Unblocking the Road toward Progress: A State-Level Management Dilemma

Kathryn R. Gabriele, MPA
Rutgers University's Cases and Simulations Portal

This multi-part case study is based in the real-life example1 of the challenges faced by the individual who originally led the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (ESE) student and staff feedback project. Ms. Gomez, a former teacher in her first policy position, is handed this project to lead from start to finish less than one month into her position. Operating on a 12-month timeline, the required project deliverables include: (1) student feedback tool(s); (2) staff feedback tool(s); and, (3) a guidance document to assist districts with implementation. Neither realizing nor being told that Massachusetts was the first state to require the inclusion of such feedback in the formal evaluation of all licensed educators, she agreed to lead the project.

The purpose of this four-part case study is to help students make meaningful connections between real-time challenges facing public managers and management theory and practice studied in the classroom. In order to introduce this multi-faceted management dilemma in a manner that most accurately reflects how the real scenario unfolded, each part of the case study should be introduced separately.

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