Sept. 26, 2017
There were many headlines from Dr. Clayton Wilcox’s visit to the Forum this morning. He’s looking for ways to reduce testing. He sees value in integrated classrooms. He won’t budge on leaving it mostly to teachers to decide where they choose to work, no matter that they might be needed more elsewhere. He doesn’t read local media except when specific stories are pointed out to him. Oh, and the reading thing….
“If we believe that literacy is important, then we’ve got to teach our kids to read…. There are some words that you simply have to know in the English language, high-frequency words that every kid should know. We’ve got to get back to some agreement on what those words are. It seems silly to me that we’ve lost our way, but we have….
“Reading with a child, while important, particularly if you model appropriate skills, is good – but that is not teaching a nonreader to read. There are some fundamental skills we must teach our young people.
“We must teach them how to decode words on their own. We must be sure that young people have a base set of words that don’t tie up their cognitive abilities trying to figure out ‘has’ or ‘is’.
“I’ve watched young people in this community struggle with the word ‘is.’ How can that be?…
“I believe what we have to do is fundamentally transform the way and time that we are teaching developmental reading. And then I think it’s important that we provide a rich text environment for kids, with authentic text, not leveled text, so that kids can move forward and be inspired with their reading.”
The Vote Yes For School Bonds campaign brought to the Forum a spirited defense of the November bond referendum before voters countywide. The list of projects, after completion, would address roughly half of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ established need for new and replacement schools, renovations and additions. While Wilcox said the bond referendum results would speak to what the community values, there were no questions on why the bond issue leaves half of today’s capital needs unaddressed.
Handouts at the Forum included a two-page Vote Yes for School Bonds committee map handout showing where bond money will be spent, here, and two-page list from CMS of the bond projects here. The four pages are shown on this page, below the video.
In the video below, the bonds committee went first. The presentation begins at minute 8:18. The Q&A runs from minute 20:01 to minute 30:20. Dr. Wilcox’s presentation begins at minute 42:20. The Q&A follows at minute 54:47.