Parents, students, and some brave teachers have expressed their disdain for MVP over the past two years, while WCPSS staff and school board went through the motions of keeping the gap filled program alive. WCPSS is more emboldened now than ever, as COVID-19 has provided a distraction and many more years of excuses for continued decline in math achievement. Ostensibly, staff would be diligently working on the remediations consultant MGT recommended, which WCPSS previously said (to parents) were not required. But are they working on that? Is there a plan? Has the existing board even asked about it? No one knows.
Fortunately, when all else fails, we have elections. This year, five of the nine WCPSS school board seats have challengers. Four lucky board members will remain in place another 2 years, unopposed. They can and will continue to do whatever it is they have been doing to drive up enrollment in charter, private, and home schools in Wake County, while patting themselves and the superintendent on the back for a job well done.
A few months ago, I created an MVP-focused survey for school board candidates. I offered the survey to all candidates, even those running unopposed. I sent emails to board members and/or incumbents on June 22 and July 30. I think I also tweeted it out once, tagging the incumbents. Seven out of the 16 candidates completed the survey as follows:
INCUMBENTS (2 out of 9 completed)
- Two incumbents with challengers completed the survey (D1 Heather Scott and D8 Chris Heagarty)
- Three incumbents with challengers didn't complete the survey (D2 Monika Johnson-Hostler, D8 Lindsay Mahaffey, and D9 Bill Fletcher)
- Two incumbents without challengers didn't complete the survey (D4 Keith Sutton, D5 Jim Martin)
- Two incumbents without challengers wrote me and said they would complete the survey, but didn't (D3 Roxie Cash and D6 Christine Kushner)
CHALLENGERS (5 out of 7 completed)
- Five challengers completed the survey and I corresponded with all of them individually via email or chat about MVP and/or the survey before and after their survey participation (D1 Deborah Prickett, D2 Gregory Hahn, D7 Rachel Mills, D8 Steven Bergstrom, and D9 Karen Carter)
- Two challengers met with me in person to discuss MVP, but didn't complete a survey (D2 Dorian Hamilton and D9 Daniel Madding)
About the Survey
- Strongly Disagree: -3
- Disagree: -2
- Neither Agree nor Disagree: -1
- Agree: +1
- Strongly Agree: +2
- Not Sure: 0
- Unfortunately, some questions I wrote had negatives in them, meaning the ratings were reversed. I adjusted for those in my calculations.
- My assumption was that "Neither Agree nor Disagree" option meant the person knew enough but didn't have an opinion. This would be viewed less favorably than Not Sure, hence the -1 score for Neither/Nor.
- In one single case I overrode my calculation based on a respondent's explanation that indicated a different interpretation of the question than I had intended.
- In the case of "I was a strong math student in school," I didn't count this question in the score since it was not reflective of attitudes, positive or negative, about MVP.
- Awareness about MVP Curriculum in WCPSS - 15 questions, 1x weighting (what type of curriculum it is, performance results, wakemvp.com and wakemvp.blogspot.com, WCPSS shenanigans, etc.)
- Awareness about MVP as a Company - 8 questions, 1x weighting (about lawsuit, blocking parents, no contact number, etc)
- Willingness to Act - 8 questions, 3x weighting (holding WCPSS accountable, voting for/against continued MVP funding)
- General Opinions about Math Education - 17 questions, 2x weighting (does 2+2 actually equal 4 or is it 5?, teachers leading class versus students, collaboration, etc.)