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Charlotte Area News

CMS Interim Superintendent Says He'll Stay The Course

Hugh Hattabaugh align=left

The interim superintendent of CMS made his first public comments today since he took the helm July 1. Not surprisingly, Hugh Hattabaugh plans to continue the initiatives of his former boss Peter Gorman. Hattabaugh has agreed to only serve as superintendent for a year until the school board finds a permanent replacement. "My job is to keep the car on the road for the next year and keep us moving forward in the direction that's been set by the board of education," says Hattabaugh. He takes over at a time when the district is facing a lot of change. Eleven schools are closing, a handful of pre-k through 8th schools open next month, and the district is in the midst of a controversial plan to link teacher pay to how students perform on tests. CMS experimented with tests for students in nearly all subjects this spring. Teachers complained the tests were confusing and took too much time. Hattabaugh says he's not putting the brakes on that. But he does want more feedback from teachers. "As a stakeholder group they'll be involved in it, feel comfortable with it and that it's truly a measure of what students should know at the end of the course," says Hattabaugh. Former Superintendent Peter Gorman had enlisted the help of teachers on the larger issue of how they're paid, but didn't ask for feedback on the tests themselves. Hattabaugh plans to set up teacher focus groups this summer which would meet into the fall. They would focus on the tests given to kindergarten, first and second graders.