Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CMS search: Online and lively

If you can't make it to this afternoon's community interviews with the finalists for CMS superintendent, you can watch the session at the Government Center online.

Ann Clark, chief academic officer with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, will be there from 1-2:15.  Kriner Cash, superintendent of Memphis City Schools, will be there from 2:45-4, and Heath Morrison, superintendent in Reno, Nev., will be there from 4:30-5:45.  The panelists asking questions are Randolph Frierson, president of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators; Bill Russell, president of Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce; Bolyn McClung, a Pineville blogger, and Howard Haworth, former chair of N.C. Board of Education.

The format is already stirring controversy.  The panelists, named by school board members, were asked to submit their questions to LaTarzja Henry,  the head of communication for CMS;  they'll get a list of questions when they arrive at the three locations today (full schedule here).

"They're going to give us back a list of questions that are approved and orchestrated,"  said Judy Kidd,  president of the Classroom Teachers Association,  who's on the panel at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Asked if she's stick to the list, she replied:  "Have you ever known me to read from a script?"

Henry says the idea was to weed out duplication,  not to sanitize the topics.  She said all panels will have a list that includes all the topics submitted.  Members of the public also sent in 30 questions via social media.  The questions asked by afternoon panelists will be ones that apply to all three finalists,  Henry said.

The forum at Northwest School of the Arts,  from 7-8:30 p.m.,  will feature questions from two teachers  two parents and two students. Teachers are Amy Medlin, president of the superintendent's teacher advisory committee, and CMS teacher of the year Karen Meadows.  Parents are PTA president Harold Dixon and Elyse Dashew, who recently ran for school board.  Students are Destiny Planter and Aidan McConnell (don't have their schools).  Heather Waliga of News 14 Carolina will be the master of ceremonies,  and the station will air the evening session at 10 a.m. Saturday,  Henry said.  All three finalists will be at that event,  and questions may be specific to their circumstances and background.  Around 8 p.m.,  the formal questions will end and the finalists will mingle with the audience.

Ely Portillo (@ESPortillo), April Bethea (@AprilBethea) and I (@AnnDossHelms) will be tailing the finalists and tweeting from the afternoon sessions (follow #CMSSuptSearch for all tweets on the topic). CMS didn't allow media to the school visits the finalists made this morning,  but their own PR folks have been tweeting from those visits at the same hashtag.

Finally,  MeckEd is conducting an online poll for folks to pick their favorite,  with results to be shared with the school board.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was at Northwest yesterday. You should have seen how they were trying to 'fix up' the poor old place. Lightbulbs that I didn't even know ever worked were being replaced. Maintenance people all over (wonder if they fixed any of the skid strips on the stairs that are loose that kids trip over or did anything about the prison-looking bathroom in the art building?). One of the ladies in the office said, "We always hear there is no money to fix things, but apparently if you want to show off for superintendents, you'll find the money somewhere." Hope all goes well for them though. Northwest deserves a little good attention.

Anonymous said...

The memphis guy lost the entire school system under his watc. There was doubt the city schools could even open in 2011 because they had squandered all the money when a judge stepped in and ordered the county schools to take Memphis schools in and pay for all their malfeasance. I ask you;": I'd this the kind of leader you want for mecklenburg just because of the color of his skin? What kind of boe would even have him as a finalist?

Anonymous said...

oh man maybe they should do these searches more often we could have every school in great shape in three years time.

Anonymous said...

Ann - Do you know if this will this be streamed afterwards so we can watch it when we are home from work ?

Anonymous said...

The entire city of Memphis is on their knees and are desperately praying that Charlotte is stupid enough to take this clown off their hands. Will Charlotte make their wishes come true?

Anonymous said...

Well, let's put it this way: Charlotte has a group of politicians that resemble the Fords in a lot of ways. So you can come to your own conclusions

Wiley Coyote said...

Anyone else having a problem with the poll?

Mine doesn't show a D, None of the above.

Anonymous said...

Heath Morrison already has the deal sewn up. In exchange for votes 5 and 6 on the BOE are guaranteed a from of busing to integrate schools once again. Mr. Small time RENO better get a good fat deal upfront. He is already pushing Morgans agenda to shop services so the Chamber members can win contracts. Its too bad they will not give Ann Clark a fair shot as I think she would do a great job if given the chance at leadership. Its also too bad that the BOE cannot do this properly without side deals for future interests. So keep your notes we will do this again in 3-4 years folks. Keith W. Hurley

Ann Doss Helms said...

Don't know about post-viewing, but CMS generally does that with videos.

Anonymous said...

Keith Hurley, where do you get the impression that Morrison supports busing ? Think you're getting your candidates confused. Cash is getting ready to integrate Memphis City and Shelby County schools.

Anonymous said...

Morrison will do as the board tells him. His is malleable.

Tate and McElrath are trading their votes for Morrison in exchange for Eric Davis, Tim Morgan, and Rhonda Lennon supporting a busing plan. That's 5 votes dude.

Funny thing is I bet Tate and McElrath get betrayed.

The 3 want Morrison because he is just a taller Pete Gorman...remember those 3 were the primary supporters of all Pete's failed initiatives, including pay for performance and hb 546.

Anonymous said...

Goodness, so much talk of busing. We all know that could never happen again here. Foolish to speak of it.

Anonymous said...

Goodness, such naïveté. I have some ocean front property in Nevada for you...

Anonymous said...

Goodness, can't recognize sarcasm when you read it.

CMS Parent said...

I remember reading,
"They need a sarcasm font."
It would be useful.

CMS Parent said...

Oh, and if they pick Cash or anyone that supports putting my kids on a bus for an hour each way, I will home school my kids (and I don't ever want to home school my kids).

Property values will take a nosedive. (more than they are already diving.)

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 4:32...

You don't think so?

December 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration released new guidelines on Friday aimed at promoting diversity and reducing racial isolation in education, replacing the policy adopted in 2008 under then-President George W. Bush.

Administration officials said the new guidance makes clear that educators may consider the race of students in certain plans designed to promote diversity and may reduce racial isolation among students in elementary and secondary schools.

Anonymous said...

In response to the 4:05 poster....
Morrison does not have to support busing. One of the current BOE school board members is willing to sell his vote to get back to some form of busing. (look male) BOE would need 5 votes to do that count to 5 now. Dont think this is the first time in politics that some one scratched a back to get a vote on the flip side for their agenda. Say that person who wants busing for his minority community (clue get it) is up for re-election in 2 years (clue). He gets some kids from his community bused to "better schools" he is regarded as "the man in his community" (clue). So you can also view the new diversity ads that CMS is showing to better help you understand the agenda. Keith W. Hurley

Pamela Grundy said...

CMS folks gave our panel a list of questions but didn't make a fuss when we didn't stick to it, so that part worked out fine. All our audiences asked good questions.

Anonymous said...

Cash was a terrible presenter, Heath is a politician oh CHarlotte will love this boy and Ann of course is the best candidate , but do we have the guys to promote her? (do it) Heath is cut from the Chamber mold so he will fit well for 3-4 years. He certainly was brash in saying that he is approached for every major job in the country. He also sucked up to the panel saying CMS is really respected nationally as a powerhouse. A complete script down to Bollyn kissing him with a BBQ question. Folks I dont care what he eats I care if he can be trusted to lead.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pam: Good thing Judy was there or you'd have read right from the cms script.

Anonymous said...

NWSA is a wonderful school. However, compared to othe art magnet schools around the country, the conditions of the building and grounds should be an embarrassment to our community.

Alicia Durand
Alumni - The Educational Center for the Arts, New Haven CT

Pamela Grundyp said...

No one on the panel had any interest In reading from the script. From what I gather from the other sessions no one in them read from the script either, except for the BBQ question.

Anonymous said...

How about that. Rarely seen CMS property managers finally got around to getting some property management work done. Who knew the underfunded CMS could spruce up schools. Wow yawll had some lights fixed too. How about losing the Property Management we don't have the money bureaucracy and actually driving the maintenance machine to focus on schools beyond the front entrance? This should be a lesson to the out of town candidates. LOOK BELOW THE SURFACE. There are years of botched numbers, entrenched leaders out for a check and a lot of students that need a real education focus for CMS. CMS would be a good place for Cash to land. However, Ann Clark would have to be elevated to super hero status under his lead.

Anonymous said...

Maintenance people were out all over the place during Spring Break replacing lightbulbs. SOme new type of bulb or socket, etc. is going into evey school.

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with CMS. They always just shuffle things around to get by for today. Ask the County for funds to cover a raise? How about asking to get the bus schedules in line, schools taken care of or what about making some of those legendary redirects Shirley is so good at finding to get teachers a raise? Dump the testing overload and get back to basics. CMS should stop trying to be something it is not and focus on student education.

Anonymous said...

Now all we need is to get the lights turned on upstairs at CMS. Or maybe they lights have been turned on but nobody is home? Heath looks like the dimmest lit at this point with Cash blazing and Ann looking for a change.

Anonymous said...

Thanks LaTarzan for getting in some more work other than your Broad "party Planning". Never did get my invitation.

BolynMcClung said...

I ENJOYED THE EXPERIENCE ON THE PANEL

Pam Grundy is almost correct. I was on the panel at the goverment center. Howard, Randolph and myself came with lots of extra questions. We used those as follow-up and straight-up.

All of the audience questions were used. We were able to accomplish this by not prefacing any question with agenda statements. Very successful night that was arranged by CMS but not orchestrated.

The BBQ question? I used that in 2006 super search and it proved to be a fun way to get the audience to feel-out the none education person in each of the finalists.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville

Anonymous said...

Just got home form the NWSA forum. Based on several answers, Cash hasn't done his homework and quite frankly, doesn't seem to have the energy. He gave several non-answers.
Clark was great, and Morrison was right there with her.
We have 2 excellent candidates.

Anonymous said...

Bolyn,
At the NWSA forum, candidates were asked different questions, so the 3 never answered the same question. It was hard to compare them based on their answers. For example, Cash was asked about school closings, yet Clark and Morrison weren't asked to respond. Was that the same for the panel you were on? By the way, Cash answered with listing 4 factors to consider when closing schools, (same criteria that CMS used) and said that sometimes schools have to be closed, yet he got applause.
Go figure.

CMS RUDE ON SOCIAL MEDIA said...

Note to CMS Public Information: FACEBOOK IS NOT TWITTER. Your constant posting after posting after posting really is upsetting the Facebook crowd. You should use the notes function for a more in depth writing instead of posting a sentence every few minutes. CMS's more than 65 FaceBook posts today are very rude and illustrates a failure to understand social media. This doesn’t take a large additional salary to understand. Do us all a favor and ask your kids how to use FaceBook before we most all get upset and just turn your feed off.

Anonymous said...

Calling all teachers, parents, students and concerned citizens! Some school board members are trying to force an early vote on the candidates without waiting to fully analyze public input from today. Stop this travesty by calling board members and telling them that we will not forget if they do this! This is too important to all of us to rush the selection!

Anonymous said...

I attended tonight's forum. Heath Morrison is a Gorman clone and reeks of the Broad virus...every word he said was spoken first by Pete. He arrived in town early so he could hear Pete speak Monday night. Don't be fooled by the pretty words again. We all know where that got us! We deserve better!

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's why Ann got the cold shoulder.

Susan said...

Having closely followed Morrison's tenure at WCSD, his policies are right out of the Broad/Gates playbook. He should be rejected outright. Oh, sure, he says what people want to hear, but he's basically using his current position and the next one as a springboard to something even bigger. Don't be fooled by him.

Anonymous said...

Freedom from CMS for Mint Hill & Matthews is on its' way!

Christine Mast said...

What is the true role of a Superintendent?

Heath Morrison said 99.9% of his job is political... you have to earn political capital to spend political capital.

Ann Clark said her job is all about the kids.

Are they both saying the same thing? Are those things mutually exclusive?

Anonymous said...

Bolyn , Shame on you for not helping the guy to your right in reading his questions. Tell me Frierson used to be a teacher in the classroom? Looks like he was not teaching the reading to 1st graders. Man did he have trouble with the words no matter how small. Scares me if we have more like him in the classrooms of CMS. My kids in 2nd grade is a better reader than that.

Anonymous said...

A bill has been introduced into the SC Legislature to allow students to attend any other county school school system.

This will be interesting!

Anonymous said...

9:49 Randy is an "early intervention coach". No, I have no idea what that is either.


Christine - I would expect a true Broadite to utter those words. Their goal is the next job; Ann sees her job as a leader who is helping students achieve.

Anonymous said...

@CMS RUDE ON SOCIAL MEDIA -

Quite often Twitter is connected with Facebook, so that whatever is posted to Twitter, also gets posted as a status update on Facebook. I agree that during a lively Twitter time, that connection should be disabled, but you are showing your own ignorance of social media to not know of that connection.

You can change your own settings on the CMS page to not receive updates, so you will no longer have the burden of reading real information on facebook.

Ann Doss Helms said...

You know, I'm realizing that if Ann Clark gets the job, the biggest challenge is going to be figuring out whether commenters are talking about her or me :-)

Susan said...

They are mutually exclusive. Morrison is talking about support from the community to achieve his goals while Clark is talking about putting the kids first. The ideal superintendent does not employ business-style rhetoric in an endeavor that is NOT a business and cannot be run on business models. A superintendent should not be using the words "capital" when talking about education. It should be all about building trust in the community and with staff and students and putting the education of students first. Morrison lacks that perspective, unfortunately. He talked about "building trust capital" in his video "interview" for K12 Insight or whatever it is called, but his action of going to an interview for another job in another part of the country and potentially leaving his school district high and dry completely violated that trust. If he does not get the sup job there, if I were the WCSD board, I'd hand him a pink slip. They won't do it, of course. Even if they did, he'd land on his feet working for a think tank, a corporation with educational interests, or for the Department of Education. That is where he is headed anyway regardless of whatever superintendent job he gets.

Anonymous said...

Cute comment, Ann - the reporter, that is...never fear, your straight up nature v. academic rhetoric will always show your true self.

One comment about the evening forum. Cash shut down the question about balancing urban/suburban financial needs as if to say that we are one big happy family now. The suburbs have already checked out for feeling unheard, with this guy he just proved the point that the overtaxing and overcrowding aren't problems for his approach to "healing" this district.