Hello. This whole Discovery Education Network thing just makes me more upset as more time passes. I really thought a couple of days would help but it hasn't. I know some of the people who remain at DEN and I know they are good people who want the best for educators but the corporate side of Discovery has basically insulted all DEN members by assuming we will continue to basically work for them for FREE and promote their products to fellow teachers. I still don't know if I want to remain an active part of DEN or cut all ties but things like the following article about the elimination of the Field Managers really makes me mad.
Here is the link to the story in the Washington Post and I hope you read it and listen carefully to the message being sent to us (teachers) by corporate Discovery. Here are a few quotes from the story:
"Company officials said many of the positions were unnecessary and that the changes would not impede the company's goal of expanding its education business, which it says reaches 70,000 schools."
"We announced a reorganization of the education group this week. That included shifting responsibilities, elimination of office space and reduction in force that included redundancies and overlapping functions," said David Leavy, a Discovery spokesman."
"According to an internal memo sent to employees Wednesday, the division's revenue has grown 350 percent since 2004. The company declined to give the division's total revenue amount. It also said affected staff might move to other openings within Discovery, including to new initiatives planned for 2007."
"Whenever a company completes multiple acquisitions, there is an important responsibility to continually re-evaluate existing costs, structure and business strategies," Steve Sidel, executive vice president in charge of Discovery Education, said in the memo. "Discovery Education is now in a position to consolidate the business operations of these new companies and gain valuable economies of scale through a careful elimination of redundancies and certain non-core functions."
Are you kidding me? They called the Field Manager postion "unneccesary" and it would not "impede the company's goal of expanding it's education BUSINESS". If BUSINESS is all they are concerned about you think a 350% increase in revenue might be enough for them.
I think the writing is on the wall - what I thought made Discovery great (the personal aspect and the person connection) is now out the and bottom line is what it is all about. I truly worry about the good Discovery DEN people left because it looks like corporate is planning on trying to have you do the work of the 20 people that they fired and if they think I'm going to use a web based portal in the same manner I used the Field Managers they have played the wrong card. There are plenty of other organizations and causes that I can spend my time and energy on to help students and teachers.
I'm sending back my Discovery Educator lab coat to Discovery on Monday. I feel bad for the seven DEN people left but unless something BIG happens to reverse this injustice I'm not longer proud to be a member of DEN - an organization that I once promoted everywhere I went. Sad.