Last month the Board of Education approved Phase III of the Central Office Reorganization. The administration is decentralizing decision making by placing human capital and operational services in the field with the Regional Superintendent in a team dubbed “The Micro Cabinet”.
DeKalb Schools ORGANIZATIONAL CHART 2015-2016
Central Office ReOrg Phase III
Regional Superintendent Information – schools and contact information
I talked to Leo Brown, Chief Human Capital Officer, about this team to better understand the role and responsibilities of the Regional Superintendent and the Micro Cabinet.
Question: The Board of Education just approved Phase III of the reorganization. The plan is to decentralize decision making and place critical human capital and operational services in the field. Which positions are being placed in the field?
Response from Dr. Leo Brown: The regional teams include:
- Regional Superintendent
- Coordinator of School Leadership
- Executive Assistant
- Human Capital Manager
- Human Capital Onboarding Assistant
- Technical Lead (IT)
- Regional Facilities Maintenance Supervisor
- Regional Transportation Manager
- Finance Personnel
Question: What are you calling these new regional superintendent teams?
Response from Dr. Leo Brown: The teams are considered a “micro-cabinet” and are essentially a version of Dr. Green’s cabinet that is solely focused on each particular region.
Question: What is the role of the regional superintendent and their team?
Response from Dr. Leo Brown: The regional superintendent and the regional teams are focused on providing support to schools in a specific region. This focused support will result in faster response times for principals and ensure a laser-like approach to sustaining an appropriate learning environment for our students.
Question: In the org chart provided, is there any significance to the colors?
Response from Dr. Leo Brown: The colors don’t mean anything. Those are the colors given to me in the org chart I oringaly received when I started.
Question: How is this Regional Superintendent/Micro Cabinet different than what we’ve had in the past?
Response from Dr. Leo Brown: The Regional Superintendent’s job is to go into the schools to provide immediate resolution to issues. The Micro Cabinet is their direct line of support.
Question: Who does the micro cabinet report to.
Response from Dr. Leo Brown: The Micro cabinet reports to the Regional Superintendent.
Question: How are the Regional Superintendent and Micro Cabinet evaluated?
Response from Dr. Leo Brown: All central office employees are evaluated using the same evaluation instrument.
As long as these are not duplicated jobs – or newly created jobs – this is actually brilliant. We all know that not every school has the exact same cookie-cutter issues and needs when it comes to educating the children within the walls of the different buildings. Maybe this will allow some schools to get more attention in areas that they need it and other schools to use their budgets for different needs. Let’s hope that we do come to a day when we have highly qualified principals in every school and those principals are free and able to do the right things for the children in their charge.
An aside: Dr. Brown needs to fix the colors on the chart. It was lazy not to change the colors – it confuses people. You are a highly-compensated person – do your job correctly and clearly please. (Maybe he needs a Powerpoint tutorial? They have good ones at lynda.com)
Question: In a post you wrote about 2 years ago, you said DCSD was given a $3m grant to expand the CO. No follow up was ever reported. Did that happen? What or who was this money spent on? Are those people still on the payroll? Are they in this proposal? “$3M Grant To Grow DeKalb Schools Central Office“
Looking for the specific clusters each regional super is assigned to.
Did I miss it?
Good question Cere. Interestingly little story. Superintendent Stephen Green evaluated the grant and decided not to expand the central office with that money. At the 1/11/2016 Work Session Dr. Green decided that bringing in temporary consultants was congruent with the terms of the grant. Dr. Morley asked the superintendent at the board meeting to remove this agenda item so they could discuss it offline.
At the 2/1/2016 Work Session, the agenda item to bring in temporary consultants to complete the terms of the Wallace Grant was back on the agenda . There was a slightly heated discussion about the Superintendent’s decision to not expand the central office and was subsequently pulled from the consent agenda.
As the February 1, 2016 business meeting minutes indicate, the decision to not expand the central office was approved by the board on a vote of 6/1 with Dr. Morley voting no.
HA Hurley, the schools and clusters (regions) the Regional Superintendents are assigned to haven’t changed. You can find all the information you are looking for here: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/superintendent/assistants
Stan: I would also like to ask who hires and appoints individuals to these positions? Specifically, I wonder if each micro-cabinet member is hired by their functional equivalent at the central office or whether each Area Super selects their own in their own vetting process. If they are assigned by CO, in general, or by functional leaders in CO by area, I question the true independence of the Area Supers. Second question is what is the budget under the control of each area Super? If the answer is, “none,” they will simply be proxying other system leaders who have financial controls. In that scenario, the only benefit of such a structure is to buffer the Super’s office from the public more than previously experienced. Understandable goal for management efficiency but as I stated elsewhere: “Delegating tasks without requisite financial autonomy isn’t delegating; it’s buffering.” -Me
Hey Kim. Leo Brown told me the micro cabinet reports to Regional Superintendent, but there is a “dotted line” to the chief officer for that position in Dr. Green’s cabinet. I’m guessing the interviewing process includes the Superintendent and chief officer in that department.
There is a “Regional Transportation Manager” micro cabinet position. You’ll notice in the last ReOrg, the “Director of Transportation Operations” position was eliminated. Any existing personnel in eliminated positions are encouraged to apply for currently open positions. Employment, however, is not guaranteed and open positions will be filled with the most qualified applicant.
On the other side there are two HR people and a finance person in the micro cabinet. Dr. Green maintains a chief officer for each of those micro cabinet positions.
I assume you’ll be at Chamblee High School tonight @6pm for the community discussion on redistricting logistics and teacher allotments with central office staff. The central office usually rolls in heavy for meetings like this, so there will be numerous people you can ask. Please post your thoughts and ideas about what they say.
Stan, Region 2 and 4 have 32-34 schools/principals to assist/supervise. If I understand your comments, the region supers will now have 9 additional staff reporting to them. Does that mean the region supers are responsible managing the micro cabinet as well as the principals or is the micro-cabinet there to help but they are actually managed by/report to the chief officer for that area in Dr. Green’s office – identified by the dotted line. If there is a dotted line to the central office, it seems we have just added another layer that the region super will have to go through to get support for his/her school rather than going to the chief officer for any given area.
Do you know if these 9 staff members under each region have responsibilities other than serving that one region? Is Central Office hiring people for all these new positions or pulling them from their respective departments in Dr. Green’s cabinet?
Hello Someone. The micro cabinet works for and reports to the regional super but I imagine they are self managing much like the relationship between Dr. Green and the CFO. The regional superintendents do not go through the micro cabinet. The micro cabinet is there to provide the regional super with the information to resolve issues on the spot.
The micro cabinet is responsible to the Chief Officer in that discipline. The CFO will have a dotted line relationship to the financial person in the micro cabinet.
People already in the central office are being pushed into the field into these micro cabinet positions.
Facebook conversation between me and Kim Gokce:
Kim Ellis Gokce – Do the area supers have budgetary authority? “Delegating tasks without requisite financial autonomy isn’t delegating; it’s buffering.” -Me
Stan Jester – Budgetary authority to do what?
Kim Ellis Gokce – Anything. For example, each of them appear to have a “Regional Facilities Maintenance Supervisor.” Do the maintenance decisions of the Supervisor have a financial impact on a Sam Moss budget managed there or a Regional maintenance budget managed by the Area Super and her team? Again, if the Area Supers have no control over how funds are spent and managed, this just seems to be a buffering strategy – delegate responsibility but no real decision power ($$$).
Stan Jester – So your question is, can they pull the trigger on maintenance or any other request from the principals that will cost the district money. Good question. I’m going to transfer that question to my blog and find out if they have that authority and how that works.
Kim Ellis Gokce – Correct. I want to know what real discretion they have on expense decisions within a budget established by the central process. Let’s say we want to spend money on a debate team rather than some athletic or other extracurricular program that is partially funded by Mtn Ind. Who decides on redirecting those funds?
Great questions, Kim. Looking forward to that response.