There is no plan: CCISD’s failing “strategic plan”

CCISD approved a five-year “strategic plan” in May 2014. This plan was cooked up by a 29-member committee and spearheaded by one Dr. Bill Cook, president and CEO of the Cambrian Group.

What’s notably absent from the CCISD website is any information whatsoever about the 2014-2019 CCISD Strategic Plan. It took a lot of digging through the deep, murky waters of the Internet to find it here. We’ve also taken the liberty of turning it into a PDF for your reading pleasure, which you can download here: 2014-2019 Complete Set of Action Plans.

How much did we spend on the Cambrian Group?

According to CCISD’s check registers, Dr. Cook wasn’t cheap. Here’s the breakdown of checks written to the Cambrian Group:

  • 12/5/2013: $28,441.67. Of note is that $3,091.67 is for travel expenses alone.
  • 1/30/2014: $5,685.00. In typical CCISD obfuscation fashion, you’ll note that it’s for three people’s “registration” – to what, we don’t know.
  • 4/3/2014: $1,798.80. This is all travel expenses.
  • 5/8/2014: $16,900.00. This looks like another installment in what the district paid for “strategic planning.”
  • 5/22/2014: $1,509.14. More travel expenses.
  • 8/14/2014: $8,495.06. Guess how much was travel expenses? ($1,495.06)
  • 9/9/2014: $9,850.00 – Wait! Wasn’t the strategic plan already approved?!
  • 10/12/2014: $17,500
  • 10/30/2014: $1,594.72. More travel expenses
  • 6/4/2015: $4,000
  • 6/10/2015: $1,382.23
  • 8/13/2015: $3,790. For Tacy King and Susan Silva.
  • 11/5/2015: $7,000
  • 11/12/2015: $1,219.59

We paid for “inspiration”

So what did we get for all that money (which could have been used to hire a paraprofessional for Special Education students)? A big bag of nothing. If this strategic plan had been presented to a C-suite, the planners would have been fired. There are almost no metrics to measure success of the so-called action plan.

For example, does this sound like something you can measure? “Select online tools, such as videoconferencing platforms, workflow software, communication matrix, to facilitate effective and efficient communication and decision making.”

We paid a lot of money for a lot of words but no real action that can be taken.

And where are we today?

Dr. Steven Ebell had a lot of words and slides to talk about the so-called strategic plan. You have to laugh when he talks about ethical codes in CCISD; we know it’s a vast wasteland at 2425 E. Main Street when it comes to ethics.

There has been no measurable impact. None at all. Just things that were allegedly implemented. And some subjective metrics, like how many parents “feel” their children’s campuses are safe. “Feelings” are not metrics, no matter how much CCISD wants to make them so.

Trustee Scott Bowen was the only member of the Board of Trustees that asked about quantitative objectives in the strategic plan. Dr. Ebell paid some lip service to it, but we all know the answer to it.

CCISD’s strategic planning committee will be meeting on July 15-17, 2019 to start more “planning.” Dr. Ebell wants more participation, but WAIT! Where are the public notices of the meetings? How do you sign up for the committee? How do you even attend the meetings?

CCISD, you need to actually follow Strategy VI: We will ensure mutual understanding and support through effective communication. You need to publish this in a much more accessible place on the site. When you publish your little “board report,” you need to link to these items. Hiding documents is not effective communication. Skirting gently around the Open Meetings Act and posting notices at the last possible minute is not “effective communication.”

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