Few Good Men will question school chief on achievement gap

Apr. 30, 2013 @ 05:27 PM

Union County Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ellis will participate in a forum sponsored by A Few Good Men and other groups. The forum will include questions from the community that were submitted a few weeks ago. 

The purpose of the meeting is to hear an update on UCPS, discuss the achievement gap and minority hiring in the district. 

This is an annual event and numerous previous superintendents have participated. The meeting will be held at the Bazemore Center, 111 Winchester Ave in Monroe, on Thursday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. The public is invitedand encouraged to attend. 

In addition to A Few Good Men, the NAACP, Black Caucus, MLK, Winchester Alumni, Women for Progress and American Legion Post #212 will participate. 

The forum has been held for the past six years, though it was not held last year. There are usually about 60 to 75 people in attendance Organizer Robert Heath said.

“Our community sometimes doesn’t get the representation in the classroom or the promotions,” Heath said. The goal of the forum is to make sure the administration is aware of the community’s concerns. 

Heath said they also talk to the business community about this. 

The groups are also concerned about the achievement gap. Afro-American males in particular have fallen in graduation rates, but are higher in suspension rates. 

“We want them to take a look to try and improve the situation,” Heath said.

Heath said he spoke with Ellis the other day and she was “overjoyed” to come speak with the community. 

He said they are trying to implement a three-prong system to improve education: parents, the school system and the community. All three have a role in “making sure the kids get the best,” he said.