FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2020
INDIFFERENCE TOWARD PARENTS AND STUDENTS CONTINUES
In just a few short weeks, WCPSS elementary and middle schools are scheduled to reopen. While parents are trying to make heads or tails of calendars containing rotations, cohorts, and mandated remote and asynchronous days, many details are left undefined. What preparations have been made to manage what would typically be considered "normal” actions – like recess or using the restroom or even carrying backpacks and lunch boxes? When will the hard questions be asked?
The reality is the WCPSS School Board has exhibited a complete lack of strategic focus and foresight in maneuvering through the pandemic. They have been reactive and remain unorganized. They should have been advocating for answers months ago.
The current District 9 School Board representative has failed to engage families in our community to assuage their concerns through the pandemic. He has failed to provide leadership and direction to ensure our children continue to receive a quality education. While parents are accustomed to this indifference, they have fortunately remained engaged and have shared some of their frustrations with me.
Will there be any in-person orientation time, prior to the cohorts beginning to rotate in, for students to practice protocols and see the “new” arrangements in schools?
What happens if a student begins to exhibit symptoms and has no private means of transportation available?
How will a student’s request to use the restroom be handled to ensure all safety protocols are followed along with proper supervision of the classroom?
Will a list of “what-if” safety scenarios along with guidelines be provided to the parents and staff? If yes, when and by what means?
Why is use of substitute teachers restricted causing coverage issues for teachers?
When will staff distribution issues be addressed (Virtual academy, remote, in-class)?
Students still lack access to hotspots and laptops. What is the plan to eliminate these barriers to learning?
With the guidance of the COVID Scientific Advisory Board, NC DHHS, and NC DPI, proper safety procedures and protocols including hand washing, masks, and social distancing can be implemented to ensure everyone’s health, safety and well-being. Families, students, teachers and staff deserve a clear direction and understanding of the precautions being taken and the guidelines being put in place as students return to in-class instruction. As your School Board representative, I will ask the hard questions and advocate for clearly defined policies to support all learning environments. I ask for your vote in District 9 so the focus can be put back on who we are here to serve.
September 30, 2020
WCPSS SCHOOL BOARD FAILS TO DISPLAY STRATEGIC FOCUS AS THEY VOTE ON THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN WAKE COUNTY
The decisions made by the WCPSS School Board last night have left many parents extremely frustrated and disappointed - including me. While our students are losing ground academically and socially, the WCPSS School Board continues to demonstrate their inability to proactively plan in order to support the education of our students.
During a time when families, teachers, and citizens are looking for strong leadership to guide the reopening of our schools, the WCPSS School Board failed to display any strategic focus as they voted on the future of education in Wake County. Rather, the Board meeting last night exemplified disarray, dysfunction, and, with one Board member dominating the meeting, ineffectiveness at its best.
As a mom of a high school student, I can relate to all the families who have reached out to share their concerns regarding the approved plan. I share those same concerns. Also, as an educator, I am troubled that our views and suggestions were not fully represented. The survey information that was considered by the Board did not reflect the full complement of resources that are involved in educating our children. Transportation services, child nutrition, office staff, instructional assistants, and custodial staff did not have an opportunity to respond to the survey.
I support the safe reopening of our schools. With the guidance of the COVID Scientific Advisory Board, proper safety procedures and protocols can be implemented to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students, teachers, and staff. With less drama and ego and more patience and collaboration, this can be accomplished in a purposeful manner.
As your WCPSS School Board representative, I will lead with foresight. My decisions will be informed and made with careful consideration to the input and feedback from the community. After witnessing the chaotic manner in which the WCPSS School Board voted on what may be one of the most important decisions impacting education in Wake County, it is apparent we need fresh, resourceful leadership.
I ask for your vote on November 3rd.
The Wake County Board of Education Approved Reopening Plan:
As of 9/29/2020: Pre-K-3rd and all Special Education Regional Students return to in-person instruction in 3 cohorts on October 26th. On November 16th, these groups will transition to daily in-person. (9-0 vote). One member abstained from voting, but counts as a yes.
Grades 4-5th will return to in-person instruction in 3 cohorts on November 16th. (5-4 vote). No date for daily in-person instruction was part of the motion.
Grades 6-8th will return to in-person instruction in 3 cohorts on November 9th for the remainder of the 1st semester. (5-4 vote). The 2nd semester plan is TBD.
Grades 9-12th remain remote until end of 1st semester (January). (8-1 vote). The 2nd semester plan is TBD.
September 18, 2020
WCPSS D9 CANDIDATE KAREN CARTER RESPONDS TO TOP VOTER QUESTIONS
Since I announced my campaign for WCPSS School Board, I have received a great deal of interest from the parents and voters in District 9. While many emails and messages are words of support and motivation, some constituents have asked specific questions about my platform. There are a few common threads in what voters in D9 are interested in understanding better. Therefore, I’d like to take an opportunity to elaborate on who I am, why I’m running and what my priorities will be when representing the students and families of D9.
As an experienced educator and social worker, I have dedicated years working to support the needs of others. The focus of my work has been to advocate and fight for those who often go unnoticed and speak up for those who are underrepresented. In my current role, I work with Special Education children of WCPSS. This incredibly rewarding work has highlighted the need for better advocacy and representation for this group of children within WCPSS. It has also, however, alerted me to the poor communication and indifference to collaboration from the current School Board with parents across the county. Ultimately, I was motivated to run to give a voice to those who often go unnoticed or remain voiceless in our large, difficult-to-manage school system.
As a mom and educator, I have been directly impacted by the shift in focus by the current WCPSS School Board. Personally, I have watched my child struggle with a new math curriculum that wasn’t vetted properly or thoroughly. I have listened to similar experiences from families across my district and the county. Curriculum decisions have been questionable, at best – and, in my opinion, the values and opinions of parents have been readily dismissed. The Special Education students and families I serve have been treated as an afterthought in district level decisions. Many Special Education children did not have school-provided transportation for months at the beginning of the 2019 school year! We need to embrace parents as an integral part of their child’s education and focus the curriculum back to basics.
I am disheartened with the priorities of this School Board. Rather than prioritizing WHAT we are here to provide – a sound education for each and every student of WCPSS – and WHO we are here to serve – all students, families, teachers, staff and community members – this School Board has given preference to reassignments and promoting social and political issues all while failing to close the achievement gap.
We are now in unprecedented times. Although eager to return, teachers, parents, and students are naturally apprehensive as we look toward opening our schools for in-class instruction. It is more important than ever to have School Board representation that considers your needs, the needs of your children and the values of our community. This School Board has spent enough time fiddling while Rome burns.
My focus as your School Board member will be on education:
● Providing appropriately challenging educational opportunities to all students to receive a sound education, regardless of where they are in their learning process
● Making decisions by considering what is in the best interest of students and their learning and academic growth
● Collaborating with parents and the community to understand their concerns and needs and the impact of my decisions
● Being committed, available, proactive, and responsive
I am so grateful to be part of an engaged and devoted community and appreciate the support and encouragement. I humbly ask for your vote during this election.
Please email me at Karen4Wake@gmail.com if you have any questions.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2020
WCPSS DISTRICT 9 ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE PLUMMETS UNDER FLETCHER
Academic growth is the key measurement in the academic progress of a student in a given grade or subject. As State Superintendent Mark Johnson put simply, “..it’s where we expect students to go within a school year. If students at a school meet growth, then those schools have done what North Carolina has asked of them.”
When D9 incumbent Bill Fletcher first took office in 2014, the academic growth at Cary High School was 100% - Exceeded. By 2019, growth had plummeted to 60.2% - Not Met! Performance grade history suffered a similar fate, sinking from 83% to 69%1 in those same 6 years. The overall school performance dropped a full letter grade from a B to a C.
As a matter of fact, all school levels within District 9, elementary, middle and high, have all suffered inconsistent, largely negative trends in performance since 2014.
As if that’s not bad enough, for the 2018-2019 school year, Cary High School had the highest number of dropouts of any high school in Wake County excluding the alternative academy.2 Yes, the highest.
You have one opportunity to educate your child(ren). Families shouldn’t have to “hang in there” until WCPSS figures it out, as Mr. Fletcher told one parent regarding her child’s subpar math instruction.
It is time to focus on education to improve academics for our D9 students and all students across Wake County.
Karen Carter is an educator with many years of classroom experience who understands the importance of excellence in academic performance. She has advocated for children and families, not only in her community, but for children across Wake County. She has fought to raise awareness of the failure of MVP math. She has been a voice and trusted resource for special education families and students and a strong advocate for parents navigating high school.
Vote Karen Carter for Wake County School Board District 9!
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
August 26, 2020
FRUSTRATIONS ESCALATE FOR WCPSS SPECIAL EDUCATION FAMILIES
Special Education students deserve to be respected. Based on 2019-2020 statistics, they make up approximately 12% of the WCPSS student population. Far too often, the Wake County School Board tries to minimize their concerns or sweep them under the rug.
What are the concerns? Over the last year alone, transportation, physical restraints, and lack of staff training have each been an issue. Individualized Education Plan (IEP) non-compliance and the move to teleservices can be added to the list of missteps. Wake County School Board District 9 parents, Brentley and Beth Tanner said, "As the parents of a child with an IEP in Wake County Public Schools, we understand how important it is that the leaders making decisions at the highest levels of our school districts be diverse in their experiences. Having a special education IA as a school board member will help ensure that families like mine have a voice through someone that understands the needs of our children because they are working with those students every day. Families who have students with special needs often find themselves without the necessary resources and in times like these, it is easy for our children to fall well behind their peers without any safety net. We need representation on the Board to make sure our children will grow up to achieve their dreams."
Karen Carter has Listened repeatedly to families who have had to engage advocates as they felt WCPSS was not looking out for their child’s best interest. She has Learned about the frustrations and struggles of the Special Education families and children.
WCPSS needs to put ALL students’ best interest first. It is heartbreaking to see such disregard for a group of students. As the District 9 Board representative, Karen Carter will Lead the efforts to consistently keep ALL students as the focus.
If you've had issues with special education services in WCPSS, Karen would like to hear from you about them.
July 13, 2020
EDUCATOR KAREN CARTER ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF THE KAREN CARTER FOR SCHOOL BOARD COMMITTEE
Karen Carter, candidate for the Wake County School Board in District 9, is pleased to announce the formation of her campaign committee. The Karen Carter for School Board Committee consists of engaged parents and citizens with a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, and expertise.
“I have assembled an incredible group of Wake County parents and citizens that have been disappointed with the lack of leadership from our current School Board,” said Carter. “While each has their own concerns, we all strongly believe that education must be the priority in WCPSS."
Karen Carter was born and raised in Wake County. After attending Wake County schools, she graduated from Meredith College. She is an experienced, thorough, spirited, and resilient social worker and educator with over 17 years of experience in supporting, educating, and advocating for and empowering children and families.
The members of the Karen Carter for School Board Committee are:
Rachel Ayscue – Videographer
Rachael became involved in the fight for better education when MVP math was introduced several years ago. As she learned more about the school system, she noticed trends in manipulating arts programs to suit magnet population desires of the board. As a parent of two high school kids, she supports Karen and her focus on putting children’s educational well-being first and foremost.
Allison Backhouse – Advisor
Allison is a long-time school activist who fought for choice in mandatory year-round assignments and believes parents should have a strong voice in the education of their children in WCPSS. She has worked on multiple campaigns for members of the Wake County BOE.
Chase Brady – Research Specialist
Two years ago Chase fought reassignment from schools that her kids could walk to. Ultimately the reassignment plan was approved and what she learned during that period was that this school board rarely listens to families' concerns or acts in the best interest of kids. As a mother of five children, Chase wants to help Karen, a candidate that will truly listen to parent concerns and will be a strong leader with no agenda other than to help our kids succeed.
Sandy Joiner – Campaign Manager
Sandy has had three sons in the Wake County Public School System. She volunteered as the parent Board Advisory Committee representative for three years and influenced several far-reaching student reassignment plans. She also volunteered on multiple Cary Town Council member’s election campaigns. Most recently, she worked diligently against the MVP math curriculum that is having a negative effect on student achievement and morale.
Pamela Lauchengco - Treasurer
Pamela is a mother of 4 kids in Wake County Schools. She has been a strong advocate for improving student experiences and supports Karen’s goal of bringing a curriculum that challenges and empowers all students in Wake County.
Dr. Tracy Taylor – Advisor
Tracy is the mother of two kids in the Wake County Public School System. She was the Board Advisory Committee representative for the BAC9 for five years at Salem Middle School and has been on the WCPSS School Health Advisory Council since 2014. Tracy has challenged multiple reassignment plans.
For more information about Karen’s campaign, please see the Karen Carter for Wake County School Board Facebook page, karen4wake.com, karen4wake on Instagram, and @Karen4wake on Twitter.