Monday, April 9, 2012

Gorman speaking in Charlotte: Shh!

As several of you have let me know, former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Peter Gorman is speaking tonight in the Queens University/BB&T  "distinguished leaders in action"  lecture series.  I signed up online weeks ago,  figuring it would be a great chance to hear from a man who shaped five crucial years of CMS history  and has been publicly silent since his abrupt resignation to take a private-sector job last summer.

This morning, Christa Robaina from the Queens McColl School of Business emailed to say she'd noticed my registration,  and I won't be allowed in.

"We have always worked with our media partners to offer an interview prior to the lecture if the guest speaker was willing, but have never allowed the media to attend the lecture events so our speakers may have a candid forum with our students, alumni and invited guests of the University,"  she wrote.  However, Gorman also said no to interviews.


So the question arises:  What is Gorman going to say about his leadership experience in CMS that he's not willing to say to the general public?  And how confidential can a lecture to an auditorium full of people be?

If you're going to be there, please let me know what he says  --  and consider tweeting with the hashtag #gormanspeaks.  As a superintendent,  Gorman prided himself on transparency,  which included regular communication with the media.  As a former superintendent,  we'll see how he does with citizen journalists.

32 comments:

Christine Mast said...

Welcome back, Ann. Looks like you're going to have your hands full this week...

Anonymous said...

WOW - could Queens not spend their money on some local person that has a proven track record instead of a fly by night person who leaves and leaves the school system in worst shape that when he came.

Susan said...
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Susan said...

You should be writing about the three finalists for the sup job at CMS. I get a very sickening feeling Heath Morrison, sup of Washoe County School District in Nevada, "superintendent of the year" in a politically-calculated award in order to shore up Nevada's battered economy and image, and Eli Broad fellow, is going to get the job. He is the classic narcissistic personality; everything is about him and how he looks. I hope CMS has more sense than to pick him, but I don't have much hope. I think the people who do the hiring will be looking at his dubious award and think this guy is a miracle worker. He's been a complete disaster for WCSD.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Susan, yes, there's a whole team of us working on the finalists. I'm actually a bit relieved not to have to juggle that and Pete Gorman's speech; it's going to be a long day/week.

Jeff Wise said...

Wow, kicked out of a meeting before it even begins - the exciting lives of journalists!

Maybe Pete knows who the Board is going to pick and was planning to steal CMS' thunder in his talk tonight?

Sakeitha Antwanette Harris said...

Project LIFT - you can't fix stupid!

Anonymous said...

Who cares what Sweet Pete says this engagement should be boycotted by all in the community. This guy was a loser then and still is so shame on Queens College for even allowing him to speak. What kind of expert is this Gorman anyhow? All I see is a failing public school mess he created then ran from it. Big question I would ask is why did you lie when asked if you were looking for another job prior to leaving CMS publicly? Your trust has been trampled and I would no more listen to you speak that pick up a piece of gum from the sidewalk and chew it !

Anonymous said...

What on earth is that important that he would not allow a journalist in the audience? That really has a odor too it , but then again so does the 4.75 years he spent working for CMS. Keith W. Hurley

Anonymous said...

Geez

We know Ann "Boleyn" hated Gorman but at least finish out the word ...last 2 letters are ..."it"

The other Ann was beheaded by her husband Henry the 8th for treason or running around on him.

Does Gorman want his old job back before they male a pc hire of this Memphis moron to sink CMS lower if thats possible?
Memphis is as bad as Atlanta schools.

Anonymous said...

Gorman says no to interviews , because question one would be are you still a liar? Question two would be can you sleep at night? Question three would be why did you lie to the people of Charlotte? Question four would be describe the state of CMS that has been uncovered since you quit? Answers to questions 1-4 would be no comment from the Gormanator ! One questions for tonight is Eric Davis holding Pete's speech for him or his bottle of water while he talks? That worth a picture in the CO tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Normally Ann I would have been glad to sit in for you but I perferred to have a root canal.

Anonymous said...

My money is on Cash. Memphis schools may be a perfect training ground for a CMS Superintendent. Their funding problems unlike CMS, have been real. Having a Superintendent experienced in making the tough decisions and seasoned in the urban environment can only bring the type of clarity to CMS we have needed for years.

Anonymous said...

that's just shady. I would have thought better of Queens...
In other news, please pay attn to the guy from Memphis. There was national coverage of that "merger" w/ Shelby Co. Basically the School Board of Memphis city schools quit & abdicated control to Shelby Co. without asking if they WANTED a merger (they didn't). Not a stellar recommendation/association IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised by this at all. They're all financially inflated smoke and mirrors. He's quite appropriate to be speaking there.

Anonymous said...

I think Cash will have the ability to clean out the deadweight. The overpaid senior administrators who are hanging on for a check. They are more interested in keeping things the way they are instead of making positive change. Is there any chance Anne Clark would be a boat rocker against entrenched leadership. There are senior staff doing little or nothing productive but covering themselves to another check. Blah, Blah, Blah. They need to go and Cash could be the one to do it.

Anonymous said...

So let's see....shocker that a search firm in bed with the Broad Foundation and that bastion of standardized testing The Princeton Review have brought 2 Broad "trainees" and a third whose district is operating under the influence of Broad as finalists. Wow! Never saw that coming!!!!

Now let's balance that against the public outcry AGAINST Broad and the influence of Broad money and the public outcry AGAINST standardized testing. Yep, still makes total sense....Eli Broad has bought and paid for the CMS Board to do exactly what he wants, to hell with what voters and taxpayers and parents want.

As it stands right now, the Board is 6-3 in favor of Morrison. He raised the graduation rate from 56% to 70& in TWO YEARS???!!!!! Has anyone actually done an audit of those numbers....heck has anyone bothered to think if that is even possible??? (Good guess, it's NOT POSSIBLE, unless you cook the books). Raise the rates from 56% to 70% over 6 years....that's believable. Oh wait.....unless you lower the graduation requirements but no one would ever do that to show a meteoric rise in graduation rates would they????

This sounds like, as of right now, 3 board members who are out of power have convinced 3 other board members to go directly against the new Chair to stick it to her for taking the Chair of the BOE. Probably even is going something like this:

Eli Broad - "Hey Bob Morgan, I want this Morrison guy to lead CMS - don't forget I just gave your lousy district $500,000. I expect your little brother and that Board to do what I tell them. You know what to do Bob."

Bob Morgan - "Hey Tim, Eli wants Morrison....tell Rhonda and Eric he is the guy....then tell Rhonda to tell Amelia he is the guy. I'll make sure we get one of the other two - wink wink - to vote the way we are being told. Now, get out there and do what big bro tells you like a good little boy. And he he he this is a great chance to stick one to Ericka for taking the Board Chairmanship away from you....and we all know its your destiny to lead Timmy."

Folks, this Board has already determined who your next Superintendent is going to be. Yet again, it has NOTHING to do with what is in the best interest of kids, parents, teachers and taxpayers. So much for letting the public have input into the process huh?

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Did the search committee do any type of background search before recommending Kriner Cash as a possible candidate? The Memphis public, especially employees of the district, have nothing positive to say about his leadership - not to mention the mess about the party hosted at his own home. You may say he wasn't in control of his right-hand man's actions, but as we all know, you are defined by the friends and choices you make - and this is not what we want leading our district.

Anonymous said...

Boy would KOJO and Ericka, Mccray LOVE to have this guy CASH. What a name I love him already. Hosting parties at his home with DRUNKEN management from his team? Sexual coments made about a co-worker? Sounds like a bunch of 16 year olds having a party out at Hough High. We paid over $100,000 for this guy in a search of the US? A guy from small time Reno who is a Broadie? And low and behold Ann Clark who is a internal candidate is the best candidate. A Complete WASTE of our time and money as a community.

Anonymous said...

The public is once again being sacrificed at the hands of the BOE whose members have NO knowledge of how children learn. Folks...speak out before bussing is the norm once more! This Board is trading votes...one for Pete clone IF you vote to redistribute students by bussing and eliminate strategic staffing. Is this community that STUPID?

Anonymous said...

We paid HOW MUCH for these choices?

Really. More kool aide please.

Anonymous said...

Ann

Ask Gorman for a free IPad with the software and snake oil he will be selling.

Anonymous said...

Please do not choose the guy from Nevada, the slick, well spoken Broad hack, who is simply Re-Pete. He will come in and talk to everyone, not getting to know all, but getting to know all whom he can use. He will institute change that will not be anything like what stakeholders want - testing, BUSING, and the like. Anger will lead to change on the next round of school board elections and then to Morrison's exit for greener pastures. CMS will be set back much further than you can possibly know. (sounds familiar? Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.)

We must appeal to the Reverend on the Board to not sell out CMS for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver to pay for busing.

Appeal also to the former teacher who behaved so badly on a school visit - let him show us that he is truly interested in the students of CMS, and not just in a plan to bus kids to different schools to mask problems.

The answer in Ann Clark. Not choosing her will destroy this district.

Anonymous said...

Ann, I guess Pete really doesn't like you or think you cover him in a fair way. You may not appreciate that, but as a private citizen I suppose that's his right.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with 7:33. Your coverage last spring of pay for performance, Gates, Broad, etc. was awfully intense (March 11, 2011 Our Schools: Ann admits that “I'm currently obsessed with(performance pay)”). Some (including perhaps Dr. Gorman) thought it was pretty one sided, at least on this particular blog.

He is now a private citizen--doesn't have to explain himself to anyone and doesn't owe you any explanations. Lots of other fish to fry within issues facing the system right now--time to move on.

Anonymous said...

Moving van cos builders and real estate agents lick their chops even moreso for the onslaught outtake of hundreds of thousands to the 360 degree circle crime free land of milk and honey ever growing expanding burbs buying thousands of nice spacious homes with huge lots complete with nice top performer new schools and less congestion. Need to quickly finish I-485 outer belt and prepare for the outer outer new belt loop that will be 50 miles outside what will be the former metropolitian center.
When all is said and done Charlotte will be relegated to a
3rd world delapidated poverty striken smalltown in comparison to the much larger elite vast suburban expansionist cities.

Please hurry and hire the Memphis guy to get the ball rolling quicker to make our bank accounts even bigger. We love you guys. Because of you we live in paradise.

Thanks,
Metropolitan Builders Ass
& Moving Vans of America & all beloved Big Banks.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Totally agree that as a private citizen he has a right to decline interviews -- though I think Queens invited him as a guy who spent five years leading a public institution while on the public payroll, not as a PTA dad or a News Corp. employee.

I could be wrong, but I don't think it's personal. His relationship with the news media was never about liking (or not) me or Dedrick Russell or Alan Cavanna or any of the regulars. It was about his recognizing the "public" part of public education. No matter how hard he worked at one-on-one contact, I think he realized that the media offered a way to reach more people.

Likewise, he's not picking and choosing favorites in his post-CMS life; he's been consistent in not talking to any local media. It was the abruptness of that door-shutting -- no closing interviews, no public reception, nothing but a brief "I'm outta here" statement -- that's been a bit of a puzzler. I don't think any reporters expected to be hanging out at the Gorman house for barbecues; we just wanted to hear what he thought about five very interesting years in the public life of this community.

Nathan said...
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Nathan said...
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Nathan said...

There are two points to bear in mind, similar but distinct: Queens policy and Dr. Gorman's preferences.

To the first: As Mrs. Robaina stated in the email to Ann Helms, Queens' policy is not to admit media to allow for greater candor - particularly during the Q&A portion of the discussion. As Queens strives to have individuals who can reflect on their own leadership styles, having media scrutinize those instrospective comments would dissuade the speaker from being honest and authentic. The lack of authenticity would diminish the educational experience for the students and alumni who are - at the end of the day - the intended audience. Such a policy was in place when Ralph Ketner, Ric Elias, and Shannon McFayden came to speak among others; therefore, one must conclude that Queens was not "shielding" Dr. Gorman or providing preferential treatment.

To the second point, Dr. Gorman had the opportunity to provide interviews to the media prior to the event and chose not to do so. That this is not what some would prefer is understandable; what is also understandable is that Dr. Gorman might prefer his privacy. While in his superintendent role, Dr. Gorman was avaialble to the public and likely was subject to what many would consider invasive scrutiny (having one's work email avaialble for public consumption). I would not suggest that having such scrutiny is right or wrong (I don't think that's the point); rather, that Dr. Gorman may not want to be in the public eye particularly with the new candidates coming in for meetings and interviews. As has been said by others in this space, Dr. Gorman is a private citizen and is entitled to make decisions about how public his life is. For those who still feel anger at either (or both) the policies enacted during his time or his manner of leaving, my hope is that those same people vote in upcoming elections for school board or - better yet - run for school board to create the situation they would like to see.

I was at the lecture as a graduate student and found Dr. Gorman open about what he felt went well during his time and also open about what he thought he could have done better. The same is true for me in all my roles (employee, husband, father, son, etc.) and may be true for each of the readers here; as a private citizen I am thankful that the media is not trying to unearth that for the consumption of the masses.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Nathan, thanks for a thoughtful analysis!

Anonymous said...

Gormen has what he always wanted... To bad childern and teachers had to be his stepping stone.