Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Charlotte's Guckian has governor's ear

Eric Guckian, who has spent almost five years in charge of Charlotte's New Leaders principal recruitment program, has taken on an even more challenging task.  He's Gov. Pat McCrory's new senior education adviser,  at a time when game-changing education proposals are flying around Raleigh like Frisbees at a beach party.

Guckian (goo-CAN) got the job in May,  while I was on vacation.  He had met McCrory during his stint as Charlotte mayor,  but Guckian said the connection was made by John Lassiter,  a key member of the McCrory team and a board member of New Leaders.

"I'm a plumber's kid,"  Guckian said.  "When the governor calls, that's not a call you get every day."

When I finally caught up with Guckian late last week,  he wasn't ready to stake out positions on some of the more controversial issues in play,  such as vouchers for private school tuition and revising teacher pay.  So far he's talking about broad themes such as efficiency,  innovation,  workforce development and accountability. "We're still crafting an overall education agenda,"  he said.

McCrory doesn't have children.  But between Guickian and Lassiter,  a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools parent and school board member,  he'll surely get a deep knowledge of local issues. 

"If you want to know what I care about,  it's our highest-need kids in North Carolina,"  Guckian said.  That passion and knowledge comes not just from his work with New Leaders  (formerly New Leaders for New Schools)  and Teach For America,  but from his time as a Shamrock Gardens Elementary School parent.  Shamrock,  a high-poverty school in east Charlotte,  has spent years working to improve its academic performance and win the confidence of middle-class families who had avoided the school.

"You don't just flip a switch with this stuff,"  he said.  "It is really hard work."

Guckian will work with the newly revived Education Cabinet,  made up of officials who oversee prekindergarten programs, K-12 education, community colleges and the university system.  One of the governor's goals is building stronger connections between all the levels of education that get young people ready for successful adult lives,  he said.

New Leaders will celebrate Guckian's work at a reception next week.  They'll also have a retirement  send-off for Steve Hall,  a former CMS principal who led the aspiring principals program.


Wiley Coyote said...

It's been fun fellow commenters...

See you on the other side.

For what it's worth said...

Sadly, our leaders lack the intellectual capability to analyze and realize that spending half this amount will give you nearly the same result. They are so short sighted they do not realize the 10,000's that are struggling and losing in all the other schools not in the zone.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Take heart, Wiley, it doesn't affect blogs. Though it does look like all the non-Facebook comments posted before noon are gone from today's stories. Besides, there are several Wiley Coyotes on Facebook ...

Anonymous said...

Well, Wiley, this will be about as effective as the paygate.

Basically, the CO is probably removing the last thing that made the paper relevant to many.

Oh well.

Personally, I would NEVER put any of my personal information on Facebook.

I've been in IT too long to do that.

It is quickly becoming a junk drawer for the professionals who do.

Anonymous said...

Steve Hall - effective

Eric the plumbers kid - not so much.

Anonymous said...

Yet CMS won't celebrate, honor, nor even give a "certificate" to retirees. The last place to hope for any. My spouse's school never even knew she retired, nor cared. The piece of cake Avossa gave to retirees a few years ago seems like a symbolic kiss off to anyone even considering a career in CMS.

Anonymous said...

Seriously are you kidding me with this blog.?. I guess the general public gets goosebumps and all warm and fuzzy about this gibberish. Let me get his straight. A guy who is in charge of a Principal Prgram or whatever you want to call it has now been promoted to assist the Governor in developing more educational policy? Sounds great to the common folk, but it is nothing more than an insult to teachers who teach for the love of teaching. This guy is using education to climb the career ladder and make as much money as possible. You think a few years at Shamrock gives you credentials to speak to the needs of all our kids? YOU DON'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN EDUCATION BY MOVING TO THE CAPITAL AND TAKING A BIGGER PAY CHECK!! What never strikes your keyboard are the letters that make words, sentences , paragraphs, and more importantly a story that sheds the reality on the complete and utter failure of these Leadership Programs. Teachers who aspire to be administrators and principals should not be able to do so in 3 to 6 months of entering a less than rigorous program. There are examples of teachers being enrolled in these programs for less than 2 weeks who were then hired as Deans of Studemts. CMS has spent the last 6 years grooming former teachers ( who in many cases are motivated purely by money rather than educating) into administrators and potentially principals. What the general public is never informed about is that most of these people get assigned positions as a Dean of Students.... Teacher pay....admin power. The reality is that CMS has created a Petri dish of potential administrators who while serving as Deans or Adminstrators pine to be promoted as Principals at any school regardless of what it takes. The by product is a culture among administrative staff who never make decisions in the best interest of students or the actual schools they work at for fear of not following orders hence potentially being passed over for the illusiive office with the placard that says Principal. These programs do not shape and mold advocates for our schools they shape and mold greedy fools who thought they could make more money being an administrator or principal. You can not keep posting this garbage. You give the public a very very false sense of effectiveness. Do some digging and write a story about the failure of this stuff.

For what it's worth said...

9:17, those of us who really know what is going on in the schoolhouses know all of this and more. Sadly the CO editorial staff chooses to keep feeding the low information voters misdirection to keep those that could bring public education back into the limelight suppressed. CO editors drove public opinion against those that would stand up against the demise of public education. They criticised those that criticised the uselessness of forced busing and other social engineering practices. Yet they sent their kids to private schools to not be bused and hide that information from those that looked. They protected a school board member that did not live in their district. And it goes on and on.

They fight those who want to shine a bright light on CMS. They fight those that point to high levels of fraud in FRL and many other social programs. They fight those that fight to protect American citizens and protect scarce tax dollars. They fight those who believe we are a nation of laws.