Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gorman looking forward to anonymity


When he announced his resignation from the head of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Peter Gorman's staff said he would have nothing else to say to the press. Which left us with questions, frankly, since he's still on the public payroll as superintendent till Aug. 15. (OK, we always have questions). He might not be talking to us anymore, but he did answer questions this morning at a meeting of the Small Business Professionals of Charlotte.

According to tweets from people at the meeting, Gorman had plenty to say about his five-year tenure with CMS, and also answered questions. Joseph Margolis, a freelance copywriter, said he was among about 25-30 people present. He sent out a tweet quoting Gorman as telling the crowd: "I'm at a unique phase in my career. Ask me anything!"

According to the folks tweeting, these were some of the highlights of Gorman's talk:

  • He is "looking forward to anonymity."
  • He will not be involved in finding his replacement.
  • There have been 200 principal changes in five years.
  • Thomasboro Elementary is the most expensive school to educate kids; Ballantyne elementary is the least expensive.
  • Our great teachers don't like poor teachers, want room to do their job well and get good compensation.
  • CMS will pay the price for the severe cuts we've had to do, especially in high schools.
  • As long as we cluster poverty in particular schools, we're going to have challenges.
Since he hasn't made himself available to the press, I tweeted some of the attendees and asked them to ask him what his role will be. Since he's in office two more months, it doesn't seem unreasonable to wonder what he'll be doing until he leaves for his new job with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Is he superintendent in name only for the next two months? Do all these reforms he's been pushing come to a screeching halt? It all might become clearer tomorrow, when the school board meets at 6 p.m. to begin mapping out the search for his replacement.

Margolis says attendees did ask him my question about his role for the next two months. Gorman's answer: he's going to be the superintendent as long as the board has him, and until the day he leaves. Which doesn't exactly clarify my question. But apparently Gorman isn't planning to clear it up -- at least not to the press, anyway. Margolis tells me the superintendent reiterated at the meeting that he isn't making any further comments to the media.

44 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

Let me sum his position up in two words"

"Lame duck".

Anonymous said...

Good Riddance Dr. Gorman. Thanks for coming in and setting up CMS like a big corporation and they slicing teachers every year you have been here. Long overdue for you to leave town.

Anonymous said...

Thomasboro Elementary is the most expensive school to educate kids; Ballantyne elementary is the least expensive

Gee, I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

He is a loser. I could tell from day one that he is a die hard Republican, because you could tell he could care less about children or could care less if a teacher kept her job. Good riddance to the idiot and hope he enjoys working for fellow communist republicans at News Corp. Funny he will not talk with media but going to work for the worst

UraMoron said...

Communist republicans?

Anonymous said...

I suspect Dr. Gorman's family is also looking forward to some anonymity which maybe they can find a little of in Europe.

Although, my family and I were in the middle of Costa Rica one year and happened to run into a family from Charlotte. The first question they asked? "Are your kids in public or private school?" not "What do you think about the Panthers, the Bobcats, the Whitewater Center, NASCAR, uptown baseball, etc.."

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to anonimity? I know of quite a few parents who would kick the living lights out of him if they saw him anywehere in Charlotte. At the very least, they would have a few choice words for him!

Anonymous said...

Die hard Republicans do not care about children? I think your liberal views could be why you would post such an ignorant statement. Fox News is communist? Wow, it must be true, ignorance is bliss in liberal eyes.

Anonymous said...

I realize some teachers would rather be left alone to do their thing without monitoring/oversight/testing...I realize that some lousy teachers actually think they are good teachers. And, I think some teachers believe that their tenure exempts them from scrutiny. But, the perceived wrath toward a visionary leader like Pete Gorman is truly extraordinary. To call him a "loser" and an "idiot" and then call all republicans "communists" in one posts shows how bad the "sacred cow" has been gored. Well, guess what. Achievement is up under Gorman. I hope we are lucky to find somebody to replace him who can measure up to his drive and vision for all students...pedantic namecallers notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Anonymity...that will be a great thing to have while setting up Fox News' Indoctrination Channel for Schools.

Pete Gorman sold the school board a bunch of snake oil back when he got hired.

He is not, nor will he ever be, an educator. He is an ideologue.

therestofthestory said...

Let's follow on with ths thought. "Thomasboro Elementary is the most expensive school to educate kids; Ballantyne elementary is the least expensive."

Can you now ask the question if we are comparable results with the amount of money CMS has spent at Thomasboro?

Next question. Is it possible we have far exceeded the point of diminshing returns? Some CMS data suggests you get no more academic improvement past $6500 spent per pupil.

Next question. Are too many of these schools too small a population and thus have more burden per dollar per pupil spent on its overhead? Should not more of the under 50% capacity schools be closed and combined with others to get closer to 90% to 95% capacity.

Anyway, as I have stated before, public schools have become such a 7 headed dragon that we must simplify this thing so parents feel like it is personal enough yet is big enough to provide the academic diversity these students need.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 3:00

Glad he wasn't in your term, "an educator".

While I disagreed with his approach to PFP, he was put into a position of having to make cuts that affected everyone. Something the balless BOE refused to do.

It is my opinion that "educators" and politicians are the very ones who have run public education into the toilet.

CMS was flushed long before Gorman got here.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Gorman is very smart in accepting the NewsCorp job. It gets him out of crazy Charlotte/Mecklenburg/BOE politics without having to move. His new job will expose him to many great Superintendent positions over the next couple years. Two years from now he will have a great Super. job in a community that doesn't fear change.

The Savvy Writer said...

Eric, here is some additional follow up. Your readers can view the stream for the next few days at http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23SMBPros

I'd like to clarify some context here. When Gorman was saying that Ballantyne Elementary is the least expensive while Thomasboro is the most expensive, he was speaking to a broader point that Thomasboro, in his judgement, required more money due to the academic needs of those students in attendance.

As for the commenter here who are quick to criticize his competence or his intentions, I saw the man in person and believe you may not be fully informed. I would never want this job and I don't think you would either. Here's why. He made the point that superintendents who attain high achievement can still get fired if they don't maintain the business of of the school system (i.e. go over budget). I think this is a heck of an outlier to for any person to navigate.

Overall Eric, I was impressed with his talk, but I hope that he will at some point provide the media/the community more opportunities to gain retrospective insight into his tenure. Things that he thinks worked, things that he's learned from and would do differently. Personally I think he shared and wealth of knowledge that served those in attendance at #SMBPros today quite well.

Joseph Margolis said...

FYI commenters. It's been a while since I logged in to blogger. I just posted above as The Savvy Writer before changing my display name.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Peter Gorman has done an excellent job. The public school system in the United States is THESE DAYS, a joke and it needs the kind of re-engineering afforded by his insight and foresight. I am all for for-profit education.

The collective whining in these comments reminds me of the collective whining I hear among public educators.

The who can, do. Those who can't, teach. And those who can't teach, teach gym. - Woody Allen

chupacabra said...

It's a sad day indeed when twitter accounts from a meeting are cited as a news source.

Anonymous said...

There is a contingent in this town that will never be satisfied until a superintendent says "We're closing the most successful suburban and middle ring schools and moving all those kids to inner city schools." Same old story--it goes on and on and on.

Anonymous said...

2:45. you praise Gorman for "change" but as an employee I saw very little real change that improved anything. Gorman takes credit for achievement....based on what? The state used the same EOCS for 7 years in a row! If the same SAT was given 7 years in a row do you think the scores would go up? The most damaging thing Gorman did was add a huge layer of bureauacracy. Multi-Million dollar learning centers (where few parents have been)and a huge increase in employees making 100k are examples. He also just added a costly pfp program so that your kid will be tested and retested until their heads explode. Suburban schools took a huge step back under his idea to fund westside schools to the point that southern suburban classes have 40 and 50 kids to a class. Anyone remember the Bakke case? I ask you this...is the school system better or worse than 5 years ago? I say much worse.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that a man who has spent the past several years making a name for himself at the expense of the teachers and students in this community would crave anonymity...

His Murdoch-y finger will still be in the pie...don't you worry about that... Murdoch has a product to sell and he needs a school system to test it on... He who is now anonymous is good at fads and testing...

Sean said...

As a former CMS teacher, I'll miss Gorman's leadership and commitment to increasing achievement. Running a school system that is constantly losing its financial support is a tough job. He did his best to exercise transparency(by talking budget MONTHS before any other system) within his administration and instill an open line of communication between teachers and staff.

CMS became better under his watch but still has a long way to go. I wish him the best and hope that his replacement has the same commitment to increasing student achievement and improving the quality of our schools.

Wiley Coyote said...

TROTS...

Here is a link to a site that shows math and reading trends at Thomasboro for grades 3, 4 and 5.

This is data ending 2008 but take a look at each grade and notice the terrible drop off proficiency.

http://www.schoolmatters.com/schools.aspx/q/page=sl/sid=21580/midx=GradeB3

Then go to this link, whoch shows data from 2007/2008 to 2009/2010 and these seems to have been a dramatic turnaround.

http://www.ncschoolreportcard.org/src/schDetails.jsp?Page=2&pSchCode=553&pLEACode=600&pYear=2009-2010

So the year after Gorman gets here, the scores start to rise?

Could be.....

Wiley Coyote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Remember folks that Peter Gorman, Superintendent, was hired by the Board of Education members. He serves at the direction of the Board of Education.

The are at least 6 Board members who are silently cheering behind closed doors "Mission Accomplished"!! You don't have to investigate too deeply to see which schools in what districts and what Board member communities have benefited from this debacle. This plan was put in place when those in the know knew the economy was going to nose dive and they kowingly set out to save theirs at the cost of all others.

Wiley Coyote said...

TROTS,

I'll try again.

For some reason, links get chopped here...

http://www.schoolmatters.com/school

s.aspx/q/page=sl/sid=21580

/midx=TestScores


That is all one line but I had to split it to make it show up.

Anonymous said...

Never have so few caused such community division for so many. Thank you Dr. Gorman, Scott Mury, Hugh Hattabaugh, Ann clark and Company for making CMS a "Data driven" organization that is built upon smoke and mirrors. Who trained you in statistics? Bernie Madoff?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Dr. Gorman could provide the directions to anonimity for students who will soon face one test after another, that I am more than postive his own child will not have to endure.

Anonymous said...

As predicted Dr. Gorman and his board of ed cronies have proclaimed "job well done" now they're bailing to let someone else clean up the mess.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Dr. Gorman who constantly sought the limelight - fighting to save CMS TV while laying off teachers, answering his softball questions form Moira Quinn - is looking forward to anonynmity. I think he truly believes in his type of reform but his lack of school-based experience makes him very inept when implementing his ideas. The idea of having students in dance and yearbook take multiple choice tests is so ludicrous that FINALLY the parents had enough of him. He is very dishonest and knows how to spin numbers but enough people finally saw through him - that is the only reason he is leaving. Because after the BOE election, he was going to be run out of town.

Anonymous said...

For anyone who doesn't believe that the new "education reform" movement has a profit motive, the entrance of Rupert Murdoch into the fray should remove all doubt.

Anonymous said...

Gorman did a great job running CMS into a hole! He could get over on his uninformed school board members, but could not get over on the community. Anyone with an once of intelligence knows Gorman was run out because of his lying and deceitful ways! Can you imagine the first time he tries to steal money from Murdoch. Enjoy your at home glorified telemarketing job! Just another Broad loser.

Wiley Coyote said...

All of you who are complaining about Gorman "laying off teachers", please provide us with how YOU would have closed a $100 million dollar budget shortfall?

And if you're brave enough, tell us also if you would keep Bright Beginnings and sports as well and how you would pay for those.

Should make for some interesting reading.

jill said...

I don't blame him. If I were he, I'd want to disapper too. No one could have done a better job. He deserves a better life than tryingto run a disgusting group of losers called CMS.

therestofthestory said...

Thanks WC. I have been through these web pages and due to other things I have researched, such as class sizes, I hold very little confidence in many of the numbers I can not go through some other process or source and come up with something similar. That is a lot of the problem with data about public schools. It is held and controlled by folks with an agenda and the numbers can not be independently verified.

I have the composite performance scores for Thomasboro since 2006-2007 taken from the per pupil expenditure annual spreadsheets and they are 45.9, 30.2, 39.8 and 52.4. If I recall right, the 2007-2008 year was a revised EOG set of tests. So many educrats made the argument that more schools would fall in score due to that however that seemed to be more a self fulling prophecy when many schools, non FOCUS, did not fall and FOCUS schools used as an excuse to not take the tests seriously till they had a year behind them and figured out how to test to the tests again.

Additionally, I find it curious to look at CMS, Wake, and state scores from last year and think Wake does not take the tests seriously. That is the only conclusion you can draw if you toss out someone has "helped" CMS scores to prove some political points.

The point I am trying to make with this is that you can look at other schools with similar demographics as Thomasboro which are spending far less per student and scoring better. Now granted, none of these schools are in the "West Charlotte" area. I am beginning to believe there is some "aura" about the West Charlotte area that simply does not abide by natural laws of spending money, benefits received, etc. and more inportantly, politicans are more inclined to ignore failures of social programs, public health policies, etc.

therestofthestory said...

To 4:23 PM, I am afraid you are dead on. These people tried to overcrowd suburban students and make them want to come to the "empty" inner city schools. That failed. They have tried to bolster lagging academic performance in inner city schools by fussing about the magnet schools taking the "better" students and families form those neighborhood schools. They partly succeeded. Now instead of forking out $450 per student to bus them, we now fork out $10k to have them in a FOCUS school.

Actually I have been surprised of the white flight, the bright flight (whites and blacks), and now the middle class black flight since the busing court order was lifted. Of course we all know the black city leaders who do not have their kids in CMS. White leaders in the past were "shamed" by the newsparper and community organizers when that happened.

But it is clear of the political agenda MeckActs and MeckFuture have so you will soon see when they start endorsing the at large candidates that fit their vision.

therestofthestory said...

WC, ha, my post to you about the statistics you were pointing out did not post. Anyway, got to do a few chores. Bottom line, I have found enough errors in this data before I do not have much confidence in it. Also, I think you will find other schools with demographics like demographics like Thomasboro that have equal or better results with far less $ per pupil. Looking at last year's NC report card data sure makes you think it has been played with to support some political points. That is the one thing aboout public education data. It is created, massaged, published and kept by these educrats. The results are generally unreplicable by anyone else outside this area.

Anonymous said...

It's good that Gorman's leaving, but our children won't benefit from his departure unless and until we also get rid of those 5 school board members who agree with everthing he's said. We've GOT to get them out too, if we want to save our school system. In addition to the departures of Joe White and Trent Merchant, we have to replace Tim Morgan, Eric Davis, and Rhonda Lennon ASAP. With any luck, those who aren't up for re-election this year will resign.

Jim said...

Wow! I'm pretty sure that I'd share a desire to have several degrees of separation between myself and the public after 5 years of having all my nits picked by nitwits! First thing I'd do is get that daughter enrolled at Latin or Country Day!

Ann Doss Helms said...

TROTS, I've restored your comment. The spam filter is getting sneaky -- it waits til I've stopped checking for the day to start snagging random comments.

Anonymous said...

Please tell us he's moving out of the area. We need our property values to increase so we can sell our house and move to Union County.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:49
There will always be challenges when you jam 30-40 percent of the people into CMS with parents who don't read, don't care and don't parent their children. And, maybe the parents had young parents who kept this massive generational problem in full force. We have a huge victimization problem, a huge welfare mentality, kids with no work ethic and no interest in learning coming to our schools and doing nothing but disrupting schools and making gang contacts. These are the 10-13 kids whose parents send them to the transit center at 2 a.m. These are also our CMS students. Until we fight to take the ones in this group that may have promise and kick the bad apples out, we will always have incredible CMS teacher/administrator and family tension. There are CMS kids with bright parents who value learning, instill a strong work ethic and an emphasis on learning. They want to excel academically. Then we throw them in the pot with the others. It is not a poverty thing. It is a generational thing. It is a cultural thing. And, it has rapidly become a racial thing. On top of this, you have long-standing lousy teachers who want complete autonomy. They resist monitoring and testing of their ability to the point that they attack CMS and the Board. Then you have some school board members who only selfishly care about "getting theirs" for "their people." I admire Eric Davis, Rhonda Lennon and Tim Morgan - as well as Gorman - for fighting for all kids and navigating these shark infested waters. The same old system does not work...as 30 years of academic mediocrity can attest. We have to change...sane parents who care about all kids have to stand up for public schools.

Anonymous said...

Good Riddance to Pete,
What about the continued high dropout rate of 2,500 plus yearly, can you address that, oh, your not in charge of that anymore, what program has he created to stop the highschool dropout rate. He throws them out on the street, blame teachers and then the test scores goes up because these students who fall though the cracks cant test....thanks Pete

therestofthestory said...

Thanks Ann. I figured that is what happened since it has happened to so many other contributors in the past. I had gotten lazy and typed it in directly to the input box. For a while, I was typing my responses into a plain text file so if it vanished, I cold restore it myself. Also, it paid me an advantage as I came up with these "nuggets" over the course of time.

Anonymous said...

At a meeting of the Small Business Professionals of Charlotte.
According to tweets from people at the meeting, Gorman had plenty to say about his five-year tenure with CMS. According to the folks tweeting, these were some of the highlights of Gorman's talk:

CMS will pay the price for the severe cuts we've had to do, especially in high schools.
As long as we cluster poverty in particular schools, we're going to have challenges.

Gorman continues to contradict himself. Was he not the one to close several high poverty schools which will “cluster” large numbers of high poverty together as well as pile several grades on top of one another. This screams law suit!