CMS Superintendent Search Report – 2016

MeckEd, an independent and local non-profit committed to ensuring that all students in Mecklenburg County have access to excellent public schools, organized and hosted a total of 14 community engagement sessions across Mecklenburg County between September 7 and September 29, 2016. MeckEd created, broadly advertised, and encouraged completion of a short online survey. The survey was available in both English and Spanish. MeckEd has compiled and summarized all stakeholder feedback and comments from each of the 14 sessions as well as the input gleaned from 342 completed surveys.

Combined Priorities from Community Engagement Sessions and Survey Analytics

  1. Trust Builder who is Highly Ethical: 79.9% of survey respondents echoed engagement participant’s clear interest in finding a superintendent who can re-stitch real and/or perceived absence of trust between the community and the district. Concerns about building trust were also highlighted in the Survey Comments.
  2. Commitment to ALL Children: Clearly a critically important quality and characteristic among engagement participants, it is almost word for word reinforced by survey respondents, of which 76% identified as their second to the highest ranked quality and characteristic.
  3. Community Orientation: When the highest and second highest ranked responses to the question of what qualities and characteristics the community would like in a superintendent, 82.9% indicated they want someone who is committed to CMS and the community it serves. Engaging parents was also an important issue surfaced in the Survey Comments.
  4. Focus on Teachers and School Leaders: Engagement participants and 65.4% of survey respondents indicated strong cross stakeholder support for a superintendent who maintains a focus on recruiting, retaining, and holding accountable high-quality teachers and school leaders. And on building highly effective teams. Recruiting and Retaining High-Quality Teachers; Ensuring a High-Quality Teacher in Every Classroom, and Recruiting and Retaining High-Quality School Leaders were listed as the top three challenges survey respondents believe a new superintendent needs to confront. Teaching and Learning was the second highest ranked focus area identified for an incoming superintendent.
  5. Capacity to Maintain Stability and Facilitate Change (Create and Manage Conflict): Engagement participants and 64.6% of all survey respondents identified the ability to manage conflict as a quality and characteristic they wish to see in a superintendent.
  6. Commitment to Ensuring Access to Quality Home/Neighborhood Schools: A question concerning CMS Board of Education policies related to Student Assignment or community response to the topic was intentionally left off of the survey. However, the issue was surfaced in a substantive way by respondents in the comments section of the survey as well as in the engagement sessions by participants. In general, survey respondents and engagement participants do not want to put their children on long bus rides or to go to school outside of their neighborhood unless it is their choice.

High Response Outlier Support the Arts in All CMS Schools Ten different comments gleaned from ten different respondents raise the issue of providing a strong arts-infused curriculum.

Please read the full report Superintendent Search Report. Raw data, the survey, and additional analytics are available on request. Contact MeckEd’s Communication and Community Outreach Manager, Josh Vazquez at