CMS considers changing how it evaluates superintendents

Future Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendents could be evaluated in part based on what their subordinates have to say.

WHAT COULD CHANGE: The school board discussed Wednesday creating a “360-degree” review process for superintendent and general counsel performance evaluations. That refers to a technique commonly used in the corporate world that gathers comments from people who report to the employee as well as their bosses.

Now, the CMS school board evaluation relies primarily on what the board members have to say.

BACKGROUND: The changes directly tie to former Superintendent Heath Morrison’s resignation in November. He left after the district’s general counsel, George Battle III, led an investigation into accusations that Morrison bullied staff members and created a “ culture of fear.” Board members have said they had no idea before then that such concerns existed.

WHAT THEY SAID: “Yes, we should have done it because it probably would have helped us over the past two years,” board member Rhonda Lennon said. But she said she feared feedback from subordinates would be generic to avoid the possibility of their bosses figuring out what they said.

• “It can help us discover blind spots that we don’t see or the employee doesn’t see,” board member Ericka Ellis-Stewart said. She recommended doing evaluations twice per year.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? The school board did not vote on any changes Wednesday. Details, including how often they’ll be conducted and whether evaluations will include any objective measurements, still need to be worked out.