Getting (re)Organized

Just before I left on vacation, the superintendent of our overly-large school district announced a major reorganization of central office.

That is, yet another major reorganization. By my count this will be number three in the past ten years, and that’s on top of the two or three departmental shuffles our little office has also been through in that time.

First, we went from the schools being divided into four organizational areas to three. I think the purpose was to reduce administrative expenditures. A few years later, we got a new superintendent and he divided the schools into eight organizational areas. But each had a much smaller staff so I guess the costs didn’t changed much.

Now, our latest superintendent, on the job about a year and a half, is planning to rearrange things into six areas (or clusters or regions – not sure of the name this time). He also plans to add a whole new department for staff development and training (which is actually way overdue) and move a bunch of offices into a new building.

In the end, however, I doubt these big organizational shuffles really mean much to the people working in the schools. Teachers and administrators who have been in the system for a few years have already figured out who to call when they need help. Or who to ignore. For the most part, they could care less about job titles or org charts.

Maybe, instead of moving around offices, people, and titles based on recommendations from high priced consultants, the people running our bureaucracy should try something different. Start by looking at what works. Find out how people go about solving real problems. Then, organize everything around that structure.

Of course, I wasn’t consulted in this matter anyway, but I do wish the school board and superintendent would answer one fundamental question about the changes: How will all this administrative shuffling of offices, people, titles, and organization charts improve teaching and learning?

No, I don’t expect an answer.

2 Comments Getting (re)Organized

  1. Henry Cate

    Your situation reminds me of a favorite quotation:

    “We trained hard, but it seemed every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization”
    From Petronii Arbitri Satyricon AD 66. Attributed to Gaius Petronus

    Some things don’t change.

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