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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Is the superintendent paid to much?

270 Thousand

When people talk about education they often throw lots of numbers around. Some of the most discussed are the dropout and graduation rates and how different groups score on tests such as the f-cat. However there is one number that trumps them all and that number is 270 thousand.

270 Thousand is the salary of our school superintendent. He makes a hundred thousand more than our mayor and substantially more than the chief of police as well. He makes thirty thousand less than the superintendents of Clay and St. Johns counties combined. People who disagree with what they read next might do so by saying, his salary is fair, that to get top talent we must pay top dollar. Since most teachers I know are little more than paycheck-to-paycheck, that’s they are barely getting by on far less than top dollar I believe they might have a problem with at least the first part of that statement. I personally have a problem with the top talent part.

Let me ask you a question, what would you do if you could have a salary of 270 thousand dollars?

Would you sacrifice the future of some of the cities children by forcing elementary and middle school teachers to promote children that won’t be successful? The reason to do so is how many kids fail impacts a counties grade. The proof that it happens, a recent Times Union article pointed out that only about fifty percent of tenth graders read at grade level, yet strangely enough they somehow made it to tenth grade.

Would you allow children to progress through the school system with a false sense of how society works by ignoring discipline and withholding consequences for bad behavior? The reason to do so is because referrals and suspensions affect a districts grade. The proof that it happens, why else would how many children are suspended be tied to principal’s evaluations, unless the superintendent wanted to dramatically reduce the number.

Would you encourage kids who were ill prepared to take advanced placement courses to take them? The reason to do so is because the more students taking, not necessarily passing, advanced placement courses affect a districts grade. The proof that it happens, check out last years article in the Times Union to see how as the amount of children taking the tests has gone up the percentage of children passing them has gone way down. That and the fact that level 1 and level 2 children, kids who haven’t passed the f-cat are allowed to take A.P. classes, which are designed only for the most advanced children to take.

Would you pervert programs like grade recovery, that were originally designed to aid children who tried hard but just didn’t get it or children who had legitimate reasons for missing school like illnesses to make up classes, into programs that allowed any child to make up classes for any reasons regardless of effort, behavior or reasons for absences.

Would you allow principals to load up special education classes so they could divert more resources to regular education? Many special education children don’t have to take the f-cat and many of those that do it doesn’t matter how they do. At the school I teach at there were 20 or more students in trainable mentally handicapped (severely disabled children) classrooms. Experts say 8 would be a big classroom.

Would you put a positive spin on everything taking every opportunity to say that the state has given Duval County a B grade? If the counties graduation rate, 65 percent, was sole criteria for computing a counties grade we would have a grade of D.

How about the fact he just gave contol of seven schools includeing six high schools away? Is that worth 270 thousand dollars?

Would you do anything to protect your job? What wouldn’t you do?

There are lots of numbers in education that the city should be worried about but the biggest one is 270 thousand.

1 comment:

  1. Agree with you! Do you live in NJ? It seems to be the norm here...
    I don't thinh ANY public employee should make more than $100K...this is why state like California are brankrupt...