Charlotte parent on sending son to failing school, importance of integration

About the author

Pamela Grundy is a Charlotte historian and author of the forthcoming Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality (UNC Press, September 2017). She and her husband, Peter Wong, sent their son to Shamrock Gardens Elementary from 2006 to 2012. A chronicle of her family’s time at Shamrock can be found in her “Seen from the ‘Rock” blog. More about Shamrock’s extensive school garden programs can be found here.

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  • Justin Parmenter

    As most of us who are plugged in to education in Charlotte know, Pamela Grundy is the one to talk with if you want to know what was really behind Shamrock Garden’s remarkable transformation. As Pam notes, the real catalysts behind growth at Shamrock Gardens were not private sector-like strategies like differentiated pay but economic and racial integration, engaging curriculum, and a strong sense of community.

    Our work as teachers and other school professionals is a human endeavor, not a series of business transactions. Our students aren’t numbers, they are people, and they’re most likely to succeed in schools that find a way to nurture strong relationships and a love of learning. It’s a recipe for success the private sector may never understand.