Monday, January 13, 2014

CMS gears up teacher recruiting

Want to teach in a place with great weather,  exciting roller coasters and Swedish meatballs?  Then you might want to get in touch with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools,  which is recruiting for current vacancies and the 2014-15 school year.

CMS recruiters have already visited Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New York, Illinois, Michigan and Virginia,  as well as events in the Carolinas,  according to a recent report to the school board.  And the district has created an  "I Am CMS"  marketing campaign that includes fliers,  postcards and such attention-getters as  "I am 'mint' to work for CMS" candies.

The postcard highlights such quality-of-life factors as sports, Carowinds amusement park,  EpiCentre nightlife and the chance to shop for furniture and eat meatballs at IKEA.

On a more serious front,  CMS is hoping the expansion of highly paid  "opportunity culture"  jobs for classroom teachers will help lure top teachers from around the country.  Starting next year,  17 more schools will offer opportunities for their best teachers to take on expanded duties working with other teachers and more students.  Details will vary by school,  but the four-school Project LIFT debut this year offers supplements up to $23,000 a year.

If you want to read more about that program from someone who's in the thick of it,  check out this blog by Ranson Middle School math teacher Romain Bertrand,  who holds one of the new jobs leading multiple classrooms.

"For years, a sad reality has been hurting our educational system, at least here in North Carolina:  If you are good at teaching and you truly enjoy it, the only way for you to expand your impact and advance in your career is to … leave the very same classroom where you currently excel,"  Bertrand writes.  "This paradox has become a dirty little secret that we all whisper:  At one point, I am going to have to leave the classroom."
Bertrand explains how his new job offers a way to work around that paradox  --  without having to move into a  "facilitator"  or administrative job that keeps him from regular contact with kids.
Even as Superintendent Heath Morrison celebrated the Belk Foundation grant to expand the opportunity culture program,  he cautioned it's not the sole solution for enticing great teachers to CMS. North Carolina's low pay scale threatens to undermine the best efforts,  he said:  "We can't be $10,000 below the national average and think the opportunity culture is going to solve that."  Morrison is among many voices calling for a sustained statewide effort to make teaching a higher paid, better respected profession in North Caroilna.


Anonymous said...

Nothing like overpriced "entertainment" and compressed wood chip furniture to designate as quality of life features. Feeding a family (plus some students), how many part-time jobs, plus dealing with no discipline plans might be a better description of working in this district. It must be a problem if TNTP is sending recruiting e-mails to retired

Anonymous said...

How about a roll of toilet paper with CMS printed on each sheet to emphasize how much this district is full of...

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a common theme lately about discipline issues in CMS not being adequately dealt with. What's up with this?

Bullies, thugs, trouble makers, whatever you call them should NOT be tolerated. Education is a privilege and these "kids" affect everyone around them. They are NOT entitled to a free education. Get them out, and the CMS administrators/principals should stand behind the teachers 100% on this one.

BolynMcClung said...


Ann's recruitment story features "opportunity culture" in lower case letters. However "Opportunity Culture" is an initiative from Chapel Hill's Public Impact. Website is

CMS needs to make a deal with the public if programs like Opportunity Culture are successful and accepted. An OC teacher is part teacher, part supervisor. To me, that means CMS should be shifting its yearly budget. Less money should go for administration. The difference used IN THE CLASSROOM.

What public education has been guilty of in the past is shifting money out of the classroom and into support services. OC is an excellent chance to reverse that trend.

I'd like to see teachers get a better trade for giving up career status (tenure) than the state's measly offer. Tenure was originally a protection for teachers from being dismissed and harassed for things like the length of skirts, what church she attended or how late she stayed out at night…or that some politician wanted his good ol buddy's niece to have some unfortunate teacher's job.

However, it isn't likely that teacher pay will increase much. The average pay for all North Carolinians is $45,000. The average pay for all NC teachers is…$45,000. Realistically, the only way to raise average teacher pay is to raise the whole state's pay.

So, which came first? The chicken or the egg? Business development or teacher pay?

Bolyn McClung

Wiley Coyote said...

Just more educrat-double speak gobbledygook.

Morrison and Bertrand lament teachers eventually leaving for more lucrative pay elsewhere, so why not implement the structure LIFT uses?

...the schools chose to “exchange” some of their locally funded positions. In some schools, design teams working in coordination with Swartz swapped some teacher positions for paraprofessionals, who will handle noninstructional and less complex instructional supervision so that no learning value is lost.

Some schools also converted academic facilitator positions, which were created as non-classroom specialists who support teachers, into multiclassroom
leader positions, reinvesting in classroom instruction rather than out-of-classroom supports.

As a result, all of the pay increases for advanced teaching positions are funded at the school level out of regular funding streams, not temporary grants. None of L.I.F.T.’s philanthropic grants will be needed to fund the pay increases in pilot schools.

So if LIFT is funding this wonderful "opportunity culture" (barf) out of existing funds, why can't it be replicated district wide?

There are 12 facilitator classifications in the CMS database with 28 high school academic facilitators alone.

Why don't we convert them to classroom teachers and start getting some value for our tax dollars?

Anonymous said...

I am presuming CMS is competing against other states at these job fairs. It would be fun to hear local officials try to entice prospective teachers. Might go like this.."Come to NC, the pay is 46th in the nation, we won't pay extra for you masters, you'll be frozen at the same pay level for five years, you won't have tenure, we may fire you if the test (which change yearly) scores of your students' is mediocre." Good luck CMS.

Candy Cane said...

Why so many highly paid academic facilitators, curriculum facilitators, literacy facilitators at the local school level?? If those teachers are not in front of students, get rid of them. We need more common sense within CMS. It should be all about what is happening in the class room.

Mr. Teacher man said...

Way to go Virginia! Another incentive for teachers to go north to VA, higher pay and sensible high school start times.

A group of researchers from Children’s National Medical Center will present a progress report today to the Fairfax County School Board in Virginia on a study commissioned by the administration to implement later high school start times, from the current 7:20am to 8:15am.

According to scientists and physicians, teenagers need more than eight hours of sleep a night for improved health and development. Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at the hospital, told The Washington Post in September that studies have shown that a lack of sleep has been tied to health risks including obesity, hypertension, depression and strokes as well as decreased academic performance.

According to the local advocacy group Start Later for Excellence in Education Proposal, or SLEEP, 72 of 95 counties in Virginia start high school classes at or after 8 a.m.

Fairfax is not alone in its efforts. In Maryland, Montgomery County schools have proposed shifting start times from 7:25 to 8:15 a.m. In Anne Arundel County, where high school starts at 7:17 a.m., school officials created a task force in December to investigate a similar move. Loudoun County, Va., high school classes start at 9 a.m.

Anonymous said...

Swedish meatballs? Really CMS? That's the best you can do.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know why my 5th grade daughter and her classmates are allowed to play on Instagram and play computer/video games on their technology at school? This is part of the new BYOT program?

Shamash said...

OK, so maybe they're on to something here.

But why didn't CMS mention shopping at Belk instead of Ikea?

What has Ikea done for CMS lately?

How about Ikea donating their meatball profits to CMS.

They could fund a project LIFT for Ardrey Kell and its feeder schools.

Every bite will help.

Because, while $505,000 buys you a lot of good publicity and perhaps a nice tax break if you're a well-known corporation, it's really a drop in the bucket in a $billion school district.

Or maybe they're just trying to remove good teachers from "some" schools and put them in others by adding a little extra gravy to those meatballs.

H'mm. Now why would they want to do that?

It's not without precedent, though.

It's basically what Finland has done.

Finnish meatballs, anyone?

Even their principals get to teach.

General Tso's Chicken, anyone?

Shanghai rotates their "best" teachers from school to school so all kids (and teachers), especially the "poor", get exposed to their practices.

But they don't deliberately run off the best teachers from the "other" (i.e., "rich") students, either.

And I suspect that they do not have as many "problem" students in those "resilient" countries as the US (with its incessant excuses for the "poor") has.

But we'll just have to see how the LIFT project works.

At least they are waking up to the idea that better pay might make a difference.

Meatballs and roller coasters aren't enough.

Especially if you can't afford to buy them.

Or if you are having to deal with all the kids who "ain't misbehavin'".

(Gawd, just when you think CMS can't get any sillier).

Anonymous said...

This is simple - reinstate the pay scale promised to teachers. Put them where they are supposed to be and keep the commitment to keep raising it until it's above national average. Confidence has been destroyed by politicians. When they commit to teacher well-being and restored some sense of security and longevity - this foolishness and impending teacher shortage will be over.

Anonymous said...

11:39 I think it's a little more than that. Is that really all the teachers care about? Not what I have heard from fellow teachers.

Anonymous said...

I am currently a teacher with CMS. I moved here from Rochester, NY and I enjoy working for CMS. If I were attending a job fair out of state, I believe that the mints and the postcard that shows all the things to do in Charlotte would definitely get me thinking about coming to work there. While it may seem silly to some, I like the fact that CMS is trying something different and focusing on the positive.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher who just escaped CMS, I would implore those tempted by the mints, to RUN, RUN AWAY. Go dig ditches, flip burgers, or shovel manure - anything to avoid working for the driveling yes men and women in positions of authority in CMS.

Most are right, it's not about the money. The constant drivel about details that make no difference to the student in the classroom, the lack of regular and technological resources in the classroom, and the extreme lack of backbone (ie: discipline) of the administrators make working in Charlotte a miserable experience. I am simply thankful to have escaped to a much better local school district.

Anonymous said...

@9:50-BYOT is the subject no one wants to talk about. Its such a joke. Even my son doesn't ask to bring anything in because he knows at age 10 that they aren't using it to learn. Its a tool for to give the teachers a break. Hey-make the kid read a book at free time!
I don't care what anyone says-they aren't using their devices to learn or research. BYOT stinks almost at the way we have to provide we are not a robot on this blog.

Shamus said...

Just read the bus driver story, she's not the only one falling asleep. Ask the high schoolers to start taking pics of their fellow classmates asleep during half of the class day. No joke.

There's no excuse for the driver to fall asleep behind the wheel, but face it, when you start work at 5am that will happen.

Anonymous said...

17 schools...... Great, Do teachers just hope it comes to their school.. Meatballs... Lame

Anonymous said...

Who would come and teach in NC these days? A teacher works at my local pool in the summer. I told him he was doing a good job and he explained to me how he was trying to get a full-time job with the pool company..
Better to work for a pool company then teach in NC... know that's a slogan...

Anonymous said...


Reminds me of a Bill Murray comedy.

Anonymous said...

Ikea and The Disco Chicken make Charlotte a world class city.


Wiley Coyote said...

February 2013

IKEA: No Horse in Meatballs in the US Stores.....

IKEA - at least teachers know they can get horsemeat-less balls in Charlotte.

I notice they left off the bullet points that would bring teachers here in droves:

Whitewater Center
Concord Mills

Gotta love it.

Anonymous said...

The best part of charlotte is when you see it in your rearview mirror.. Meatballs.. From what I have read.. Teachers in NC can't afford meatballs..

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...


I predicted long ago that BYOT would mean that a lot of folks in our schools would be getting in trouble from what the kids recorded.

My main takeaway from the bus driver story is how CMS just tried to ignore the problem and complaints from parents, hoping it would go away.

I bet they do that a lot.

But just WHO were they trying to protect, and WHY? It wasn't the kids.

Is this another matter of "disparate impact" and fear of punishing those who "Ain't Misbehavin'"?

But at least now we have the tool of public humiliation and embarrassment to make CMS toe the line.

I'm sure this is only the beginning.

(If the CO stops cooperating, then there's always YouTube.)

I'll bet CMS will try to ban the cameras and recorders in the classroom before they ban the game playing (and I'm talking about "reality", not just "rules")

Because we all know what they really want the kids to do with their tech toys.

And tattling on the teachers, staff and students isn't one of them.

Bobby McGee said...

Wish a student would have recorded a hissy fit by an AK teacher/coach, swearing and knocking over a desk. I think he's been promoted.

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...

Bobby McGee,

Don't worry, they will.

Da Coach is not immune.

It's just a matter of time.

YouTube is full of such school shenanigans.

BYOT is the schoolyard equivalent of dashcams on cop cars.

Anonymous said...

There is no


for any teacher in CMeS. Go work at Burger King and increase everything for your families.