Friday, March 7, 2008

Bureaucratic debacle at LAUSD

More than a year after David L. Brewer was named superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, several key positions in the district's senior management positions remain unstaffed. The issue is more complicated because the people that hired the “new” superintendent are no longer in power and it is plausible that he feels that his job is already on shaky ground so he will not stand up to them for fear of his job. In the clash of these conflicting agenda's the district's work has ground to a stand-still.

With that said is the idea of a bureaucratic school district a bad one? Ideally, no. Having a centralized curriculum and a board to problem solve other issues as well as a pecking order for these problems to progress through are good concepts. Why then does it seem to work so poorly? The article ends with a poignant point. “This is the conundrum that faces the L.A. public schools: To attract good leadership, it has to have good leadership.” This pecking order is not going to work if you do not have good people in place to lead the schools. Why does this seem to be the case for LAUSD since many of us have been alive? That I do not know. However the red tape that ties up the time of many people within the district that are attempting to accomplish positive things for the students is at times sickening. With the differing agendas within a district of this size it is hard to work collectively toward a common goal which would make the bureaucracy most effective. Imagine if you had all of the staff in the nations second largest district working for a common goal just how much could be accomplished in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case in LAUSD and it doesn’t look like that will be the case anytime soon.


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