Shannell Knight a parent of an Edgecombe County Public School System and a member of Voices of Many addressed the community at the East Tarboro Community meeting about issues and concerns that she and some others have. V of M emailed me the following documents. Read them for yourself.
The Daily Southerner reporter had the following documentation however the letter addressed to me was addressed to her. The reporter also had documentation pertaining a more personal letter that included personal information.
Letter to Curmilus Dancy II
June 3, 2009
“The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, emphasizes student achievement and requires assessments in core subjects, which are the foundation for learning.This federal law is focusing the attention of schools and educators on fundamental knowledge and skills.”
Dear Mr. Curmilus Dancy II,
Parents and citizens of Edgecombe County are taking a stand in promoting high quality education, building partnerships between parents, teachers and school administrators, and putting a STOP to excessive non-deserving out of school suspension.
I am the proud mother of three children who attend Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS). It is worrisome to me that little effort seems to be exerted in challenging students academically, but zealous efforts are made when it comes to making humiliating comments, or executing non-deserving suspensions and/or detentions (these negatives do not apply to all teachers and faculty of ECPS). So I write on behalf of ALL the children and their parents, and those attending ECPS in particular, who have fewer options to choose from in supplying their children’s educational needs.
It is my belief that if the school work were sufficiently challenging for students at whatever level their development, much negative (disruptive) energy would then be channeled into more positive projects/results.
Attached are a few instances of complete disappointment, frustration and feeling of helplessness in reference to several families’ experiences or encounters with ECPS. (All information listed is either from personal experience, and/or data collected while soliciting for signatures).
Families feel that ECPS is a district where…
· Faculty members are intimated and are not welcoming to parents who advocate for their children
· Parents verbal and written request to have their child/children evaluated for exceptional children services go ignored, or the parents are persuaded not to follow through with their request
· The students aren’t challenged academically or intellectually
· Children aren’t being prepared for college
· Parents are not allowed to voice their concerns to the Superintendent because they are told that “any suspensions less than ten days are not appealing to the Superintendent”
· Parents written concerns to the superintendent go ignored
· Families have been retaliated against when they take their concerns or complaints to the Central Office
· Parents feel that the faculty at times are insensitive, unprofessional, cruel, and sarcastic to both parents and children
· Complaints made against faculty are taken lightly, or nothing is done at all
· Administration has been known to instigate confrontation between students
Once again, these negatives do not apply to all faculty members of ECPS. There are faculty members who do truly have a passion for what they do, and have the best interest of the students and families in mind.
Several parents have already, or intend on transferring their children to local private, charter, or another school in the district that may have a “better reputation”.
As a concerned parent, I will continue to be my children’s first advocate, I will continue to seek one-on-one conferences with my children’s teachers, counselors and administrative staff. I will continue to do whatever it takes for my children to receive the BEST possible education. But I hope also that this brings most needed attention to the problem on a larger scale where the needs of ALL the children will be addressed for the next school year, and every school year to come.
Representing the “Voices Of Many”,
Letter to citizens
May 14, 2009
Dear Edgecombe County Citizens:
We are writing to ask you to familiarize yourself with the reason the “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” was implemented. For the past two years, many parents have diligently addressed growing concerns about the manner in which parent complaints and less than 10 day suspensions are being handled at Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS).
“How can a child receive a fair assessment when the suspension policy is biased and creates absenteeism during critical review time?” More importantly, when the issue is brought to the attention of school administrators, concerned parents are brushed aside and accused of “over reacting” to the damage caused by biased administrative decisions. Parents and citizens of Edgecombe County are taking a stand and your support is requested in promoting the following:
Quality Education for the children of Edgecombe County and Future Generations.
Building partnerships between parents, teachers and school administrators to promote fair assessments.
Putting a STOP to excessive non-deserving school suspensions, as result of personal bias.
The petition for cooperative action from ECPS is necessary and affects the community at large. Attached are countless examples of negative encounters with ECPS and its’ neglect to address parent concerns. We are in no way suggesting that all of ECPS staff and educators are biased, however by investing RIGHT NOW in our children’s education, demanding quality services, and banning together against mediocrity we are laying the foundation for the future of Edgecombe County and its’ citizens.
Thank you for your support.
Representing the Voices of Many,
“The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, emphasizes student achievement and requires assessments in core subjects, which are the foundation for learning.
This federal law is focusing the attention of schools and educators on fundamental knowledge and skills.”
Bridging the Gap between: Parents, Teachers, and School Administrators
Parents and citizens of Edgecombe County, please take a stand with us in promoting High Quality Education, building partnerships between parents and school administrators, and help put a STOP to excessive non-deserving out of school suspension that are taking place in ECPS.
Letter from David Bryant
May 18, 2009
Dear Ms. Knight:
Thank you for taking time from your daily schedule to share concerns regarding the educational climate of Edgecombe County’s Public Schools. The State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction are always interested in hearing from concerned parents who have a vested interest in the safety and educational success of students within the community. We value the comments you have shared and are genuinely interested in addressing your concerns.
Having received your letter regarding Edgecombe County Public Schools, it is important for you to know that situations of this nature and how they are resolved are generally governed by state statutes which gives the legal authority to the local school district. Because of changes in North Carolina legislation, local boards of education now have general control and supervision of all matters pertaining to the public schools in their respective administrative units and they have the authority to make administrative decisions regarding situations like the one you have shared. In this particular case, the following excerpts from legislation address the authority of the local boards of education to govern at the local level. These statutes apply to “local control” and are referenced as follows:
G.S. 115C‑36. Designation of board.
Said boards of education shall have general control and supervision of all matters pertaining to the public schools in their respective administrative units and they shall enforce the school law in their respective units.
§ 115C‑47. Powers and duties generally.
In addition to the powers and duties designated in G.S. 115C‑36, local boards of education shall have the power or duty: (1) To Provide an Adequate School System. – It shall be the duty of local boards of education to provide adequate school systems within their respective local school administrative units, as directed by law.
Although sympathetic to the frustration and concerns you have expressed, state legislation and/or law does not give the State Board of Education and/or the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction the authority to intervene in matters where the local school district has governing control. I would encourage you to make another appeal to your local educational agency’s central office or local board of education to inquire about the possibility of having someone look into this situation.
With Kind Regards,
Parent Liaison/Education Consultant
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Accountability Services Division / Testing Section
6314 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-6314
All e-mail correspondence to and from this address is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law, which may result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement.
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"All e-mail correspondence to and from this address is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law, which may result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement."