Monday, December 12, 2011

CMS search: The novel

A full report on what the public said about the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent search is on the agenda for Tuesday's school board meeting.

The Cliff Notes version of the online survey report has been out for more than a week,  but the full version is posing a challenge,  according to the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute researchers who conducted the poll.  It seems the open-ended question at the end got a lot of responses.  Of the 9,300 who took the survey,  about 3,600 wrote more about what they wanted  --  and brevity was not the defining characteristic.

"The number of words in those responses rivaled full-length novels,"  a member of the research team said last week.  "For instance,  'The Grapes of Wrath.' "

As of last week's forums,  the researchers seemed unsure of how to proceed.  Clearly they realized people who took the time to write deserved more than the very brief synopses in the preliminary report,  such as "teacher needs,"  "communications"  and  "equity/diversity."  But it's also unlikely that board members want to read hundreds of pages of unedited comments.

I'll be among the group listening to how they handle it Tuesday  ...  and keeping my fingers crossed that the new board's first meeting doesn't turn into a deadline-buster.

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