Community members discuss what they want in a new CMS leader

December 5, 2011

CMS will hold six meetings this week to gain feedback about what community members want in a new superintendent. The meetings include structured, small-group discussions.

Listed below is feedback received from individuals and groups at the meetings. We will compile information as the meetings are held.

If you can’t attend the meetings, follow the discussion on Twitter (@CMS_Schools) with the hashtag #CMSsupt.

General comments:

  • CMS needs to think about nontraditional and innovative ways to capture community input during the superintendent search.
  • The community needs to hold the Board of Education accountable so they can hold the superintendent accountable.
  • BOE member Richard McElrath: I’m here to learn what you want in a new superintendent.
  • Can parents interview superintendent candidates?
  • Disparity among community needs should be addressed at schools.
  • CMS Board wants as many people as possible involved in choosing new superintendent.

CMS strengths:

  • A wealth of talent in students and educators.
  • The size of school district a strength and a challenge.
  • Diversity and quality teachers.
  • Strong history and support systems.

CMS weaknesses:

  • The Board of Education’s relationship with the County Commission and the district’s budget issues.
  • Finding a common ground among diversity of needs is a challenge.
  • Too many TFA teachers in certain schools.
  • Parents encouraged to get involved at some schools and discouraged at others.
  • CMS seems to have inequity in resources.
  • Parent involvement is a challenge at some schools.

Qualities needed in new superintendent:

  • Should be a sports fan who will support middle school sports and see academic gains through athletics.
  • Educators will be supportive of a new superintendent, but we want someone who is also supportive of educators.
  • Can build strong relationships. We need a “Super” person.
  • Someone who cares about building trust from all areas of the district – business, urban and suburban.
  • Somebody who has been in a classroom and understands the demands placed on educators in schools.
  • Understands low income communities and their needs.
  • Must take a proactive approach to discipline and support of teachers.
  • No Broad affiliation.
  • Navigates well in Charlotte dynamics.
  • From a large district.
  • Does not support current number of tests.
  • Understands local history and background of this area.
  • Has integrity and is principled.
  • A really effective communicator.
  • More transparent about the budget.
  • Has a true passion for education.
  • Urban and suburban experience.
  • Active in the community.
  • Appreciates school staff.
  • Should be seen in schools.
  • A positive person.
  • Has a better plan for communicating layoffs to teachers.
  • Has team-building skills.
  • Does not see education as a business.
  • Out-of-the-box thinker.


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