Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fresh Slate proposal

How about this approach for right-sizing central administration and consultants:

We start w/ nothing on the table. We put back the highest position- obviously, superintendent. We determine what the superintendent's responsibilities are, which she should handle herself, and which are too much for one person and clearly must be delegated to the next level of employment and managed by the superintendent.

Then we put back the next position, again determining what that person's responsibilities are, which he/she should handle on their own, and which are too much for one person and clearly must be delegated to the next level of employment and managed by the person who ranks just below the superintendent.

Continue in this manner until all responsibilities are assigned or cannot be assigned due to a lack of skills. This is where decisions about consultants come in. Decide whether to hire a consultant should be hired to fill a well-defined short term gap, or if someone on the chart lacks the qualifications for their position.

Next look at salary levels- how does the amount each administrator is being paid compare to the pay received by people in other financially strapped school districts who have similar responsibilities? Adjust for cost of living differences.

Total up the new cost of administration and consultants and compare it to the existing cost of administration and consultants. All of this should be done in a manner fully transparent to the public.


Just Passing By said...

I would modify this proposal by saying no consultants, period.

If an administator can't do his/her job without a consultant, then that administator needs to be replaced.

Managing a school district is not like sending a rocket to the moon.

Old Timer said...

Agreed. Read the minutes from any legislative meeting and become nauseated by what consultants are doing...and making. This is thievery, and it's rubber stamped.
Most of the work being done should go into administrator job descriptions. Thanks to PELA, we have numerous individuals who will replace old school principals and vice principals, but don't do discipline.
It only stands to reason that as such, much of the consultant work we see taking place should become part of their responsibilities.
They fought like hell to get out of the classroom after un-spectacular careers of short duration, they've opted to drink the kool aid, and they are being paid well to do less than ever. (And in fact, they are the least skilled administrators to hit this district in the last 30 years).
Why not make them earn their pay?

Secondly, this district does not need department supervisors, let alone underlings that do nothing. If you are going to have managed curriculum which is online, then why in the world are these people needed??? PELA pro's can see if teachers are on pace and going by the curriculum---heck---this is the biggest part of being a PELA---being on the backs of teachers.

So much money can be saved, and so many administrators should either be pink-slipped or shipped to our most demanding schools. After all, these people have all of the answers. Let's see them put their "talents" to good use.

Anonymous said...

I also think that every central administrator's resume should be online. Enough of paying huge salaries to people who are not even qualified for the jobs they are given.

Anonymous said...

Sounds nice.

But what can actually be DONE?

Anonymous said...

The only power citizens have is to vote for school board members that realize they are elected to listen to their constituients, and don't just drool and nod when Roosevelt or Lane ring their bells.

The school board is a joke however it is not funny, our kids are the punchline.

Old Timer said...

Unfortunately, we don't have people of courage anymore who sit in positions of power. PPS has none.

Do you want to change the dynamic of PPS and this downward spiral?

-Tell Gates thanks, but no thanks to his money. All this "philanthropy" did was to destroy a district.
-Tell Broad to keep his billionaire philosophies to himself.
-Pink -slip all disciples of both Gates and Broad.
-Tell Pitt's IFL that it is out of touch with the needs of urban education. Let them know their services will no longer be needed
-Additionally, tell Pitt's IFL, Gates and Broad that no matter how one slices it, education of children remains a people business and as such, corporate management models fail the children in that one-size-fits-all approaches simply are doomed from the start.
-Kill the PELA program immediately.Bring back old school principal mentalities...individuals who knew their kids, the families and the community, and made decisions based upon that knowledge.
-Streamline central administration immediately. Have the guts to keep only those essential in doing behind the scenes work and realize that your true 'all-stars' work in schools every day, and don't need the oversight of people who were never in the classroom, were failures in the classroom, were in the classroom for a short amount of time, couldn't take it, and opted out, or from those whose entire ideas about urban education comes from what they see on websites.
-open the superintendent's position immediately. Strive to hire someone who was in the classroom for a long duration, found success, values teachers and remembers that education is all about the children.
-end all consultant and research deals immediately.
-Hold administrator PD sessions that stress words like empathy, patience, positive demeanor, kindness, responsibility, selflessness, compassion, appreciation
These skills are needed in working with students and teachers alike, and were lost when Roosevelt came in and made many of the hires that still hold top positions today.
In most cases, I would not want my children to have any association with these "top education officials" in any way, shape or form as they have conducted themselves in manners which I would not want my kids to emulate.

Fresh slate proposal? No, a complete overhaul that begins with a paradigm shift about what is important.

Anonymous said...

Again: what can be DINE rather than talked about here? Nothing?

Questioner said...

Before anything can be done, we need to discuss and determine what we want to be done.

Anonymous said...

I like the recommendation of creating a list of all the over 100K administrators at BOE and attaching a chart of their titles and "ranks."

Add to this a list of consultant contracts over the past x years, with type of work and cost.

Present these findings with at least 20 people present supporting the speakers at a board hearing, giving the list and a press release out beforehand in hopes of getting it covered on the TV news and in the paper.

That would be a start, then letters to the editor so as to get the word out. People here making some copies of these lists and talking them over with friends, neighbors, parents at sporting events, parents you know from your kid's school.

MOST PEOPLE in Pittsburgh have no clue at all about the insanity of the numbers of administrators, the use of contractors, let alone the curriculum and all.

Questioner said...

Can we get 20 people who will participate? For now you don't have to give your name- just post
"I will be participant 1" "I will be participant 2" (don't worry you will not have to speak in that order, just keeping count). It is difficult to get people to actually show up. Some cannot risk jobs.

Anonymous said...

One thing that can be done is that citizens can attend these board meetings and question contracts that seem so outlandish.

If the board actually had to justify these contracts maybe THEY would begin to question these contracts.

A lot of what ends up in the board minutes document sneaks in at the last hour and I don't believe that the board members have even had the chance to read the entire document.

The board meeting goes on for hours, so citizens would definitely have time to read through it and question items before the board went and OK'd the entire document in one vote at the end of the evening.

Questioner said...

Citizens are not allowed to speak up and ask questions at board meetings! Only silent observation is permitted.

Anonymous said...

July 25th looks to be the next public hearing.

I could be there and probably drag at least one to three more adults to attend. So, count me as 1-3 people!

Questioner said...

OK we have Participants 1-3, do we have a 4?

Questioner said...

A new thread has been started called "Public hearing/ administration numbers". Willingness to participate should be noted on that thread.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Well, I would not start with the superintendent. Rather, start with the board members and then the board as a body.

The board is to set policy.

Bang. Stop. Think again.

After that is understood, we need to know if the board members are up to that important task, or not.

Anonymous said...

Since we KNOW that Board members are, (Mr. Brentley excepted) rubber stamps, why not change ONE person, the Superintendent, to one who can THINK independently, with the students as the priority.

No Broad, no Gates, no Assistant Superintendents, no Chiefs of this or that; just a true Educator, preferably tied to Pittsburgh children, who can prioritize people and finances with the CHILDREN and their EDUCATION as the PRIORITY.

Anonymous said...

**Since we KNOW that Board members are, (Mr. Brentley excepted) rubber stamps, why not change ONE person, the Superintendent, to one who can THINK independently, with the students as the priority.**

Because the board is happy with the superintendent(s). They'd also be the ones searching for a new person!

Anonymous said...

Yes, they would be the ones searching for a new person; but, remember there was no search this time. Much is gained from a "search." Perhaps, knowledgeable applicants will highlight for the Board the missing pieces, the lack of expertise, the lack or independent thinking currently in place. It is always a good thing to listen to alternatives and alternate views, perspectives, experiences and solutions.

There are educators, professionals, with deeper understanding and broader experiences, with critical thinking skills and true commitment to urban children, with the necessary where-with-all to turn this District around.

A wide-open search would be an education in itself for current PPS Board members.

Anonymous said...

List all of the promotions over the past few years.

There are a significant amount of promotions that happen in the district. It is not unheard of that someone is hired at 40k/yr and in 3 years their salary jumps to 110k/yr.