In 2019, the governor of Arkansas restructured and rebranded the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to bring multiple educational institutions and the Arkansas State Library together under one umbrella. By creating one department, the governor intends to increase alignment among these institutions to strengthen goals and increase measurable outcomes.
Included in the restructuring are the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Division of Higher Education, the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, and the Division of Career and Technical Education.
Every company, institution, and department operate in a unique culture. They create shared values, perspectives, preferences, and systems that inform their work and project outcomes. Building a foundation for success requires that all of the institutions under ADE have a shared culture so they can align on important issues and achieve more significant outcomes together than they could independently.
To create this foundation and thereby strengthen opportunities for cross-collaboration between the institutions, the Region 14 Comprehensive Center (R14CC) partnered with Gallup to perform a culture audit.
As a part of the culture audit, an ADE leadership workshop and action planning session was held. Leaders were split into groups to discuss their ideas to improve critical areas of engagement found to be low at ADE.
As part of this work, ADE finalized its new strategic plan and created an individual performance management pilot. ADE launched a project management office, led by the chief of staff, to monitor and coordinate implementation efforts.