Here is the new org chart.
She has also changed some of the job titles.
None of this really changes anything. It appears pointless.
It is, however, consistent with her stated priorities for the remainder of the year. She said that she would focus on:
3. Creating a central office that serves and supports schoolsThe only part of it that strikes me as even interesting - not necessarily significant, but interesting - are these two elements:
• Reorganizing departments across finance, operations, and teaching and learning with a clear focus on being a results-driven organization.
1. The Executive Directors of the Schools report to the Superintendent, not to the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. Since the principals report to the Executive Directors for Schools and the teachers report to the principals, there aren't any school-based staff who report to Dr. Thompson. She is not the boss of them. She cannot tell them what to do. That is interesting.
2. The Internal Auditor and the General Counsel report both to the Superintendent and directly to the Board. That's also vaguely interesting. I don't know if this gives the Board hiring and firing authority over them, but I think it is supposed to afford them some independence from the superintendent.
As for the title changes, they are meaningless. The jobs are the same. Look at the titles of the folks who report to Dr. Thompson. Among them we find three Executive Directors, three Directors, three Managers, and a Coordinator.
It's unclear why Early Learning is separate from Head Start and why Early Learning, Career and Technical Education, and Advanced Learning aren't included under Curriculum, Instruction and Support along with Head Start and Native American Education. Why is Athletics under Health and Safety instead of part of Curriculum, Instruction and Support? Isn't it an extension of P.E.? Then again, maybe Career and Technical Education should be included under College and Career Readiness. Why isn't the Executive Director of Merit and School Improvement Grants a part of the Performance Management System under the Research Evaluation Assessment and Development group? Where will Scott Whitbeck and School Improvement (and District Improvement) appear on this org chart? Why is Payroll part of Accounting instead of HR?
Cordell Carter is gone and his direct reports have been parcelled out. Whatever. It doesn't matter.
I don't think it makes any difference at all who reports to whom or how the structure is organized so long as the culture of the District remains as it is. And you might think that changing all of the people - particularly all of the people at the top would change the culture, but I don't think it will. The dysfunctional culture of Seattle Public Schools is not unique to this District. It is the same dysfunctional culture endemic throughout all of American public K-12 education. Some of it is endemic thoughout all bureaucratic systems in the world. We can bring in people from outside, but if they have been working in public K-12 education - or any large bureaucracy - they will likely perpetuate the problem.
As it is, there is no one in a leadership role at the District with more history than Michael DeBell, and he only has five years. There is no institutional memory. No one is around to say "We tried that; it didn't work." or to say "You can't do that; we promised those people that we wouldn't do that to them."