CMSD board member further explains GTECHS decision
As a board, we understand fully the weight of each vote we take and the impact each have on all involved. Currently, I am the only member of the CMSB who was part of the decision to join with GTECHS. The program was designed and marketed to the CMSD and other participating districts as an opportunity to help “at risk” rising freshmen students with opportunities not offered in our district known as “feeder schools.”
As time progressed over the years, several structural changes were made to the program including the recruitment and acceptance of students from other schools outside of the public school “feeder school” structure. This is not allowed under the existing Memorandum of Agreement. We do not know who authorized or why these changes were made. These along with other changes should have been brought back for consideration of each district involved before implementation. They were not.
Over this same time, as a district, we invested heavily in dual enrollment, technology, and distance learning opportunities for students. We have developed systems to ensure “at-risk” and all students get the support they need to be successful. Last year the Valedictorian of the 2019 CMSD graduation class was the top graduate of EMCC’s class by way of dual enrollment. She entered college with both a diploma and Associate degree as a Junior with more than $200,000 in scholarships. The CMSD has many other similar success stories.
Lastly, while it appears this decision was rushed and was a surprise to GTECHS and EMCC leadership, I am puzzled as to why. The CMSD in March 2019 and again in October 2019 discussed, considered, and unanimously approved a new MOA with the program. Dr. Labat, alongside other superintendents, worked closely with Dr. Miller, Dr. Alsobrooks, MDE, and GTECHS leadership for several months. Unfortunately, those actions were not taken up or acted upon by the other parties involved. As a district we had to make the very difficult decision to move forward.
Forward to Prosperity,
Jason D. Spears