County School Board Reorganizing Central Office

The Albemarle School Board has signed off on some changes in the central office that were requested by school superintendent Pam Moran, Scott Schenk writes in the Daily Progress today. They’re creating a new position—assistant superintendent for planning and operations—and cutting 15.3 full-time positions’ worth of jobs, saving $875k annually. The changes are said to be similar to those taking place in schools nationwide.

8 thoughts on “County School Board Reorganizing Central Office”

  1. …will cut the equivalent of 15.3 full-time centralized office jobs

    That “the equivalent of” is causing my B.S. detector to go off. “The equivalent of…” doesn’t mean 15.3 full time positions cut. It could mean 15.3 full time positions that they decided not to fill and one executive level position that they did decide to create.

    It’s fuzzy math, like if everyone used such and such type of light bulb the worlds carbon emissions would drop. It’s too much like “we want to sound like we are doing something that is actually causing hardship so everyone will feel better about the money we are spending.”

    If you don’t hire someone to do a job duty/function and the other employees take up the slack of that job duty/function- did you really need that extra job duty/function in the first place? No.


    If you don’t hire someone you didn’t need – did you really save any money?

    And what’s .3 full time job anyway?

  2. I guess the useful number is $875,000—the dollar value of the money saved. It’s probably tough to give a useful number when you’re eliminating X full-time positions, Y half-time positions, and Z 10-15 hour positions. But without that dollar value, yeah, it’d be tough to know what to make of that number.

    If you don’t hire someone to do a job duty/function and the other employees take up the slack of that job duty/function- did you really need that extra job duty/function in the first place? No.

    I don’t think that’s entirely fair. I’ve certainly worked at understaffed organizations, and it can be terribly exhausting and unpleasant. The fact that the work gets done doesn’t mean that it’s being done sustainably (or well).

  3. I think school systems have gotten way too top-heavy. We’ve been complaining about the quality of education for years, and their answer always seems to be to spend more money outside of the classroom, as if it will have impact on the students. We can only hope this is a move in the right direction.

  4. .3 would refer to a FTP equivalent. Lots of jobs might be broken into partial FTPs. A part time teacher who also does drivers ed might have .5 teaching FTPs and .2 drivers Ed FTPs. The admin who does the paperwork on out of system coaches might be alloted .1 FTPs and then another .5 FTPs for SOL monitering.

  5. The division this fiscal year will cut the equivalent of 15.3 full-time centralized office jobs, more than half of which are “highly compensated” positions, said Brian Wheeler, School Board chairman.

    “The jobs cut include Internet and Hispanic/Latino coordinators, a nurse, clerical staff, bus drivers and instructional specialists.”

    I am glad to see that they obviously are rewriting some job descriptions but I would be interested in the description of the assistant suerintendent for planning and operations. I can not tell what that person is supposed to be doing.

    Wheeler said the moves will improve management.
    “We had a central office that was too fat in the middle and too thin at the top,” he said. “The chain of command is cleaner.”

    The third move will have Luvelle Brown holding the position of chief information officer for the school division. It is a lateral move for Brown, who since 2006 has been the executive director of division and school improvement.

    Becoming the talking head to the media doesn’t sound like a lateral shift to me, but, again, I couldn’t tell without looking at the job description. Is this a management position or has Brown been removed from management? Has the division and school improvement been eliminated?
    I’m going to have to go along with Waldo and say to look at the $875,000 to judge the quantity if not the quality of the changes. I just hope that when pocket books become more flush, the system will remember why those positions were eliminated.

  6. I can tell you that the Office of Instruction (science coordinator, guidance, social studies, gifted/fine arts etc.) has been gutted. A lot of those people had been there a long time, making I’m sure good money. As far as what different positions’ job responsibilities will be, they’re still making that up as they go.

  7. As others have noted, the $875,000 is the number presented for public consumption, but that doesn’t mean that is what the cost savings will actually be.

    Over time, the county central office did get bloated, and those folks did make pretty good salaries. And while they may have performed duties within central office that the top managemanet found valuable, their instructional helpfulness was questionable (just like the county purchase of SchoolNet).

    The county now touts its new “coaching” model as its next “instructionally helpful” initiative. But that’s dubious too. Coaching, in theory and as planned for best utility, is time-intensive and requires coaches to be content and pedagogical experts, adept at communication, and able to develop credibility and trust. At this point, the “coaches” really don’t know what they’ll be doing, or where they’ll be based or how they will accomplish their tasks. Mr. Wheeler called this “audacious.”

    As to long-time complaints abaout public education, the record is actually qite clear and has been for twenty years or more. Generally, public schools do a very good job of educating an increasingly diverse student population. All the data show that. That doesn’t mean there are not problems; there are. But most of the problems are socioeconomic in nature. Rampant testing does not address the underlying problems; it may well lead to higher drop out rates.

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