‘Hot Topic’ of the day is…

July 6, 2014

“Welcome to my new page!” Heath Morrison wrote as he launched a “Heath’s Hot Topics” blog last year. “So much of my job has to do with communicating information….”

In a May 2013 communication, CMS said the superintendent would “share his observations, his thoughts on big issues and initiatives impacting our district, what inspires him and what he anticipates for the future.”

Morrison wrote that the blog “will allow me at least once or twice a week to share my observations….”

The Observer’s Ann Doss Helms took note of the new blog in May 2013. At that point, several posts no longer in the blog archive had already been posted. The archive now carries two posts in November 2013, one on December and two in March 2014. The series ends in March 2014 as the superintendent must have been working virtually nonstop on the budget.

I’ve noticed this pattern of broken public communications before. Peter Gorman’s speeches that were noteworthy enough to be posted on the CMS website fell by more than half in the second year of his superintendency, and continued to fall until he departed. What’s perhaps notable about the collapse of Morrison’s blog is how it came so much more rapidly.

What I miss about Morrison’s unfulfilled intentions is the window he promised on “what I see in the future.” The discipline of a deadline is always good, and to have something forcing our leaders to think – and communicate – a bit beyond the crisis of the day seems a public asset.

Success on the biggest issue facing CMS – how to make “educating every student” not just a slogan but a reality – won’t come without a revolutionary culture change in this community. And the community has precious few voices raised in support of that culture change.

I wish Morrison would lead that change. Or at least he could blog about it.

– Steve Johnston