Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All clear on change now?

At a retreat Friday, all nine members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board gave the district's search firm the strongest possible signal that they want the next superintendent to be a "change agent,"  rather than a hold-steady leader.  The next day they realized they should define what kind of change they want.

They followed up in a conference call with Jim Huge of PROACT Search Tuesday evening.  Huge told the board his definition of change agent:  Someone who is  "totally dedicated to continuous improvement" and would make change within the board's theory of action.  "They will not make change for change's sake,"  Huge added.

The board agreed,  and went on to approve a job profile that PROACT will post  (I'd share a link, but I'm not seeing it on the CMS or PROACT websites yet).

I suppose superintendent profiles are a bit like online dating  --  the descriptions tend to be broad and idealistic,  and you only find out about chemistry after meeting face to face.  Once the public starts meeting finalists,  we may get a better sense about the "change" questions on many people's minds:  Will the next leader change student assignment?  The way money is distributed to schools?  The way schools are structured?  The way students are tested and teachers are evaluated?

In other Tuesday news,  the board started talking about a 10-year construction and renovation plan,  with the possibility of a bond referendum in 2013.  I'll post more about that soon,  but unfortunately,  CMS did not immediately share either its summary presentation documents nor the 2-inch-thick book of specific project plans with the public.  The public information staff is working on that and promises to have at least the summary linked today.  It's not ideal,  but I supposed if there's ever a time when some slowness is understandable,  it's one when the district is dealing with a principal's suicide and the resignation of a top data official.


Wiley Coyote said...

Let's begin now with plans to defeat any bond referendum before they even put it on paper.

We haven't even spent all the money from the last one.

From June 2011:

Mike Raible, who heads planning and project management for CMS, said he had a mixed reaction to the recommendations...

"From having a zero-calorie diet for two years for bond projects approved by the voters back in 2007, it's wonderful to see that the economy has improved enough to the point where we can get some projects started," Raible said. "(But) it's somewhat of a surprise that our priority list was somewhat jumbled based on the county's evaluation."

Read more here:

If we need renovations, issue COPs.

Anonymous said...

So will the superintendent prospects be interviewed by Project LIFT, will they have a say as to who CMS chooses?

Anonymous said...

I sat through the "change agent" discussion last Friday. Seemed everyone was off track. Does change agent mean to stop doing those things that are not generating academic performance (Bright Beginnings, WWS, SSI, etc.)? Does it mean to redirect that money to places where you can get academic excellence, the strangled suburban schools?

Probably not seeing this board in action in person. Might drop in on the budget workshpop Friday to start getting a flavor but somehow I think I already know what it is.

Anonymous said...

Let's begin now to defeat all county commissioners who support giving CMS an increase in the money it receives regardless of the use they say they will put it to.

Anonymous said...

Ann, why do I keep hearing the name Ann Clark associated with the firings or forced retirements of Dr. Bowe and Mark Nixon over and over again?

Anonymous said...

Construction projects:

It has been a practice in the past to mix in capacity porject switch renovation projects. The new county formula no longer gives any priority to capacity projects. So Jennifer and her ilk have tinkered with their "rubics" to keep as much bond money flowing into the urban schools as much as possible. Of course what they do not consider is if an underutilized school needs renovation, why not close it and move the students to one or two other nearby schools.

Of course now, the "urban" worshippers are going to push to have suburban overcapacity moved to urban underutilized with the recent Department of Education and Department of Justice opinions.

And we the taxpayers are stuck with their incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Raible, the economy has not improved that much. The BOCC falsified the re-evaluations for certain segments of the county.

Smoke that! Get it from Coach Joe.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please! Let's change the way the CMS districts are drawn! Why should we have to go all the way to Harding (seriously deteriorating program) when we live one mile from Myers Park HS? CMS FAIL!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:55. You are black and poor. I have wealthy white friends that live 200 yards from Calvary Church on Hwy 51 and their kids go to MP.

Anonymous said...

Actually Anon at 2:26, I'm white, grew up in private school (and my kids will do the same because of the horrendous drawing of the districts) and probably make more than your 'wealthy friends' living way out near Calvary on Hwy 51. But your assumptions show true ignorance. Congratulations.

Signed Anon at 1:55.

Anonymous said...


How can Cobitz be the only one let go in all of this. Is he the ONLY one that is at fault in this data quagmire? There are MANY more at fault and it needs to be investigated by a private audit. It will be the best money ever spent by taxpayers. Ann, I guess you are our only savior in this quest for TRUTH. Follow the money! You will most surely find it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Is Scott Muri ever going to accept any responsibility for the mangled graduation data? Or is Cobitz the only fall guy??