Monday, February 24, 2014

CMS board working on self-evaluation

A lot has changed in the 17 months since the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board started talking about how to evaluate itself.

The board has yet to create a self-evaluation process,  but the tone at Friday's planning retreat was festive and congratulatory when the seven members present talked about how well they work together. That's a sharp contrast with the September 2012 session where members did a self-evaluation questionnaire and gave themselves low marks on such crucial functions as researching decisions,  keeping confidentiality and supporting majority decisions.

Burney
This time around,  board members laughed frequently and celebrated their cohesiveness as a team,  as Superintendent Heath Morrison and consultant Betty Burney from the Center for Reform of School Systems showered them with praise.  Burney,  a member of the Duval County (Fla.) Board of Education,  assured the board they're positioning CMS to win the Broad Prize for Urban Education for a second time when the district becomes eligible again.

Morrison says he hears good things about the board from local and state officials,  as well as educators around the nation.  The Council of Urban Boards of Education honored the CMS board as its 2013 Board of Excellence last fall.

"But it is so easy to lose it,"  Morrison said.  "You don't want to lose the way you're being perceived right now."

That's one of the reasons the board is working on ways to formally identify the group's strengths and weaknesses.   "If you want to be a healthy board and remain a healthy board,  you've got to do a periodic check,"  Burney said.

Vice Chair Tim Morgan noted that unlike employee evaluations,  which are confidential under state law,  this rating would be a public matter.  Members worried about giving ammunition to critics,  noting the coverage they got in 2012 for the self-inflicted low ratings.  But they also said the evaluation could help educate the public and identify areas for improvement.  Member Ericka Ellis-Stewart said it will work only if members trust each other enough to use the opportunity for review of the group's work,  rather than finger-pointing or reliving clashes.

Paul Bailey,  a former Matthews town commissioner elected to the CMS board in November,  said admitting mistakes can help turn critics into allies.  Thelma Byers-Bailey,  the board's other newcomer,  agreed:  "At least you take the sting out of it when you confess to it rather than having somebody else pick it up and throw it at you."

Members looked at self-evaluations used by other boards around the country.

The CMS board has been working with the CRSS for several years on improving governance.  The district paid $5,625 for Burney to work with the board at this retreat,  which took place at the CMS Leadership Academy near Vance High.

18 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

The status quo patting itself on the back....

Hearing good things about yourself doesn't translate into kids learning....

Ettolrahc said...

Mirror, Mirror on the wall.

Shamash said...

"At least you take the sting out of it when you confess to it rather than having somebody else pick it up and throw it at you."


Dog owners beware!

Anonymous said...

Ok, truth is, they are not a team. They are elected officials. I vote for the individuals who I hope will represent the needs of my kids and the kids in my area. Given the distinct differences in a school district the size of CMS, I want school board reps who will fight for the needs of my kids. I emailed the board earlier this school year regarding an issue at our local elementary school, only to hear back that the board defers to rep the school is located in. Not sure what role that leaves for the at large members.

Anonymous said...

White flight continues from CMS as % rates are below 30% and below average academically (other than the southern part of the county). In the late 60s early 70s whites were 90% of CMS that was rated superior academically nationally. What happened? Teachers fault? yea rite Administration fault? yea rite ...
Of course its never the parents or students fault ...

Stop blaming teachers and administrators you bums !!!!!

Anonymous said...

bingo! Far too many in our society wish to blame others (schools) for the failings of their children.

Anonymous said...

Did they do anything else?

Ann Doss Helms said...

2:31, they didn't do much in terms of making decisions; this was more of a discussion and planning session. If you click the link in the second paragraph it'll take you to the story I wrote about their discussion of academic freedom vs. equity. The only other big topic was an overview of capital planning (again, no decisions, just talking about the process).

Anonymous said...

Self-evaluations? Who do they think they are politicians?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the person posting as Wiley Coyote actually have a job, or is he / she a bored stay at home parent? I don't see how one person can claim to have a job but spend so much time posting.

Anonymous said...

And why would anyone care?

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher and I could careless. I go to work everyday and do the best I can for my students. I haven't even looked at my score.

Anonymous said...

Blog comments are the new crossword puzzles.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this was for the last story. I could careless about the board ass well:-)

Wiley Coyote said...

5:13....

I have a fulltime job, last year traveled about 90 days, mostly to the west coast and have two small businesses on the side.

Anything else you'd like to know?

Anonymous said...

Hmm...a second Broad Prize.

Didn't we spend enough the first time? How much more money must we waste to win this "award?"

Anonymous said...

Okay Ann , read what you wrote. I am going to leave it alone and CMS cannot afford to print more Broad banners. They have kids to teach and bell schedules to figure out. This is too ridiculous to even comment on.

Anonymous said...

NC is the backwater of America, thanks Mcory, Tillis, and Perdu. It doesn't matter who is in charge.