Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Nobody had any supervisor"

Amazing quote from MNPS Director of Schools Dr. Pedro Garcia this morning that brings into question just who is running the shop and what is Garcia getting paid to do.

The City Paper reviews the fact that Chief Instructional Officer Dr. Sandra Johnson took a job in Glendale, AZ several months back and that Garcia is in no hurry to replace her. And then there is this confession:

“Garcia decided to looking into rearranging the central office after realizing Johnson had been controlling almost all activity under the department of Learning Support Services (LSS). The department controls all subject areas, district assessment and evaluations, special education, magnet schools and most all other aspects of the school district.

The organization that Sandy Johnson had was that all the administrators answered to her,” Garcia said. “And I didn’t realize that. Consequentially when she left, nobody answered to anybody. So nobody had any supervisor.”
Did you catch that? Garcia said: "I didn't realize that." It was his job to realize that. THAT situation was well known to parents, teachers and staff members and was the reason for so much frustration and anger. She was running everything and nothing could get done, changed or even improved without her blessing. And unless it was initiated by her not much got blessed. Conversation after conversation when her name came up the atmosphere would change, voices would lower a bit in preparation for honesty that they didn't want to be overheard, and out would tumble the latest story of how Johnson was impeding learning and that there was no workaround, no appeal process, no way but through her.

How is it that Garcia was so unaware of her control of the system? Will the BOE even blink let alone question or hold him accountable for his hands off attitude? Not likely. He's got his three year contract.


Nashteach said...

Oh, come on. He knew.

For the last several years, you could always tell a Garcia supporter when, if you mentioned the dictatorial style in MNPS and attributed it to the Director, the person responded "But don't you think that's really Sandra Johnson?"

He knew and he liked it that way. It gave him cover. It still does, obviously.

Nashteach said...

Here is the 8 page diagram of the Central Office bureaucracy. Page one shows that principals are answerable to the CIO, the Asst Superintendent for Admin AND the Director. Page two shows all that the CIO was supervisor to.

Perhaps if this is too much to grasp, it's a sign that it's too big and should be cut. Or perhaps if the Director can spend half a decade unaware of the CIO's activities that the Board of Education needs to hire the CIO to be directly answerable to them.

Kay Brooks said...

I had to remove ?method=1 from your link in order to make it work...

Try this instead: the chart is dated August 2006.

It would be handier if there were names along with titles in those boxes.