Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CMS board's leadership vote looms

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board will decide today whether to keep Ericka Ellis-Stewart and Mary McCray in the chair and vice chair posts.

Ellis-Stewart
It was just one year ago that the two at-large members were sworn in,  both fresh from first-ever political campaigns,  and won those positions.  Speculation that the leadership switch was a preview of sweeping change for CMS hasn't panned out.  Whether you view it as cause for celebration or dismay,  the board has stuck with the core beliefs that were in place a year ago.  Members are now working with Superintendent Heath Morrison to get a lot of public advice before revising the district's strategic plan in August 2013.

Early on, Ellis-Stewart's take-charge style and the new dominance of Democrats on the board raised some hackles among the board's non-Democrats. Since then the whole crew has been working with consultants to understand everyone's strengths, challenges and leadership styles and move forward as a team.

McCray
The annual board leadership vote may provide an interesting checkpoint on how the nine individuals are meshing,  but we probably won't see it.  Jockeying for chair and vice chair traditionally takes place behind the scenes.  Board members are being characteristically tight-lipped this year;  the few who took my calls didn't have much to say.

Who bangs the gavel -- and especially who holds the vice chairmanship -- means more to board members than it does to the average citizen.  But how well the members work together is significant.

It's worth noting that in the past year,  the school board has demonstrated less drama and conflict than the Mecklenburg County commissioners or the Charlotte City Council.  They came together to hire Morrison and persuaded county commissioners to kick in money for a 3 percent staff raise.  They've started taking some of their meetings on the road in an effort to be more accessible,  and they'll tackle another round of extensive public meetings in 2013.

How that will play out in the leadership vote I can't predict.  My guess is Ellis-Stewart will want to stay at the helm;  the agenda also includes a vote on supporting her nomination as a national steering committee member for the Council of Urban Boards of Education.  You can tune in at 6 p.m. online or on CMS-TV Cable 3.

17 comments:

BolynMcClung said...

A LITTLE BIT TO ADD TO THE DRAMA.

I was at a committee meeting of five board members. Part of the agenda was to assign board members to contact other elected and significant community leaders about the legislative agenda. These meeting are to take place after today.

The assignments when like this:

Richard can met with X
Tim can meet with Y
Mary knows Y also
Chair meets with Z

Get the idea?

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

For the first time in 20 years, the entire school board is acting like adults.

Gray Newman

Todd Isaacs said...

They're all a joke...

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Ann, Ellis-Stewart's "take-charge" style raised hackles with more than just the board's non-democrats. Even the editorial board of this paper chastised her on more than one occasion. Remember her ploy to have Dr. Rembert appointed as District 6 rep? Remember the infamous "almost trip to London"? Remember her condescending tone when addressing board members she didn't agree with? Hopefully she learned from these divisive mis-steps!

Wiley Coyote said...

Since then the whole crew has been working with consultants to understand everyone's strengths, challenges and leadership styles and move forward as a team.

...this could be heard behind closed doors

Barney & Assoc.

I love you You love me
We're a happy family
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you.
Won't you say you love me too

I love you You love me
We're best friends like friends should be
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you.
Won't you say you love me too

Anonymous said...

6:46, do not misinterpret that this "acting like adults" is anything that helps "all" our children achieve. We are still throwing $200 to $300 million dollars away with ineffective programs because no one is brave enough to present the facts and make the motion. It will draw the ire of the Charlotte Observer because it will not satisfy their "white guilt" and it will draw the ire of certain community organizers.

Anonymous said...

Tim Morgan will be the new Chair. Davis has already failed. EES and Mcray have failed. Morgan has the corporate backing. I mean look at the group. If you get rid of the diversity crowd it has to be Morgan. Two or 3 of them dont speak English. If you think the Chamber did not set Ericka up with the ticket your nuts and see it worked. They can call it into questions now as Timmy gets the nod. Boyscout Timmy and Rhonda as Vice. She has one more year on the board and has done her time. The current 2 really screwed it up for Kojo in their unprofessional manner. The Tim and Rhonda show will be next that should produce some laughs.

Anonymous said...

I think the uptown crowd is still reeling from the Kojo show 2 years ago. They do not want a repeat performance to "embarass" Charlotte. I think they will pressure for the status quo.

Wiley Coyote said...

Kojo is the status quo.

Anonymous said...

My point exactly.

Anonymous said...

I think your wrong with the "kojo show" its calmed down now. The chair and co-chair have embarrassed the minority folks enough. They got what they wanted with "Lift" and a proposed new westside elementary. They will go away with a promise from big Bob Morgan to support them down the road. Its all good.

Anonymous said...

Sad, very sad.

Anonymous said...

A new westwide elementary? How did that slip by? You mean the one proposed school building in the redo of Boulevard Homes?

Ann Doss Helms said...

7:40, this is southwest tip, Steele Creek area. Part of the 2007 bond package, I believe. They just put a lot of those projects on hold until the county was willing to start borrowing again.

Anonymous said...

I guess it would be too much to expect them to free up the bond money to build JOES also. Of course it is in the North Meck part of the county many in CMS and Charlotte still want to make suffer for overturning the busing order.

Anonymous said...

thanks for share.