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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Robert Yost, November 22, 2000. Interview K-0487. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

High turnover at low-performing West Charlotte

West Charlotte's reputation as a school that integrated successfully is not enough to lure good teachers and keep them there, Yost believes. West Charlotte has a reputation as a low-performing school, which plays more of a role in its daily operation than its history.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Robert Yost, November 22, 2000. Interview K-0487. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ROBERT YOST:
Okay. Well, we've had quite a turn over in principals. I was hired by Louis Lane. And then the next year, he left. And I think he went to, I can't remember where he went. [unclear] But Barbara Ledford, who was a former principal of the year, came from Northeast Middle School. And she was here, I think, through the best years that I've ever seen in West Charlotte. Through '94. And then we've had, let's see, one, two, three, four, I think five principals since then. We've had a lot of turn over. Just about one principal per year. And we've had a changing demographic. In which I think the over all quality of the type of kids that we're getting is not as high as it used to be. We've had a tremendous, tremendous teacher turnover. They did a, we did a little thing about raise your hand or stand up at the faculty meeting, how many of you have been here ten to fifteen years, and I think that there were maybe ten people on the faculty over ten or fifteen. So back when I started at West Charlotte, I really believed that West Charlotte had the best faculty in the state of North Carolina. I don't think we're anywhere near that now. We just have so many new teachers, young teachers, teachers that really, you know, they, this is where they get a job now. And I don't want to put this school down or anything, but you have a school, we're a school right now that has a, we have a state assistance team, we're designated by the state as a low performing school. And to just be very frank about this, if you want to go to a school, you want to get a job in a school, unless you have a personal ministry for that kind of student, you're not going to want to go to West Charlotte. Even with the reputation we've had over the years as a model of desegregation, blah blah blah. If you have a chance to go to Providence or West Charlotte, where are you going to want to go? You're going to want to go to Providence. And that is certainly a factor. And we've had tremendous teacher turnover. I think we've been tied in to, not only the demographics, but sometimes the principals that we've had, I think some of the principals we've had have polarized the staff. And has led to people just jumping off the ship in droves.