Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New RSD chief to get $281K package

The new, 35-year old chief of the State Recovery School District will get a $281,000 pay package, according to this article by Advocate reporter Will Sentell.

State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek, who brokered the deal with former New York City school system deputy superintendent John White, said the high salary is justified because of the "incredible amount of personal sacrifice" required by the job.

Although White will be making less than current RSD chief Paul Vallas, who makes about $377,000 per year, his salary will be higher than the state's new higher education commissioner.

Right on schedule, apologists for the state's big business lobby justified the pay package, trotting out the old bromide about having to pay high salaries to get highly qualified people. That formula doesn't seem to apply to classroom teachers, where the strategy has been to hire new college graduates, who will work for approximately two years at the low end of the salary schedule.

In any event, the old bromide doesn't seem to have worked in the Recovery School District. Despite Vallas' princely salary, student performance has not improved in schools seized by the state, according to this study by Dr. Charles Hatfield, co-founder of Research on Reforms.

As Dr. Hatfield writes in the study's summary, "Whether assessing the 2010-11 status of the RSD schools using the current achievement performance labels or applying the new letter grade system that will be implemented this fall, it is clear that the SPS achievement status for the vast majority of the RSD schools is at best pathetic."

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