A Day in the Life of CMS
We chronicled a day at West Charlotte High School with a student, teacher, and the principal, and we did the same with an administrator. One topic dominated: Tests
The headlines have made it clear that testing is a big deal in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. But what the headlines can’t explain is how End of Course tests have infiltrated the culture of our public high schools at every level. So here we report on a day in late May—less than two weeks before the EOCs—with a student, teacher, and the principal at West Charlotte High School, one of the lowest-performing high schools in CMS. We also narrate an April day with the administrator in charge of testing. For each, while they struggle with complicated lives, the test could mean the difference between dropping out or advancing a grade, or keeping or losing a job. For each, the test is everything:
Despite good grades this year, Paige McNeil, a junior at West Charlotte, needs to do well on the EOCs to make up for last year, when she amassed more than fifty individual class absences while she struggled to find childcare for her two-year-old son.
It’s Spencer Singleton’s last year before he retires from teaching Civics and Economics at West Charlotte, but he still feels the pressure that EOC tests bring
By May, according to school data, more students were on track to fail the EOCs at West Charlotte High School than in the previous year—which means principal Shelton Jefferies has lots of work to do
Whether Robert Avossa is talking to parents, state administrators, or the media, the theme is the same: testing