by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Ernst and Young conducted an organizational evaluation of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and released their findings at this morning’s State Board of Education work session. There were a few notable observations by Ernest and Young researchers:
- DPI’s effectiveness is limited by its tendency to work in siloes – an observation that extends to many functions, including how data is used, how policy is developed, how budgets are created, and others.
- NC DPI appears to lack an overriding theory for how to support LEAs and educators to drive student outcomes; individual offices develop their own support structures, professional development plans and assessments.
- In addition, employee morale is widely perceived to be struggling amidst higher levels of turnover, fragmented communication, and uncertainty about the vision and future funding of the organization.
The first finding is typical of large organizations, so it is not surprising.
The second finding is troubling. If NC DPI cannot articulate how it will support public schools and improve student achievement, then it likely will do both poorly.
The third observation is directed to Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson and the N.C. General Assembly. I suspect that there is a relationship between “uncertainty about the vision…of the organization” and “lack of an overriding theory for how to support LEAs and educators to drive student outcomes.”