Wednesday, May 9, 2012

CMS board: Who's leaving, why?

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is back to pre-recession hiring levels,  HR Chief Daniel Habrat told the school board Tuesday night.

"CMS is open for hire, and we have about every kind of job that you can think of," Habrat said during an update on his department.  "Let our community know that we are interested in strong performers. Come talk to us."

The latest listings show 295 instructional positions  (teachers, counselors, etc.)  and 107 other jobs, including two in the $140,000 to $160,000 pay range:  Chief accountability officer (testing and data) and chief information officer (technology).

Several board members wanted to know more about what's creating the openings.  Rhonda Lennon said she's seen online comments indicating that people are fleeing because the district is so bad.  She asked whether Habrat had information that could counter that claim,  such as a report putting CMS turnover into national context.  He said he'd look into it,  but repeated what he's said before:  The biggest reason for increased turnover is educators seeking jobs in other fields.  "Our people are good,  they're attractive and other people want them,"  Habrat said.

Joyce Waddell asked which employers are luring away CMS employees.  Habrat said exit surveys don't ask that question.

Vice Chairman Mary McCray asked for numbers on teacher and principal retirements.  Habrat said the numbers are "not huge,"  with about 600 teachers retiring this year  (CMS has almost 8,800).  He said he didn't have numbers on principal retirements handy.

"Could we get those?" McCray pressed.

Waddell asked whether assistant principals are getting opportunities for promotion. She said she's been hearing from African American men that they tend to be assigned to handle discipline and get stuck there.

Habrat said principal openings are  "highly competitive,"  with four assistants for every principal job. (The latest payroll indicates a 2:1 ratio, counting assistant principals and deans of students. Habrat said today his calculation includes facilitators, who are also part of the leadership "pipeline.")  Habrat and interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh said assistant principals need to seek leadership opportunities so they'll have a track record when an opening occurs.

Board Chairman Ericka Ellis-Stewart told Habrat that she has been hearing diversity concerns similar to what Waddell voiced,  and urged his department to "do what we can to remove barriers."

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

A daily root canal would be preferable.

Wiley Coyote said...

..."Diversity concerns".

The bane of public education.

Anonymous said...

Lets see Rhonda we have about 4-5 high profile folks leave to go to Atlanta every year. Some others left , because they were not doing their jobs (Corbitz). Do these IDIOTS on the board really want to know were the people are going? Ask them why as well and they will show you the Peter Koolaid stand. FOlks he drove them like cattle to the herd and your still praising him.

Anonymous said...

CAO of Testing and Data - I could throw up! Talk about a waste of money!

Anonymous said...

I can tell you why teachers are leaving. They have not been given a raise for five years. Cost of life has gone up while salaries remain stagnant. An 8 year teacher transfers to CMS and receives first year pay. Who would want to stay in that position?

The school board has gotten raises. The Superintendant makes over 300k? Thats more than the president of the U.S. We have a district that is so top heavy in regards to salary.

Another reason for the exodus is teachers feel a lack of support from their administration.

Anonymous said...

How many have left to avoid having their salary information published online?

Anonymous said...

Salary posting is a great point. Where are the cops salaries? The firemans? They are civil servants? Dont they get payed by tax dollars?

Anonymous said...

And they leave because of the current "bash the teacher" movement......corporate America has gotten involved, deemed teachers as unworthy, is selling the country of bill of goods so that citizens and school boards buy into the "we are in business, we know how to produce" propoganda!

Anonymous said...

Ann and all: My questions were not pertaining to the exec level departures, it was about the rank and file teachers. Teacher morale is at its lowest point nationwide,
I asked to see how CMS compares to other districts in NC and across the nation. I also asked to see an historical comparison to see how this past year compares with previous years in regards to turnover and retirement. In addition I am asking for a breakdown of all teachers by longevity.
When NC teachers with 30 years in their mid-fifies can retire with 90% of their pay for life,what is their incentive to stay? They can take on a new profession and double up their income. Most people in their mid-fifties can't retire at that level.
While Ann can only include a portion of the questions and comments that were raised, my intent was to put some data behind this situation so we can assess where CMS really stands. Only then can we stop making assumptions truly address the issues. It spans more than just salary.

And no Anon 9:36, the school board has not had any raises in years. Nor would I support one-
Rhonda Lennon, CMS Board of Education District 1

Ann Doss Helms said...

Thanks, Rhonda -- what you're saying jibes with what I heard last night (and it's all on video for those who are really interested). And I agree: No school board raises since other pay was frozen.

As for where the other salaries are, we have state, county, city payrolls posted as well (I'm not sure they've been updated this spring, but that's because of staffing changes here, not a change of philosophy):
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/data/#navlink=navdrop

everalert said...

To Joyce, Mary, and others so concerned about diversity: When all the students look alike, do you think all teachers and principals might start to look alike, too? What will you say about diversity then?

Anonymous said...

Um, could teachers have a pay raise first? Or actually it's not really a "raise" just a cost of living adjustment.

Anonymous said...

Someone should start with an evaluation of CMS's HR department. Their lack of support for employees is infamous internally in CMS. I know so many people who have been completely demoralized by HR regarding licensure and salary issues, and they won' t speak out for fear of repercussions. I really hope that Morrison will scrutinize this department and their practices.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hattabaugh and the Director of Personnel are extremely misguided in their comments about the Assistant Principals in CMS. First of all, many of the Assistant Prinicipals that Mr. Hattabaugh has stated "need to step up and take leadership roles," are really the leaders! There have been several inexperienced principals that have been hired due to "staffing initiatives" that do not have the experience nor the skill to manage the schools to which they have been assigned! It is the Assistant Principals that acutally run the daily operations of many schools in CMS. I encourage Mr. Hattabaugh to leave the ivory tower and look around this district; see who is actually doing the work! The principals in many cases, in many schools are merely "figure heads." There is no book, program or internship that can take the place of EXPERIENCE! When those in charge realize this, our schools will operate so much better and will have less turnover in terms of leadership. Because I am able to speak educational jargon and write an essay does not make me a leader! Hopefully, when the new Superintendent arrives he will break up the "good ole boy and girl" network that has prevented many deserving, qualified Assistant Principals from obtaining the promotions they so rightly deserve!

Anonymous said...

Rhonda , Teachers leave , because our BOE is a terrible judge of budgets. This results in no pay raises and program changes every single year. If the BOE had any knowledge of the money they need to run CMS and lobbyied the state accordingly we would not be in this mess. Look back you voted to terminate a bunch of teachers 2 years ago. Now you dont have enough in the classrooms. What we do have are not qualified and in some cases the assistants are teaching class. Your name is on it just go back and check your vote. Teachers leave , because you just cannot provide for them a safe place to work in todays world as well. (see resource officers cut) District 1 will get a new rep in 2 years not to worry.

Anonymous said...

9:51 Yes, let's see how many PB4 teachers were denied tenure over Gorman's, and Hugh's, years in CMS over suspicious evaluations. If you can't legislate tenure away, let's screw the teachers another way.

Incentive to stay? Under your regime very little incentive to stay...and you are correct, it does span much more than salary.

Has your BOE technology budget increased? If it has then you have received a raise.

everalert said...

Yep, back to pre-recession hiring and still not achieving any better results. Gotta love it.

Anonymous said...

Who is taking the teachers away from CMS? Another question should be who is pushing the teachers away from CMS? Here is my personal data on where the teachers are going...I have been in CMS for 15 years now and have watched numerous teachers flee my school and the district due to horrible leadership at the principal position and lack of communication and professionalism from downtown associates, especially licensure and Human Resources. Why wouldn't you leave if your major was in another field, but you could come and teach for CMS for 2 years and have your school loans paid off, then after those 2 years are up, you can go back to school to further your education or pursue a job in your field making double what you made as a teacher and done with the Charlotte-"MESS" School System!! Don't get me wrong, TFA is a great program for them and I have seen some outstanding teachers come through my school! Unfortunatley, they have been forced out by my principal or just ashamed to be associated with CMS after their two years are/were up! I wish I had this opportunity when I was in undergrad!!! I went zip-lining and ran into teachers from Fort Mill and they told me of a CMS teacher who transferred into their school and stood up in a faculty meeting and stated that they had just finished a 20 year sentence and they are finally free.....20 year sentence in CMS! This is the level of morale in CMS and I personally don't see it improving!!

Anonymous said...

11:15 , Great and true analysis , BUT RHonda Lennon would not beleive its due to leadership. With the wonderful job she has done up north (see mobile trailers and FEMA zone) representing. District 1 has lost more pupils to home school , charter,private than any other per numbers. Thats the downtown leadership and Charlotte Chamber influence she drinks in.

Anonymous said...

The new HR guy talked about "differentiation" and "diversity" in his department last night. 2 thumbs up on having the correct lingo down. The public never tires on diversity and differentiation issues.

Just an observation since the HR guy also mentioned NWSA. Your staff needs to learn how to stand up straight and look like professionals at the podium. All the woman in your department were leaning and slouched against the wall while you spoke. You don't do this in a dance class - lean and slouch against a wall or a barre while a teacher is teaching. It's considered disrespectful and unprofessional. Standing up straight and looking engaged when the boss is talking is a life skill. Proper body alignment and eye contact helps in the interview process too. Anne Clark looked and presented herself fabulously last night. She's a smart cookie. The people from LIFT presented themselves well too.

Anonymous said...

Habrat doesn't seem to have or be inclined to provide insight or real answers.

Anonymous said...

Ericka - Just say it its not diversity you just feel comfortable taking care of your own. Kojo would have it no other way. Evertime you open that mouth its a diversity statement. Keep it shut already we have 3.5 more years of this.

Anonymous said...

While I'm on the subject ....

BOE members:
Leaning way back in your chair and stretching both elbows out from the side if your head while puffing your chest out after you've spoken comes across as really cocky. George, Larry and Trent frequently did this. Richard isn't as bad although he might want to be conscious of this habit. I do miss Larry's entertaining testiculations.

Anonymous said...

Wiley Coyote said... ..."Diversity concerns". The bane of public education.
___________________
Diversity has been turned into a dirty word. I can't stand to hear or read the word now.

Anonymous said...

I think I just heard a toilet flush. That is your kids education while these "educators & administrators", more worried about protecting their own, leave your childs education in the dust. Welcome to the next third world educational country.

Anonymous said...

12:05, you just insulted some very fine educational systems in other parts of the world that US public education can not hold a candle to. They are rapidly advancing a large population in professional careers taking jobs away from our kids. Until we decide the US school system is to return to a public education system, nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

Want to know why teachers are leaving, without the CMS spin? Ask Judy Kidd, she'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

Diversity is a loaded and divisive word in Charlotte. Lots and lots of baggage. Of course, we keep hiring differentiated leaders who don't have a clue.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda,

I am a CMS teacher, and I want to know what retirement system exists for me that pays me 90% of my take home pay? Perhaps that is something special that the members of the BOE receive. I expect to have a pension (that I contribute 6% of my salary to) that will be about 60% of my take home pay.

Others who wrote are correct though. It is not just about the poor salaries we earn. It is about the lack of respect we get from CMS central administration and from the community at large. We are professionals, and most of work very hard to educate our students. The state and county BOEs, more often than not, get in the way of us doing our jobs.

Anonymous said...

12:51.

Great post.

Rhonda seems to have some listening skills (which is why people have two ears and one mouth). Our District 6 rep. and former BOE chair greatly underestimated the will of the public and the will of CMS teachers during the last election. Now we're all paying the price. We've got a long 3.5 years of diversity matters ahead of us. Fasten your seatbelt.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:51 Board members receive a monthly stipend and are classifed as part-time, no benefits or retirement. You may have that confused with the Board of County Commissioners, who are part of both systems with the county.
And to the previous poster- there were no increases to the technology allowance. The BOE Chair proposed this and myself and other members opposed it so it was withdrawn.
If I misunderstood the information a teacher gave me about their retirement plan, then I do apologize and will request that facts from the DPI today.
I do understand all the reasons you mentioned for teachers leaving CMS, There is much work to do to improve CMS. I hear them from the teachers I know, both locally, but also nationally.
Rhonda Lennon
CMS Board of Education District 1

Ann Doss Helms said...

I recall Daniel Habrat saying retirees were eligible for 90 percent of their pay after a certain length of service. He may have been referring to principals, but they're on the same pension plan as teachers, right? Rhonda, let us know what you find out.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda , Once again we have to correct you. You need to pass all your communication by your brother Tim Morgan so it will be vetted by the Chamber. That way it will be closer to the truth for the district you represent for the next year or so. Your lack of knowledge skills should prevent a re-election.

Anonymous said...

The decision of many to leave the district is primarily due to flat wages/salaries and treatment. CMS has a significant image problem and this will only continue the rate of turnover for this district. Having a world class educational system also means having a since of stability! If CHRO wants to impress anybody, how about he start explain what he and the HR staff plans to do to address this issue.

Anonymous said...

Habrat's contract is up the end of June. Hopefully we will see a posting for HR Director.

Didn't one of the candidates for superintendent state that HR and Communications were the weakest links in CMS?

Anonymous said...

Scrap Habrat for good maybe Heath Morrison will bring in a guy to try and recreate some trust within CMS employees. The BOE must provide the funds from the state to get the money to pay teachers. Its their current failure is proof of this. All the Bozo's drank that Gorman Juice and blew the budget to the sky while crying wolf. Were is Peter now you lost sheep? He got his cash (Spangler) and now he is writing a book. He took his cash and ran with a pension. Now how do you think the teachers view this after you fired most of their friends? No morale you IDIOTS !

Anonymous said...

Two clarifications:

Effective January 1, 2001, the annual salary of the president of the United States was increased to $400,000 per year, including a $50,000 expense allowance. So put another way, not only does the POTUS make more than the CMS Superintendent, but the POTUS has not seen a salary increase in over a decade.

Salaries for police and fire employees are a public record and the Observer posts them on their "data" website every year. (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/data/)

Two minor inaccuracies, but the point that teachers probably don't make enough to resist other positions with comparable qualifications is well noted. CMS may be top-heavy, but the salaries targeted for the CIO and CAO appear to be in the range of what the market demands for that level of qualification.

Anonymous said...

While you are looking into why teachers want to leave the fine CMS system, ask Mr. Habrat why teachers were trained on the teacher evaluation tool and given standards of performance at the beginning of the year, only to have them changed by CMS mid-stream - oh, and did I mention, the changes occurred after many principals were already in process of completing end-of-year evaluations? This is exactly why teachers are leaving - poor communication and and a god complex by those in central office.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda,
It is not close to 90% of their final pay. More like 60% if they do the full 30 years and meet the age requirements.

Let's get the facts straight before we just throw out whatever!

Anonymous said...

6:00 Rhonda could not get Natalie English from the chamber on the phone today to verify that. She of course does not know the workings of CMS. Remember this come next election.

Anonymous said...

I,too, have questions about APs who are not promoted and even rif'd. The comment was made that black men are being discriminated against in this area. I would like to see someone investigate whether this is a color/male problem or perhaps just a male problem. I happen to know male APs that were rif'd that did all the right things to get promoted.

Truth Seeker said...

Lack of support, zone offices are ineffective (create more work for those at bldg level), no raises for years, behavior issues stay or sent back to school - why stay?

Anonymous said...

As a current CMS teacher with over 10 years in the system at the same school, I am leaving next year to go to another area school district. In making this move, I am taking a $4000 pay cut, but am willing to do so to be where I will be supported, able to teach and will not have classes over 40! While pay is definitely important and me and my family will struggle next year, I am excited at the opportunity to be in a sytem where I will be valued!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Waddell,

The question has nothing to do with African American, it has to do with being make and who likes who.

Mr. Hattabaugh,

I call BS on your step up comment. It wasn't that long ago that you and Gorman told 40 plus APs to kiss off. And the way that it was done was a popularity contest. I know for a fact that the principals were told to choose who they wanted to keep and make it impossible for the APs being RIF'd to have a chance in h*** of ever getting back in. I personally know of 4 male APs who were well respected by their staffs, two white and two black (Hello, Dr. Waddell, are you listening?) who were trashed so horribly by their principals with false claims, misstatements and out and out big giant lies. And when they appealed the lies, proved they were lies, more lies were told. With a threat that they didn't need to respond any further or discuss their evaluations with anyone allegedly quoted in it.

Anonymous said...

That "make" should be "male".

Anonymous said...

The student, parent and teacher surveys get published each year. This year principals were surveyed. Where are those results?

Anonymous said...

The i-Pad grant rules are another of the "Oops we had to change the the distribution parameters, and oh we didn't think you would mind if we didn't tell you of our new plan of equity over quality." SOP CMS.

Anonymous said...

Many of the comments are on target about flight from CMS: treatment/respect , salaries to “strategic staff”, discipline in classrooms from disruptive students. The over-all reason is the BOE and Superintendent . You press principals to do your dirty work of harassing veteran teachers with the highest salaries. Teachers that have proven their worth ten times over. You place automatic holds and flags on files in HR of teachers that have spoken up against your slick and dishonest tactics.

I guess the tech budget did grow. Teachers each time there is email saying the computers are “undergoing” a service review, is really code for we have put in one more tech device to monitor if you have deleted a message from your superior without reading it, or to automatically block messages from various support groups, count and monitor surveys, etc.

As for African-American males given “overseers” jobs, do a count at schools plain and simple

Anonymous said...

Rhonda, Good job in pointing out something that's usually left out of the media's analysis of school funding: Specifically, each year a larger and larger portion of taxpayer dollars is spent not on current services to taxpayers, but instead on generous retiree packages to state employees.

Because state retiree obligations keep rising and tax revenue has been relatively flat or declining, schools haven't been able to pay more to teachers. The obligations to non-working employees simply take precedent. This is a situation that is not unique to CMS or to North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

Ann:
You are correct that the 90% scenario was mentioned last night, which was what I mentioned in a previous post.
If you need some interesting reading this is what I have been looking at on the state website about Teacher retirement. State employee retirement payments are vastly different from private sector 401K's where you only get what you put in and invest unless you work for an employer that provides some matching to the program. State retirement is based on an average of the 4 top paid years in a formula that factors years of service.
I applaud the NC Senate and House for beginning to look at reform in these areas.
Ann-this would make an interesting story to look at teacher retirements versus other private sector plans.
https://www.nctreasurer.com/ret/Benefits%20Handbooks/NCTeaState-Jul2011.pdf
Rhonda Lennon
CMS Board of Education, District 1

Anonymous said...

After teachers have not had a raise in four years, and experienced teachers are forced out of CMS everyday, we now have imbeciles griping about the retirement money they might be getting. These teachers have been putting money into this system for over thirty years. They have more than earned it!

Anonymous said...

Ms. Lennon,
A terrific CMS teacher (soon to be former) and facilitator told me that next year he'll be in Central or South America. Seems that pay, cultural respect for educators and growth opportunities are far greater than here in Charlotte. I'm sure your north end neighbor Mr. Tillis is single handedly doing his best to send even more packing while HR says we're hiring. The former whiz kids have abandoned a sinking ship for Atlanta. One assumes that is no reflection on the BOE? Please let the community know when you plan to do an investigation of the Bloat in Communications and Block Parties uptown on the first day of EOG testing., QC surveys to third party vendors,i-Pads, bring your own technology, buy your own paper, look at the dumpsters at surplus and on and on. And one wonders why the County Commissioners are revolting.

Christine Mast said...

Why must we have these continual discussions about comparing CMS to other districts around the country? Why do we not believe the negative comments coming from current and former employees and the surrounding communities? Even if that national data would "validate" our issues, why wait for that, instead of starting to formulate solutions now?

Just because another district has the same kind of turnover, does NOT make it okay for us.

CMS is unique. We are urban AND we are suburban. We are an enormous district, in square mileage, number of schools and number of students. Add to that the diverse student population, and you've got our unique district problems and issues.

Why do we think comparing ourselves to somewhere else is going to change and/or explain our reality? We know we have issues... most of the time we know what the problems are. Why are we taking so much time to admit to these issues? Why are we not focusing on solutions?

And with all the RIF's last year, can someone explain to me why we have so many openings now?

Regarding the questions from Board members... I'm currently watching the video from last night, and haven't gotten to this part yet... Did Mr. Habrat promise to get answers for any of these questions? If so, when is he going to provide these answers?

Wiley Coyote said...

Hattabaugh is a typical, classic educrat living in in educrat world, talking educrat speak and refusing to face the facts...

Commissioner Vilma Leake, a Democrat, asked that the school board continue to study the programs that work and don’t work, and see if there’s money to cut there.

“There’s no longer any low-hanging fruit to cut,” Hattabaugh replied.


How many more times do we have to bring up Bright Beginnings as being a useless black hole year after year, wasting MILLIONS with nothing to show for it and have a few clueless BOCC and BOE members completely ingore this babysitting program as a viable candidate for elimination?

Then throw in our totally clueless Governor who just announced she wants a sales tax increase for education spending, yet raided the Education Lottery TWICE for other state business.

"Hello?...McFly?"

Anonymous said...

Rhonda, thank you for participating and sharing your views. I think this forum is a good means of extending thoughts and dialogue and I give kudos to Ann for also joining in when clarification is needed.

I am disappointed in the direction things were taking towards the retirement issue. Looking at it from a different perspective, could retirement benefits be one reason teachers hang around as long as they do? Maybe we need to be asking what incentives are needed to encourage teachers to stay.

I am also surprised that in addition to the lack of respect by students and parents, as well as lack of support by administration, that no one has mentioned the paperwork, most of which gets done on personal time because the amount of time allotted for planning hasn't kept up with the additional required documentation associated with failing or misbehaving students, professional development, teacher evaluation and so forth, not to mention grading assignments and entering in grades.

I think that it would also be interesting to do a survey to see how many teachers and other staff hold other jobs in order to make ends meet. It's one thing to say you don't make enough money but having that second job confirms that statement.

This is teacher appreciation week. I personally want to thank all those parents and students out there who have taken the time out of their busy schedule to say "thank you" and/or provided treats, breakfast, or other actions to show teachers they are valued.

I also want to thank all those teachers out there who come to work each day and want to positively impact students and support their fellow teachers.

If you are a member of the community without a child in school, remember another way to say thank you is to volunteer as a proctor. End of grade and End of Course tests are coming up and proctors are needed. Sign up as a CMS volunteer and any school will welcome you with open arms and you can get a glimpse of what is going on in the schools personally.

Anonymous said...

CMS has a large lesbian influence on teacher positions and promotions of professionals to principals positions. There has been NO discussions what impact lesbians principals have had on promotions of assistant principals.

Lesbian relationships in CMS has had a disburbing effect for some time. I wonder what would be a response from Ann Clark regarding lesbians in CMS workplace?

Anonymous said...

7:03- Thats a great idea to get a bunch of volunteers , but its a negative affect. Most of those people must be screened and that a cost CMS cannot afford today. Alot of parents cannot pass the screening test and some that do should not. I tested this system by signing in a numerous school around CMS with the name Daffy Duck. Never once was I questioned or asked for a ID. I took it further to let CMS know that I did this and it should not be able to happen. They simply do not know who is on campus with our children which is very scary. They dont seem to care since I did not harm anyone. Wrong answer ! Try it go to your kids school next time for lunch no ID and sign in Elmer Fudd !

Anonymous said...

What a glorious (sarcasm) mess we have in the form of CMS.

Frankly, the members of the BOE are collectively so inept and in so far over their heads, how would any reasonable person believe that things are going to get better here? There is no one on the BOE that has a legitimate combination of real world business AND education experience. As a result, you have a bunch of unqualified politicians making decisions about things they are completely unqualified to decide. And during the process they are getting the wool pulled over their eyes by an enormous and out of control "staff". The tail wags the dog, politics is fully in play (see "diversity"), and the BOE sits around like a bunch of deer in the headlights. Mr Morrison may turn out to be a fine superintendent, but I've yet to hear ANYTHING about how he is going to reform the district and be the visionary educator needed to make CMS the leader in public education for the next 50 years.
What I have heard is how he "increased" graduation rates by playing with the numbers and changing/correcting the way students were tracked - that's hardly revolutionary or visionary. But then again it is not surprising he is the guy they chose, it doesn't take much to pull the wool over the eyes of the BOE.
Members of the BOE STILL refuse to move to zero based budgeting and force quantitative and qualitative requirements on every line item of CMS. They have no idea what works and what doesn't. They have no idea what is going on with teachers, because they are never IN THE SCHOOLS learning it first hand.

There is so much bloat and so much waste within CMS that the opportunity exists to fund teacher raises AND reduce the tax burden to citizens AND improve results. The problem is no one wants to do the hard work and display the courage required to make it happen.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Christine, yes, Habrat said he'd get answers for the board. I try to get copies of everything non-confidential that's sent to them, but I'm never sure if that's happening. Often it boils down to having to know a specific document or report exists and requesting it.

Anonymous said...

"Diversity" means, regardless of qualifications, anybody who isn't black needs to get to the back of the line.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Morrison cannot change anything as CMS BOE has a 2014 Gorman plan that he is to follow. Now what happens in 2014 I dont know , but maybe the whole thing blows up before then. As a business person that is my prediction. As a parent I am scared like the rest of you. I dont like the leadership today on the BOE as its very racists with everything from Ericka being about racism. Mary backs her up. Richard then Joyce and soon you have 4 who care only about blacks. Bad , Bad, Bad !

Anonymous said...

11:51, anything can change as of one vote by the BOE. All Kojo has to do, and I am sure he and others of his ilk are working on it, is to puppeteer Ericka and Mary and the Gorman 2014 plan is gone in one vote.

Ann Doss Helms said...

2014 plan is not a legal contract or anything. It's a planning document approved by the board. Morrison can (and almost certainly will) recommend revisions.

Anonymous said...

Revisions? We don't need no stinkin' revisions. It's a Broad sanctioned document. Washington DC's vision was a carbon copy of Premier Gorman's first 5 year plan. WHy? Broadie's conspire together!

Just wait people, the Talking Heads said it best:

"Same as it ever was..."

Anonymous said...

WRONG AGAIN- 2014 plan is all the BOE has. They have no other inkling of a idea to change other than some minority agenda Ericka/Kojo cook up. The current 2014 plan was written on the back of a napkin on Gormans table and it continues to be the direction. Its all the got folks. Ericka cannot come up with another plan as all she has is LIFT which I think she was a product of. She has never held a job in the business enviroment ever as she was a non-profit drop out leader. Her thinking goes thru Kojo and the Chamber is pissed about that folks.

Anonymous said...

May 9, 2012 10:01 PM...

Spoken like a true democrat... Don't mention the bloated and unrealistic pension payouts, that's not relevant. Teachers haven't had a raise in 4 years and they paid into their retirement so they've earned it. Guess what, private sector employees haven't had a raise in over 10 years, as the average wage for the private sector has been stagnant since 2000. Private sector employees don't get a pension, just the balance of their 401k which they contribute at least 50%, if not 100% of the vested balance out of their own funds. Teachers put in 6% of salary and all of a sudden they can retire in their early 50's... try doing that in a private sector. The bottom line is the private sector employees pay the taxes that fund your salary and your pension, and we are tired of overpaying you to retire 15 years ahead of us, while we work away to make the taxes to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you want to compare the private and the public sector Anon. 7:28. Compared to professionals in the private sector, teachers are woefully underpaid. (especially considering their level of education which is usually a Masters Degree). I could go into the loads of work that goes uncompensated as well.

You sound like someone who has only experienced a classroom from the student side of things. Most people think that teaching is easy, and that they can do it, because they spent so much time in schools themselves. Like most jobs, there is a lot more to it than what the end user (the student) sees.

Anonymous said...

Is the school board that clueless? No raises in 4 years. No teacher support at all. Classroom discipline. McDonald's can lure a teacher away from CMS.

Anonymous said...

This is my first and last year at CMS. During the second week of school my students told me that between them and the Administration I would quit. How true, I am leaving and I have not looked for a job heck I would rather work at McDonald's. I know for a fact I would be treated with respect and most of all I will be very "HAPPY" money is not everything.

Anonymous said...

Ask why so many teachers left Harding last school year, during this school year, and soon to be leaving at the end of this school year. Does it have something to do with the Administration aka Pitbulls? Why are they still in office? Who are their friends downtown?

Anonymous said...

May 10, 2012 8:58 PM

Actually I do want to compare. I don't know what compensation has to do with being able to retire 15 years earlier than the private sector. The fact is teachers, and all government jobs, are living in a fairy tale where working roughly 2/3 the time of a private employee entitles them to retire with a comfortable paycheck. And in case you did any research, which I am assuming you didn't, you might realize some interesting facts about pay and education in private vs. public sector. While on face value you may see that teachers with masters degrees make about 25% less than the average private sector worker with a masters degree, you have to consider the fact that those figures include masters degrees in engineering, finance and sciences. When comparing compensation of teachers with masters degrees to other social masters degrees in the private sector such as psychology and sociology you will see that teachers actually make 20% more than comparable master degrees in similar fields.

As for experiencing teaching for myself, you are correct I have not. I never said it was an easy job, but neither is digging ditches, or construction, or service industry, or retail, or nursing or any other host of middle class private sector jobs. No one in those sectors gets an automatic raise every year. No one in those sectors gets to retire with full benefits at 50 yrs old, why should teachers?

Anonymous said...

How interesting...it appears that some negative yet factually provable comments about a certain principal have been deleted.

Anonymous said...

For better and for worse, this is one of the few blogs on Observer.com that allows anonymous posts where almost anything goes. On the positive side, people often say what they are really thinking which can be helpful in understanding another person's point of view even if that view is downright offensive. For example, there is much discussion and lively debate here about educational issues that intertwine with issues about race and class. In a public forum where people are required to identify themselves, these kinds of issues are rarely discussed in an honest and open way because it's impossible to discuss race and class in Charlotte without offending someone to the point a reasonable person understands their life and career could be put in jeopardy. Many times the dialog isn't productive or solution oriented but it can be brutally honest which can provide some insight into the root of a problem. I often ask myself if there is some truth to what someone has posted even if I strongly disagree with their position or I find myself highly offended by a remark.

As far as discussing individuals: I didn't read what was supposedly deleted about a CMS principal. However, as a regular reader, it's unlikely a blog administrator removed a comment unless it involved a personal attack that was really over the line. There are some basic rules of decency here which, thank God (as you understand - or chose not to understand - him, or her, or it), still exist in the realm of responsible journalism. Playing fair and censorship aren't synonymous.

Now, we return to our regularly scheduled program...

Anonymous said...

To 2:49: Well, it looks like I did manage to post that comment about deletion to the wrong blog entry. The comments that were deleted are from the "'Heath Morrison' Entry Tour" post. The 5/10 11:44pm comment alludes to a certain principal as "stable." Two posts that contradict that assertion were deleted. It's really difficult to believe that either were "over the line," especially if you knew how "over the line" the principal in questions is.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so you're not a fan of Maureen Furr. I don't know her but she had a good reputation as a middle school principal in an area of town with high expectations and I know parents and students who think highly of her at South Meck. I emailed her a number of questions once and thought she responded with forthright and honest answers. She didn't try to win me over with CMS bull nonsense. I appreciated her candor. She started at SM in the middle of a great deal of uncertainty and transition at the school.

Anonymous said...

I know most of the conversation here has focused on issues on the BOE level but I have to concentrate on the hiring process at the district. I've bee in the business world for the past 25 years. I've decided I want to "give back" and go to work in the field of education. The districts' website and HR department is an impediment in the process. Also, the so called panel interviews at the school level are basic wastes of time and resources as they are filled with cronyism and untruths. They ask a lot of questions, don't take notes and appear to have made their decisions before you get into the room.The alleged time frames they say they work under don't make sense especially since school has already started. It takes two weeks to decide upon a non-teaching position? Where is the urgency of filling a position that is supposed to be that important? Several comments did focus on the HR department. Perhaps the entire hiring process needs overall scrubbing.