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School Renewal

Sen. Carl Ford, R-Rowan, says everyone in the legislature is watching Rowan County to see the outcome of the "renewal" school system, which gives individual schools in the district flexibility with curriculum, budget, personnel, calendar and scheduling. In its second year, both Ford and Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, are giving the "renewal" school system some time to get going before evaluating whether it is working or not. The two, though, are divided about when they will know if the effort is successful. Warren says he is going along with Rowan-Salisbury Schools Superintendent Lynn Moody's timeline: five years.

"I wish them a lot of success, but I'm not putting any pressure on them," Warren said. "I have no expectations for this year or next year. I'm taking Dr. Moody for her word it's going to be a five-year program. I think it's wrong for anybody to put pressure on the teachers and the administration to push for results if they're not directly involved in that process." Ford says it's too soon to say whether "renewal" is for the best now. "Next year is the first year we will look at it and say this is working or it's not, in my opinion," Ford said. "I know some of them think that it's going to take the five years. I think we'll know before then."

Ford says the feedback he has gotten is most people seem to love "renewal." Warren said many traditional schools have asked for the latitude that is given to charter schools, now RSS has received that. Warren says Rowan-Salisbury Schools may be setting the blueprint for the rest of the state.

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