Morrison: CMS Has Glaring But Solvable Issues
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison unveiled eight goals to a nearly full house at Belk Theater Monday night. He's been on the job 100 days and says he's identified problems he wants the district to fix.
His goals include giving students more education choices including more magnet schools, alternative schools and college prep classes. He wants to build stronger partnerships with parents and members of the community. He wants to use more technology, including online learning. And, he wants to make sure there is an effective teacher in every classroom. "We must do things to incentivize our teachers to stay in the classroom and serve our students well," says Morrison.
Morrison recently had employees take a morale survey. The results showed many are engaged in their school, but not the district as a whole. He says, "Much of the disconnect comes from a failure to communicate internally with our employees and recognize the hard work our employees make each and every day to try to educate our students."
There are nearly 144,000 students in the district. About 74% of them will graduate. While that rate is up over the past several years, Morrison says CMS must re-focus on the quality of its diplomas. He says, "If we graduate every single student and they have to go to college and need remediation, if they can only seek low entry wage jobs, then we haven't done enough." Morrison says he wants the Charlotte community to hear, "We are not gonna be so arrogant as to think we've ever earned the public's trust."
Many of Morrison's initiatives were launched several weeks ago. Next month, he plans to meet with private and charter school leaders. The previous superintendent, Pete Gorman, also suggested many of the same goals after his first 100 days. Gorman then also wanted safe and orderly schools, adequate facilities and accountability.