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School Chief's Pay Defended

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silver bells View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silver bells Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2011 at 9:59pm

Vet, I stand by several things I said in an earlier blog. The school district, led by a delusionary (Price) for most of the 2000s, engaged in “popcorn projects” for years, with the unsurprising results we have seen. Many in the district are aware of and try to incorporate best practices, but without the leadership to support and insist on incorporating these strategies, they have had little effect on overall results. Remember, too, that the previous superintendent’s eye was never on state test scores and maintaining discipline. For all his talk that we would achieve “excellent” on the state report card, he was headed in exactly the opposite direction with his policies.

The two most significant values that can turn around the district’s persistent underachieving are legitimate high academic and behavioral expectations for our young people and creating a culture of personal responsibility where students “own” their learning, not sit passively and expect others to “make it happen.” If you look back at the reams and reams of articles, blogs, comments, etc., about the district’s problems, you rarely see this on the radar screen. Ironically, it is THE essence of the problem. Administrators hate to even address it for one simple reason: they have little control over that variable. They can’t criticize, blame, denigrate, or lower someone’s evaluation.

Why do you think other districts in financial distress, such as Little Miami or Lakota Local, continue to achieve “Excellent” or “Excellent with Distinction”? Their students come to school understanding that teachers have to teach and students have to learn. If one part of the equation is missing, you’re dead in the water.

Instead of emphasizing what TEACHERS have to do, we need to start emphasizing what STUDENTS have to do and stop enabling their belief that they are entitled to pass and graduate with little or no effort.

Now that WOULD be for the kids, don’t you agree, Vet? Practicing a strong work ethic and responsible behavior would absolutely prepare them for life after graduation. Right now we are not doing that very well in Middletown.

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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2011 at 3:08pm
I am inclined to agree with you Neil. However, we have a school board member that has recited the school motto of improvement that has been advertised to the public for years with little to no proof. Just finding out how this relatively new board member will respond to age old questions. The school message doesn't seem to change no matter what the real situation is at the time.
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Neil Barille View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Neil Barille Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2011 at 2:38pm
The dead horse has been beaten plenty already, Vet.
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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2011 at 2:20pm
Mr. Fiora...

What, if any, is your response to Rasmussen making $130,000 when the average is in the range of $107,000 and is still in his first year and not proven as yet? How do you feel about all the additional perks that were offered to him? I don't believe you addressed that issue.

"There will be no step increases the next three years". And after that, they resume? What, in your opinion is the value of having step increases and how does that value relate to the taxpaying public as to seeing results from our public employees since we are funding the show?

Do step increases make a public employee more valuable to the public? In what way? Does the step increase motivate the public employee to do a better job and work harder than one who receives no step increase? Why the extra pay between regularly scheduled raises? If none of these occur, there doesn't seem to be any value added benefit to having them, does there?

"Their actions have allowed the District to minimize cost issues so that all efforts can be focused on improving educational results".

TO THE DISTRICTS CREDIT- IMPROVING EDUCATIONAL RESULTS? WHEN WILL THEY BECOME SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH TO MEASURE IN A POSITIVE LIGHT?

"Though we have a long way to go, progress is being made and I have confidence that the correct actions are being taken"

NOW THIS IS WHERE WE DISAGREE. IF PROGRESS IS BEING MADE, EXACTLY WHERE CAN THIS BE MEASURED? CAN'T BE MEASURED IN THE GRADUATION RATE AS MIDDLETOWN HAS THE LOWEST GRADUATION RATE AROUND ACCORDING TO A RECENT JOURNAL STORY. CAN'T BE MEASURED THROUGH THE PROFICIENCY SCORES AS MIDDLETOWN CONTINUES TO LANGUISH ON THE BOTTOM IN MOST GRADES AND CATEGORIES. CAN'T BE MEASURED IN INDICATORS MET AS MIDDLETOWN IS STILL 5 OF 30 AND HAS BEEN FOR A DECADE. CAN'T BE MEASURED IN IMPROVEMENT CLASSIFICATION AS MIDDLETOWN IS STILL AT CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT FOR SOME SCHOOLS AND STILL AT ACADEMIC WATCH FOR OTHERS WITH NO PROMISE FOR ANY OF THE SCHOOLS TO REACH SATISFACTORY (AVERAGE....A "C" IF YOU WERE GRADING IN A CLASSROOM) NO LIGHT ON YET TO SEE IT REACH EXCELLENT IN THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE, RIGHT? DO YOU ACTUALLY HAVE THE CONFIDENCE THAT YOU SAY YOU DO, OR WOULD YOU REALLY LIKE TO TRY SOME RADICAL CHANGES AS YOU SEE WORN OUT METHODS, PROGRAMS AND GIMMICKS USED THAT HAVE BEEN PRODUCING THE SAME FAILED RESULTS FOR YEARS? ISN'T IT TIME TO AUDIT THE WHOLE DISTRICT'S TEACHING METHODS AND PRACTICES AND IMPLEMENT SOME SUCCESSFUL PROGRAMS FROM SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL DISTRICTS MR. FIORA? THERE IS NO SHAME IN EMULATING SUCCESS. THERE ARE NO PENALTIES FOR COPYING THE HABITS AND PRACTICES OF AN EXCELLENT SCHOOL DISTRICT. JUST MAKE A PHONE CALL, VISIT AND ASK QUESTIONS.
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Chris Fiora View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Fiora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2011 at 12:43pm
You may have missed it in the Middletown Journal, but all Middletown District personnel have taken concessions.  All teachers, classified staff and administrators including the Superintendent, have agreed to take a 1% pay cut this year and next.  There will also be no step increases the next three years.  In addition the following year instead of paying 10% of their health care cost all district employees will pay 15%.  The following year they will pay 20%.  The Board agreed to reduce their compensation 10%.
 
Middletown has a lot to be proud of.  By their actions the Middletown School District was able to significantly reduce cost while keeping virtually all programs intact.  To me, this demonstrates that it IS all about kids for the vast majority of Middletown City School employees.  Their actions have allowed the District to minimize cost issues so that all efforts can be focused on improving educational results.  Though we have a long way to go, progress is being made and I have confidence that the correct actions are being taken.
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John Beagle View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 27 2011 at 1:58pm
It would not be out of the question to ask everyone to help balance the budget. Perhaps a concession would be leading by example.

Is it all about the kids. For some in education, yes. Others absolutely not. Imagine if everyone took some sort of pay cut or cut in benefits. This is exactly what I have done during lean economic times.
John Beagle

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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 26 2011 at 5:21pm
Sunday Journal story....

School chiefs’ pay defended
Superintendents’ job compared to bank or hospital CEO.

Rising salaries
In Ohio, the average annual salary for a school superintendent in fall 2010 was $107,754, based on 515 school districts that self-reported, said Tom Ash of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators.

Marcia Andrew, Middletown’s school board president, said her board checked the salaries of superintendents before hiring Greg Rasmussen.
“He’s being fairly compensated for the job he’s doing,” she said. “What he’s being paid is in line with other superintendents in Ohio of similar-sized districts.”

IT WOULD APPEAR, THAT WITH ONLY ONE YEAR UNDER HIS BELT, RASMUSSEN. AT $130,000, IS BEING PAID MUCH HIGHER THAN THE AVERAGE ANNUAL SALARY, OUTPACING MOST EXCEPT THE HIGHER END COMMUNITIES SUCH AS MASON AND WEST CHESTER.

Middletown’s Rasmussen can see up to a 5 percent or $6,500 bonus on his base salary of $130,000 if district goals are met. He also has an automatic one-year contract renewal in his contract unless there is a 30-day notice by him or the board that the contract won’t be extended.

District reimbursement policies cover mileage and other travel expenses of many superintendents. But some receive a monthly car allowance.
Those allowances range from $150 to $750

Many districts also cover costs ranging from membership fees for local service clubs and professional associations to online services, moving expenses, and cell phones

If a district superintendent is hired from out of state, moving expenses can also be added into their contracts. Rasmussen received $30,000 in moving expenses when he moved from Kansas to Middletown in 2010


ALL SWEET DEALS. DOES RASMUSSEN RECEIVE ANY OF THESE MENTIONED? ADD THAT TO HIS BENNIES AND SALARY. NOT BAD FOR A FIRST YEAR STINT.

THE ARTICLE IS SKEWED IN NATURE. THE INFORMATION IS GATHERED FROM EDUCATORS, SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS, ADMIN. FROM EDUCATIONAL CONNECTED ENTITIES. IT IS WITH NO SURPRISE THAT IT DEFENDS SUPERS PAY AS THEY ARE ONE OF THEIR OWN. IT ALSO APPEARS THAT THE PRACTICE OF DOUBLE-DIPPING- RETIRE AND GO TO ANOTHER DISTRICT IS CONDONED IN THIS ARTICLE. IT DID NOT OFFER OBJECTIONS. THE ARTICLE DID NOT REPORT THE CRITICS COUNTERPOINTS ON THE SUBJECT. ANOTHER NICE PIECE OF BIAS JOURNALISM FROM OUR "HOMETOWN" NEWSPAPER.

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