NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- How do you succeed in building a strong learning environment in challenging times? In the latest District Leaders' Podcast, Dr. Peter C. Gorman, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, N.C., discusses some of the actions he suggests for districts facing smaller budgets, school closings and staffing issues, while offering advice on a range of educational issues. District Leaders' Podcast is the only national podcast Web site created expressly for district and other educational leaders.
In this District Leaders' Podcast hosted by Arthur Griffin, senior vice president of the Urban Advisory Resource at McGraw-Hill Education, Dr. Gorman focuses on the importance of good communication with key constituents when making difficult decisions, the value of strong leadership and the significance of strengthening Human Resources systems in order to grow teaching talent. Dr. Gorman delves into particular strategies which have yielded very positive outcomes in his district, despite a challenging financial climate that has led to proposed school closings. Here are some key points made by Dr. Gorman:
- Strong Leaders and Professional Development. Teachers cannot move to the next level on their own; teacher effectiveness can only improve if the environment in which they work offers ample resources, support and guidance from leaders within the system.
- Strategic Scheduling for Teachers. Your best teachers should be placed with both your top performers and your underachievers to ensure overall academic improvement at all levels.
- Developing a Teacher Corps. Don't wait for teaching talent to find you; start early by steering top-performing high school students into the field of education and grooming college students for future success as instructors.
- Communicate! Inevitably, school closings and tough decisions are met with emotional backlash from the community, particularly from parents and teachers who are united through a neighborhood school. Give these advocates a voice, listen to their concerns, understand their passionate perspective and communicate with them.
Dr. Gorman notes that one of the important aspects of district success involves bringing in strong leaders and sharing good academic and organizational news broadly. "At Charlotte-Mecklenburg, it's the individual successes that really count and we're really moving the ball ahead. We're increasing the number of academically proficient students and closing achievement gaps," he notes. "We're sending our finest principals to our most challenged schools, and letting them bring in a team of stars. The job of managing a school is too hard to do alone; you've got to have your best and brightest tackling it as a team."
In addition to his role as superintendent, Dr. Gorman is active in the Charlotte community, serving on the boards of several agencies and organizations. Before being named superintendent, he worked as a teacher, principal and administrator in California and was superintendent of schools in Tustin, Calif. He holds a master's degree in business administration from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and a master's and doctorate in education from the University of Central Florida.
The District Leaders' Podcast team is passionate about education and deeply committed to student success. The site serves as a valuable tool for anyone interested in improving America's schools. District Leaders' Podcast is sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education's Urban Advisory Resource comprising former education leaders and other experts with extensive experience in managing large school districts. It is produced by TeachersPodcast.org, a professional development resource for educators with an audience of more than 4.3 million listeners. The podcast is currently listed on iTunes as "New and Notable" for K-12 Education. Visit www.DistrictLeadersPodcast.com for more information.
SOURCE DistrictLeadersPodcast.com; McGraw-Hill Education