Have the educational management organizations (emo) gone the way of the emu? or are they a bird of another feather?
The Mayor’s State of the City proposed sweeping organizational changes, yet again, in an already reeling school system.
The Plan calls for the dismantling of the three year old Regional structure and the creation of a number of other configurations sketchily outlined in the press. If the experience of the 321 Empowerment Schools is a guide schools are in deep trouble.
Driving decisionmaking to the school level is an excellent idea … those closest to the kids should be making the decisions that impact kids, however, school require supports.
The fourteen networks in the current empowerment structure spend all their time around the School Progress Report, the new “report card” that will evaluate schools by marking them with “A” through “F” grades. A system totally apart from the State evaluation system required by No Child Left Behind.
Under the “failed,” (according to Mike) Community School District structure a principal would pick up a phone and call someone at the District Office. A budget issue, school safety, a query on the science curriculum, and on and on … now … no one at the other end of the line. The Integrated Service Center (ISC), a mechanism that was envisioned as the fount of knowledge is barely functioning.
Empowerment without fuel, sputters … unless the DOE has constructed an implantable chip containing decades of knowledge principals are left treading water, or perhaps ten feet under the surface watching the bubbles … drowning … and the kids? Tweed seems oblivious to the impact of chaos on the kids in the buildings.
The kookiest idea is weighted student funding. Currently schools receive their budget (the system is called Galaxy and as is publicly accessible for every school on the DOE website) by way of a formula – while dollars flow in many categories the system is user friendly. The system “charges” teachers at the school’s average teacher salary. Schools with senior teachers receive higher funding but NO HIGHER DEGREE OF SERVICES. Under the DOE plan, called “weighted student funding” the money would follow the kid with, as I understand it, would have nothing to do with actual teacher salaries. Schools with senior teachers would receive have to reduce programs to “fit in” their higher paid staff. If you want more teachers you should hire “cheaper,” less experienced teacher … does this make any sense at all?
How is the Chair of the Assembly Education Committee going to react when she finds out her Queens schools will receive fewer dollars?
Who would have thought that Joel Klein and Mike Bloomberg are the Trotskyites of the 21st century – believers in the permanent revolution. Forget about incremental, consensual change through a democratic framework … impose dramatic change, wipe away the past … under the all powerful charismatic leader. Lenin lives!!