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HonestChieffan
03-20-2009, 10:57 AM
http://thevoiceforschoolchoice.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/nations-worst-school-principals-will-get-bonuses-charleston-sc/


Nation’s worst school principals will get bonuses (Charleston SC)
March 19, 2009

In the last year, public schools in South Carolina have endured $360 million in state budget cuts.

While many classroom teachers are fearing for their jobs, there are legions of consultants, bureaucrats and administrators who continue to cash-out from the $11,480 per child public school spending.

Just as the budget crisis worsens, parents are getting more bad news about public school performance. Unlike the budget crunch, which began in November of last year, low test scores, growing race- and wealth gaps, a 55% graduate rate and a surge in the number of failing public schools are a long term trend in South Carolina public schools.

In the latest round of bad news, parents were shocked to learn that according to a nationwide study, 11 of the country’s worst performing public schools are located in South Carolina. Of those 11 persistently failing schools, 4 are located in Charleston South Carolina.

Now it appears that principals at 2 of those schools will receive salary bonuses this year!

From the Post and Courier:

Seventeen Charleston County principals who oversee the school district’s lowest-achieving schools will receive more than $320,000 in bonuses this year for working at their respective schools.

The bonus money comes directly from the state and can’t be used to cover the $13.3 million in mid-year state funding cuts or the projected $28 million deficit next year. But the supplement money could be used for other school-based programs, such as credit recovery courses or training for teachers.

…The stipend amounts range from $15,000 to $25,000 annually, depending on whether it’s an elementary, middle or high school, and the extra money was promised for three years. The state has guidelines for ways the intervention and assistance money can be used, and schools must submit plans annually to show how they will spend it to help the school overcome its academic challenges.

Included in the list published by the Post and Courier, and based on information from the Charleston School District, are Brentwood Middle School and Morningside Middle School. The principal at Brentwood is Lawanda Glears and at Morningside Middle is Kala Goodwine. These two schools are listed as number 9 and number 8 respectively in the national “worst public schools” list.

Current Superintendent Nancy McGinley told the Post and Courier that “she supports recognizing those who are making progress and that the supplement should be tied to results. These bonuses essentially were “signing bonuses” and she “wasn’t going to renege on the arrangement because it was a condition of employment and a contractual obligation.“

These bonuses for failing public school principals come shortly on the heels of an earlier scandal in Charleston, where principal Mishawnda Moore of Clyde-Sanders School has been accused of systemic cheating on student assessments. In that Cylde-Sanders scandal, Moore had been awarded both public accolades and financial incentives for raising the school from a “failing” rating through test score improvements.

Thankfully, one African-American lawmaker from Charleston is taking on the system that has perpetuated and rewarded the failing public schools. State Senator Robert Ford (D) has introduced legislation that would offer tax credits to parents that transfered their children to private or homeschools. The bill, the Educational Opportunity Act, also offers tax credits to donors that fund non-profit scholarship granting organizations that specifically target low-income children. Those transfering out of failing public schools or with special needs would enjoy larger credits and scholarships.

StcChief
03-20-2009, 11:17 AM
another case of contract and their "inability" to pay based on performance.

Mr. Kotter
03-20-2009, 11:41 AM
It happens, but less than in the business world.... though probably with the same arguments/ circumstances/ defensibility as what is going on in coorporate America with business execs and CEOs.

The difference is market forces, management practices, company policies, skilled hiring practices, and a good business plan are much more controlled in the business world. Comparable factors in education are much less controlled.

The "raw material" and "environment" that educators have to work with vary widely.....and has a direct effect on outcomes. Comparable variables can be controlled much more readily and easily in the context of the business world.

It's a big, big difference that is often over-looked by some of the more ignorant critics of public education.

oldandslow
03-20-2009, 01:11 PM
It happens, but less than in the business world.... though probably with the same arguments/ circumstances/ defensibility as what is going on in coorporate America with business execs and CEOs.

The difference is market forces, management practices, company policies, skilled hiring practices, and a good business plan are much more controlled in the business world. Comparable factors in education are much less controlled.

The "raw material" and "environment" that educators have to work with vary widely.....and has a direct effect on outcomes. Comparable variables can be controlled much more readily and easily in the context of the business world.

It's a big, big difference that is often over-looked by some of the more ignorant critics of public education.

In fact, I would argue, that placing education under the business model has been disastrous. Treating students as "customers" is crazy. They are nothing of the sort. Undoubtedly it has led to the "dumbing down" in colleges and universities that we are now experiencing. I suspect the same can be said for public education.

HonestChieffan
03-20-2009, 01:19 PM
What is it about education that refuse to develop measurements on job performance? Its not as if you have only one metric. Although student performance is certainly a part of it, there are a host of things that could be measured and evaluated. In business I had as few as 10 areas on my evaluation to as many as 17 and sales performance vs plan was just one area of the evaluation. Everything from administrative skills, peer influence, leadership to interpersonal relationships, influence, creativity heavens, there are many ways to measure a teacher that are not linked to the student.

Mr. Kotter
03-20-2009, 01:49 PM
What is it about education that refuse to develop measurements on job performance? Its not as if you have only one metric. Although student performance is certainly a part of it, there are a host of things that could be measured and evaluated. In business I had as few as 10 areas on my evaluation to as many as 17 and sales performance vs plan was just one area of the evaluation. Everything from administrative skills, peer influence, leadership to interpersonal relationships, influence, creativity heavens, there are many ways to measure a teacher that are not linked to the student.

Measuring job performance in education is an incredibly difficult and complex endeavor. Sure, you can have multiple metrics, but just as most businesses are measured by their bottom-line.....the knee-jerk and predominant way of measuring academic "success" is......standardized test scores.

Others "metrics" would involve far too much subjectivity that would be based on wildly varying factors and circumstances that are nearly impossible to quantify for them to be very useful.

A sampling of the factors and circumstances I'm talking about would include socioeconimic status of parents and families, community support (financial, and otherwise,) single-parent families, local crime rates, drug and alcohol abuse rates (students, parent, community at large,) homelessness, quality of teachers and administrators, pedagological philosophies, management styles, autonomy/control of classroom teachers, classroom management styles/strategies, support for teachers by administrators, percentages of studenets who hold jobs, outside agencies support and resources available to students and families, government funding and programs procurred to provide supplemental programs, state and local legislative action and support....and those are just the ones that come off the top of my head.

You take control over similar factors and circumstances from business executives over the production of their product or delivery of services....and most would quit, because they don't have nearly the control that many would demand.

It is akin to holding doctors on the Southside of Chicago "accountable" to the same standards and expectations as doctors Mission Hills, or a CEO who runs a company in Bangledesh with sub-standard suppliers, transportation, and pool of employees to the same expectations and standards as a CEO who runs a comparable company in Minnetonka or Richfield.

You can talk all you want about using different methods of assessing teacher quality, but the complexity and large number of uncontrolled variables makes such a process....a very inexact, and likely inefficient way of measuring teacher quality.

One additional point: such a process would put a much more "competitive" environment in place, that while philosophically appealing....fails because effective education requires a level of collaboration and cooperation that would be directly undermined and threatened by a more "competitive" approach. The business model works for business, but would undermine effective schools in many ways.

HonestChieffan
03-20-2009, 01:53 PM
So subjective analysis is ok for business world but not for a teacher? I have a hard time with that logic.

Mr. Kotter
03-20-2009, 01:57 PM
In fact, I would argue, that placing education under the business model has been disastrous. Treating students as "customers" is crazy. They are nothing of the sort. Undoubtedly it has led to the "dumbing down" in colleges and universities that we are now experiencing. I suspect the same can be said for public education.

In public schools, with what they've tried to do....we seem to treat, theoretically anyway the parents as customers, and students more as "products" IMO. You are right, they are neither and it HAS led in large part to a "dumbing down" of curriculum and standards, unfortunately. When you are expected to save everyone (including those that do not WANT to be saved,) especially in the face of contrained budgets....there will be losses overall. Instead of focusing on challenging and making the most of education for those who are willing, we divert enormous time, energy, and resources to those who are only being drug along kicking and screaming.

Mr. Kotter
03-20-2009, 02:00 PM
So subjective analysis is ok for business world but not for a teacher? I have a hard time with that logic.

Businesses are, in the end, judged by their bottom-line. That's not too subjective ususally.

It's like expecting a company to make designer purses.....out of canvass, in a sweat shop in the middle of a war zone. Or producing Mercedes Benz automobiles, in a car factory in Afghanistan.

HonestChieffan
03-20-2009, 02:03 PM
inividuals in the business however are not all judged by the same variables. A office professional has job standards unrelated to sales performance so you are off base there.

I would ask it this way...as a teacher, how should you be measured and evaluated?

Mr. Kotter
03-20-2009, 02:18 PM
inividuals in the business however are not all judged by the same variables. A office professional has job standards unrelated to sales performance so you are off base there.

I would ask it this way...as a teacher, how should you be measured and evaluated?

I'll try to give you some thoughts, later....when I get some real time.

vailpass
03-20-2009, 02:30 PM
So subjective analysis is ok for business world but not for a teacher? I have a hard time with that logic.

When I was in the corporate world my best performers scored extremely low on the standard evals we had to do each year. Or would have had I not adjusted their scores so they received the increases they deserved.
Why?
Becasue they were too busy doing their job to worry about the other bullshit metrics of the type you mentioned earlier?
Peer interaction? Administrative skills?
Who gives a shit?! If you are producing all those other metrics and "subjective analysis" are just HR bullshit designed for the Lundberg types.
I suspect the same applies to teaching.