Thurgood Marshall High School Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Thurgood Marshall High School Case Study Solution


It is an interesting case study that revolves around “house system” concept. The case illustrates the description of Marshall’s school system that is divided into four parts, the broken down four houses contains 300 students in each of its parts. The faculty comprises of a total of 18 teachers and 1 head of the staff. Each house has its own building, separate entrance, the classrooms and other in-house features, furthermore, the houses shares ‘core facilities’, such as cafeteria, gym, offices, auditorium and such other facilities. The teachers and students are carefully selected, teachers belong from world class background and schools, the students were also clearly identified and chosen as a result of a balanced approach from African-American, and other ethnic backgrounds.  The school system is one of a kind and an innovative breakthrough             in the education system of great falls.

Problems of the case:

The case shows numerous problems that the house system concept of school system is suffering from, the practices of the school system did not complement the theoretical concepts of the house system, after the opening of the school, the first principle resigned because he failed to implement the house system concepts inspite of writing the book on the same philosophy, the organizational structure, inter-group cohesiveness, interpersonal rivalry and the challenges that the former principal faced made it difficult for him to implement the core concepts of particular approach he has been trying to practice in real. His looks and the physically misaligned behavior and strained looks showed his commitment and the failure.

The new principle that has been transferred in his place was David Kane; his personal traits made this position to deal within the tough environments especially related to the education system. He has been selected among avariety of individuals due to the fact that he is eligible of dealing with in the tough educational environment. He has been given the place to identify the problems that the organization is currently facing that results in low morale among the employees, the quality of education also suffered, moreover, the organization's internal problems such as interpersonal conflicts and lack of personality compatibility that leads to group conflicts are some of the reasons due to which the organization has suffered and lacks the basic concepts of house system.

Problems analysis:

Since the organization comprises of four divisions, each one of the divisions has its own structures, and run independently by different department heads. The purpose was to make the organization autonomous and try to do the tasks and operations independently, but that goes in opposite direction for the management and especially the school head i.e. principal to deal with the situations in such a way that could ultimately change the inter-organization conflicts.

One of the conflicts was in between the department heads about the curriculum design. The former principal had allowed the department heads to design their department’s curriculum and that created the conflicts, the innovativeness of the content or the design is not appreciated but targeted by the other department heads, this created an atmosphere of jealousy and misunderstanding among the school. The people showed an attitude of dissatisfaction from other departments and seemed to believe that they are the best. This is because of lack of organizational rules and regulations; it was not appropriately maintained from the beginning since this has created an environment of rivalry.

Similarly, the other conflicts that are seen in the first year of operations are the course of selecting suitable teachers for each and every department. The heads wanted to have the best teachers to be the part of their department, as a result of flexible staffing policy. The base of the conflict was flexible staffing policy that has allowed different departments to argue against the policy that has implemented to rotate teachers in the houses and to allow students to register in different courses among the houses. The flexibility and ease of policies were a major loophole for the school because human nature exploits flexibility when the people are at the same level and are competing at the same level.

Similarly, the flexibility of the policies were not taken as an advantage but as a curse for the school, resulting in inter school and inter houses conflicts that ultimately affects the morale and performance of the teachers, they were more inclined towards dealing and making the conflicts intense, rather than focusing on quality education and making their department better for a cause.

Another intense situation that is not at all the norm of any professional organization that has been evident in the case was the violence that was shown by chase when another department’s teacher had poked into his department and questioned his teaching expertise to the particular subject they both are teaching. The violence that is shown by the teachers showed alack of ethical behavior and professionalism in any professional organization. The violence of all the kind was present at the school, the incidence of the assaults and robbery of the teachers and students showed that the school lacks basic security environment. Being at school, having a life risk for the students showed that how much the organization needs to be restructured and reassessed thoroughly because people did not feel safe at the school premises. Parents removing their wards showed the declining rate of students at the school, teachers leaving due to the security concerns caused the school to lose some of the knowledgeable assets of the school, ultimately the quality of the education suffered and due to that reason, school lost its reputation and internal professionalism and peace, the main mission statement of freedom ease and autonomy was not fulfilled. The consequences of all the issues that has been faced by the people at the organization were alack of positive morale and urged to take the school up to the high level of education. The budget constraints as a result of teacher’s resignations and the experimentation and conflicts at each level destroy the student's grades and deteriorate the general rate of growth of the hose system school structure..................................

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