If you’re interested in matters of governance (and if you’re into education, you should be), check out this interesting Prezi on the “Science of Collaborative Governance” by Ag Resource Strategies, LLC.
There was one slide in particular that made me think about NYC and the shifts that have occurred under leadership from Klein/Bloomberg to Fariña/De Blasio.
There are three typical “governance styles” outlined in the presentation: Hierarchy, Market, and Network.
The NYC DOE under Klein/Bloomberg established a hierarchy under Bloomberg’s assumption of mayoral control, but Klein then explicitly drew from market styles by devolving more power to principals and dismantling the geographical “fiefdoms” of districts.
Under Fariña/De Blasio, there’s been an interesting mixture of some of these styles. Fariña speaks the language of the network governance style (“trust,” “collaboration,” “partnerships,” etc), and many of her initiatives follow along those lines, but her administration has also established adherence to a hierarchical style of governance, with superintendents regaining precedence and a restructuring of external support organizations to again be based primarily on geography.
For a gigantic system such as New York City’s, managing it’s complexity is difficult no matter what style or admixture of styles is used, but there certainly seems to be room for more exploration of network styles within a hierarchical framework.