Cleveland County Schools-Trouble in Paradise Part I. New Problems – Same as the Old Problems

An extensive discussion regarding the 2014-2015 CCS Budget was held. Dr. David Lee told the Board that the CCS Budget was being influenced by the NC General Assembly NOT having the State Budget finalized and this could lead to teacher layoffs. It was obvious that Dr. Lee did not have a clue about the budget and he did not have a clue regarding having more money to spend in the budget than CCS had ever received in the history of public education in North Carolina. It was obvious Dr. Lee clearly did not have a plan or priority regarding the running of CCS due to the State Budget not being finalized. It was beginning to appear that Dr. Lee was not the man to be reporting on the next year’s budget or any budget. (See the August 11, report below for proof that Dr. Lee is not the man to resolve budget issues at CCS.) In exaspararation Board Member Donnie Thurman, Jr. asked the most profound question of the evening and perhaps the whole year. Donnie Thurman stated, “What is OUR Plan for the budget?” Dr. Lee did not and obviously could not answer that question, but the issue was left as is by the rest of the school board hoping the State Budget would be finalized by the August 11th meeting.

The August 11, 2014 CCS Board Meeting started off with a mistake. A harbinger for the rest of the CCS Board meeting. Most of the rest of the important topics on the Agenda followed suit with more mistakes. Bad mistakes.

The very first mistake was CCS Board Chairman Jack Hamrick got the “Moment of Silence” and the Pledge of Allegiance reversed. No real harm though except God may be scrambling Dr. Hamrick’s brain for turning his (Hamrick’s) back on the Lord. Which appears to me to never be a good idea.

Then, in the Public Participation section the speaker (Michael Lorance-but I am not sure about the last name as I could not hear the speaker that well.) Anyway, the speaker lowered the boom and chastised the CCS Board for not insuring the CCS cirriculum educates our children sufficient to get jobs in the community. (It is noted in a recent (July 2014) Commissioner’s Workshop that this same lack of an adequately trained workforce directly caused several companies recruited by the County Economic Development team to NOT choose Cleveland County for their plants. (I personally drafted an email message last month to the Commissioners and the CCS Board that there was a disconnect here and they should get together, discuss and resolve this. The Commissioner Chairman replied that this was a good idea but to my knowledge absolutely nothing has been done by CCS or the Commissioners.) The speaker went on to state that it was time to “stop the Good Ole Boy System” at CCS and “Do the right thing!” My sentiments exactly. Yours too I bet.

The next major item presented to the school board was regarding the

    completed Teacher Working Condition Survey.

Dr. Fisher provided many PowerPoint slide projections and charts which compared the CCS teacher survey results with the State average results. Dr. Fisher was proud to say that “Cleveland County Schools beat the state averages in every category.” It was obvious that Dr. Fisher knows the old school board members only want to hear “good” news and he works only for the CCS Board-NOT the citizens of Cleveland County. Dr. Fisher has heard Board Co-chairperson Shearra Miller state that CCS should “accentuate the positive” and that she “doesn’t want to hear a lot of complaints.” Dr. Fisher was all smiles and smooth talk about the survey results and his commitment to

    “Continuous Improvement”

at CCS. Dr. Fisher had to know the survey results were phony because of two unrefutable reasons. (1) If the too good to be true Survey results were correct, then CCS would be the top district in the whole state of North Carolina. CCS is NOT the top district in North Carolina, and (2) if CCS was as good as the survey alleges, turnover among teachers would not be so high. The results were obviously phony as well as the presentation.

As for a commitment to Continuous Improvement. Another phony statement. Continuous improvement programs everywhere focus on correcting problems and mistakes. The CCS Board refuses to admit there are problems and mistakes at CCS and no superintendent looking to solve problems and mistakes will last very long at CCS. It appears Dr. Fisher already knows this and he will run the CCS admin as always or up to the time the old CCS Board is removed at Election Time in 2015 or whenever.

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