Principals Get Performance Pay

Today's news includes the rollout of the new $5 million performance play plan for principals -- I can't believe none of you emailed or tweeted while it was going on -- and the annual fun of a teacher getting $25K from Milken. Oh, and they extended the PE waiver.

Teacher shocked by educator award — and $25,000 prize Tribune:  A seemingly routine school assembly turned into a big surprise for Hersey High School social science teacher Brad Abel, who won the Milken Educator Award and $25,000 Wednesday morning.

Arlington Heights teacher ‘speechless’ after winning ‘Oscars’ of teaching Sun TImes: Once Bradley Abel learned that neither Oprah Winfrey nor the “Twilight” actors were making appearances at John Hersey High School’s surprise pep assembly as students had surmised, he turned to a colleague and listed all the teachers he thought might be getting an award.

Protesters declare City Hall a budget crime scene Medill:  If the ordinance passes, Chicago Public Schools would have to decide how to spend the money. Sajovec could not say what specific changes parents and children would see with the extra money.

Emanuel unveils performance pay for principals Catalyst:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who unveiled the initiative, had previously announced that he had secured $5 million in private funding for a performance incentive program for principals. District leadership has said that they will use the money over five years. Bonuses will be handed out in October of 2012 after test scores are released and analyzed.

CPS lays out metrics for principal bonuses Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Wednesday the criteria by which high-performing Chicago Public Schools principals will receive up to $20000 in bonuses for boosting student achievement this school year.

South Loop School cuts gifted program Chicago Journal: So Shelton said she reached the conclusion with officials from Chicago Public Schools that the best option would be to remove the school's regional gifted center entirely — not just kindergarten, as originally proposed last month. ...

Oak Park schools try to 'cool down' students with yoga Wednesday Journal:In her work in Chicago Public Schools, she saw a need to provide something for students who "weren't receiving services for stress or anger management." "Yoga helps us stretch out and get rid of our anger and stuff, and get rid of our sorrows and stuff ...

Chicago Public School officials get 2 1/2 years to work out adding physical ed Sun-Times:Board member Penny Pritzker said she found it “distressing’’ that Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard wanted to renew a “waiver’’ in place since 1997 that allows the vast majority of Chicago Public School juniors and seniors to circumvent the state’s daily physical education requirement.

Sears tax arrangement draws questions from Hoffman Estates schools WEZ:  Supporters of a northwest suburban school district are worried a plan to give tax breaks to Sears could hurt their district for the next 15 years. There's a one-of-a-kind tax district in Hoffman Estates called an Economic Development Area - or EDA.

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  • Teachers should get the bonuses, not the principals. They're paid handsomely.

  • Oh, the irony! From the P.E. story: "However, Pritzker eventually joined five other board members in approving a waiver application that would allow roughly 36,000 of 42,000 CPS 11th and 12th graders to skip daily junior- and senior-year physical education. The only educator on the board — former Hope College Prep Principal Mahalia Hines — abstained, and declined afterwards to tell reporters why.

    "During his initial presentation to the board, Brizard said he definitely plans to make PE part of the longer high school day, but needed a waiver until June of 2014 to do so in a 'thoughtful' way.

    "However, under questioning, Brizard conceded that a big challenge would be finding the money to pay for up to 200 new high school physical education teachers, as well as just finding the teachers."

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    So, wait, Brizard needs to be "thoughtful" about adding PE, but we can rush headlong into an extended day this coming fall with no real plan about how it will be implemented? I also don't understand how CPS can simply ignore PE in the primary grades, for which they have no waiver. Why aren't parents rioting about this?

  • I happen to love my principal. I can tell you that she makes around 125K per year and seriously deserves 4 times that amount of money for the amount of work she puts in. Administrators, the good ones, are worth their weight in gold. 125K a year is nothing for a job that, from my point of view, looks like sheer hell to me.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    No principal, no matter how good, is worth half a million dollars. Principal bonus pay should have been allocated to:

    a) pay for contractually required teacher pay raises, however small.

    b) hire additional teachers

    c) lower class sizes

    d) hire social workers and counselors

    e) provide for increased teacher planning and prep time

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    That would be too much like smart.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    Agreed, administrators deserve much more than what they earn…same applies to teachers - even the so called 'bad ones'…- all are underpaid. good teaching can be thoroughly decimated by bad school administration, and the same can be said about good administration - it too, can be ruined by bad district policy and half baked central office initiatives.

    Merit pay for principals will likely antagonize administrator-teacher relationships. It might even sever relationships between principals….They tested bonus pay with students and it didn't work…Vandeerbilt tested it with teacher and it didn't work.

    Currently, there is absolutely no evidence that it will work with administration…unfortunately, CPS is implementing the project without an evaluation system (how convenient to implement without controls), and this suggests that the move is absolutely and purely political…with the intentions of pitting teachers against administration in their ongoing efforts to decrease instructional expenditures.

    I really wish I could say that this was about 'the children'. But this is Chicago. It has never been about the kids…I don't see it being about them now…

  • Bribe principals is Rahm's next ploy. Rahm has beat Daley in incompetence in regards to CPS! I figured that the Huberman debacle was as low as a mayor could go! Yup! Rahm is about being "creative" in pushing the boundaries that shows off how much he does not know how to run a school district! Machine "divide and conquer " principles are in operation. Rahm, you are in a league all by yourself. Bush league!!!

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    Most people at CPS openly wish that Huberman would come back. The uncovered story is how bad things are under the new leadership... if you can call it leadership.

  • I donno. Just seems relevant to me. From a post on Beachwood Reporter:

    Illinois Law Scam
    "When the University of Illinois law school announced a new early entrance program in 2008, the stated reason was to recruit top U. of I. undergraduates and give them 'the first shot at the limited number of seats' at their school," Jodi Cohen reports for the Tribune.

    "But behind the scenes, now-disgraced College of Law admissions dean Paul Pless revealed another motive was at play. By admitting high-achieving students in their junior years, without a law school entrance exam, the students' high GPAs would be included in the class profile but no test scores could potentially drag down the class.

    "'That way, I can trap about 20 of the little bastards with high GPAs that count and no LSAT score to count against my median. It is quite ingenious,' Pless boasted in a 2008 e-mail exchange with an acquaintance about iLEAP, the early admissions program now in its fourth year. A law school class' median LSAT scores and GPAs are key factors in influential U.S. News & World Report rankings, and documents released by the university this week show the school's preoccupation with them.

    "Pless resigned Friday after a two-month, $1 million school investigation found he reported inflated grades and test scores of admitted students in six of the last seven years to make the classes appear more academically accomplished than they were. A review of the investigative file shows the intense culture in which Pless worked, one focused on improving the academic credentials of the incoming classes in part as a means to improving the already well-regarded school's ranking.

    "The college's strategic plans and annual reports focused on that ranking. Pless' salary increases were tied to it. The law dean and other top officials exchanged e-mails about the benefits of different combinations of test scores and GPA medians to achieve it."

    Paul Pless, you are lucky Robbie Gould opened his mouth this week.

  • Would the new principal metrics take into account the influx of students who would transfer from schools that would close from poor performance? If principals are measured by the number of students who meet a certain threshhold, then how would the principals be encouraged to embrace these transfer students who might otherwise drag down their score?
    If there was a metric that showed how a student gained at a school, then maybe it would overcome the difficulty above. Perhaps a metric could be the number of students who gained or advanced a particular number of percentile points while at a school (number of students having a positive relative change).
    Otherwise, there might be some gamesmanship.

  • In reply to LTwain:

    CPS has no interest in district wide improvement. Failure is where the profits are. Just like your credit card - pay late and pay the late fees…. As for metric, pick one! There are as many as there are rain drops. And within each metric, many sub-metrics…pick one that supports a reduction in 'expenditure by function'. pick another than supports the diverting of funds from the classroom to any number of multi-million dollar contracts.

    Chicagoans have a long history of falling for the same trick over and over. Remember Arne Duncan? when overall district reading scores dropped, he convinced Chicagoans that the reading scores actually improved! Amazing! Amidst the overwhelming measures of failure, he selected one insignificant measure, sent a press release to the papers, and the Arne Duncan miracle was born, and it hatched him all the way to Secretary of Education. Money is in the failure, not in the success.

  • I 100% support the goals of the principal merit pay initiative: narrow the achievement gap, lower dropout rates, and improve student test scores. I also happen to believe this initiative is a giant load of crap.

    90% of the time improvement in these types of metrics in CPS is a direct result of knowing how to work the system and massage the data rather than the result of improved pedagogy or more effective leadership and teaching.

    For instance, in order to raise scores at my neighborhood school the most important thing we've done is recruit higher quality incoming students. The time, materials, and money involved in marketing and recruitment is a much better and more effective investment than changing what our very strong staff already do.

    We also remove struggling students as quickly as possible after the 20th day to the tune of dozens and dozens per month (though we obviously have far more legal hoops to jump through than charter schools).

    We cram test prep in at every possible moment, narrow our curriculum in tested subject areas, implement truly "creative" attendance policies, eliminate popular elective class offerings in favor of double reading and double math, and focus a disproportionate amount of our attention on two very small student groups - our highest performing students and our students who are "on the bubble" and might be able to squeak by on the tests. The rest of the students are largely irrelevant in terms of a school improvement strategy. And yet, according to CPS, these strategies have worked quite well.

    Charters and the privatization of publicly funded public education have had a profound effect on our neighborhood school and have radically altered our school's priorities and how it operates. We spend considerable time and money on the types of initiatives mentioned above.

    How disappointing for teachers, parents, and most of all, for students.

  • Thank you! More teachers need to come forward and reveal how this 'data massaging' actually occurs.

  • Closing and privatizing schools is the top priority! Rahm continues the Daley legacy of following no-research based education policy.
    Why have and pay a Dr. Noemi Donoso, Chief Education Officer and Jennifer Cheatham, Chief Instruction Officer, if their jobs are irrelevant. Is that why the communication is so bad regarding their initiatives? Not they would know how to implement a system wide initiative.

  • After just sufferning through a Jennifer Cheatham Common Core Professional Development, and implementing her very own plantation style scaffolded-instructional rubric, she earns a zero. By her own measures, she should fire herself!

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