A sacred cow for the tipping….or just a gentle nudge in the field


I am not sure which is worse – proferring to cut the lavish salaries of school district superintendents but not acutally doing so or not acknowledging the outlandish salaries and thereby not being accountable to cut the salaries, as no one noticed.  When districts around the nation are struggling for money IN THE CLASSROOM, it would seem that we could start shaking the cushions on the office furniture of administration (and apparently the cushions at home as well!).

Having watched a couple superintendents receive, if not an actual golden handshake out the door, a golden sweep of the broom to please exit, I am confident these political figureheads are overpaid for actual work versus  photo ops.   An example of what I would love to see:  http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2001/09/30/loc_zprincipals_diary.html or a copy of the digital calendar of superintentdents to know how their time is spent doing work instead of spreading the dearth of work around.  Sadly, these calendars or diaries seem to be of highest confidence (almost national security) and no one steps forward to demonstrate what is done. 

As is the case of NYC Schools Chancellor Cathleen Black, superintendents are showcased at important events to lend credibility.  Occassionally superintendents deal with parents – for the most part they are project managers. 

I encourage community members to ‘find out’ what their superintendent does which makes them worth their exhorbitant pay, often in excess of a state governor, at least in New York.  It seems that even school superintendent pay has not managed to hold property values in check with the melt down of the last few years, so even that shibboleth is worn out.

School boards that pay what some consider eye-popping salaries often say that running a school district is an exceedingly hard job with long hours, and that excellent superintendents are scarce. They note that a school system’s reputation is often the main reason that families move to certain communities. Beyond that, property values are influenced in a big way by that reputation — and so a top superintendent is well worth the cost to taxpayers.

Until community members are willing to look at the dollar value of the services superintendents actually provide beyond the name recognition on letterhead stationary, we are throwing unwarranted amounts of money in the wrong direction when it comes to education.