November 2010 Your Turn

Is restructuring -- the wholesale removal of administrators and staff -- a good way to turn around troubled schools? That was our September question, and your answers, not surprisingly, were largely variations on “it depends.”

“Emphasis is on ‘can’ because there are many variables that can lead to little or no benefits,” said Rick Maloney, a board member from Washington state. “For example, one of the risks of federal government-mandated restructuring is lack of commitment/resolve on the part of local leaders. Radical reform efforts are less likely to be successful if district leaders are ‘going through the motions’ in order to get access to the federal dollars.”

Forty-seven percent of you agreed with Maloney that the success or failure of restructuring depends on many variables. Another 26 percent were more positive, saying restructuring can have big benefits for schools that have not improved with incremental efforts. Conversely, 1l percent said “restructuring is almost always a bad idea.” And 16 percent marked “none of the above.”

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