Saturday, May 2, 2015

Performance-based pay for principals

Anonymous wrote:

"Performance based pay for principals: 

This money is coming from district funds, not from federal grant money. First of all, the teachers are doing the work with the students to raise scores. Secondly, raising students' "scores" should be part of the entire staffs' job. Why do they need extra pay to do what is part of their job description? They all should be doing it as part of their profession. Does PPS have to offer incentives to get the job done? Taxpayers are footing this bill now. "


Anonymous said...

Is there a total list? PG lists the top and the lowest, but I am curious about the rest.

Anonymous said...

The sacred trust between teacher and student has been key hold into performance pay and consolation prizes. At what cost to those things that can't be measured?

Anonymous said...

What is even worse -and constitutes the source of the current problem in PPS - is the fact that that which is being measured is measured on a false premise, false standards, false curricula, false internal assessments and in a system that is comprised of people who are ill-equipped to measure, to educate, to lead, to make decisions, and/or even to demonstrate basic understanding of the purpose for schools.

Performance bonuses for principals in schools that are in the lowest 5% or 10% (academically) in the state of Pennsylvania!? PDE certainly is giving them accolades! The progress has been miniscule up a few points down a few more! How do you rationalize this? Oh, we know---its students, its poverty, its parents, its neighborhoods----never school---yet PSSA stands for the PA System of SCHOOL Assessment!

The Pittsburgh system is about providing jobs, jobs without requisite qualifications.

Professional qualifications, knowledge of the basics, experience or expertise in the field, or the work, or the schools, or fundamental skills are not the criteria for employment. What are the criteria? Who knows? Everyone will give you a different opinion and none of them fit what is needed for the task at hand. Everyone protects everyone--EXCEPT the CHILDREN---who deserve an education in a system designed for that specific purpose!

A DISSERTATION should be written on the failure of schools to fulfill their purpose.

Anonymous said...

4:30 should say, in the 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence that "PDE is certainly NOT giving them accolades!"
So sorry for the error, it is a huge one! Please take note.

Anonymous said...

RIGHT! It is only PPS that gives huge bonuses for "minuscule" improvement because they really don't think the kids in these schools can learn SO the administrators in these schools should get bonuses for even trying to teach them!???
Really? Lord have mercy on the children!

Anonymous said...

We voted these people in we can vote them out.

The fact is no one knows who to replace them with.

Even false CHOICES in the end.

Anonymous said...

The bonuses are coming from PPS based on their very own STAR system. It i not a PDE or PA state system for evaluating. PPS creates it own awards since there are NONE coming from outside--state-wide or nationally. (minuscule, minuscule, minuscule).

Wonder what EXACTLY qualified the state's "priority" and "focus" school principals for these bonuses? Can anyone tell us?

Questioner said...

There was an old Roosevelt trick where a school had maybe a 5% proficiency rate and if it went up to 8% (perhaps w/ the help of some rounding) it was a "150% improvement!" A school at 80% proficiency going up to 90% would not have anywhere near this percentage of improvement.

Anonymous said...

We voted in the Board members, to be sure; but we sure did NOT vote in the superintendents and principals who are the people who don't have the qualifications for the positions that they hold.


Could it be that these administrators do not have the needed qualifications? Or is it more corruption from Gates and/or Broad Foundations?

Anonymous said...


You paint a dire barren landscape here with not a hint of it mentioned in the Press.

The general public is blind to PPS's falsity.

PDE is not giving them accolades but neither is it laying them out to dry.

Anonymous said...

8:33 - People seem to mix and match indiscriminately when it comes to points or percentages of increase. These are NOT the same and must be used very explicitly.

Example: Say a school has 30% (percent) "proficiency" in Reading. If, last year, they improved 30% that would mean that they improved by 9 POINTS and the Reading "proficiency" is now at 39% (percent).
IF, however, the school improved by 30 POINTS, the 'proficiency" would be at 60%. That kind of improvement is possible (and might deserve a bit of a bonus), but that has never happened in PPS!

A 30 POINT INCREASE has happened in other districts in the state as well as Western Pennsylvania, so WHY NEVER in Pittsburgh?

It takes knowledge and hard work NOT "tricks"!

Questioner said...

Roosevelt would choose to look at what percentage of students were proficient at some point in the past; what percentage were currently proficient; and then look at the percentage increase in the percent of students proficient.

Hence 5% proficient to 8% proficient was a 50% + improvement in the proficiency level. Nothing wrong with the math, but there are issues with the choice of comparison.

Anonymous said...

Love this quote! Anyone think it applies to PPS?

“We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.”
― Arne Tiselius

Anonymous said...

A business that burns cash but doesn't grow isn't worth anything.

A school system that burns cash but doesn't achieve proficiency levels in it's student population isn't worth anything.

Broad/Gates and monyied foundations will not continue to throw their cash at PPS without significant results.

Anonymous said...

I feel they ARE getting the results they want... chuck seasoned teachers/ hire corporate Teach for America types, turn em over in 3 years before their $$ gets big/ hire consultants that shill for big publishing, minimally train students for minimal jobs-- drones not thinkers-- I think Broad/Gates is quite happy

Anonymous said...

You are right. These are exactly the results they hoped for. Don't forget..get the teacher's union in cahoots with the board, close all schools where the parents would rise up and question things (Schenley), ignore schools where the parents won't (U prep). Soon there will be no one left to question anything. It's a sad fate for students, parents, and teachers.

Anonymous said...

SO true!

If we remember that Walton is 1/3 of this evil alliance, then the whole union piece makes total sense. They have had an outstanding PR campaign to convince the public that this is FOR students. It is hard to believe that our major cities continue to buy into this

Anonymous said...

Granted these B and G guys have their own agenda and a business model with which to achieve it but the bottom line ( as with all business models )___ do the results justify the huge investment of cash?

Miniscule is not the kind of impact they are looking for.

Anonymous said...

8:02 here__ 'results' meaning achievement and proficiency levels .

This is the national debate__ or should be ___ what is working and what is not.

Anonymous said...

The educational problems plaguing Baltimore have been highlighted recently in the news. Billions of dollars have been injected into the system over decades with no impact.

Money is clearly not the answer.

My guess is that 8:41 may have it right. That the sacred trust between teacher and student has been hijacked by the 'clever by half' agendas across the board.

Anonymous said...

While your at it, don't forget about these folks. Do a little digging, follow the money...

Anonymous said...

It is a national debate, but about what? The Common Core STANDARDS, OR TESTS, the PAARC & Smarter Balance Tests, State Tests, District Tests, School Tests, Course Tests, Classroom Tests, etc----there is no end

Each and every one of these tests are DIFFERENT, YET the DEBATE includes them ALL as if they are the SAME.

There needs to be a separation of STANDARDS from TESTS! THEY ARE NOT THE SAME! STANDARDS ARE NOT TESTS!!!!!

The CONFUSION on these issues by ALL parties, INCLUDING MOST (not all) EDUCATORS, is beyond belief!

There is no DEBATE where there are innumerable VARIABLES, that few seem able to differentiate let alone have even the slightest knowledge or FACTS to guide the discussion to say nothing about the debate!

Pennsylvania's STANDARDS (as well as the ONE- time-per-year separate assessments ie. PSSA/Keystone) are DIFFERENT from the Common Core but inclusive of the CC). PA does NOT use the PAARC or Smarter Balance TESTS, yet they spend money to send their people to be trained on these INSTEAD of to PDE's session that are at NO COST. The problems in PPS wide, deep and critically serious to the education of Pittsburgh's children; but JOBS must be protected to the demise of successful futures for our children! WHY? Sad, sad, sad, sad _________

Anonymous said...

10:58 - The PDE provides the PSSA TESTING Calendar for 2015 - 2016 on its Web Site.

Perhaps it should read: The PSSA Standards Calendar for 2015 - 2016 ?

Who's confused?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, the PSSA Calendar is always posted on the website and so all of the STANDARDS, for READING, LIT, MATH, ALG., SCIENCE, BIO and WRITING!

Perhaps it would be helpful for PURE REFORM to host and Community Forum STANDARDS versus TESTING as two very different and totally separate entities/concepts/ideas/definitions/constructs that are distinctively unique unto themselves!

There is NO CONFUSION here (10:58) at all! However, there is a desperate need for people to be able to recognize and comprehend the totally SEPARATE nature of the each.

It should absolutely NOT say STANDARDs Calendar since the STANDARDS, which, are the SKILLS must be TAUGHT EVERY SINGLE DAY of the SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR while the PSSA is one day for each of four subjects that is TESTED only once near the end of the school year--April--usually!

What do you say we conduct a forum or workshop to explain the difference and demonstrate how and why STANDARDS are SKILLS and NEVER a TEST!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the grammatical errors in 10:25--typing to fast and not reviewing before posting.

As an aside___do bloggers here know what PSSA stands for?

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment!

Notice it does NOT stand for STUDENT assessment--the second "S" stands for SCHOOL--why--because the purpose of the PSSA is to find out (at least once per year) whether or not the SCHOOL taught the students--taught them the SKILLS/STANDARDS that parents send children to school to learn.

(Otherwise schools would have no accountability whatsoever! Right? So those who are opting out are taking away any accountability for SCHOOLS doing what they are paid to do--teach SKILLS/STANDARDS to students! Right? Right!)

Questioner said...

"That parents sent children to school to learn".

Right there is an issue- too often children are NOT sent to school- the absentee rate is way, way too high. There is in fact some accountability on the part of parents and students, and it starts by being sure to attend school- even if school is not entirely to their liking.

Anonymous said...

attendance is another part of the testing issue. What happens if students opt out? in parts of New York-- they "sit and stare" In some suburbs -parents provide the work-- usually books. If you stay home -in NY there are unexcused absences issues. In some PPS schools, the "default" is remedial classes-- so if you dont "have a score, that is where you wind up. As more opt out, this will be another issue.
As a parent I would prefer to keep them with me, but that doesnt solve the culture that preps for tests all yeah.
Alot of issues

Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh has their own way of calculating stars schools and it is not based upon just state tests. Pg posted an article in which South Brook and sterret had the highest growth in the county according to the state. Neither school was listed as star school status. Schools making exceptional gains are being overlooked and they are out there. And yet again no one can explain Mathematica's calculations.

Anonymous said...

So you can have a STAR school with 80% of the kids NOT PROFICIENT, but a school with 80 or 90% PROFICIENT that is not a star school because school with 80% NOT PROFICIENT move up 5 points.


Whatever! Pittsburgh is still in the bottom 30 school out of 500 in PA!

Anonymous said...

Corrected version:
So you can have a STAR school with 80% of the kids NOT PROFICIENT; but a school with 80-90% PROFICIENT is NOT a STAR school because they are so highly proficient already that there is no room to move up.
With 80% NOT proficient, up 5 points makes very little if any difference, so why the STAR?

75% of the kids are still NOT proficient! A STAR school??????? Really?????????


Whatever! Pittsburgh is still in the bottom 30 DISTRICTS out of almost 500 in PA!