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Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Org Chart - New Titles - New People - Same Old Problems

Dr. Enfield has re-arranged the org chart at the JSCEE.
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 schools
• Reorganizing departments across finance, operations, and teaching and learning with a clear focus on being a results-driven organization.
The only part of it that strikes me as even interesting - not necessarily significant, but interesting - are these two elements:

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."

24 comments:

Paul said...

And the only way you can tell Cordell Carter is gone is that his office is dark.

What DID he do anyway?

Except act as a snitch for a currupt administration who ruled by fear and deafness.

KG said...

Exactly Paul, what do a lot of those people do down there? Most people can tell you what goes on in the schools but most do not know a thing about the farm team that is central admin.

Anonymous said...

Charlie did you look at the org chart memo FINAL.docx?

In "org chart memo FINAL.docx" intro page, paragraph three, Super Enfield, states, "Given our current budget situation, I want to stress that the process of restructuring our central office has a near zero budget impact..."

For me that is all that needs to be said to reinforce my firm opinion that it's Deja-vu all over again. We have a looming 40-50 million short fall the coming budget cycle and Susan, PhD is proud of herself for reshuffling titles, hiring more downtown staff, that "has a near zero budget impact."
ken berry

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think the issue of Dr. Thompson not managing the Ex Directors makes sense. I never got the impression she was much of a leader and I think have a direct line between the Ex Directors and the Superintendent is good. (That is as long as they are not acting as snoops at the schools instead of giving guidance. I keep hearing that one Ex Director seems to function as a tattle-tail to the point where teachers at one school had a sit-down with her to clear the air.)

As for institutional history, you're right about it not being there at headquarters. But there are plenty of us who have been around a long time and will be glad to help jog some memories or fill in the gaps.

Charlie Mas said...

I'm thinking that Dr. Thompson isn't going to be responsible for curricular alignment. She can't be. No one who does that work reports to her.

That responsibility is going to move to the Executive Directors of Schools. How is that going to work? Since they are regional, how can they assure that World History II at Roosevelt teaches the same things and uses the same grading scale as World History II at Rainier Beach? They can't.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to your long history of watchdogging the district Charlie, I've come to the conclusion that there is nothing anyone at SPS can do to make you happy. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Is this reorg perfect - nope - but it a D-R-A-F-T - that means tweaking, changes, test runs to work out the glitches. But I get the feeling that whatever shakes out won't make you happy either. Can anything?
Respectfully,
Reader

Charlie Mas said...

Reader,

Yes. A number of things can make me happy. A number of things have made me happy and I have written about them here.

Here's a quick list of things that could make me happy:

1. The District fulfills its commitments to community engagement by posting Strategic Plan documents to the District web site.

2. The District fulfills its commitments to the communities that were split, moved, or dissolved in the Capacity Management project.

3. The District complies with the Policy that requires annual reports on all schools and programs.

4. The District fulfills its commitment to update the School Reports with regard to the measure of student growth on state tests and the demographic information on advanced learners.

5. The District fulfills ANY of the commitments it has made to students and families. There is a long list of broken promises.

6. The District begins to reliably deliver early and effective interventions to students working below grade level.

7. The District implements an honest capacity management plan and program placement that considers non-geographic communities and right-sizes Spectrum programs to meet the demand.

8. The District acts on its commitment to provide equitable access to programs and services.

9. The District fulfills its commitment to students with IEPs.

10. The District makes data-based decisions instead of politically motivated ones.

11. Just a little candor. From anyone at any time. Right now Dr. Libros is pretty much the only person in the District leadership who speaks frankly. The rest of them are slippery people.

Thanks for this opportunity, Reader. It was fun to write this list. You'll notice that there is nothing on this list that the District didn't freely promise to do. I'm not asking them to do anything more than they said they would do.

I'm not hard to please at all; just do what you say you're going to do - or at least let me know why you can't.

Anonymous said...

"Given our current budget situation, I want to stress that the process of restructuring our central office has a near zero budget impact.."

Gee, I would have thought that a goal of restructuring would have been to SAVE MONEY!

Oompah

Guichon said...

I sure hope Cordell Carter is gone. You couldn't tell that he "resigned" a couple months ago since he has been at work and in his office every day since that rumor started. In fact, he was in his office all day on Friday. So, will somebody please confirm that he is really leaving!?!

mirmac1 said...

Melissa,

That might be true for everyone except for the hapless victims in the NW Cluster! Brrrr, gives me the shivers.

Guichon said...

"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."

I heard this was discussed at the last finance committee meeting. Anyone go to that meeting?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I am wondering how much time writers and readers of this blog have given to learning more about their central office by talking to people who work there as opposed to reading this blog or talking with people “who know people down there.”

It appears as though people writing and commenting here, have many misconceptions around "what people do" at central office. 


For example, have readers ever asked to shadow and Ed Director for a couple of hours and listen to what sorts of conversations take place between the Ed Directors and the people they support? 



Another example is the idea that institutional history is absent among central office leaders. I believe Dr. Thompson's children attended SPS and she was SPS literacy coach and a principle of two different schools in our district. She has years of institutional knowledge from several different perspectives. 



Additionally, alignment has been and will continue to happen under Teaching and Learning. It has been happening in Instructional Services for three years--under Dr. Thomposon’s leadership. Ed Directors are not responsible for alignment and never have been. Many of the teachers involved in alignment could tell you this themselves. 


I always appreciate the critical questions asked by writers on this blog, but often the questions seem to come from a place of unwillingness to actually talk with people at the Stanford Center for the purpose of understanding what is happening down there.

Anonymous said...

Happy to be of inspiration Charlie - that's quite a list ;o)

Reader

Anonymous said...

Has anyone bothered to report the extremely high salary being paid to Leslie Rogers, the "communications chief"?

Rogers has some background but her pay is ridiculous and ...why not give this position to a Teach For America rookie? They seem gifted in any skill.

A taxpayer

KG said...

Seems like the District just accepts being loaded in Central which is a huge part of their problem. I bet they over the last 15 years that I know of they could have spent an additional 200 million in the classroom if it were not for an overburdensome Central. The public and its school employees ought to demand a real accounting of the Central Beast. This cannot continue and should not be allowed for another year. Our kids cannot afford it. If Enfield and Board do not fix it then they ought to be all given the boot. But I guess my thinking is like talking to the rocks.

Cap'n Billy Keg said...

Yes, Cordell Carter has been ousted and will be gone at the end of August. His final departure date probably has something to do with his original "contract" when he was hired.

Considering all the changes everyone would like to see made to "central admin" - maybe the best thing to do is to stop hiring administrators with a butt load of degrees listed after their name. Hire administrators, who only have a standard college degree listed after their name, and love administrating, plus would be willing to do it for, oh say maybe no more than $60,000 a year?

Anonymous said...

Charlie,

Yes, I hear that the Internal Auditor will report directly to the Audit & Finance Committee and they'll have hire/fire/evaluation responsibilities. I believe they are currently hiring for the Internal Auditor and the job description states a direct report to the committee.

A friend to Seattle

KG said...

Trouble is Biily Kegg that is most of these bloggers have just accepted the status quo on central's gravy train.

gavroche said...

Anonymous said...

Has anyone bothered to report the extremely high salary being paid to Leslie Rogers, the "communications chief"?

A taxpayer


How much is she getting paid?

mirmac1 said...

Hey! I found where Brad Bernatek ended up! See pg 6

It's a Broadie Reunion!

mirmac1 said...

WTH is an "social impact consultant"? FSG? Talk about money-hungry vultures... Glad to Seattle is not on the client list, YET!

mirmac1 said...

Apparently, a Broadie still monitors the SSS comments because the Broadie Reunion page was taken off the Broad Academy site : )

Oh well, check out FSG.org. Brad's a consultant. They are out to help venture philanthropists change the world!

SPSLeaks said...

Here's the great value-added for Cordell Carter...

Cordell's work product...?