Thursday, June 26, 2014

Salaries and opportunities: A wrap-up

When I reported on Superintendent Heath Morrison's new administrative appointments Tuesday night,  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools didn't have salary information available for the new jobs in central administration.

They are:  $160,000 a year for Chief Academic Officer Brian Schultz;  $126,900 for Akeshia Craven-Howell,  assistant superintendent of school options,  innovation and design;  and $111,000 for Michele Mason,  executive director of leadership.  They join two new zone superintendents Morrison added earlier this month,  as he revamps administration to provide better support for schools.


Following up on Wednesday's post about Opportunity Culture in Project LIFT,  the consultants from Public Impact who are leading that effort sent me a link to their own blog projecting the benefits for 31 schools around the nation that piloted Opportunity Culture jobs last year.  That would include the four in CMS' Project LIFT.

You might wonder how these numbers can be so striking  --  for instance,  $290,000 to $900,000 per teacher in additional lifetime pay  --   when Project LIFT Zone Superintendent Denise Watts says the jobs are changing and evolving so much that it's hard to nail down local specifics.  The Public Impact report takes 2013-14 data and extrapolates on the assumption that all schools  "implement their models fully over three years."  Watts' report indicates it may be tough to forecast what will happen in those three years.  After Tuesday night's meeting, she checked on the status of the 19 who took opportunity culture jobs last year. Ten will continue in those jobs,  five will be in different opportunity culture jobs,  three lost those jobs when their schools redesigned the plans and one retired.

Stam
Finally,  the bill that would clarify beyond question that charter school salaries are subject to public disclosure is supposed to get a final House vote today.  Who would have guessed it would generate a report on incest and pedophilia from Rep. Paul Stam?

Meanwhile,  the two Charlotte holdouts to the Observer's salary request have said they'll provide the information.  Sugar Creek has already sent their full list and Lincoln Charter's director says that school's is coming soon.  We'll update the charter school database as soon as Lincoln's information arrives.  I asked both school leaders how much they paid lawyer Richard Vinroot to fight disclosure;  both said they have yet to receive the bill.

Update:  Salaries for nine districts surrounding Mecklenburg County went online today.  Thanks to database reporter Gavin Off for rounding up that information.


32 comments:

Ben Afleck said...

$126,900 for Akeshia Craven-Howell? I could do better throwing schools names in a hat and pulling them to make school choice than paying someone that much for building a spreadsheet.

Wiley Coyote said...

More layers of waste....

$126,900 for Akeshia Craven-Howell, assistant superintendent of school options, innovation and design; and $111,000 for Michele Mason, executive director of leadership.

Anonymous said...

Ann, do you have any updates on the bills to eliminate Common Core? Just curious - I haven't seen anything in the news recently.

Bolyn McClung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bolyn McClung said...

.
A TEMPORARY JOB

Tuesday night appointments were all filled with highly qualified people. The principals, as always, were clearly eager to start. The superintendent gave enthusiastic introductions. One of his best skills is making the new welcomed.

Eleven of the jobs were standard fair. One wasn’t: Assistant Superintendent of School Options, Innovation and Design. The lady chosen for the job might have been the most qualified that night. However, I hope that the job she was hired for is sort of like a grant position…temporary and always tenuous.

Hard to imagine much “Innovation and Design” is necessary when CMS’ main offering will always be a time-tested commodity product. Of course education is always trying to fool itself with the idea of change. As our Board Chair and one other member who both are retired teachers have pointed-out, they saw these innovative changes throughout their careers yet the job remained unchanged. I remember the district member saying one night, “I’m sure we’ll see more.”

Her wisdom has been confirmed.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville
.

Shamash said...

After reading all the hullabaloo over Stam's "report", I have to say that he does have a point.

You need good definitions of terms when you are creating laws.

And the fact that he hasn't gotten one is a concern.

The old hetero, homo, and bi labels may not be "inclusive" enough once the law is passed.

(Just WAIT for that lawsuit...)

At least someone should pick a dictionary with a good definition and use that.

Nothing is worse than using a term "everyone knows" only to find later that some sharp (or not so sharp) lawyer/judge uses a medical dictionary or some other source to include things that "everyone" didn't know about (or wouldn't talk about).

Shamash said...

Bolyn McClung,

"Hard to imagine much “Innovation and Design” is necessary when CMS’ main offering will always be a time-tested commodity product."

Maybe it's like Coca-Cola.

Someone is always tweaking the packaging and advertising if not the content.

Some need to be told how exciting and refreshing the SOS is from time to time.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Great question, 7:36. Looks like it has passed the House and they're still negotiating on a final version: http://www.easternwakenews.com/2014/06/25/3963658/nc-house-approves-replacing-common.html

Anonymous said...

CMS - program/Initiative du jour. It has become a joke at my daughter's elementary school as they change reading and math programs every year. And this year more "innovative and meaningful learning" coming with computerized Individual Learning.

If I was a teacher, I would be concerned right now, especially seeing that they are expanding central office as well.

Bolyn McClung said...

TO: Anon 7:36

COMMON CORE PIVOTAL CAMPAIGN ISSUE IN SOUTH CAROLINA.

Just noticed South Carolina'S School Superintendent's race is centered on Common Core.

Campaign signs noting candidates' positions on Common Core appearing in Ft Mill.

Republican candidate Molly Spearman says, "I'm opposed to Washington coming in and really coercing us to participate," Spearman said. "I think it's really important for us to fix this quickly as the legislature has taught us to do. So, that would be my first priority -- to review and rewrite the South Carolina standards using the best and brightest teachers in our state."

Democrat candidate says, "..."I don't know that Common Core has a downside other than the perspective that we are tied into what other states are doing," Thompson said. "I think Common Core has the flexibility for each state to decided how they're going to take the standards that are recommended and make them their own."

Election is in November.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville
.

Anonymous said...

Stam just told the truth or something you are never supposed to do in politics or risk the hordes of cockroaches crawling out of the woodwork ...

Anonymous said...

to ANON 7:36

I heard on NPR yesterday, both NC the house and the senate have passed votes to eliminate Common Core, the potential hang up is the differences betweens the House Bill and the Senat ebill. The House pretty much wants to eliminate any trace of Common Core, while the senate is considering keeping some of the tests from Common Core

Anonymous said...

when you see such salaries as this, once does start to wonder where the priorites are within CMS.

Anonymous said...

CMS just lost all credibility with me when they whine for increased funding, I can only imagine what it must be like for the parents of children in this school district. In my view this is totally disgraceful, the average student will never be impacted by those three individuals. Those salaries could have gone to keeping teachers assistants or decreasing class size by adding a teacher in some schools. It's simply obscene how poorly CMS is managed. The more I read about CMS, the more I understand that your chidlren's education is not the focus of this school system. No wonder those that can move out of the dsitrict do so or opt to attend charters or private schools.
I truly understand why many of you are so upset and no one in the media or local government is holding Morrison accountable for this crap!

Anonymous said...

When will the "other" counties in the surrounding Charlotte area have their salary database updated?

Ann Doss Helms said...

1:17: Today.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/06/25/5004384/searchable-database-area-school.html#.U6xZ6_ldUbJ

Anonymous said...

in taking a quick look at this database, it would appear that CMS is over paying for principals. However, I am not surprised, CMS seems to think they have endless supply of your money to spend, especially after reading Ann's articel today, simply shameful

I saw where CMS over paid for two recent hires, one for Mallard Creek and the other for North Meck.

Shamash said...

"$126,900 for Akeshia Craven-Howell, assistant superintendent of school options, innovation and design"

Akeshia, of course, is a Broadie.

That means "superintendent" somewhere, someday.

Anonymous said...

When we compare the salaries (AND Central office positions) to those of the surrowunding counties, it is obvious that CMS HAS TONS OF MONEY to spend on personnel. They JUST WONT spend it on TEACHERS. How dare they ask the County for more of our tax money for teacher raises when they waste it on useless central office positions AND BLOATED Principal Positions. No wonder the principals from other systems are knocking on our doors to get in. Can we impeach the BOE for such horrible approvals?? ENOUGH ALREADY!!! And don't say that we can vote them out...it is the SAME regardless of who is "Serving" on the board!

Anonymous said...

$160,000 for Chief Academic Officer and only a CMS principal for 2 years. WOW! And what does Dr. Kelly Gwaltney do - it thought this was what she did??

Wiley Coyote said...

Wake County School District has 153,300 students.

Top 50 salaries total $6,248,543 or $40.76 per student.

CMS School District has 142,612 students.

Top 50 salaries total $7,096,779 or $49.76 per student.

Wake County spends $848,236 less in top 50 salaries than CMS with 10,688 more students.

Anonymous said...

no money for teachers and cutting ta's but CMS has money for this (and football coaches). Unreal, perhaps the tax payers should sit on the floor in Morrison's office to protest like Rev. Barber does with Tillis!

Anonymous said...

12:52 Amen. More people should be upset by this. Why is the money going to more bloated Admin positions? This is a shame. Our schools need more teachers and teacher assistants. I'm disgusted as a parent, Want to leave CMS.

Anonymous said...

There were pictures in the Observer of 3 new principals at West Meck, North Meck, and Mallard Creek. Ann, where are the photos of the other new hires? I'd like to see a bio (are they Broadies?) and photo on all new hires, especially for people making over $100K.

Bolyn McClung said...

.
DOES THE PERCENT OF CHILDREN BELOW THE POVERTY LIVE IN RALEIGH VERSUS CHARLOTTE ACCOUNT FOR THE $800K DIFFERENCE?

This would be an argument that WWS contributes to the higher CMS wages.

NO.

Children below poverty level:
Raleigh.....19%
Charlotte...21%

Bolyn McClung
Pineville
.

Anonymous said...

the more you look at CMS, the more you understand where the priorities lie, and it is clearly with not with the students when you value high paid administrative positions rather that teachers and teachers assistants.

Anonymous said...

How disheartening, yet it's par for the new course and really just the tip of the iceberg. The same story is played out in nearly every CMS school. There are hundreds of dead-weight academic facilitators, professional development facilitators, counselors, deans of students and so on who never see the inside of a classroom unless it's to administer yet another state exam or to observe teachers. No one really knows why those jobs exist either.

In the school setting, these folks function as administrators and receive administrator perks and bonuses - and you'd be hard-pressed to find at least one at every school who isn't there due to nepotism, cronyism, or solely to satisfy unwritten requirements for staff diversity.

Check the salary database and you'll be amazed how often even uncommon last names appear. That of course doesn't identify a fraction of the nepotism and resulting dead weight within CMS.

The district could fund significant teacher raises, buy necessary textbooks, make repairs to the innumerable ramshackle trailer parks which pass for classrooms and so much more just by eliminating some of the current bloat. How does adding even more 1-percenters to the top help our crisis (which I now suspect is largely manufactured) when the district claims to be in such dire financial straits? By adding yet another web of administrators, CMS is rapidly losing what little credibility it had left with taxpayers.

Enjoy your new $7 million dollar offices while you're here, new hires. You'll undoubtedly move on to even greener pastures in a few short years. In fact, perhaps that's Morrison's plan - a network of Broadies across the nation to catapult him into the national arena? Didn't know we were in the business of czar-building.

Suffice it to say CMS fears transparency like vampires fear daylight.

Shamash said...

"There are hundreds of dead-weight academic facilitators, professional development facilitators, counselors, deans of students and so on..."

That's one thing the "War on Poverty" has produced.

Lots of highly paid "administrators" in government jobs.

Because the "poor" need that much more "help"

Anonymous said...

the background and photos for these new oppointments are on the CMS website.

I just read the bio on Akeshia Craven-Howell, she came from one of the WORST public school systems in the country, Chicago Public Schools. Ironically she doesn't look too happy about her new found fortune.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12, do you really believe counselors are "dead-weight?" Have you seen the list of expectations they're expected to do- sometimes with ratios of 1 to 900? Also, out of the list of "dead-weight" positions you named, not one gets administrator pay. They are all paid on a teacher scale, even though some (like deans) do the work of an administrator.

Anonymous said...

People are complaining about Akeshia Craven-Howell and her new position. Well take a guess how many "underlings" she has? The department is full of staff crunching numbers and trying to reinvent the wheel.

Anonymous said...

I believe the senate bill is better for teachers. It starts putting money in their pockets. That is better then putting it in the paper weight's down town.