Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Omens, Auguries and Portents Hopeful (The Future of Networks!)

Reading the tea leaves, it looks like the Support Networks are going away -sometime pretty soon.

It was fun reading this piece from the ed site formerly known as Gotham Schools last week. Says Philssa Cramer: :
"Douglas Knecht, who had been running one of the department’s five “clusters” of school support networks, will oversee the department’s plan to identify schools that can be models of good instruction and operations."

Of course, there was no mention of who would replace Douglas Knecht as the leader of Cluster one.

Clusters aren't mentioned too often, but they are kind of important to the current organizational structure of the NYC DOE. Clusters are that layer of bureaucracy that separates 'Support Networks' from Tweed. The current organization goes from school to network to cluster to central (or Tweed). To put it a different way, there is one Tweed, five clusters,  flocks of 'Support Networks' and about 1800 schools. So you might think that a cluster in charge of roughly 20% of support for schools would need a replacement leader kind of quick, right?

Not so.

Here's the word on the street: The group of support networks in Knecht's cluster, Cluster One, have been rolled in with Cluster Two. There will be no replacement for him. In fact, the cluster he's leaving will no longer exist. All of the networks and schools within it will be part of 'Cluster Two'. I'm sure there's some nice jargon that explains it, but that's the general gist of things.

So what? Imagine it's WW2. General Patton loses command of his Third Army and, instead of replacing him with a new commanding general, Eisenhower just rolled the Third Army in with Omar Bradley's First Army, making Bradley in charge of both Armies (one in Italy and one in France) at the same time. That's what happened with Knecht's old Cluster.

There are only two reasons you do something like that: You're either consolidating even  more central control at Tweed or (and here's the cool part) you're not planning on keeping the Clusters around for much longer.

And if you're not planning on keeping the Clusters around for much longer, then that means that you're not planning to keep the Networks around for much longer either.

And if you're not planning on keeping the Networks around, then it sounds like districts are coming back -before September.


1 comment:

  1. I hope to hell you're right. The Networks are a nightmare on all possible levels.