Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board: Levester Flowers on the issues

Levester Flowers
Levester Flowers .

Name: Levester Flowers

Hometown: Wadesboro

Neighborhood: Maplewood Subdivision, University Area

Family: Married, 2 children, (1daughter, 1 son) 1 granddaughter

CMS connections: Volunteer, daughter graduated from Mallard Creek High School

Education: B. A. -Livingstone College, Salisbury, N.C. M. Ed-Social Studies, School Administration. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Occupation: Retired, Bank of America, mortgage loan officer

Political experience: lifelong member of the democractic party. Currently, member of state executive committe, 2nd vice president of Mecklenburg Senior Dems, member of congressional district 12 executive committee, former candidate of for city council district 4, campaign manager of State Senator Dr. Joyce Waddell

Community service: I have served on boards for the Charlotte Urban League, The Afro-American Culutral Center, ( now Harvey Gantt Center). active participant of The Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum, member of the NAACP and Founder and President of Save Our Schools Initiative

Party affiliation: Democrat

Campaign contact info: www.voteflowers2015.com, lnf_2000@yahoo.com; 704-968-3391, on Facebook

Why are you running for school board?

I am running for school board because I believe that new ideas and policies are needed. The three elements of my campaign are: (1) trust, (2) transparency and (3) transformational leadership.

I believe that my past experiences as a educator/school administrator for nine years, gives me the necessary insight to tackle and bring about the needed soluitions to the current issues confronting our board of education.

Over the past four years, while the board has made some progess in many areas, there is still a substantial amount of work necessary, particularly in the areas of academic achievement for minority students. Many of our students aren't reading on grade level in elementary school.

One of the most troubling challenges our school district faces is out of school suspensions of three days or more.The most recent report showed that 70% of these suspensions are minority students. This needs to be changed immediately!

Finally, although our students are graudating at a higher rate, recent report have shown that nearly 50% of students are not doing well on advance placement tests, including a drop in SAT scores.

If elected to the CMS Board of Education I would strive to be a proactive member. I would utilize my many connections to neighborhood associations, civic organizations and churhces to form a support base that would become a vital asset to our district. I would view my service as a full time endeavor, being responsive to the concerns and needs of all parents in our district.

Together, we can make CMS a world class entity!

What are your top priorities for the district?

(1) Increasing academic achievement for all students

(2) Providing more magnet schools throughout the district

(3) Making sure all our students are career ready after graduation.

What are your thoughts on hiring a superintendent?

I feel that the superintendent should support the goals and aspirations of our board. Additionally, the superintendent should be a good communicator and advocate for all employess of the district

Finally, our superintendent top priority should be making a world class system.

What are your goals for student assignment?

I support, in principal, the current plan that provides that all students will be given a home school option.

However, in order to bring about the needed diversity that needed to make our district world class, more innovative magnet schools are needed. They shoud be developed across the district, with the creation of higher caps. Transportation issues should be reviewed so that parents won't find this to be a on going issue.

What should CMS do to address persistently low performance by large numbers of students at many schools?

Realistic targets for performance and achievement needs to be established. Teachers should have contiuned career training and mentoring. Finally, top administrators should be held accountable for specific goals being met annually.

What should CMS do to attract, motivate and keep strong teachers?

(1) Work with the county commission for additoinal supplemental salary.

(2) Provide on going training and nuturing.

(3) Establish a designed path for career advancement.

What is the district's biggest challenge, and how would you address it?

The districts biggest challenge is making sure that it maintains essential offerings and course work that keep parents attractive to their schools.

This is very important in the light of charter schools, private schools and neighboring schools across county lines.

Again, this brings me back to my strong support of enhancing and increasing the magnet school options.

What is the best thing about CMS?

The best thing about CMS is that it is a district that has strived to do better. The effort has always been in place.

I feel confident that I would bring the strong leadership and transformational changes required to change effort into viable solutions.

I am a problem solver!

What else should voters know about you?

I am a team player and coaltion builder. My advocacy for CMS would not end after required board meeting. I am not seeking to be a member of the board for status, career advancement of any hidden agenda.

I simpy want to ensure that all students and their parents know that Ihave one goal: making CMS a world class system.

Finally, my driving motto is "deeds, not words" This was the motto of my high school Laurinburg Institute. We were taught this concept at a early age . Some of our notable graudates included: Dizzy Gillespie (jazz musician) and my classmate Charlie Scott, the first African American recruited by Dean Smith, UNC basketball coach.