Child Development Reruns: Haven’t We Seen This Movie Before?

And no, I’m not referring to this:

If you were around in 2011, you might remember that this proposal has been floated before, and the last time it was, it ended with good news for those who opposed it and the then-Hand of the Chancellor (Alvin Bisarya) saying 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.”

(sigh) I guess the new leadership needs to learn the lesson for themselves?

So we have a “new” proposal of a previously proposed (and rejected) idea. What’s changed? Well, last time their proposal was aimed at the degrees being offered, rather than the location of the offerings, and it was rationalized on the basis of market-place requirements. These elements are still part of the current proposal (despite the fact that what amounts to a curriculum change is (or should) STILL be an area of faculty purview and so subject to their approval). This time, though, that bit isn’t the rationale–investment efficiency is, and “the pooling of talent.” They want to spend more on Child Development, it seems, but they just can’t (insert tear squirting emoticon) because these programs are all spread out…with this move they’ll be able to provide computers and space upgrades and, and…equipment! Like what, you may ask? Swings? Robot children? MRI machines? I don’t know. I’d like to know what equipment that CD faculty want but can’t get without “economies of scale” that will magically exist within one college but not across the district as a whole. What could it be? And never mind that Child Development faculty are probably the most collaborative group of educators in the system! Is there any other discipline that has worked as much or as well across college lines than them? None that I know of. So what problem does this solve? Seems to me like it solves a management problem (“A place for everything and everything in its place!“); never mind the problems that it creates for the others.

Imagine if the Cubs announced that instead of having their talent scouts and instructional coaches spread out around the country and world, they wanted to “pool their talent” in one location to “improve their investment” by giving them more equipment like “computers and space upgrades” (which means what? I don’t know–unfortunately that is not a question frequently asked, apparently). Would anyone think that the team’s ability to find and develop talent has been enhanced by such a move?

What if a company with seven subsidiary companies said, we need to pool the seven sales (or HR or legal or whatever) teams, even though they serve different regions and have different histories and markets , into one department, forcing employees/customers/whomever to travel long distances to get help. Does anyone genuinely believe that such a move would enhance the experience for the people who actually need services? Whom would it help other than the management whose job would be simplified at the expense of those who actually need services?

I mean the argument they have offered is so bad, that I genuinely can’t believe that THEY believe it. I hope not. So, is Rasmus just going through old files of his predecessors to finish what they started? Has this Zombie idea been walking around 226 W. Jackson for four years waiting for “the right moment”–when everyone was annoyed and distracted by other, even more broadly damaging initiatives, like the (deliberate?) discouragement of part-time students? Are they running out of ideas?

What the hell?

3 thoughts on “Child Development Reruns: Haven’t We Seen This Movie Before?

  1. I worry that people from a consulting background just feel like they always have to be doing *something* even if it is counter to *anyone’s* interests. I could see, in two years, them deciding that it’s a brilliant idea to “bring the program to the students” and putting out a press release about how much commute time it would save students if the program was offered at each college.

  2. I want to know what Child Development did to tick off Hyman. Two different attacks over four years seems a bit harsh. Not that this is personal or anyone would take it that way.

  3. What the hell? I would say what the fuck? I am completely baffled by this decision to consolidate all child dev programs to one location. Completely short sided –this strategy has no long game this will only hurt the people who need access to affordable education the most. The areas where these programs will be eliminated are parts of town that have been in a recession for decades. Clearly CCC is not interested in building communities.

    The most fucked up of all these recent decisions is the fact that there is no shared governance at play – nadda that is no bueno. What I want to know is could CCC be in violation of agreements regarding accreditation? The vice chancellors that are making these huge game changing decision have no back ground in education and have no interest in discussing matters with the resident experts.

    Actually that is not the most fucked up thing in regards to all the recent decisions. I actually ran into a tenured faculty member on campus this week and chatted to them about how insane all of the new implementations from district were. Their response (I’m paraphrasing) well there’s not really much we can do about it right?! Why bother to meet and try and to work with the powers that be. I didn’t even know how to respond to that notion an educator who no longer questions options.

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