Carol Newman oral history interview 2, 2006 February 23
Carol Newman was a 60-year-old woman at the time of interview, which took place at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Education Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946. She graduated from University of Massachusetts with an Ed.D. and an M.Ed., and from New York University with a B.A. in English; and was employed with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for about 30 years, most notably as the director of grant development, and in staff support and development earlier in her career.
In this second interview, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) administrator Carol Newman continues to discuss the successes and challenges of the city's open schools program, but also focuses on the emergence and significance of magnet schools in the district between 1990 and the early 2000s. Mrs. Newman describes what she saw as the major purposes of the magnet programs, which were introduced under the leadership of schools superintendent Dr. John Murphy as a means to support equity, diversity, and academic innovation at a time when the community was becoming highly critical of busing for integration. Mrs. Newman recounts her role as the principal grant writer for CMS, detailing the process of writing five successful federal grants to support the growing magnet school program, and discussing factors in the success or failure of particular magnet themes. She also reflects on the significant changes resulting from the Capacchione v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district court case, which found the school district to be "unitary" and therefore no longer in need of court-ordered integration measures, eliminating racial balance as a factor in CMS magnet lotteries. Mrs. Newman concludes with a discussion of the major challenges facing CMS today and the personal leadership qualities she believes will be the most valuable in a new school superintendent at what she saw as a critical juncture in CMS history.