Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bonuses for administrators

On another post Anonymous wrote:

Where's the outcry, folks. Bonuses totaling $385,000 and NONE of these individuals are in the classroom. ZERO. ZIP. NONE.In particular, take a look at the central office raises.Unbelievable. What a great job. No wonder why so many people who can't make it as teachers stay in education. They simply go into administration.I'm just waiting to read the outcry here. I'm sure it's forthcoming. And I'm just as sure that when teacher negotiations begin, we'll remember these figures, right? You know--salaries and raises for individuals NOT in the classroom.


Questioner said...

The above link gives bonus amounts. The link to the main article is:

Questioner said...

The article does note that teachers will be next for "performance pay."

Questioner said...

The very same issue of the PG has an article based on this piece from the NYT (NYT link below):

"Sluggish results seen in US math scores"

However, state and local governments have been claiming gains. It would be good to have evidence that bonuses are not being determined based on illusory gains. For example, the PG article gives the scores on the national test (NAEP) earned by the sample of PA 4th and 8 graders. Are these scores better than PA 4th and 8th graders earned on the NAEP the last time it was given, in 2007? If not, then the upward graph line presented for state results (which is followed but at a local level in Pittsburgh) is suspect.

Questioner said...

Here's a link to PA's NAEP info:

It is reassuring to note that PA students taking the NAEP math exam did seem to improve quite a bit between 2005 and 2009.

Looking at 2007 and 2009, though, PA 4th graders declined by a percentage point on the NAEP, while the PSSA showed them gaining 4 percentage points. PA 8th graders taking the NAEP improved by 2 percentage points while the PSSA showed them improving by 3.7 percentage points.

Questioner said...

From the NYT:

"New York State’s fourth and eighth graders made no notable progress on federal math exams this year, according to test scores released on Wednesday, sharply contradicting the results of state-administered tests that showed record gains."

The article notes that the gap puts the NYC schools chancellor in a difficult position because various consequences such as teacher and principal bonuses are tied to the states exams. It explains that NYC's performance on the federal tests is not yet available but that NYC results tend to track state results closely.

Anonymous said...

How does the principal of CAPA get $8,000 when students have to audition to be enrolled while the principals in schools such as Oliver, Westinghouse, Carrick and other struggling areas get so much less? It is much more challenging to be a principal at these other schools than to be the principal of CAPA. Give me a break. What a joke!

Andrea McNeill said...

maybe the principal at CAPA can use some of her bonus money to buy the costume department sewing machines

Anonymous said...

The first joke is that the principal at CAPA wasn't even there the entire year. The second joke is that principals at other schools profit off of the backs of their teaching staff, period. We're in another contract year. The PFT will "negotiate" for their teachers, and it won't even be on a par with the cost of living.
Please, talk to me about "fair" when that time rolls around. Try to remember the list and then talk about fairness.

Anonymous said...

I agree. This listing should be an outrage to all taxpayers and teachers alike.
What gall this administration has. It reminds me of some giant ponzi scheme.

Questioner said...

Editorial from the PG, headed "Better pay for better school results"

But better than what? The results don't seem better than last year's results, or better than average results over the last 8 years or so. No real progress was made in narrowing the gap between state and PPS scores (and state scores themselves seem somewhat inflated based on performance on national tests).

And again, AYP is mentioned without any caveat that the state made the standard easier for the first time last year by adopting a new "growth measure" that treats students who seem "on track" to make the required standards as if they had already met them.

solutionsRus said...

If we are going to start talking about merit pay, here are a few items gleaned after a very short search regarding teacher merit pay.

The first is an interesting "pro/con" look at merit pay:

This is from the NYT illustrating how some teachers/unions are warming to merit pay:

University of Florida study stating that merit pay increases test scores.

A study from the Education Policy Institute that says that merit pay has too many pitfalls that counter any benefits:

As with any type of "educational reform", there are many sides and caveats and most are unproven. I agree with one point in the pro/con piece that teachers should just be paid a higher salary and better monitoring/evaluations should be utilized, but not based on pay.


Anonymous said...

I would feel better if there was an objective, outside party that decided which administrators or teachers merited bonuses- either a "merit board" comprised of parents, community reps, teachers, etc. or an independent expert chosen by a board of this type.

Otherwise there is too much danger that bonuses become politicized and go to those most willing to suck up to the administration and keep their mouths shut about problems.