Wednesday, July 26, 2006

An insider's view of new CMS leader

Here’s a short behind-the-scenes report from a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools insider:

Seems CMS’ new chief operating officer, Maurice “Mo” Green, was a big hit at a recent principals’ meeting. He gave a speech, says my source, that had the room in the palm of his hand. “A real Barak Obama moment” was the description.

My source was impressed not only with his intelligence, but with what was described as “humility,” in addition to that indefinable “leadership” quality.

The source is NOT a starry-eyed newcomer or a flak trying to spin to the press, but a seasoned educator who has worked with all kinds of bosses and is not, in my experience, prone to handing out over-the-top compliments just for the heck of it.

Green had been the school board’s lawyer until new Superintendent Peter Gorman tapped him to run the day-to-day operations of the school system.


Anonymous said...

It must be slow out there on the growth front to be talking about this. Yawn......

Rick said...


Did your source say anything about Mo Green being willing to fire people, move people, step on toes where needed, or push people to work outside their comfort zone?

In the business world, the CEO is the face of the organization, but the COO does the heavy lifting and the dirty work that makes the organization run.

Dr Goreman is definitly smooth enough to be the face of the organization. Mr Green needs to be hard enough to do what actually needs to be done.

Rick said...

On another CMS note, it looks like we just got our new COPs for CMS approved this afternoon.

Not to blow my own horn, but I predicted this exact scenario on Tommy Tomlinson's column comments last week.

The Dems got totally played by the Republicans on this one. They had no choice but to vote for this new plan. To do anything else would have been political suicide for the upcoming election.

A sensible Republican driven plan was approved, and things are now moving forward.

Remember that come election time this year.

Anonymous said...

I think the 100 days of listening end this week.

Jimmy Mac said...

Rick do you ever have anything positive to say,you must be the most mesirable person on your block.
If Mary's views are so opposite of yours why are you reading her?
Inquring minds want to know please!

Rick said...

Actually Jimmy Mac, I live on an evil inefficient use of land called the cul de sac, and I'm not miserable at all.

As for why I wright, it's because I firmly believe that the only way to get to the truth is to always show both sides of the story.

Since the Observer, in my humble opinion, is an extension of our local Democratic party and a constant chearleader for all things left of center, I think it's important to put out the other side of the story. Taking that as 'negative' is really just because of your point of view.

I pick Mary's blog to express my point of view because she actually speaks about important subjects. Take a look at the other blogs in the Observer. They are hardly worth reading - much less worth a comment. At least Mary talks about things that actually affect people.

I may strongly disagree with just about everything Mary says, but at least it's a discussion about something worth discussing.

Anonymous said...

Hear Hear, Rick. Hear Hear.

Rick said...

Jimmy mac,

Here's an unqualified positive statement.

I just finished reading the interview with Dr Gorman in the RhinoTimes.

I was very impressed.

Since he was talking to an audience in that interview who won't get their feelings hurt by disagreeing with the powers that be, Dr Gorman appeared to feel free to recognize the serious challenges facing CMS.

He recognized that comparing CMS favorably to other 'urban' districts is NOT an apples to apples comparison. He implied that CMS and the Observer making that comparison was less than honest. (This was in reference to the survey that showed Charlotte to be one of the top urban districts in the country.)

He recognized that decentralization was needed, and he made very good arguments as to why this might be better and more efficient than outright deconsolidation.

He pointed out that he expects CMS employees to work as hard as he does. If he can respond to 100 emails a day within 24 hours, they should be able to handle a much smaller number of requests.

Finally, when he dodged the questions about the school board and its members, he admitted he was dodging them. He appeared to be living by the old saying - "if you can't say anything nice, then say nothing at all."

All in all, I'm more than willing to give him a solid chance to shake things up at CMS. His rhetoric appears up to the task.