Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CMS supt. candidates are all education smart

Before I dash off to the last scheduled public meeting for candidates for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' superintendent, here are some quick impressions of the candidates from the afternoon sessions:

All three are smart and know a lot about education and running an urban/suburban school system like CMS.

The most animated during the meetings I attended was Washoe County (Reno) Nevada superintendent Heath Morrison. He smiled a lot and seemed most at ease with the public, walking around, shaking hands and talking to audience members before the meetings started. He was quick to put people at ease, urging the panelists asking questions to "call me Heath... Calling me Dr. Morrison sounds like I'm likely to give you a shot and that would be bad for you and it would be bad for me." Morrison also had done his homework - he'd been to CMS observing the system before he became a candidate for superintendent - and could talk well about specific programs and previous superintendents. He also emphasized that he worked well with teacher groups.

Some critics had observed that CMS's top academic officer Ann Clark, also a candidate, was too dour and reserved. But in the meeting I attended she was lively and open, smiling and laughing, talked with passion about improving the schools. She also talked about herself, noting that her first job with the schools was as a bus driver. She said a clear failing of the school system was "missed opportunities to connect" with certain parts of the county who are "frustrated with CMS." On the testing issue, she said the schools "cannot be testing more than we are teaching," but emphasized the need to be accountable with resources.

Kriner Cash of the Memphis Schools was the least animated and the least specific in answers to questions. He also didn't seem to know as much about CMS as the other two. He focused more on the mechanics of what generally makes for a good school system - "places of joy, passion and learning." He noted that being a school superintendent is "the most difficult CEO job", adding that it took teamwork and collaboration with the public to get things done. "I won't be about ripping up the pavement," he said if he came to CMS. "I'm about improving and tweaking."

The night meeting with the begins at 7 p.m. at the Northwest School of the Arts. It ends at 8:30 p.m. See you there.

Posted by Fannie Flono


Truth Seeker said...

Ann Clark has been running CMS all year. How do you think she has done? Seems like morale is at an all time low, principals are leaving or forced out in droves, teachers are swamped with large class sizes and ever increasing expectations to do more and more. If she could have done something why not this year?

Anonymous said...

CMS supt. candidates are all education smart

Now I am worried. That sounds like book smart, common sense deprived.

Would that mean they still would not understand that a program is failing and the thing to do is to stop spending money on it?

Wiley Coyote said...

How many "education smart" superintendents have we have not only in CMS, but other cities around the country?

What is that CMS achievement gap again?

How many "education smart" supers have we had over the past 30 years?

It's like after 30+ years you still don't get it.

Anonymous said...

So the Nevada guy isn't like a stalker?

Anonymous said...

If Cash is hired, we all know it's because he is African American--the other two candidates are vastly more qualified. Period. Cash has run Memphis schools into bankruptcy and publicly decried being accountable to anyone. So, if the BOE choses him over the other two--we will all know exactly what criteria the BOE used...the ONLY criteria the BOE used...I know they think the entire system is a minority community service project anyway...but that doesn't mean they have to chose the most woefully under qualified of the bunch just because he matches.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ask them who they are going to react and manage the white flight being orchestrated by the tools that are running Charlotte into the gutter?

Ghoul said...
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