CMS School Board member gives colleagues a "D"

RAW VIDEO: Paul Bailey one-on-one

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) District Six school board member Paul Bailey says he grades hard and that's why he gives the school board a low grade for what members did in 2014.

"I would say the board," Bailey said. "Probably a D."

Bailey explained to WBTV his reasoning for the grade. "I think that we have avoided looking at some strategic issues," Bailey said. "That have been brought up by members of the board, and they haven't been fully fleshed out in discussion."

Bailey is also concerned about the lack of time board members meet.

"One of the issues I have," the school board member said. "Is the frequency of which we meet as a group to simply discuss issues that are on our minds. It will build the relationship between the members and then we can find the strengths and identify the issues and move together to solve the problems."

Bailey says he will bring up his concern at the board's retreat in January. Meantime he has concerns how the district parted ways with former CMS superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison. Bailey voted against it.

"Something that important requires a great deal of due diligence,' Bailey said. "Fact finding and being comfortable with the situation, and I was not able to get to that point. We didn't have a process, so lack of a better phrase, we were making it up as we went along."

Other CMS school board members argue Morrison's contract was the process that was followed.

Bailey has thoughts about finding Charlotte's next top educator. He is not for using a headhunter to find Morrison's replacement.

"My past experience," Bailey said. "Has been that individual - he has some folks he or she is promoting, and we need to look around our own backyard."

Bailey has thoughts about the qualities of the next superintendent. "The next superintendent," Bailey said. "Should be able to do an excellent job of communication within the administrative office and our teachers."

Bailey also has his thoughts about a culture of fear that some in the district claim plagues the district.

"There may be an isolated situation," Bailey said. "But I certainly don't see that throughout the system."

Bailey believes 2015 will be interesting for CMS. There is a $1 Billion budget the board will have to tackle. He will also prepare for new schools that will be built in his district and he wants to get out in the schools more. He recently completed his first year on the school board and so far he has only visited less than half of the schools in his district.

"I'm not there yet," Bailey said. "But I'm working on it."

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