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.