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.

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