Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hattabaugh: Board members bullied teachers

A clash that started two weeks ago with a school board presentation on teacher effectiveness continues to roil Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools leadership.  Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh, normally a mellow guy, sent a strongly worded memo to the board accusing two members of bullying faculty, "behavior so egregiously unfair that I cannot remain silent" (read it below).


During the Feb. 28 discussion of  "hard to staff schools," board member Richard McElrath peppered teachers with questions about that label.  Somali Davis-White, a teacher at Thomasboro Academy,  attended the meeting as part of a teacher study group that crafted the report.

Afterward,  McElrath and board member Joyce Waddell made unannounced visits to Thomasboro and other schools that are part of Project LIFT.  I talked to McElrath the afternoon of March 1 about some of his remarks at the meeting, and he told me he was visiting LIFT schools to ask principals and teachers about the philanthropic program and its support of segregated schools.  A few hours later,  Hattabaugh emailed board members about complaints he'd heard from the Thomasboro visit.

Hattabaugh's memo sparked a heated discussion of school board behavior last night,  one that's likely to continue at Friday's meeting on the superintendent search.  Today I got a copy of Hattabaugh's email to the board.


From: Hugh E. Hattabaugh
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2012 6:08 PM
To: Ericka Ellis-Stewart; Mary T. McCray; Eric C. Davis; Tom Tate; Richard McElrath; Joyce Waddell; Amelia Stinson-Wesley; Tim Morgan; Rhonda Lennon
Cc: George E. Battle
Subject: Action Required: Review of Board Policy Constituent Services

Dear Board members,

On Wednesday, two Board members visited Thomasboro Elementary.  They spoke with several teachers,  challenging the assertion put forth at Tuesday’s Board meeting that Thomasboro is a  “hard to staff”  school.  One Board member suggested that racism was a factor in that description of Thomasboro.  Both members asked questions but did not allow teachers to answer them,  talking over teachers and the principal as they tried to answer the questions they’d been asked.  The Board members spoke in a denigrating way about one of the teachers on a work team to her Thomasboro colleagues as they gathered for a meeting.  The work team’s discussion of the challenges facing the school was characterized as  “dirty laundry”  that should not be aired in public.  The Board members suggested to several teachers that they had been tricked or treated unfairly in matters of salary.  They spoke in a critical way about Project L.I.F.T. to several teachers and the principal.

All of these actions violate the Board’s own policy governing how Board members interact with staff and the public.  I have attached Policy BHE,  Constituent Services,  for your reference.  It states in part:  “Each Board member will avoid involvement in management activities or giving direction to staff  …  In making this commitment, Board members recognize that their involvement in management and administrative matters creates confusion among district employees,  leads to dysfunctional management systems,  undermines the authority of the Superintendent and the administration,  and weakens the Board…”

To this clear and unequivocal statement of why the two Board members’  actions on Wednesday were in violation of Board policy,  I would add the following:

What message has been sent to staff by these actions?  How can teachers avoid the conclusion that speaking up can lead to a visit from Board members who will bully and belittle them in front of their colleagues?  How will these actions affect teacher and staff morale?

What message does this send to the public about the Board’s role in governing CMS and its responsibility to work in the district’s best interests,  helping all students and schools?

What message does this send to potential superintendent candidates about Board governance and a clear division of duties between the superintendent and the Board?

What message does this send about transparency of district operations and equitable treatment of employees?

I recognize that my speaking out in this way puts me at some personal risk.  However,  the behavior reported to me by the staff at Thomasboro was so egregiously unfair to our teachers and staff that I cannot remain silent.  As the superintendent,  I ask that Board members please follow the policies that you have set.  We may disagree often about what the right choices are for CMS.  Such disagreement is expected and even healthy.  We are dealing with the future of children and all of us have great emotional investment in our work.  But we must remain civil and professional in our dealings with one another.  Open disrespect and abuse of the staff by Board members is wrong . It is damaging to CMS.  It can do very serious harm. Therefore I feel I would be remiss in my duty if I did not share with all of you my very serious concern about this matter.

Respectively,

Hugh E. Hattabaugh
Interim Superintendent
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Government Center
600 East 4th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hugh has been in CMS long enough to know that white teachers can't express a negative opinion about any aspect of an African-American majority school, because that's inherently racist. Richard and Joyce get it. They'll keep those racist teachers in line.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Hattabaugh, for speaking up for teahers and staff. It's about time someone did.

As for the comments and actions of the board members, perhaps you should have your attorney explain just what that board policy means because if you don't follow it, you will certainly be hearing from representatives of those you are attempting to bully and belittle.

We have a no-bullying policy in our schools and it applies to students, staff, and board members. Someone needs to pull out the list of character traits CMS used to teach and post it at the BOE meetings....Respect and Responsibility were at the top of the list. You can't demand it from others if you aren't weiling to demonstrate it yourself.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why no one came to kaye's defense when other board members denigrated her?

Anonymous said...

Richard and Joyce should be removed from the BOE. Clearly, they cannot serve the entire community...

Jim said...

That's an interesting complimentary close, Supt. Hattabaugh! "Respectively." hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Someone asked me today if I felt "different" under Hattabaugh's leadership. I said yes, his response to this situation is why. Teachers are bullied on a daily basis at their schools - but parents, other teachers, and administrators. My team suffered a torrent of verbal abuse from an administrator earlier this week and we haven't reported it. Why? We all have evaluations due in the next two weeks by that administrator. We've all worked long enough in CMS to know that we will be evaluated on our complaint rather than on our actual performance. Let's hope this is a trickle down kinda thing!

Anonymous said...

Urban is as Urban does. The floodgates have opened and teachers and the public really know what to expect out of this pilotless ship of fools. Maybe a PBIS behavior sticker could help soothe a few raw nerves. The laughter from surrounding counties must be deafening.

Anonymous said...

Very well said: "Urban Is as Urban Does." This is not about race. It is about an uncivilized culture. Actually, it is about Bob Johnson and his ilk who made billions glorifying this heathanistic behavior, and poor people too uneducated to understand the difference. That's why most will always be poor and beholden to the people who keep them that way. The minorities who are not "urban" long ago distanced themselves from these people, except for those who profit from them. Hint: We have a few on the school board, city council, BoCC, etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

The Friday session will not be televised. And, we spend money on all these public access channels for exactly what reason? So, they can pick and choose what they want the citizens, the taxpayers, to know? Tell me again, why do we need to spend one thin dime on an inferior public television station for Charlotte? If CPCC ran it, they would television all of the school board meetings? You betcha.

Anonymous said...

This is no different than the way CMS administators treat teachers no matter what "HUGH"says. I will give him an A for publicity. CMS treats its teachers as puppets or muppets especially during this time of year (evaluations).

Anonymous said...

I am very aware of the situation at hand. So Hugh since your name is on this and public now what is your response? Have you or madam chair asked for Joyce and Richards resignations? What action plan has been put in place over this? You realize that this is the second CMS bullying incident this month to come to light. The other one is going to cost us close to $1.5 million dollars. My reccomendation nip this one asap hold those 2 loose cannons (Joyce and Richard ) accountable. Tell Ms. Stewart the next time she refers to another board member in the tense "your ganging up on me" that she will be removed. Very Very racial , unprofessional comment from her. I am not surprised since she has never held public office was fired by the YMCA and was put in office by KOJO. Looks bad smells bad is bad . Welcome back busing.

Hugh's Action is Wrong! said...

Hugh's scolding of Board of Education members clearly illustrates what is wrong with CMS. Two Board members have been tar and feathered without any form of due process. No hearing, no investigation, no opportunity to present the other side of a two way street. I am one taxpayer that is not about to let one CMS executive's written tirade define my view of the situation.

The CMS approach to leadership is to bully and pile-on just as Hugh and a couple of other Board members are in the process of doing now. Personnel matters are to be conducted in executive session to protect the innocent from claims that hurt them and the community. As a white taxpayer it looks to me like Hugh and other whites are telling black Board members to fall in line; drop speaking and exploring their alternate point of view.

CMS approach to leadership is the problem, not two interested Board Members. Their point of view may not have been welcome but if there were any impolite actions we should be adults and know they were not on one side of the issue.

Hugh is wrong to scold board members in writing and he should be dismissed.

Anonymous said...

This BOE is becoming very racial since Stewart chair was very rude to Davis last night. Davis could actually teach that rookie something , but in my opinion that relationship is finished. BOE has no direction going forward. Icall for Richard and Joyce to be removed asap from Board. I doubt Ericka would do it since they are all Democrats and Kojo would flip his Al Sharpton wig. They VIOLATED board conduct and this should not be debated. Make the move too save face with teachers and parents for a last ditch effort. You cannot make this soap opera stuff up my friend. We should press this out to state educational leaders and have them do a complete investigation asap. Joyce and Richard both helped Ericka get elected now they feel untouchable since madam chair is in their pocket.

Anonymous said...

Also, Scott Muri is out as CIO.
taking a job with Fulton Co. Schools in Georgia.
isn't he the last of Gormans friends to leave the district? They all came on board at the same time when he introduced the Learning Centers, now they all have cushier jobs with other districts leaving us with a mess to clean up (he was a very vocal proponent/leader of iPads)

Anonymous said...

Based on Hugh's description of the situation there was no attempt by the Board members to direct staff. There was discussion that may have been a bit heated, but this is not a violation of Board Policy. It seems to me that there were many such discussions with Gorman and the many public sessions held around the County. Faculty and the public challenged and no one sounded the Board policy alarm. It appears Hugh and CMS educrats only want Board members to get their information through the CMS educrat filters established to contrive and deceive.

Anonymous said...

Only way to avoid the wasteland of CMS is to either go to private school or move. These are the same type of clowns that ruined Detroit, Cleveland, Atlanta, etc.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anonymous said...

Richard and Joyce should be removed from the BOE. Clearly, they cannot serve the entire community..


You get what you vote for and certain individuals keep getting voted in no matter what they do or say.

Patso4Teaching said...

Finally....Business as usual at CMS. The public is finally seeing Bullying and lack of due process from all of THOSE IN POWER in CMS. Teachers are constantly Bullied, tried without due process and demeaned by administrators.
We have lost so many "Healthy Minded" educators because they recognize abusive treatment and choose to move on. We are left with mealy minded and mediocre puppets or those of us who "sneak under the radar" and TRY to teach under these insane working conditions. CMS is in a self destruction mode. WE can hang on just a little while longer and THEY will ALL be GONE!

Anonymous said...

That Joyce Waddell is not a nice lady. She visited a school where I once worked and did the same thing. No report was made because teachers are afraid of being treated unfairly as a result. It is ridiculous, and she should be removed from public service.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anne..... THANK YOU....GREAT Reporting. Please, continue to shine the light on these cockeroaches!!!

Anonymous said...

SPARK Educational Performances has made a suggestion to have 3 Independent School Districts (ISDs). Add in the LIFT Project, and now you've got the 4th ISD.

The closer the leadership is to the various communities, the more control the citizens have over their children's future; whereas, the current system is broken.

See their Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/SPARKEducationalPerformances

See SPARK's petition to the NC State Legislature to divide up CMS into 3 (or maybe 4?) Independent School Districts:

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-north-carolina-state-legislature-pilot-program-divide-cms-into-3-districts-each-with-own-taxing-authority

Wiley Coyote said...

Dividing up CMS will never happen.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:19 What did you say about Muri?

Anonymous said...

McElrath has a race card for every occasion. If kids are having trouble learning, it's because CMS is racist. Why is CMS racist? Because they haven't hired teachers who don't speak Spanish. Come on, everyone knows it's racist to teach Spanish-speakers in English.

Also, what if somebody decides to spend tens of millions of dollars to improve failing schools in minority neighborhoods? In McElrath's book, that constitutes segregation. And that's racist!

If by now you think McElrath's comments are ridiculous, you are entitled to your opinion (no matter how racist it might be).

Anonymous said...

Fulton County
If Muri heads south he'll join the illustrious head of staff motivation Robert Avossa plus assorted other CMS hangers on right there in River City.

Anonymous said...

What? You mean the Board members didnt go through the communications / PR department? What happened to Latarza and Tehearya? Are they not contacted and used to make statements to the media? Are they waiting on someone to be hired to show them how to opperate technology? Desperatley need to hire more along with the dufus cohort of Baxter and the testing gang.

AnswerMan said...

The only person Ellis-Stewart listens to is former Board Chair Arthur Griffin, who is upset that the previous board correctly took apart his old Equity Policy and replaced it with a policy based on generating results, rather than counting the stuff each school has.

She would have been much more effective as a back bencher who could give voice to various concerns. Unfortunately she has little to no leadership skills.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should take a look at the video of the February 28 board meeting to see exactly how Richard treated a teacher during her presentation. http://cms-k12-nc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=1015 Start watching at around 1:02 into the meeting.

One can only imagine how he spoke to the teacher at Thomasboro when TV cameras were not rolling.

Richard has been on this board for several years and I'm sure has gone through school board training, thus making his behavior even more shocking. Ericka is shirking her responsibility as board chair if she does not address this issue with him. The Superintendent has no power over board members-quite the opposite. But kudos to Mr. Hattabaugh for being willing to speak up and defend his teachers.

Sharon Starks

Anonymous said...

Divide CMS. Rename it to Charlotte Inner City Schools. CMS as it is today sucks.

CMS is a Bully Hugh said...

Richard suggesting that teachers speak Spanish for Spanish speaking students was clearly intended to be a productive comment. From an education standpoint it is logical. Richard made a passing comment, he did not make a proposal or direct staff to proceed in Spanish immersion training. Leave it to CMS to confuse a productive logical comment with bullying practical or not.

Joyce may have a somewhat rough delivery in her questioning, but she is not offensive and has a right to question anything she has interest.

Hugh is comfortable bullying Board members in much the same fashion that CMS bullies staff on a daily basis. This is the lesson to be learned from this issue.

Anonymous said...

7:04--I do not interpret Richard's intense questioning of a teacher, with frequent interruptions, as being "constructive". He stated, in very angry terms, that she did not belong in her classroom if she cannot speak fluent Spanish (since the majority of her students are ESL). I doubt he knew anything about how effective this particular teacher was in her classroom (the teacher was extremely poised and well spoken, by the way). When staff tried to explain to him that throughout the country ESL students are taught effectively by English speaking teachers, with the goal of having the students become English speakers as quickly as possible, he did not seem to understand the concept.

Sharon Starks

Anonymous said...

"Both members asked questions but did not allow teachers to answer them, talking over teachers and the principal as they tried to answer the questions they’d been asked"

-- substitute the word "axed" in the above for "asked" and you get a clearer picture of how the whole scene went down.

Anonymous said...

Ann, This is good reporting.

I would still like to see some reporting though on what Waddell and McElrath's motivations are. The LIFT project is pouring money and resources into schools that primarily serve minority children. Why would McElrath and Waddell appear to be trying to undermine this effort? Have they told you why they're doing this?

Anonymous said...

Richard, at least, seems to be pretty transparent about his motives. He does not like the current method of assignment. Project Lift seemingly would lock in assignment for several years down the road, so there would be no chance for Richard and company to force busing back onto the community.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Richard McElrath has said on several occasions that he does not want to bring back busing. His big issue is mixed income housing -- he wants to see neighborhoods become more economically (and presumably racially) integrated, and then the schools will follow. The thing that makes this all a little confusing is that a.) housing policy is not the school board's turf, and b.) it's not anything that will happen quickly. So it's not completely clear to me how that belief translates to immediate educational decisions.

Joyce Waddell told me yesterday her issue in touring these schools was her belief that closing schools was wrong. Again, not completely clear to me how that relates to Project LIFT.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone knows the main problems in CMS concerns blacks.

The main reason we can't solve them is that we can't admit it.

It's more important nowadays to be "politically correct" than merely correct.

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann,

What goes on in the home is NOT CMS' turf either, but with programs like Project LIFT and the Boston Project, more and more socialistic endeavours are being pushed on taxpayers as "Cradle to Career" programs that spend money trying to educate the parents of the kids they are trying to help.

How many years and tens of millions do we have to spend on outside programs that public school districts shouldn't be involved in?

BolynMcClung said...

HERE'S WHAT I SEE

The school board is a self-regulating body. Sometimes it does a fair job of housekeeping. Sometimes it lets its dirty laundry pile-up on the floor. Rarely will someone come-in and do it for them.

That last option is pretty bad. Sort of like the last book of the Bible.


Bolyn McClung
Pineville

Anonymous said...

Bolyn of course you dont like the last reponse , because you did not write it. Anything that does not have your name on it stinks? How big was the sand box you played in when you were a kid? Stay in Ericka's camp were you started and belong. I see that as the best place for your negative attitude KOJO needs a soldier.

Anonymous said...

In CMS, the elephant OWNS the room...

Pamela Grundy said...

10:46 if you are going to challenge Bolyn directly, you should have the grace to use your name, as he does.

BolynMcClung said...

TO ANON 10:46

You're mistaken. "The option refered to mine: the one about someone coming-in and cleaning-up.

However, you are most wrong about what I like and don't like. The motto to my websites is: Pro or Con OK, Clueless Isn't.

The best thing about discussions is I find my good ideas aren't as neat as I believe and where I saw no merit in others' suggestions I then see daylight.....and besides, no one will no the difference in 200 years.

Anonymous said...

Seems Joyce is all about pushing the gay agenda in schools though: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&gbv=2&q=cache:hGHODxcgv2QJ:http://www.facebook.com/events/276549849070294/+joyce+waddell+charlotte+nc&ct=clnk

Anonymous said...

In the summer of 2003 (I believe that is the correct date) the Harvard Civil Rights Project and the UNC Center for Civil Rights sponsored an invitation-only conference at the Westin here in Charlotte. The purpose was to determine what could be done to reverse changes in CMS assignment following the court case. I was invited to participate as a representative of the opposing viewpoint. Breakout sessions were held in the morning; a large group session was in the afternoon.

During the afternoon session much criticism was heaped upon CMS regarding education provided to minority and low income students. However, one well known principal, with a very successful school, stood up and disputed what the audience was saying--gave examples of help her school received and of successes her students were experiencing. Soon the audience began to chant over her "No choice, there can be no choice" and fists were thrust in the air. Some of us were shocked. Of special interest--the board chair Dr. Rembert was in the audience. She said nothing during this rude display--did nothing to defend the principal. Several of us questioned her on this after the meeting--her comment was that she "was just there to observe".

Her behavior at that time reminds me somewhat of Ericka seeming lack of concern for Richard's behavior. And remind me again--who did Ericka want to place on the board to represent District 6?

One other interesting point--there was never a single line in the paper about this meeting, although an editorial page editor sat next to me in the morning and afternoon sessions. Always thought that was curious.

Sharon Starks

Sharon Starks

Anonymous said...

CMS and the majority of its board members are just a reflection of the liberal, entitlement mentality of this country and the Obama administration. Obviously these 2 board members are in lock-step with that narrow-minded Democratic mentality of those that work must pay for those that don't (Google their affiliations if you want proof of that). If you question anything about what we're paying for, you're a racist or you don't want to help children. ENOUGH!

CMS was a mess when I was enrolled in it years ago -- it's now in a death spiral to becoming just another inner city Chicago-type school system, if it's not already. Thank God for private schools. And if you think you can't afford to put your kids in one, reconsider your priorities and where you are spending your money. There is always a way. Do not force your kids into government education -- your kids will thank you for it later in life.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Thanks, 8:19 p.m. I'm now getting virtually all my announcements about CMS staff changes from these comments, rather than official channels. You guys rock!

Christine Mast said...

Ann, I completely agree with you that the information and people here rock.

Doesn't that bother you (and anyone else, for that matter), though, that CMS is obviously not communicating properly?

Lest we all forget, that there's still that pesky line item in the current 2012-2013 CMS Budget proposal, asking for over $200,000 more funding for the "Communications" department.

Anonymous said...

There are at least 2 Principals that I know of who regularly bully their teachers and even with numerous grievances filed against them, they are still getting pats on the back and allowed to maintain their jobs. If teachers did this stuff, they'd be instantly on leave while being "investigated". Principals who behave this way are just encouraged to continue. Guess that's the "Broad" way.

Anonymous said...

Is it just a coincidence that:

BOARD
and
BROAD

are so closely related?

Anonymous said...

And we wonder why students bully...Please! Let's clean up the Board AND Principals who bully their staff. I'm CMS retired and I can tell you if you complain or give your Principal a "bad" evaluation---they come back at the staff after they get the results. Many teachers won't even fill out the evaluation form. If 65% or more of the teaching staff completes the Principal evaluation with both and and bad reviews---then you have someone who they trust. If you get less than that completing it and it is glowing, you can bet you've got a retaliator and probably a bully on in your school. Cause it is safe to say nothing if you can't say anything good.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Christine, I'm pretty sure one of the things they said the new multimedia people would do is monitor online comments! So maybe it'd be a race between me and the new multimedia folks: Which of us could be the first to confirm and post what online commenters report? Which reminds me to tweet Muri ...

Wiley Coyote said...

...and what pray tell will these multimedia monitors do with what they see online?

Pamela Grundy said...

Call on ACME's cyberspace division?

Wiley Coyote said...

ACME tried to hire Muri but we felt his ability to take an anvil over the head wasn't sufficient enough....

Anonymous said...

Obviously, none of the clowns on the school board understand the term - "chain of command" They should never visit schools, and interrogate teachers/staff without a representative such as the superintendant, or other rep from his/her office.

Anonymous said...

Too big, too big, too big!

Anonymous said...

The PR media folks will be far too busy putting out CMS fires to get positive news out that it wont matter. End of the day still no action taken against Richard or Joyce which begs the questions. If this were a WHITE BOE issue would action still not be taken? If its Detroit you want then get ready here it comes baby !

Anonymous said...

Here's a definition of a "hard-to-staff school" for McElrath and Waddell:
A school that teachers don't want to work at because they have to put up with so much negativity and crap from students and their parents that it is next to impossible to find the time or energy to actually try to get them to LEARN anything, which is sad because they do not receive any kind of academic support outside of school from their families. Teachers at these schools also get worn down from administration and the district telling them that any progress that they have made with these students is not enough and they may be fired for "low-performance." It's like trying to swim from the bottom of the deep end of a pool with cement blocks tied to your feet. Why would anyone knowingly put themselves in that situation?

Anonymous said...

4:26--If white BOE members had behaved in this fashion, especially toward a non-white teacher, you can be sure they would have already been ripped to shreds by an Observer editorial and there would probably be a march on city hall. Ignoring and thus enabling bad behavior has gone on far too long.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand McElrath and Waddell's motives either - unless they are being contacted by teachers who are fearful of being replaced. Their tactics definitely seem out of line, but they are elected officials and thus cannot be "fired" by anyone but the voters.

Anonymous said...

HE SAID SHE SAID BLAH BLAH BLAH. CMS did make a mistake closing schools. They also made a mistake spending over $10,000,000 to save $1.4 million a year on office space. They are making a mistake buying technology that goes out of date as soon as it is bought. They also made a mistake giving away Midwood after spending millions to renovate it. They also made a mistake spending millions on a testing program that the state was also developing. They also made a mistake moving the pre-k programs to unlicensed sites. They also made a mistake treating staff like disposable diapers. There is a pattern that has to be stopped. Start telling the truth CMS leaders. Your routine deception is reflective of your characte and it shows.

Anonymous said...

I wish Mr. Hattabaugh would investigate bullying by the Principal at North Mecklenburg high school. Where he uses fear and intimidation and retaliation against teachers who disagree with him. He publicly humiliates them in front of the students. As a parent I am looking into Charter or Private Schools for my other high school students due to the atmosphere that permeates this once excellent school. My children and I have witnessed this and due to my concern that he will retaliate against my children I have to be anonymous.

Anonymous said...

If that is going on at North Mecklenburg, that pretty much says bullying to me.

Anonymous said...

My complaint that I was being bullied last year by my principal, HR, and Employee Relations went to Hattabaugh's desk as well as Gorman's. I'm glad Hattabaugh's addressing bullying now, but he sure didn't when I needed it to be addressed.

Todd L. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Wow, this article is so enlightening. And the Superintendent's scolding email to the board members made public.

Now, I work for this district, and I don't feel the energy from my school administration like this article describes. But, I know it's out there. Above them. All around me. I can't say for sure because my own annual eval is two weeks away, but I think as a newbie, I'm being shielded from it for now. Anyway, there is respect among the staff at my school, and between staff and administration. I have avoided all "clicks," only seeing good collaboration everywhere - and respect. Newly arriving teachers tell me how special this school is. The feeling one senses is definitely that one ought to appreciate it.

I for one am happy Hugh called them out. They are plainly violating a big commandment as a board member to stay out of local school management and should never make an unannounced visit to a school to disrespect, demean, question and interrupt the answers of teachers who volunteered to serve on a committee where you sought their opinion. Can we say, "STFU culture?"

But seriously, this district is huge, and it's the best example of cooperation and mutual respect at any large employer I've experienced. And they're the poorest of said organizations in which I've existed, as it's very easy to see. That financial pressure which manifests itself in various stressful ways is compensated for by teachers who are at least partially motivated by a personal choice to work this career for the children, to make a difference, in spite of or irregardless of their employer. This is substantially different that working a job because of how great your employer is. However, I've seen small companies with far worse behavior and worse collaboration than this. LOL.

Anonymous said...

I believe it's time for Hugh to resign.

Adios!

Anonymous said...

News flash:

LaTarza and Tehearya still waiting for help and technology traing.Another $225,000 down a black hole witn no ROI.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mr Hattabaugh learned something from the Cornelius Elementary fiasco a few years ago. He wasn't so fast to act then and the school lost many good teachers and families.

Anonymous said...

If there was such a thing as a "gay agenda" schools would be much better decorated.

Anonymous said...

UNKNOWN, You are so comfortable you need to keep your name off of praising CMS? Makes me think you are working for the CMS Public Information Office. Note to file: gushing little goodies about your employer does not require you to hide your name to protect yourself. The real question is: did Tahira or Kasia write the UNKNOWN bit? Might take Muri math to figure this one out.

Hugh the Bully said...

Can anyone point to the Board members telling a school to do something. No. They did not engage in management activity at any level. This whole issue is created to bully board members and keep them away from the schools they are elected by the people to oversee. Hugh's memo is classic textbook bullying. If Hugh was not interim he should be fired on the spot.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the CO editorial board endorse Stewart-Ellis? The CO didn't endorse MCCray who seems to be the only elected BOE member capable of conducting themselves in a professional manner.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised at Joyce Waddell. Where was she when the decision was made to change the name of the schoolnamed after her deceased husband?
CMS is segregated, Project LIFT or no other program will help student success when you intentional design schools with no diversity. So staff in high needs schools like Thomasboro are overworked.

I appreciate Mr. Hattabaugh's courage to take a stand for what is right.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 3:51....

Project LIFT did nothing to "segregate" those 9 schools. The racial makeup of the schools was the same prior to LIFT being implemented.

Anonymous said...

It does not surprise me that our board members do no know how or what our ESL students in CMS are taught. (It is called SIOP training. We use purposeful strategies to help our students learn English.)It also does not surprise me that the board members are ignorant enough to not allow the teachers to fully respond. Teachers are leaving CMS in droves! This treatment of teachers is a prime example of why. People of Mecklenburg County better start paying attention or private schools and other counties will continue to get our brightest teachers and students. As a parent of CMS students and a CMS teacher, I am definitely looking else where.