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Organizational Management

Organizational Management Philosophy Statement
       According to Drucker (cited in McGowan & Miller, 2001), "management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things" (n.p.).  Effective special education administrators must possess both management and leadership skills.  Strong management skills allow special education administrators to use data to plan and make decisions, establish procedures, delegate to others, allocate personnel and material resources, develop and manage budgets, and oversee facilities.  Management skills do not, however, motivate employees, set the stage for staff buy-in, build trust in the decision-making process, or lead employees down a difficult path.  You need leadership skills to accomplish these important organizational tasks.  According to the Coach 4 Growth website (2007), "in order to be fully rounded, you must have the ability to manage the day to day tasks and deliver results, while seeing the opportunity for change and the big picture" (n.p.).  Therefore, it is the combination or blend of both skill sets - management and leadership - that special education administrators need to demonstrate in order to successfully run their organizations.
        Special education administrators must be knowledgeable in school structure and organization to assist schools in designing, implementing, and evaluating their different policies and practices.  Special education administrators should use their knowledge and skills in this area to promote learning, prevent problems, and create school climates that are advantageous to all students.  Speaking from a special education standpoint, "administrators have the responsibility of planning programs and services to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all eligible children within the local education agency (LEA) and they must be able to justify costs to superintendents and school boards" (Weishaar, Borsa, & Weishaar, 2007, p. 129).  This is a huge responsibility that requires the use of strong program evaluation techniques.  At the heart of the program evaluation process is data collection.  As a special education administrator, I will need to be able to gather, analyze, manage, and use data to back up my decisions.
        As a director of special education, I believe it is vital to be well versed in state and federal funding mechanisms for both general education and special education.  As Weishaar, Brosa, and Weishaar (2007) suggest, "administrators must become knowledgeable of funding sources to access available funds" (p. 129).  In a time when budget cuts are a reality for all school systems, it has become increasingly apparent that administrators need to be able to not only manage budgets and maintain accurate fiscal records, but come up with creative solutions to save money through strategically reallocating resources and tapping into newly discovered funding sources. 
        In summary, effective special education administrators do not "just manage or administer [their] way through school change for its complexity requires a process of adaptive learning" (McGowan & Miller, 2001, n.p.).  In my opinion, this "adaptive learning" that McGowan and Miller are referring to points to the need for strong leadership skills in organizational management.  As a special education administrator, I will strive to demonstrate a blend of both the management and leadership skill sets described above.

Coach 4 Growth. (2007). Leadership vs. management: What are the
characteristics of a leader and a manager.
  Retrieved February 8, 2010, from: http://www. leadershipvmanagement.html

McGowan, P., & Miller, J. (2001).  Management vs. leadership: Placing leadership development and renewal at the forefront of school change.  The School Administrator, November 2001, n.p. Retrieved January 25, 2010, from: SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id =10674&terms=leadership

Weishaar, M.K., Borsa, J.C., & Weishaar, P.M. (2007). Inclusive educational administration: A case-study approach (2nd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.

B. Organizational Management: Sub-Competency for Director of Special Education

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the role policy and procedure play in school district governance and administration;
  2. demonstrate knowledge of statutory regulations affecting Board meetings, communications, procedures, and practices that affect special education governance;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of special education administrative models used in Minnesota.


The following artifacts demonstrate my competency in the area of organizational management:

This artifact demonstrates my understanding of the special education administrative models used in Minnesota (B3).  As part of my director of special education field expereince, I had the opportunity to interview directors and spend time in three different organizational structures - an education district, a single district, and a charter school.  Through my experience, I developed a new understanding of the differences that exisit in budgeting, finance, governance, and supervision under these models, as well as a better understanding of the director's role in each of these models.

This artifact demonstrates my understanding of the role policy and procedure play in school district governance and administration (B1).  Through attending a Minnesota Department of Education Special Education Directors' Forum, I was able to witness firsthand how directors across the state of Minnesota stay current in their understanding of policy and procedure.  From presentations on program finance and child count to discussions centered around Medical Assistance funding issues, I gained a better understanding of the role policy and procedure play in organizational management.

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