Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Task forces: Catch them if you can

First they were private.  Then they were public.  Now that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' 22 advisory task forces have started meeting,  the latest from the district is you can attend the meetings if you can find them.

Ever since Superintendent Heath Morrison announced in January that the meetings would be open to the public  --  a move some experts say is required by N.C. Open Meetings Law  --  I've been asking for a calendar of upcoming meetings  (organizational meetings in January were closed).  Tuesday,  CMS spokeswoman Tahira Stalberte referred me to a new link for task force minutes and said that's the place to find upcoming meetings.

So here's how it works:  You go to the district's Task Forces web page,  click on the link for minutes,  open the folders for any given task force to see if minutes are posted, then check those minutes to see the time and place of the next meeting.  None of those posted so far include street addresses,  so it helps if you know the location of,  say,  Smith Family Center or  "CMGC 546."

That doesn't strike me as a particularly convenient way to help the public locate public meetings, so I've pulled together a listing,  which we'll also publish in The Observer.  If you wanted to attend the February  meeting of the task force on choices, alternatives and magnets,  it's too late  --  the link to minutes went up shortly before the Tuesday afternoon meeting.  But here are the others for February,  starting with two more  this week. Update: Addresses are now confirmed by CMS.

Feb. 7:  Special education, 3-5 p.m., Walton Plaza, 700 E. Stonewall St., Room 427.
Feb. 7: Time, capital and resource management, 4-6 p.m., Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, 101 N. Tryon St., Suite 1900. (Update:  This meeting will focus on the CMS per-pupil spending report,  which tends to be a high-interest topic.)
Feb. 11: Technology and blended learning, 5:30-6:45 p.m., Metro School, 405 S. Davidson St.
Feb. 12: College and career readiness, 8:30-10 a.m., Oakhurst Administrative Center,  4511 Monroe Road, Room B-11.
Feb. 14: Parent engagement, 4-6 p.m., Smith Family Center, 1600 Tyvola Road.
Feb. 20: African American males, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Walton Plaza, 700 E. Stonewall St., Room 523
Feb. 21: Community and faith partnerships, 10 a.m., Dowd YMCA, 400 E. Morehead St.
Feb 21: Extended learning, 3:30-5 p.m., Foundation for the Carolinas, 220 N. Tryon St.
Feb. 22: Process and system improvements, 7:30-9 a.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St., Room 546.
Feb. 25: Gifted students,  9-11 a.m..  Randolph Middle School, 4400 Water Oak Road.
Feb. 26: Higher education partnerships, 1:30-3 p.m., Northeastern University, 101 N. Tryon St.

I'll do my best to keep you updated as more come in.  If you attend task force meetings,  I'd love to talk to you for upcoming Sunshine Week reporting,  when news media highlight public efforts to get access to public information.  Please shoot me an email  (  or give me a call  (704-358-5033)  to fill me in on the experience.

But also bear in mind that task force meetings won't be the venue for sharing your ideas;  you can watch but not participate.  CMS plans to hold town hall meetings around the county for people to speak with task force members;  I'll post those when they're announced.  There's also a web link for community input,  and you can scan the rosters to see if you know members you might want to talk to.

And a footnote:  The chairman of the Wake County school board announced Tuesday that he's creating a task force on school safety.  That topic is clearly high on Morrison's priority list,  but it's not among the CMS task force topics.


Ettolrahc said...

Are any of these blue ribbon task forces?

And why do we not have a task forces set up to set up more task forces?

So little focus is given to CMS as it is currently.

Anonymous said...

Who cares these task force groups are insulated CMS folks. They have no power and nothing will come out of them. Its one big hot air ballon again by CMS. Talk , Talk , Talk and do nothing to improve education.

Jeff Wise said...

Ann - this is excellent information, thank you for compiling!

Anonymous said...

Why dont they just hold the meetings at the Charlotte Chamber? Would make it easy for the Morgan brothers and their clowns to make it to the meetings.

Ghoul said...

Ah yes, I see my 100% factual post was removed. Must protect that certain segment of society no matter what.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Aren't we paying a lot of money to high level employees in CMS to communicate with the community?

Anonymous said...

12:39 - your correct , but they are too busy breaking bread with the NAACP folk. CMS has been in a tailspin ever since St. Peter closed the minority schools. We paid Morrison huge money and he is in way over his head. Really you work in Reno NV then World Class Charlotte NC? This guy has done nothing ever since he joined CMS and all his minority underlings what have they done? The same thing welcome Detroit.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, NAACP and their uptown lap dogs have Morrison by the tail and they are swinging him hard as they can go. He is clearly in over his head. He has shown no leadership. I generally reserve opinion till the super has been in the job one year and that was how long it took Gorman to change his tune. But Morrison is just not holding up. Typical educrat/bureaucrat talking a good game for several years then off to a better job and no results to show for the talk.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to forget Gorman closed the most successful middle school in the state also. And suburbanites have no right to be angry over that, do we?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah , nobody likes St Peter in this town. Not only did he close the schools he screwed up the start times of the once he left open. I will never forget him saying to the CO about a rumor about him leaving CMS for another job. No I would never leave CMS this is my dream job. I predicted them it would be less than 60 days before he would leave and it was under 30 days. I blame alot of this on the search committee and BOE for Morrison I mean a guy with little experience at the top level schools. He was set up to be a boy toy from the begining. These "task force" teams are set up with NAACP people and their pals look at the line ups. Chamber maids all of them.

Anonymous said...

More wasted taxpayer money for a glamor dog and poney show. Come on Morrison. Go back to door to door. At least that showed some speck of measureable results.

Anonymous said...

Communications Dept. problems after the restructure provided by Morrison? Go figure. Where is LaTarza when you need her?


Anonymous said... class? Certainly not based on the "urban" public school system.

Anonymous said...

World Class Tax and Spend City

A Billion $ CMeS education budget with results in decline.The only bright spots in ANY of the data is the continued loss of the brightest that makes the some of the stats look better.

How can you retain the best and brightest employees when you cant recruit and hire a decent Human Resources Director?

Anonymous said...

if students and teachers are supposed to serve on the taskforces, how come ALL of the meetings are not after school? even with an excused ab, it would be hard to miss school. too bad because they are most important to hear from.