Performance management is the discipline that studies and implements methods of improving the organization’s performance by optimizing its resources. The New York City Community Schools Strategic Plan was developed by New York City’s Mayor to improve the schools’ education quality by implementing the “whole-kid” system. The basis of this system is a system for evaluating and addressing all schools’ needs, including those of teachers, students, and parents. Then, education-related funds, along with private investments, are used to satisfy those needs.
Assessment of the Organization
The New York City Community Schools Strategic Plan gives an insight into the mayor’s educational agenda for school-going children. The vision is to achieve equal access to quality education and other school-related facilities via the expansion of community schools as the primary strategy (New York City Department of Education). It will give the young people new opportunities to learn and establish themselves as respectable community members. The expansion initiative is an extension of the Department of Education’s framework for Great Schools. According to the strategic plan, the administration aims to develop the next generation of Community Schools and introduce educational systems that will promote equity and sustainability (New York City Department of Education). An assessment of the strategic plan reveals the unique way of its delivery, although all the essential elements that make up a proper strategic plan are included in the document.
The community schools’ expansion program envisions creating an equitable education system that will help close the achievement gap in the community. To enable this agenda, the mayor’s office has a target of building 100 new Community Schools, implementing strategies to advance the goals, and offering support to the existing Community Schools for the next several years (New York City Department of Education). However, the vision and mission statements in the strategic plan are not highlighted systematically. Instead, they are included in the executive summary section.
Another noticeable feature of the strategic plan is that the key enablers to the vision and mission have distinct strategies. In other words, the larger New York City Community Schools Strategic Plan contains other mini-strategies, including funding, capacity building, and system building strategies (New York City Department of Education). Each mini-strategy is set to achieve specific objectives that contribute to the attainment of the expansion goal. Action plans for the highlighted purposes of the strategic plan are stipulated, the party responsible for each action and a projected timeframe for implementation are also provided. In addition, the objectives to achieve these goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (Bryson, 2011), indicating a high level of preciseness and pragmatism. These include the vision, objectives, action plans, and control and measure mechanisms vital for performance management (Poister et al., 2014). From this, one could deduce that the organization’s strategic goals are clearly stipulated in the plan.
Organization’s Logic Model
The primary outcome of the Community Schools Strategic Plan is the establishment and development of Community Schools across NYC. The idea behind this outcome is promoting and ensuring equity among the multinational city’s population and students’ access to quality education, health services, and other facilities. The plan proposes financing sources, primarily from funds of teacher organizations, such as the Fund for Public Schools (New York City Department of Education). Along with that, investors from the private sector are also engaged, as they would be interested in education’s development.
While creating and promoting the new type of schools, the Plan also enhances the existing schools, implementing the policies mentioned in the Plan. It highlights that all schools’ committees will have access to menus of capacity building, where they can find all information about resources and partnerships necessary for them (New York City Department of Education). Such facilities, along with the system when primary financing sources are from those who are interested in the Plan’s realization, would increase the social impact of the Plan and make it more viable (SoPact, 2020). Thus, the Plan’s objectives are constructing and implementing the policies for improving the community schools across NYC and the education level in them.
The Strategic Plan does not have an Org Chart, but it can be constructed based on the information from the Plan, as in Figure 1. Mayor Bill de Blasio is the initiator of the Plan, and his office can be considered as being in charge of the Plan’s completion (New York City Department of Education). The NYC Department of Education works with Mayor’s Office to enhance the realization of the plan. Teacher communities on both municipal and federal levels have the necessary connections and funds to facilitate the Plan’s financing, as they are also interested in the development of education. Mayor’s Office also plans to establish relationships with private sector business people, philanthropists, and investors, who would be interested in improving education for future generations.
School committees and parent community organizations are the primary targets for the plan and its main beneficiaries. School committees are organizations on a school basis that present the interests of each particular school. They are responsible for evaluating the school’s needs and issues and providing this information along with the estimated budget for solving those problems (New York City Department of Education). Teachers are the leading members of school committees, and thus, they are connected with municipal and federal teacher committees. Parent community organizations are non-government or even informal assemblies of people interested in better education for their children.
Ways for Improvement
There are several ways for performance management; the most straightforward is the method of control by objectives, which is used primarily in the private sector. It marks clear goals for each employee or everyone engaged in a project and monitors the completion of those objectives. On the contrary, the performance monitoring system concentrates on each unit of the project or organization (Poister et al., 2014). For the NYC Community Schools Strategic Plan, the second option would be much more viable, as it is a community project where communities are primary operation elements, not employees.
The Strategic Plan lacks a clear organizational structure, which can be considered as its weakness. It mentions communities interested in the Plan’s realization, but it does not mention specific people or positions responsible for this realization. According to Poister et al. (2014), such a clear structure is necessary to monitor the results of the plan. In another case, it would be hard to measure the Plan’s success and implement measures to increase it. It is also crucial to define clear metrics to measure the plan’s outcomes, for example, which percent of students have access to mental health facilities and how it changes with the Plan’s implementation (The Rockefeller Foundation, 2016). Such improvements, precisely formulating a structure of those responsible for the Plan’s execution, and defining clear metrics for measuring this implementation, would improve the Plan’s livability.
Bryson, John, M. (2011). Strategic planning for public and NPOs: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley and Sons.
New York City Department of Education. New York City community schools strategic plan. Web.
Poister, T. H., Aristigueta, M. P., & Hall, J. L. (2014). Managing and measuring performance in public and nonprofit organizations. Wiley.
SoPact. (2020). Monitoring and evaluation plan and social impact indicators in COVID-19 [Video]. YouTube. Web.
The Rockefeller Foundation. (2016). Our strategy: Monitoring and evaluation [Video]. YouTube. Web.