"Jack Welch said one thing that really struck me…You can't allow an organization to grow complacent. When you find those kinds of organizations, you have to tear them apart and create chaos. That chaos creates a sense of urgency, and that sense of urgency will ultimately bring [about] improvement.
This quotation was included in testimony I delivered in the fall of 2004, during hearings held by then-Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields on the first phase of the Children’s First reforms. I was describing the free-wheeling attitude of the administration and the theory of “creative destruction” that was supposed to revolutionize education in this city, popularized by Jack Welch, former president of GE and the McKinsey consultants who were brought to DOE by Klein to bring change. They decided to dissolve the districts, and create the regions that would take their place, an decision which in turn, led to thousands of special education students being deprived of services and referrals for more than a year.
The regions are now gone, replaced by an even more inchoate management and organizational structure. Carmen Farina was subsequently promoted to Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning after Diana Lam left in disgrace; she lasted two years, until retiring in April 2006, to be replaced by Andres Alonso, who has since departed for
Klein may have endured longer than most modern Chancellors in the city’s history; but the top educator post in the Department has been a revolving door, reflecting the rapidly changing fads and fashions in the methods and theories of reform attempted by this administration.
“complacency is not the same as complicity in how to evaluate schools. The problem with the report cards is that they leave out the human touch from evaluation and evaluating the caliber of teaching. I am not for any report that focuses only on grades since most of us know a complete education for our children includes critical thinking, problem solving, humane education and writing skills. None of these are possible with this evaluation. Hopefully parents can see beyond the reports and evaluate for themselves how their own schools are serving their children. the people who are giving greatest credence to these reports are those who do not have children in our schools. My favorite choice for Charlie right now is not an A school but one that strikes the balance of all important issues and respect the development stage of his growth. It is also does not stress test prep. Don't know who is quoting me out of context but feel free to put this quote on blog.”