Chalkbeat has a nice piece on the philosophy behind Chancellor Farina’s reorganization of support services. The goal of creating consistency across the city is crucial, but really difficult. This won’t be the end of NYC DOE reorganization this year, so stay tuned.

I have two short comments.  First, the support centers which will have over 200 schools which they support (except for the Staten Island one) AND have one person in charge of Special Education, Curriculum and English Language Learners.  That’s absurd.  Suburban districts often have an individual in charge of Special Education and a different one in charge of Curriculum.  That’s true of the suburban district in which I live that has a grand total of 5 schools. 

The idea that one person can oversee 200 schools in all three areas is ludicrous.   I get that everyone wants to avoid the criticism of too many central office people and not enough money being spent on teachers working with students. But what’s the chance that this person will have any clue what is happening in the schools which they are supposed to support?  Further, this person isn’t actually responsible for the outcomes of the schools.  That responsibility belongs to the superintendents, and not the regional support offices. But all the help is going to come from the regional support offices.

My second comment is that there isn’t any mention here of schools as professional learning communities (PLC).  If the city were adopting a PLC model, which they are supposedly doing, then a large part of the job of the support organizations would be to guide school teams, including principals.  There’s nothing in there about this.  That doesn’t bode well.

The networks didn’t work.  I wish I felt more optimistic that this reorganization was going to deliver the services our kids need and deserve. Again, this won’t be the end of NYC DOE reorganization this year, so stay tuned.

Jared Gellert is the executive director of CITE.

CITE is the Center for Integrated Teacher Education. For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early Childhood, Literacy, Special Ed, Grad Courses, DASA); COUNSELORS (School, Mental Health Masters, Advanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBL, SDL, Public Admin, Online PhD) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, and Long Island.

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