LAUSD Structure - Terrance McKnight Reflection Paper#2 for...

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Terrance McKnight Reflection Paper #2 for Class Session 3 on Structure The structure of an organization is integral to the effective execution of its goals. A proper structure also allows for an organization’s assets to be aligned strategically in order to maximize output. Thus, goals and tasks precede structure; structure is then used to support resources, primarily human capital. A misalignment between goals, structure, and resources will lead to underperformance at best. This is no different for organizations in education – schools and their districts. The goals of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have changed recently in order to promote reform efforts; however, the structure of the organization, and consequently, its resources, have not. Thus, this paper will focus primarily on the structural changes at the district- and school-level that need to occur in order for the district to meet its goals. LAUSD is a bureaucratic organization; this is based on its use of shared goals and values from the top-down, rigid separation of labor, centralized organizational structure, merit- and knowledge-based talent management practices, and a common standardized approach to dealing with its clients. The district was set up in this capacity due to the fact that school districts generally have economies of scale in the creation of intellectual capital, human resource management, transportation, and procurement, amongst other resources. However, in light of changing environments, educational organizations must become less mechanistic in their structure; these entities must be flatter to promote quicker communication and non-standardized practices. LAUSD needs an organic structure in order to serve its schools more efficiently. LAUSD currently has eight Local Districts, each serving as an administrative buffer between the Central Office and its respective schools. Because of the immense size of the district, splitting it
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