Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CMS publishes Gorman leadership book

Updated 4:30 p.m.. with cost details:
If the new superintendent wants to take a page from the Pete Gorman leadership book, he or she will literally be able to do so.

CMS has quietly released  "Within Reach: Leadership Lessons in School Reform from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools," focusing on the Gorman years.  It's co-authored by Tim Quinn and Michelle Keith,  who helped create the Broad Superintendents Academy that trained Gorman,  with the former superintendent listed as a contributor.  The book costs $13.50,  and proceeds will go to the CMS Foundation.

"We have not witnessed a sustained reform story any more successful than that of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools from 2006-2011,"  the introduction says.  "As Dr. Peter Gorman assumed the district superintendency in July 2006,  the  'stars were aligned'  for significant strides in district transformation and subsequent leaps in student achievement."

In his forward, Gorman writes that he was "in the right place at the right time"  to experience  "the most outstanding professional experience an educational leader could have."

From the samples available on Amazon,  the tone is pretty much what you'd expect from a leadership guide:  Upbeat and a bit dry.  My copy hasn't arrived yet,  but I'm guessing this won't be a candid tale of Gorman's encounters with the city's politicians,  pundits and activists,  nor will it offer details about challenges that ranged from a gay penguin book-ban controversy to a teacher caught shooting heroin in a classroom.  People who see Gorman in a less rosy light,  thanks to such things as school closings,  teacher layoffs and a controversial rollout of performance pay,  may take issue with the official view of the Gorman era.

County Commissioner Bill James and others quickly began raising questions about whether CMS labor or money was spent on the publication. Tahira Stalberte with the public information office says all costs were covered by a grant Gorman received from the C.D. Spangler Foundation.  That includes $57,778 to the authors,  $1,740 to the CMS print shop for layout and design and about $30 to the self-publishing site that created 100 copies of the book.  So far,  Stalberte says,  the CMS Foundation has gotten about $25 from sales.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the book has a good chance of becoming a best seller on the fiction list. What world is he in?

Anonymous said...

Incredible white wash. This is exactly what the superintendent candidates were alluding to when they said CMS has a solid reputation somewhere away from here. I wonder if the whole story will ever be written...particularily about how the kids have actually suffered through this terrible transition...especially since even unpleasant comments such as this are subject to CMS censorship.

jon golden said...

Says a lot obout Gorman, as both a man and as a "leader" that he un-invited those who might criticize his leadership of the school system when he so brazenly returns to the area he has recently trashed.

Anonymous said...

If the new superintendent wants to take a page out of the Gorman leadership book they may as well not take the job. We needed to get rid of that idiot, not follow in his footsteps.

Anonymous said...

For anyone who is interested in buying the book for $13.50 I will give you $20- not to buy it ! What a JOKE that Gorman is. He brought those fish Broadies with him for this very reason. He could be a bigger sell out that Parks Helms it would be a close race. Pete - Nobody cares what you say or think in this town. Frankly, I feel sorry that you have stayed in town as it has got to be tough on your family.

Anonymous said...

Does it have a chapter titled, I Quit?

Anonymous said...

Does his book "teach" how to exhibit leadership and kick ghetto thugs out of school? Such as the ones who attacked the school bus?

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone on this God's green earth ever take a page from Gorman's book? And if any of our new candidates do, then we need to look for new ones. It seems our BOE does not remember that the man up and quit before things got too hot.

Anonymous said...

Oh, wait, the guy from Memphis will publish a book about how to solve the problem of thugs who try to attack school buses; watch for it on the best seller list right after he moves on down to CMS.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see an article on CMS’s proposed teacher grading policy changes. From what I have heard, teachers would be required to raise the lowest possible grade to a 50% instead of 0% for work not completed or not turned in. The proposal also requires teaches to allow retest and make up work for all students. This is breeding another generation that will grow up not being held accountable for their own actions and make our low paid teachers work extra hours, unpaid, to allow students time to make up the work. While I have not seen the written proposal it sounds like an attempt to increase scores and fudge more statistics. Apparently the child who tries and earns a 50% would have been better off just not completing the assignment at all. (Husband of concerned high school teacher.)

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:52- some schools have had that policy for years in CMS. It was one of the reasons I left a school. I would not be surprised that it has spread throughout.

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

....So we should never close schools? Even though some were put in place decades ago under a "seperate but equal" system? What about those built with bond money that sat greatly underutilized like Whitewater?

Was Gorman perfect? Absolutely not, but he at least had the guts to deal with most of the minutia that was dumped on him by the BOE, BOCC and the state in the way of bogus funding issues.

Until we get someone like Gorman on steroids, that will close schools, build schools where needed, dump the diversity crowd and their mantra and demand our local and state representatives get Washington to allow school systems to be able to FULLY audit where the money comes from, where it goes and who actually qualifies for benefits, not one damn thing is going to change.

It will not matter one iota who the next superintendent is.

So those of you making comments about Gorman closing schools, be sure to dust off your voter registration card so you can vote FOR the $1.86 BILLION dollar bond package CMS wants to dump on us.

That way, you'll be flush with cash to build more empty schools in the wrong places that your kids will never attend because it will take CMS a decade or more to spend the money.

We still have unspent money from the last one.

Anonymous said...

If the Gormanator was the next best thing since sliced bread, then why on God's green earth is our community spending millions of dollars on a school reform effort called Project Lift?

Wiley Coyote said...

Because Gorman couldn't do anything about LIFT....

That's like people in District 6 believing they can split up CMS.

Anonymous said...

"If the Gormanator was the next best thing since sliced bread, then why on God's green earth is our community spending millions of dollars on a school reform effort called Project Lift?"

Because it's the culture that's holding part of this community back and that is causing so much angst over the school system.

Once busing ended there was no hiding the achievement gap (which may be one reason some fought--and still fight--so hard to retain busing). The excuses have been endless--poor facilities, lack of funds, poor teachers at high poverty schools--and each excuse has eventually been disproved. At least Project Lift seems to be focusing on the culture, but of course is demanding big bucks.

As Wiley said, Peter Gorman had the guts to do something about underutilized schools and to stand up to the diversity first crowd (although he had to play politician with them at times). I think he understood the game some were playing--those who were so wedded to the diversity issue that they ignored any progress being made and were hell bent on proving what a terrible system this was for "minorities" (hoping for a future lawsuit, perhaps?). And that was part of his downfall--hell hath no fury like a spurned education "advocate".

Anonymous said...

So I understand the book was actually printed and published by the CMS printing department?

Anonymous said...

During hard times my parents used to take pages out of useless books when they ran out of toilet paper. That is what the next superintendent should do with the pages from this book. It would give new meaning to "spreading knowledge".

Anonymous said...

CMS what a great idea use some of the closed school buildings that you cannot lease out as printing plants. Put the kids to work who dont want to go to college and wonderful things will happen (LIFT). Or we will just increase our Welfare rolls.

Anonymous said...

Let's see if this comment is marked as spam and eliminated this time...an earlier post was tagged and isn't appearing...glad to know CMS controls are in place. Seems my comments are a great deal more benign than the vitriol spewed here, ah well, here goes...

This book is a white wash. I bothered to read whatever pages Amazon would let me preview as a subscriber and it is clear that Gorman's procedures and politics in fact do trump what is best for students...or, let me be very specific...for high achieving students. Any district that uses his and Broad's philosophies as the bible will by clear definition lose the top performers, because challenging all students to his or her greatest individual potential is not the objective...touting leadership mentoring within administrative ranks is. What is clear is if your kid wants to be globally competitive, or even competitive outside of this area, you must do the right thing for him or her and find an education away from the Broad model and CMS.

Christine Mast said...

I received these comments from Rhonda Lennon on one of my FB pages:

"Hesitate to comment, but I did call admin regarding this and here is some additional info that was not in the blog post: The cost of publication was entirely paid for by a grant given to Dr Gorman by the Spangler Foundation. THere were no costs incurred by CMS in publishing this book."

"In addition, the Graphic Design Center is extremely cost effective and does all graphic work for CMS in house. Also- they do work for Mecklenburg County and the Local Red Cross for which they are paid. THis department is basically at a breakeven status because of what they do for the other clients, which means all of the CMS publishing is not negatively impacting the budget."

I have posed this question to her, but I wonder if this is the grant they're referring to, and wonder if he spent the remaining $80k on this "book":

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/06/15/2379133/gorman-grant-paid-for-budget-pr.html#disqus_thread

Anonymous said...

Stop commenting until Bolyn weighs in. How dare you folks bash the good St. Peter ? Looks like the News Corp. gigg just not working out too well. Has he been to Reno yet to bash CMS? Only book he needs to write is about QUITTING.

Wiley Coyote said...

Pretty soon, there will be enough evidence to add Pete Gorman's name under the definition of Bush Derangement Syndrome as a "like case".

See Gorman Derangement Syndrome (GDS)

Anonymous said...

Is this the most expensive vanity book ever done in Charlotte?

John said...

Let's see... Including the title page and the dedication... it's what? Three pages?

Seems a little pricey to me!

John said...

Leave it to Wiley to bring a President who has been out of office for more than three years into a discussion of a failed CMS Superintendent!

When you run out of facts, blame Bush!

Anonymous said...

So this egomaniac paid these Broadies to write a book about his leadership? WTH? Too funny!

Wiley Coyote said...

John,

You totally missed the point.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Sorry, 2:36 -- just now checked spam and yours got snagged for no apparent reason. The blogger.com filter works pretty well most of the time, but I'm sometimes baffled by why some real comments get spammed.

Bam Bam said...

News flash: District 6 to finally get its own school system

Anonymous said...

Meet Pete's clone
3 comments:

SusanFeb 26, 2011 07:41 AM

My former school district hired a Broadie, Heath Morrison, and now he is hard at work at gutting teacher protections and "tenure." All the while he has been putting new hires on one-year-only contracts which subvert tenure to begin with and guarantee teachers never get vested in Nevada PERS. Note also school districts in Nevada don't pay into Social Security, so the teachers are REALLY screwed out of Social Security credits.
Reply
AnonymousFeb 26, 2011 10:56 AM

We have one in Knoxville, TN. Jim McIntyre. He's attacked our teachers since day 1, cutting positions, slashing programs, freezing and reducing pay, diverting public dollars to politically-connected private developers, etc. All moves out of Eli's playbook.

He HAS found PLENTY of money, though, to add a couple other "broad fellows" to his staff, as well as hire plenty of spokespeople, chiefs-of-staff, etc.

He's nothing more than a hugely overpaid, empty-suit, media-whoring politco. And our ignorant and grossly underqualified school board LOVES him.

We're SCREWED.
Reply
SusanFeb 27, 2011 08:23 AM

Heath Morrison did the same thing at Washoe County School District. He brought in a crony from Montgomery County, Maryland, Jane Woodburn, and an Arne crony from Chicago, Pedro Martinez, with Martinez a Broadie, at obscene salaries, while reshuffling the so-called "executive cabinet." It's disgusting. WCSD is a horrible district anyway because it, like most, has administrators who aren't held accountable to anybody, but Morrison has made the situation much, much worse.
http://queensteacher2.blogspot.com/2011/02/broad-academy-graduates-coming-to-city.html

http://www.tahoebonanza.com/article/20110412/NEWS/110419985

http://www.kolotv.com/home/headlines/WCSD_Superintendent_Finalist_for_Job_in_North_Carolina_146675315.html?storySection=comments

Anonymous said...

Well, it may be understandable why ProAct pushes certain candidates for superintendent positions around the country...how easy to generate business for its major money generator, synesi, their consulting firm. They probably told morrison not to worry, they would come in and help him ruin (run?) cms.

http://www.synesiassociates.com/about/

http://proactsearch.com/management-team/

Anonymous said...

Here's a prediction: Gorman is going to announce that he has taken a position with, or started, a consulting firm specializing in urban school reform.

Anonymous said...

Another possibility is academia since it seems as if he is enjoying his anonymous and less hectic life.

Anonymous said...

What about politics? School board?

Susan said...

Kriner Cash is now out of the running.

Anonymous said...

Morrisson is the one.

Ann, it is time to investigate why cms security and the police are suppressing reports of discipline problems at Harding. Also ask how many teachers are leaving and how many new hires are staying only a few days. How many staff have had to go out on medical leave or quit because of the stress from the hostile work environment?

Teachers are being left out on their own when classes of students become hostile. It is rumored that a teacher threw a chair the other day.

Teachers are tired of the bullying and intimidation tactics of the administration so CMS better prepare for a huge turnover of teachers at that school. They are not only leaving Harding, they are leaving the education profession; just ask TFA and Teach Charlotte teachers. Fear of retaliation has kept teachers from letting CMS know.

susan said...

Morrison won't improve matters and won't last more than two or three years at CMS. Good riddance I say to Morrison; perhaps the Board of Trustees will avoid a Broad Academy "fellow" for the next superintendent.

Anonymous said...

We had to take Heath it was a minor payback to the Broadie's. It scares me that he had to fly into town to see Pete Speak at Queens College the night before his interview. Pete fed this guy the data on Charlotte thus he looked knowledgable. Now Pete has a pal at the top helm in CMS. How is that for pay you now pay me later. Such fools !

Anonymous said...

Does he talk about what a mess he created with the closing and mergers of schools in the book? I refuse to buy it so someone please tell us what he says.

Whatever happened with the Office of Civil Rights Complaints?

It's time to request data about what is happening at those schools and I am not talking about just test scores!

Anonymous said...

The book cost 13.50? Seems to be that is 13.49.9 too much for distortions, half-truths and propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Christine Mast: Stop asking Rhonda Lennon any type of intelligent question, she honestly cannot tell you the difference between a school bus and CATS bus.

Anonymous said...

ARE YOU KIDING ME??!!!
Maybe a book on how to make your employees miserable and take all the joy out of education for your students.

Anonymous said...

Gorman did what bush wanted, then he did what Obama wants... Then he got what he wanted. That is not a leader. That is a well rewarded sheep.

Anonymous said...

7:18, I believe what we are seeing with this budget proposal and other pressure the BOCC will have on it at budget time (to keep from cutting CMS's budget because we all remember what happened last year with the budget game) is due to CMS's under the table settlement of the complaints.

Clearly, the Office of Civvil Rights will not address anything a white parent will complain about.

Anonymous said...

CMS just lost 1.5 Mil for bullying out a, from all acounts, a good teacher. Who is going to be accountable for that... Or are just teachers held to high standards.. I use to think teachers were to blame.. But my kids teachers are awsome. Most of my friends are really happy with the teachers... We need to start looking down town!!!! Teachers in this town are scared to talk or say what they think... What a strange thing..

Anonymous said...

Up north teachers and adim work together ,teachers have rights.. It not that way here. Down town sends out orders. School adim pushes them down and teachers do what they are told..You would think that the ones working with the students would be the persons to talk to... Nope, not here.. Its a southern thing.