Who wants to make a prediction about what we'll see when new Superintendent Heath Morrison unveils his first top-level appointments on Monday?
He's supposed to name a deputy, a chief operating officer, a chief of staff and a chief accountability officer, as well as "at least one" principal. Blog readers include a lot of people with inside information and/or strong opinions about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, so here's your chance to claim bragging rights if you can forecast the picks.
Here's what I've got: Ann Clark, chief academic officer and a finalist for the job Morrison got, seems likely to land one of the top posts. Deputy superintendent maybe? The combination of deputy, chief operating officer and chief of staff is one I haven't seen in recent years, so I'm not sure how the duties will break out. It's hard to imagine Clark won't stay involved with the big "common core" academic changes that are looming, and/or with efforts to recruit, train and support strong principals.
Morrison has consistently said he's looking for excellence and diversity in his cabinet. More than two thirds of the district's students are nonwhite (mostly African American and Hispanic), so I'd be surprised not to see at least one person of color in his first round of appointments.
If it helps with your guessing, here are links to Morrison's cabinet in Reno and to the Broad Superintendent's Academy, which provides training for administrators who aspire to leadership posts in districts like CMS. Morrison and Clark are both Broad alums (Morrison is currently a featured profile on the site).
On the jobs and issues: Accountability, which involves testing and data, has long been a crucial and high-profile job. The new person won't have much say in how much testing goes on, but will be responsible for carrying out extensive changes being mandated by the state. And that person will be charged with restoring confidence in a department that bungled some important data and lost most of its leadership last year.
Technology chief has generally been a below-the-radar job, but the emergence of digital learning and wifi in schools has changed that. I'm not sure whether Morrison plans to put technology under one of the other administrative posts or will fill the "chief information officer" post vacated by Scott Muri. Whoever lands the technology role will have to be nimble at grasping the ever-changing world of digital technology, wise in spending large amounts of public money and skilled at communicating with parents and partners who will be tapped to provide digital access. Maybe when that job is filled, I can finally find out how many iPads CMS bought in 2011-12 and what they cost.