Last week's announcement by Fairfax County School Superintendent L. Linton Deck of a massive reorganization of school administrators has already drawn criticism from the Fairfax Education Association.
"It's kind of scary," says FEA president-elect Bill Costello, referring to Deck's plan for "streamlining" of the school system.
The move, which Deck says will provide better "responsiveness and support for local school and instructional programs," involves job changes for 12 top school administrators and the creation of four new positions.
The new positions include:
A Management Services Department, to be headed by Vernon Clarke, presently with the Xerox Corporation.
A Resources Development Office, to be headed by Jay Jacobs, currently Deck's administration assistant.
A Program Development office to be headed by Douglas Lapp, a science curriculum specialist.
Assistant superintendent for vocational, adult and community education. No one has been appointed to the post as yet.
School officials say that the reorganization will not enlarge the administrative staff since some vacant positions will not be filled. They do admit that since several administrators were downgraded -- but will take no pay cut for one year -- and several new positions are top-level jobs, the move will cost the schools more money. Officials say the amount has not yet determined. c
The end result of the restructuring -- which goes into effect July 1 -- will be that only three administrators will continue to report directly to Deck. They are deputy superintendents Jacqueline Benson and William J. Burkholder and financial services associate superintendent Myron Cale.
"With fewer people reporting directly to him (Deck,) what you have is a filtering up system," says Costello. "It could be good, if you could be sure everything eventually filters up.
"But it could be used to isolate people -- especially teachers."
Teacher association officials say they are especailly concerned about the change that moves John Schreck from his position as assistant superintendent for personnel services to the top job in planning and development services. FEA members say Schreck was a "tough" administrator to deal with on grievances and other matters, but say they fear his move will jeopardize progress made last year toward better communications between teachers and administrators.
"Schreck followed school policy," said Costello. "But you could always talk to him. Warren Eisenhower (Schreck's replacement) is good, we've worked with him on salaries and other issues, but things are moving along pretty good with Schreck."
Another issue facing the teachers group is how to gain access to the relatively new superintendent.
Earlier this week, Costello praised former acting superintendent William J. Burkholder for the contact he maintained with teachers during his nine months as head of the system and criticizism Deck for remaining aloof to overtures by the teachers' group since he took office in January.
Costello -- who assumes the presidency of the FEA in July -- said he hopes to establish contact with Deck over the summer.