Your Schools

How did diversity lottery shape CMS magnets? Results are now posted

When I wrote about the results of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ first-ever diversity-driven magnet lottery earlier this month, the rest of you couldn’t check the report for yourselves.

Now you can. After correcting an error on the Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology numbers, the district posted a corrected report for public viewing Thursday.

The report compares the students currently in CMS magnet programs with those assigned for 2017-18, broken down by new socioeconomic diversity ratings that were used for the first time in this year’s assignment lottery. There are signs that some schools will have more balance next year, but as I noted before, lottery results aren’t precisely comparable to actual enrollment numbers because significant numbers of students don’t really report to those schools (click the first link above for the full analysis).

After getting a copy of the initial report, which was also sent to school board members, I had also questioned the accuracy of the numbers for Berry, which seemed far too low. They were. Scott McCully, the CMS executive in charge of the data, said there was a glitch that eliminated current Berry students who were continuing at that school. The new report includes them.

The school board has yet to discuss the magnet lottery results in public. Board Chair Mary McCray said Thursday she’s looking forward to getting solid comparisons – which might be after students report to school in August – and following up.

The diversity-driven lottery is part of a strategy to reduce economic and racial isolation in schools through family choice. The board recently concluded a two-year review of assignment policies, and the magnet seating is the first step toward making the changes reality.

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms