What They Were Thinking - CORRECTED

The main thing I got from talking to Marin Gjaja (JIE-yuh) , one of the lead consultants on the CPS reorg effort, was the sense of his confidence and belief that moving org chart boxes around could actually make a difference.  Not all the difference, but a substantial one.  I'm guessing few will agree.

Plus:  some little hints about staffing changes.

In no particular order are my notes from the conversation:

First off, it's clear that the process that CPS is undergoing -- for free -- is something that Gjaja and BCG has done many times before, albeit not for a large school district.  It's their thing, their product.  It usually takes about 3-4 months from start to finish, and is done <s>on the fly</s> "layer by layer."

The main organizing principle, far as I can tell, is that no one should have too many or too few people reporting to them.  According to Gjaja, Duncan has 14-16 reports right now, depending on how you count them.  No manager should have too few or too many reports, The reorg plan gets that number down, though it makes the offices reporting to Duncan even bigger, and full of new units and faces.

The other main idea is the much-mocked concept of "de-layering."  That is, reducing the number of bureaucratic level down to something like 8 or nine layers. Again, this ideal level is based on the magic reporting number.  CPS has 1900 central office and area staff, and 342 different titles, and needs to get down to about five layers from its current 9+.

Somewhere along the way, they learned (decided?) that Vitale was leaving.  Even without his departure, Gjaja says, the previous setup with BEW and DV divvying up the world isn't actually typical or ideal -- unless someone's being groomed for the CEO job.  Interesting. 

Of course, Gjaja agrees that you've got to get the right people for the roles, and it's clear that staffing changes are afoot.  The searches to fill the new administrative offices -- enterprise sevices and student support services -- are apparently well underway.  These are key folks who are going to work directly with Duncan. 

Obviously, Hosanna can't do both the chief of staff and new schools jobs right.  So they're looking for someone there.  I also hear that they're looking for newer/better AIOs, who under the current system are mostly former principals. 

Perhaps too little noted in the coverage here and in the papers has
been what happens to things like special education, which is being
broken up and "integrated" in the other offices.  Apparently Renee in special ed is
already working on this -- bringing special ed into the five school

There's also the issue of cuts, which are coming soon, and the next layers of the org chart which seem to be even harder to figure out than the first few.  Integrating and breaking up departments are both challenges.

The areas are not going away, says Gjaja.  And the LSCs are here to stay, as well, he says.  But a certain degree of latitude and independence at the site level is actually considered good.  And of course it would take legislation to change LSCs. 

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