the smartest business and the richest men in American History; Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefellar were raised in low income circumstances. But today with the education bureaucracy, the Title I Program is just another source of big money for the school board and they like to spend money though they are apparently not particularly interested in whether or not there are good results for the money that is spent. On the contrary, more bad results mean they can ask for more Title I money next year. Bureaucracy produces a vicious cycle that is hard to get control of. The election of 2015 when 50,000 voters stayed home put the same old crowd right back in office. From the many protesters that called the commissioners and packed the Commissioner’s Board meeting room about their new pet ordnance, it is easy to conclude Cleveland County citizens think more of their cats and dogs that they think about their children.
What I found interesting but outraged me at the same time was some Title I statistics that showed big problems with educational results at CCS. But the so-called “educators” on the school board apparently just don’t get it. For instance, the presentation showed there are 5,207 students on the free lunch program in the Cleveland County School system. Overall CCS has 15,000 students total. That ciphers out to be 35% of our students come from a low income/poverty environment that they say is the reason, as well as race, that there is so big a gap in student achievement.
I suspect that is mostly hokum to cover-up the fact that almost 50% of students graduate from Cleveland County Schools without being able to read at an acceptable level. And 100% of CCS students graduate without ever being taught to write in cursive.
Now, I am not about to try to explain anything to the School Board. They don’t pay attention anyway, to anybody, and keep on bragging what a good job they do when they are actually not doing a good job at all. However, facts are facts. Low income families, as many as there are, only account for 35% of the school population. Only 25,000 (25% of the total population) of Cleveland County residents receive Food Stamps, while the failures in education (reading is a good indicator) affect almost 50% of the population. So, low income and poverty are only a part of the educational problem. The School Board also just doesn’t get it .
You can see the Cleveland County Commissioners don’t get it either. They spend millions of tax dollars on economic development project staff salaries and giveaways to companies who come into Cleveland County, many to most with only minimum wage jobs. Only a few benefit from the present and secret economic development program. (Yes, I said secret. Try to attend an Economic Development meeting or a Fair Board meeting and you will see what I mean.) And the commissioners and their economic development folks never give a thought to those on the low to no pay-scale, even though I continuously remind them. The commissioners also brag about how good a job they are doing when they are really not doing a good job. Just like the school board.