You might remember that there’s been a bit of a thing going on with Child Development (as described in part here and here). Well, that all appears to be over now. I received this email last Friday from Jen Asimow:
Hi Dave, thought you might like to know that we had our district-wide meeting today where we were told by Alvin Bisarya that our program will not be “sun setted” and is safe.
He was also quite sincere when he told us that they learned a lot from working on the Child Development program, specifically that faculty need to be involved from the beginning, the recommendations should NOT be presented as “a fait accompli” and that faculty should be considered “experts” in their respective fields. I think this bodes well for the future work of the Reinvention teams responsible for program review.
For the first time since this entire thing started, the meeting felt collaborative. It is amazing what can be accomplished when people and their programs are not being threatened. I feel quite hopeful about the future of CD at CCC.
Huge credit goes to Jen and her CD colleagues across the district who didn’t just resign, and didn’t just freak out, but gathered their resources and made the case that they know their program and know their students and do great work. They gathered statistics, talked to experts, and developed responses to the questions and suppositions of the Reinvention team (who, it should be said, were undoubtedly working in good faith based on the research they had to come up with what they thought was the best thing for our students), and they did it all over the last six weeks while running their programs and teaching their courses.
Big credit, too, goes to the Reinvention leaders for, it would seem from here, being reasonable and persuadable, rather than merely digging in to get a Pyrrhic victory. As frustrating as the central administration has been at times, I think we have to give them credit for (seemingly) learning from their mistakes and (at least in this case) playing by their own rules. For example, our first DWFDW was awful; the second was better and clearly responsive to the complaints about the first. This first go around with Reinvention Proposals has been varied, but I trust Jen when she says that the outcome felt collaborative (even if it was a bit late in coming). We may all have to defend our programs at some future time. I really don’t have a problem with that. It’s good to know that if we make a good case for our program, we’ll get heard. Let’s all make sure that we know our areas as well (and are doing as good of a job running our programs) as the CD people.
And when you see them, you might want to say, “Well done.”