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'This is the number one issue in Charlotte.' | Black leaders say education disparities must change

On Flashpoint, the head of the Black Political Caucus calls for a detailed plan to get CMS students of color up to speed.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Leaders in Charlotte's Black community are sounding the alarm on the ongoing disparities in education outcomes for students of color at CMS, saying the impacts will be felt community-wide. 

"We have to change these outcomes," Stephanie Sneed, chairwoman of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, said. "It affects cities. It affects the growth of cities. It affects income gaps. These have a lifetime, generational effects."

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In September, the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg hosted an online forum with CMS leaders to discuss ways to correct the educational gap between Black and white students, a gap made worse by COVID-19.

Specifically, the district wants to focus on its 42 low-performing schools where a recent report shows more than 70% of Black third-graders are not proficient in reading compared to nearly 30% of white students. In high school, less than 5% of Black students are college or career-ready. 

Sneed wants more details for closing the achievement gap.  

"We have an outline for that, but we don't have a specific plan for how we're going to get there," Sneed said.

CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston has said it will take several years to overcome the setbacks suffered during the pandemic.  


Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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