NYC Governance

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.

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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.

How Are We Using NYC School Survey Data?

Match Education’s Mike Goldstein asks some important questions about NYC School Surveys:

Unfortunately, my sense is: this wonderful NYC data [on school climate] is too buried to drive the policy conversation.  Maybe I’m wrong.

Is anyone aware of scholars and reporters digging deep into this data set?  Is there any other data set in the USA just as good?

I think it’d be hugely productive to identify NYC schools which have made progress in “Total Climate” — and then study why.  Sometimes you’ll just find good old-fashioned leadership and teamwork, without any fancy new policies.

And to study the “low tail” as well — which NYC schools have culture which plummeted.  I suspect sometimes you’d find that a few key staff departed, and it turned out “They were the glue that held it all together.”

–Mike Goldstein, “Lost at School” on Puzzl_ED  (read the whole piece also for an insightful critique of Ross Greene’s Lost at School approach (which I’m a big fan of))