Monday, July 8, 2013

Do grads pay off for principals?

Superintendent Heath Morrison says he expects "an uptick" in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' graduation rate for 2013,  though official numbers aren't out yet.  (It was 76.4 percent in 2012;  check details for districts and schools here.)

Comments on this blog have raised the question of whether principals collect bonuses if their graduation rates rise.   The answer:  Only at West Mecklenburg and West Charlotte High,  as part of school improvement grants.  Bonuses based on 2013 graduation rates will be paid in September,  according to spokeswoman Tahira Stalberte.

The CMS bonus system has long been a patchwork of pilots and special projects,  with schools moving in and out of eligibility as one funding source runs out and another grant comes through. The CMS payroll data I got in April showed 1,054 people getting bonuses (out of almost 18,700 employees).  Twenty-four were principals,  including four at high schools:  West Charlotte ($10,000 for John Wall), West Meck  ($5,500 for Eric Ward),  Vance ($2,950 for Melissa Dunlap) and Garinger  ($2,400 for Kondra Rattley,  who was recently promoted to executive director in a zone office).  Even at West Charlotte and West Meck,  that money wasn't necessarily tied to graduation rates.  Wall,  for instance,  was recruited last July through Project LIFT, which paid him a $10,000 signing bonus.

Meanwhile,  the school board has yet to set the standards for Morrison's performance bonus.  His contract allows him to collect up to 10 percent of his $288,000 base pay,  awarded by Oct. 31.  New state exams are complicating efforts to measure his impact on student achievement;  the results won't be released until October  (some speculate it could be later)  and it's far from clear that 2013 scores will be comparable to previous years.  I'm guessing the graduation rate will be one of several measures used to rate the superintendent.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eric Ward is at West Meck...

Anonymous said...

Only Heath can control the numbers that become public so thats a indication the numbers will be up. WHat a great PR plug for LIFT which has no accountability component. Is this really what CMS wants for its future? If so Fort Mill your on my list.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Thanks, 7:58! I know Eric and wish I could blame the computer for autocorrecting that, but I think it was my brain/fingers.

Anonymous said...

That's wonderful these $100,000 employees are getting an extra $10,000!! Each 10K bonus could have been a 3% raise/bonus for 10 lowly teachers.
I wonder if raising the bottom (can't score lower than a 50) will push more kids to graduation by over inflating their grades.
Does anybody pay attention to CMS college dropout rates for college Freshman? These kids are getting pushed to graduate but are very under-prepared for real world colleges.

Anonymous said...

Nothing but damn lies and statistics. Same as it ever was!

Anonymous said...

GRADUATION RATES are part of the Principals EVALUATION.

Why do you think that most if not all ask you, in their kind manner, not to fail a student.

Smoke and Mirrors and Lies

It is just an all out effort to get the Federal Money and teachers be damned.

Anonymous said...

Duh, "NEWSFLASH!" Principals are allowed to override any teacher's failing grade given to a student. Ask any teacher in CMS how many kids are being funneled through the online computer courses and testing programs with no supervision! OF COURSE GRADUATION RATES WILL RISE!

Anonymous said...

cms = fuzzy math

Anonymous said...

Ann,

I used to work in CMS. The bonuses were given to reflect "market pay" for individuals. At least that is what the principals were told. When I was a high school principal no one was ever awarded money for graduation rates, although CMS used to have a formula that took into account survey results, scores, growth and graduation rates.... This last round was really just a pat on the back for being there. Only Central office would know if some got bonuses for other reasons....