Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chef Morrison ready to throw risotto?

People who want to follow Superintendent Heath Morrison's metaphors may want to step up their viewing of reality TV.

I was perplexed when a presentation on school redesign ended with the goal of ensuring that  "families in CMS will love our schools,  not list them."  Someone explained that it's a play on the HGTV show "Love It or List It."

Now Morrison is eagerly telling his staff about Chef Ramsay throwing bad risotto.

Management role model? @*#%!

It's hard to imagine fiery-tempered, foul-mouthed Gordon Ramsay,  star of  "Hell's Kitchen,"  serving as a management role model for Morrison.  Morrison,  who considers a PB&J fine dining,  is quick to note that he's never tried risotto and doesn't really plan to throw food or  "call anyone a donkey"  like Ramsay does when he's displeased.

I'm not even sure Morrison has his risotto-throwing story right.  I found accounts of Ramsay throwing meat and chucking someone's phone into boiling water,  but the only risotto-toss my Google search turned up involved rival chef  Marco Pierre White.

But I think the idea he's trying to convey is that the proof is in the,  er,  risotto,  and Morrison is going to demand results from everyone charged with making schools better.

At a news conference this morning, Morrison announced an administrative shake-up that he says will focus everyone on service to schools. (Here's my story and here's the CMS news release.) He emphasized that everyone,  from bus drivers and janitors to top-ranking administrators,  needs to be able to justify their work in terms of promoting education.  If you can't explain how you're serving students and schools,  he said,  "then you're probably someone we don't need."

26 comments:

CharlotteObserver said...

You have to admit that the entire CMS Mess would be a good show if it were not reality.

Wiley Coyote said...

Well, since Morrison's ratings are somewhere south of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, he has a long way to go.

Anonymous said...

Word is RePete acts exactly like Gordon...at least the yelling part, can't comment on whether RePete is actually successful. All he's doneso far is change accounting practices to pretend to increase grad numbers at his old job. Haven't seen anything yet here.

Anonymous said...

He needs to investigate and explain the turnover rate at Project Lift schools. ..Unacceptable !

Anonymous said...

Turnover rate at Harding University High School.

Anonymous said...

You could not make a TV show out of CMS. People would not beleive the DUMB decisions being made. A viewer may watch a board meeting and find it hard to understand the broken english spoken by a few. They could follow the money thru the Charlotte Chamber and wonder why the brother of the head is on the board. They would see Morrison in way over his head as well. Just more bad TV so lets skip it.

Anonymous said...

Have you dealt with the APs at Harding? No wonder people are leaving!!

Anonymous said...

Ann,

Please stop with these fluff pieces and do some investigative reporting on how schools and are illegitimately passing students who either do not meet the academic or attendance requirements. At South Meck High School, every student who put in an attendance appeal received one no matter the cause. Teachers are constantly being pressured to give students a grade of "D" simply to enhance the graduation rate. This is not simply a school level issue. The area superintendants are pressuring Principals and Assistant principals as well. Grades are also being changed behind teacher’s backs. While this philosophy helps us to quickly move students along I am concerned about the quality of graduates and what they are doing to the value of the NC high school diploma.

A Concerned Parent

Anonymous said...

It is well known for many insiders that Morrison's public persona and true personality are night and day. The charming and engaging person he presents himself to be in the media turns into an angry, condescending, verbally abusive little man behind closed doors. Beyond unprofessional. He has brought both his female and male staff members to tears on several occasions as a result of his short fuse and tirades when something doesn't go his way or when something takes longer than he thinks it should take.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:39

I agree, Harding has a long standing reputation for leadership that is impossible to deal with. Talented professionals will not settle for this type of work atmosphere when they have viable options.

Anonymous said...

CMS is and has been afraid to tell parents their child is not up to speed. If a principal, teacher and parent say wow let hold her back a year she is not ready to move up downtown say no you cannot it looks bad on our state numbers. Forget the kid who is going to be pushed forward and not ready. I know alot of these folks who at that juncture just said yes I can hold her back and left to private school setting. Those parents really were not given any value for their rax dollars. Their child was done a injustice.

Anonymous said...

Here's the reorg - big changes in reports esp clark
http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/mediaroom/Documents/District%20Reorganization%20Presentation%20June%2019,%202013.pdf

P.s. @ 9:55 - this is a blog, where sometimes the more "fluffy" stuff goes. Do you read the actual Observer?

Wiley Coyote said...

11:07..

Tell us - other than Ann - who at the Observer is doing in-depth, hard hitting stories about education or anything else?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:07,

Just because its a blog does not mean that it is void of true journalism. My question to you is - Have you read the observer? Other then regurgitating national news and speeches from local leaders the observer has shown little interest in investigative reporting even when they are handed real issues by their readers..

Ann Doss Helms said...

Thanks, 11:07 -- I had a story posted but hadn't had a chance to add the CMS link. You guys are good on breaking news! And you're exactly right -- I can write a blog post that I hope will be a fun talker in the last 15 minutes of my day, but investigation takes a lot more time and appears in a different format.

Concerned Parent, if you know anyone who might talk about the situation, please contact me.

Christine Mast said...

Shouldn't the story today be the following:

CMS originally asked the County for an increase of $28.5 million over last year's budget.

The BOCC voted last night to give them an increase of $19 million over last year's budget.

What and where is CMS going to cut the $9.5 million that they asked for but didn't receive????

Anonymous said...

It is well known for many insiders that Morrison's public persona and true personality are night and day. The charming and engaging person he presents himself to be in the media turns into an angry, condescending, verbally abusive little man behind closed doors. Beyond unprofessional. He has brought both his female and male staff members to tears on several occasions as a result of his short fuse and tirades when something doesn't go his way or when something takes longer than he thinks it should take.
AMEN WE SAY AMEN!!!!!BULLYING AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS...

Anonymous said...

It is interesting how Ms. Gwaltney is assigned another role after restructuring HR and increasing the dysfunction of the group. There are more complaints and issues and because she was not aware of HR processes an excessive amount of overtime was paid using precious district funds. I also understand there is a pending HR reorganization and another consultant is reviewing the structure. I clearly hope that Ms. Gwaltney being closer to the schools does not have a negative impact on the students.

Anonymous said...

The online recovery programs which allow students to "pass" a class is a sham. Any parent should be offended at the fact that their child is being robbed of an education through this procedure. Some students are actually paying others to take their classes. Some students are taking the classes for others. Teachers are in some cases answering the exam questions for students to "get them out of here". Social promotion at the most corrupt level. The public needs to engage in this administrative fraud!

Ann Doss Helms said...

Christine, Morrison said the board will take that up next week. Some options he mentioned are going slower on putting wifi in mobiles, buying projectors for all classes and adding professional development staff.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to investigate the turnover rate at Harding University High School (anon 10:11, 9:39, 9:23), it surely is the highest in the District. Many complaints have been voiced and allegations made, but nothing is being done—year after year, an entire new staff (over 60+ leaving 2013). Not good for CMS, students, or education!

Ben Cook said...

Did I read that correctly? Did Dr. Morrison place ANOTHER academic with no HR experience in charge of HR? What is the deal?

This has to stop! CMS needs an CHRO that clearly has some kind of HR experience at that level having worked in public sector (ideally from secondary education). Its time out for these academics "PRETENDING" to be HR executives with "NO" HR experience. I have tried to be silent and hold my tongue on this issue but enough is enough!!!

Anonymous said...

HR, CMS and professional? Truly oxymoronic. Look at the trail of the last two "professionals." Maurice and Habrat...ouch! Central Services? That's Robert DeNiro in "Brazil" servicing bureaucratic ductwork in a dystopian society. Finally CMS has appropriately stolen a name from a cult movie that in every way, shape, and form matches the film.

Anonymous said...

Morrison has never eaten risotto? I would be suspicious of anyone who is leading a school district and has never tried risotto.

Anonymous said...

June 19 5:58 PM - Yes, he did put another academic in charge of HR with no HR experience. The idea shared by many in CMS leadership is that if you have been a principal then you can run any department within a school district. Principals can be great assets for a school and a district but they shouldn't be set up to fail by being placed in positions for which they have no experience. The question you should all be asking is why the Board of Education is blindly approving these appointments. The approvals DO NOT happen in front of the public but behind closed doors in individual sessions with the superintendent. They ask all the questions they need to ask outside of earshot of the public and then just rush through the approvals in the public forum. Perhaps they should be held as accountable as Dr. Morrison for this debacle that he calls Human Resources. My heart goes out to the people that see the leprosy in CMS spread throughout the district as those at the top of the house continue to make terrible decisions and not produce good results for our children. Finally, to June 19 at 10:10, YOU ARE CORRECT. Dr. Morrison is not who he appears to be and is embarrassingly mean and nasty to his staff. He is for certain employees and not for others. Can't wait to see how this drama will continue to unfold. Will the BOE wake up and smell the stench?

Anonymous said...

Chief Morrison throws in the towel.