If you can't make it to this afternoon's community interviews with the finalists for CMS superintendent, you can watch the session at the Government Center online.
Ann Clark, chief academic officer with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, will be there from 1-2:15. Kriner Cash, superintendent of Memphis City Schools, will be there from 2:45-4, and Heath Morrison, superintendent in Reno, Nev., will be there from 4:30-5:45. The panelists asking questions are Randolph Frierson, president of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators; Bill Russell, president of Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce; Bolyn McClung, a Pineville blogger, and Howard Haworth, former chair of N.C. Board of Education.
The format is already stirring controversy. The panelists, named by school board members, were asked to submit their questions to LaTarzja Henry, the head of communication for CMS; they'll get a list of questions when they arrive at the three locations today (full schedule here).
"They're going to give us back a list of questions that are approved and orchestrated," said Judy Kidd, president of the Classroom Teachers Association, who's on the panel at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Asked if she's stick to the list, she replied: "Have you ever known me to read from a script?"
Henry says the idea was to weed out duplication, not to sanitize the topics. She said all panels will have a list that includes all the topics submitted. Members of the public also sent in 30 questions via social media. The questions asked by afternoon panelists will be ones that apply to all three finalists, Henry said.
The forum at Northwest School of the Arts, from 7-8:30 p.m., will feature questions from two teachers two parents and two students. Teachers are Amy Medlin, president of the superintendent's teacher advisory committee, and CMS teacher of the year Karen Meadows. Parents are PTA president Harold Dixon and Elyse Dashew, who recently ran for school board. Students are Destiny Planter and Aidan McConnell (don't have their schools). Heather Waliga of News 14 Carolina will be the master of ceremonies, and the station will air the evening session at 10 a.m. Saturday, Henry said. All three finalists will be at that event, and questions may be specific to their circumstances and background. Around 8 p.m., the formal questions will end and the finalists will mingle with the audience.
Ely Portillo (@ESPortillo), April Bethea (@AprilBethea) and I (@AnnDossHelms) will be tailing the finalists and tweeting from the afternoon sessions (follow #CMSSuptSearch for all tweets on the topic). CMS didn't allow media to the school visits the finalists made this morning, but their own PR folks have been tweeting from those visits at the same hashtag.
Finally, MeckEd is conducting an online poll for folks to pick their favorite, with results to be shared with the school board.