View video of the April 11 public forum at Northwest School of the Arts.
On April 11, the candidates visited Mallard Creek High, Nathaniel Alexander Elementary and Sedgefield Middle schools. They had coffee and lunch with principals. They stopped by classrooms. They toured the schools. And they answered questions everywhere they went.
Testing, busing, funding and teacher evaluations were popular topics. So were morale, equity, the achievement gap and how to make schools better.
Similar themes surfaced during three afternoon panel discussions and an evening one at Northwest School of the Arts. The afternoon panels featured one candidate at a time; the evening panel put all three on stage together to answer questions.
Panelists began with a list of questions and supplemented it with queries from the audiences at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center and the Francis Auditorium at the main library. The candidates also met with the media.
The two-day schedule ended with a lunch at UNCC, where the candidates met local elected and education officials, followed by individual interviews with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.
A Board decision on which candidate will be superintendent is expected in May.
“A student is built to learn. They are going to learn; it's what they learn that we need to be concerned about.” – Kriner Cash
“We've got to change the view of the superintendent and the Board and how we act in the public space. We need to work together and be seen together in the community, advocating for our students.” – Ann Clark
“Race and socioeconomics should not determine student achievement.” – Heath Morrison
“There is a high school in this county where students have a 50-50 chance of graduating. That, to me, is unacceptable.” – Ann Clark
“I had two teachers that helped me get on the right track to be the first in my family to graduate from high school and go on to college. I owe a debt to public education that I will never be able to repay.” – Heath Morrison
“We should all be accountable to some outcome measures.” – Kriner Cash
“I want to be in a school district long enough to change the culture -- be there eight, 14 years to make it a great school system.” – Heath Morrison
“The superintendency is the hardest CEO job in America, bar none.” – Kriner Cash
“We have to start with an internal pride campaign. That may seem very simplistic, but we have to own who we are and what we do - and be proud of it - and get the community excited about what we do.” – Ann Clark
“I'm a point guard. I don't have to get the bucket, but I want a bucket. You can score the bucket, but when I pass the ball to you, make it.” – Kriner Cash
“We've got to put the face of children on all our decisions.” – Ann Clark
“I want principals who are instructional leaders. I look for principals who can deal with conflicts and be able to work with parents, staff, students and find a solution to problems.” – Heath Morrison
“I've lived, served or led in every zip code in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. What I bring to this district is strategic vision, intentionality.” – Ann Clark
“To support great principals, it is about communicating and us learning about what you need, not about us telling you what we think you need.” – Heath Morrison
“We want to create schools and encourage schools where parents are involved, where students want to come to school early to be there and stay late to finish the project.” – Kriner Cash