Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No squawks about CMS

I thoroughly enjoyed "Charlotte Squawks,"  the ninth annual musical lampoon of our area's characters,  institutions and foibles. But something feels amiss.

There are spoofs of Congress and the N.C. General Assembly.  Mayor Anthony Foxx makes frequent appearances,  and Pat McCrory's dance number is inspired.  Mecklenburg County gets three whole songs,  for the county commission,  County Manager Harry Jones'  departure and the revaluation flub.  Even the Observer's paywall got a poke,  to the tune of  "Skyfall."

"Pat McCrory" shows his "Governor Style"
But there's nary a peep about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools,  one of our largest public institutions.

I could claim it's because the cast hasn't found lookalikes for Superintendent Heath Morrison or school board Chair Mary McCray.  But the truth is,  this crew just isn't very funny.

It wasn't long ago that the district's leaders provided regular fodder for skewering.  Remember when the board was regularly described as divided and dysfunctional?  When national consultants used videos of CMS board meetings as examples of chaotic governance?  When protesters were getting hauled out of board meetings in handcuffs?

If you don't like the current board's direction,  it's probably not much consolation that they're working more cohesively.  But it's got to be a good thing for the community when the folks in charge of educating children behave like grown-ups.

Of course,  reporters take a perverse pride in covering the wackiest characters in town.  I admit to feeling some nostalgia for the days when a new superintendent took office and promptly tried to ban a children's book about gay penguins.

Since I saw only the dress rehearsal,  I checked with founder/producer Mike Collins to see whether things might change before the show ends on June 21.  The musical numbers are set,  he said,  but a satirical newscast is updated daily.

"If they do anything funny or absurd or worth making fun of, that will find its way into the news,"  Collins added helpfully.

Well, I can always hope for a good laugh.  But we might have to settle for a leadership team that seems to have gone sane.



Wiley Coyote said...

CMS zombie parents wielding huge pencils would make great fodder for the program...

It's very difficult to turn status quo (CMS) into comedy.

Texas girl said...

There is so much going on right now in CMS that is not funny. The ONLY cuts should be happening is at the top levels. The ONLY focus should be what is happening in the classrooms with our children. CMS has lost focus, and lost (and will lose) a lot of great teachers. Just makes me sad.

Anonymous said...

Large turnover at my school as the year ended with retirements and several teachers either leaving CMS for suburban districts or the profession entirely for other opportunities in Charlotte. Political purge is on worthy of that during Stalin's regime. Any critique or even constructive criticism of the new policies is automatically deemed as a threat and professional life is made intolerable. The CMS hierarchical bund needs to be reformed but all voices should be heard and not quashed due to political alignments or political correctness.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Collins stand up could use Kojo and Petey with a little Heath on the side. Not sure you can find that wig , but it would be funny. Throw in a little Bob Morgan "its okay to close the schools not problem" it will all work out in the end. Or just send a audience to a BOE meeting laughs are free with their discussions.

Anonymous said...

Much like the general public - we have just given up on believing there will ever be good reform at CMS.