Kremlinologists and Tweed: Who Is “Up” and Who Is “Down,” Reading the Tea Leaves As the Department Morphs into the Future.


Every May 1st in  the Soviet era during the May Day parade the Kremlinologists would carefully peruse who was sitting where on the reviewing platform, who was closer or further away from  Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (aka Joseph Stalin); than last year, who had gained or lost power and influence.
Sort of reminds me of DOE 4.0, the latest Department reorganization.  The wags are speculating on who in the Department has gained or lost influence. For me it looks like Joel is making sure his seed is planted in fertile soil.  I know this won’t make teachers and blog commenters happy, if Joel were to leave, very little, if anything, would change. Change is inevitable, and, in time, we will see a new Department of Education. Evolution not revolution. Sorry, you’ll have to forego the ceremonial breaking of the sword and painting the yellow stripe down Joel’s back.
The latest organizational iteration embeds 50 networks (divided into five clusters) of 25 or schools each with an attached CFN, a trimmed down, excuse the expression, district office-like organization, that provides technical support (budget, personnel, special ed, etc.) and is intended to be mobile, to visit schools to train school staff. About 200 schools remain in what is called the PSO, nine not-for-profits that support schools, ranging from two (PEA-CEI and New Visions) that support 75 schools each and others who support ten or so. (Also with attached CFNs).
Excluding the numbers at Tweed, that appear to have grown exponentially, the field support staffs look thinner than the previous configuration.
Tweed, in spite of their protestations, appears packed to the rafters with staffers, too many of whom simply flack the party line.
Superintendents are required by law continue to have a marginalized role, clearly in violation of the amended school governance law.
Press release after press release from the Department and the yellow journalism expoused by the NY Daily News and the Post hail the millenium of increased test scores and graduation rates. The chickens are beginning to come home to roost.
Within the next month or so the Center for New York City Affairs (Milano) will be releasing it’s analysis of the NYC DOE Management Structure, if the report is as detailed and insightful as their previous reports( see Attendance here and Large School/Small School here) we will have much to learn.
Daniel Koretz, a highly regarded Harvard scholar, at the behest of the Regents is embarking on a detailed analysis of the NYS Reading and Math tests, and, Diane Ravitch, in her latest book, and in article after article points us to the dramatic differences in NYS scores and the gold standard, NAEP scores.
It took a long time for glasnost and perestroika to come to the Soviet Union, it’s coming to NYC. albeit, slowly.



7 responses to “Kremlinologists and Tweed: Who Is “Up” and Who Is “Down,” Reading the Tea Leaves As the Department Morphs into the Future.

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