I often struggle to help other educators understand court and community school’s relationship with the county office. Five years ago, it was a little simpler because court and community schools, my district, functioned more independently from the county office. However after restructuring that occurred during a district change in leadership and the county office’s strategic planning process, many services have been reassigned to the county office and the relationship between the two has become increasingly challenging to articulate.
Now, many of the district’s business services are mostly provided by the county office. In some cases, a large percentage of service elements become additional responsibilities of district staff members, oftentimes with little support from above (administrators) or below (staff). This sometimes leads to confusion and weak implementation. For example, the district relies on one instructional coach/digital learning innovator (teacher) to meet all of the district’s educational technology needs without a technology administrator or a team of informational technology staff and/or teachers on special assignment. Most instructional technology services are provided by the county. This keeps the devices, including 1:1 Chromebooks, running, but teachers and adminstrators are not working toward a stated vision.Technology like many of the services offered by the district/coounty function with weak business architecture which decreases the overall effectiveness of the services.
Additionally, navigating and utilizing services become challenging without intentional business architecture. Many of the inputs of the services provided by the district/county office are missing, hard to find, and/or unclear. Many simple inputs, such as flow charts, are missing. Without these, it is challenging for teachers to access and drawn upon services offered. Instead, many forms and procedures are sent out in piecemeal emails as text and attachments. According to Education Enterprise Architecture Guidebook, “Architecture encompasses the what, who, how, when and why of the agency’s business and describes the agency’s strategic business intent (its vision, mission, goals and strategies) and how the core functions, processes, information and assets enact the strategic business intent” (2014). Without well planned and informative inputs, the employees are often confused and left unable to access many of the services offered by the district and or county office. This negatively impacts overall district progress toward achieving should teach at business and tent because the services become an underutilized.
By examining my district/county office I understand that weak business architecture is the cause of many frustrations the staff experience and--more importantly--a cause of disconnect between the many services and the students they intend to serve. I can easily identify how putting simple business architecture systems into place has the potential to dramatically strengthen my district.
Education Enterprise Architecture Guidebook. (2014, March). Retrieved February 7, 2016, from http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/implementation-support-unit/tech-assist/education-architecture-guidebook.pdf