Monday, June 26, 2006

Some things never go away

For years the state of Minnesota had a cap on what School District Supervisors could earn. It was 95% of the Governors salary. To "sweeten" the offers they would add retirement and severance bonuses. Some of the packages would amount to more than 3 years pay. That limit has been off for 5 years now, but some packages are still being offered out there.

What I struggle with, is the Superintendents job is very political. Why are we concerned if they have talent? The only time the OH has seen our District Superintendent was on TV at a board meeting. It seems initiatives and such are created and run by the State and Fed authorities. Those initiatives are then enabled by the school districts and executed by the district staffs.

After spending a fortune on a national talent search, Minneapolis School Districts latest Supertindent was a disaster. Maybe it is time to rethink the need for a position that consumes the costs of 5+ teachers who actually do something?

9 comments:

Leesa said...

I sometimes wonder if we pay the folks at the top more money that they are worth because we are danging carrots for those below them. "You too can have a cush job if you step on others and stick around."

Not sure this is the best way to encourage others.

Balloon Pirate said...

There is a lot of wasted talent in the head offices of school districts. You're right--most of the time they spend their days consolidating power as opposed to actually doing anything constructive.

You got busted? It wasn't by 'Da Kid' either, was it?

Yeharr

Crassius Maximus said...

The argument has long been that if we (the gov't.) want to entice talented people to work in these jobs, we have to be competitve with our offers and benefits.No doubt , it is the slipperiest of slopes.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

An excellent post, indeed.

Sometimes, when these jobs are so political in nature, common sense seems to take a back seat to rational thinking.

BTW: why did you change the name of your blog?

Fantastagirl said...

Thanks for letting me know where you went!

The highest paid gov't employee in my state is a coach... not a doctor, not a professor, just a football coach - my question? If he is making so much money why is his son living in section 8 housing...you would think he would be able to help his son attend the college that he coach's at.

jj mollo said...

The people who make the decisions think that they are good at evaluating personnel when the fact is, it is almost impossible to make consistently correct decisions based on information from above. Conversely, the people I have respected most in corporate life have not done particularly well in getting promoted.

The salary spiral is bizarre. You think because you pay more, you should get more, but I don't know if there's a correlation. You bring in people you don't know from outside and you're surprised when you get snowed by a convincing con artist. And yet, you can't hire from within because familiarity breeds contempt. And there's also the envy issue, "If so and so gets promoted, I swear I'll quit. I'm the one who deserves it."

I've always maintained that a random selection from the phone book would do a far better job than the city council. Most likely they wouldn't know how to lie as convincingly either. More democratic methods would mean more reliable information about the candidates, but all the crooks cover for each other. There's got to be a better way.

mal said...

Leesa- I wonder the same

BP- yup, it was "Da kid"

Crassius- I think they slid down that slope

Barbara- some embarassement with my daugthers was the reason I deleted the old blog

Fantasta- sheesh, college football is a whole different level of foolishness

JJ- astute as always, The "pros from Dover" seem to have unearned credibility...how about random selection from the Monkey cage at the zoo? It would compare favorably to some of the "pros from Dover" I have had for supervisors over the years.

sage said...

A supt. in a neighboring district recently got canned for small time embezzling on his expense account which included things like receipts from a Subway which he put down he was having lunch with an employee or a neighboring supertindent,when it was his wife. It was weird, I think he was making about $150k, and he was stealing nickles and dimes.

And then, in Colorado (and maybe other states) the highest paid state employee is the football coach. Does MN cap salaries for coaches too? Maybe that's why MN isn't a powerhouse.

Thinking further about this, with your former governor a professional wrestler and the vampire running for the slot this year, how much do ya'll pay your governor. Or, are you getting what you pay for?

On a serious note, in most places up north, I think school districts need to be consolidated and you can pay supts. more, but have fewer of them with more responsibilities.

Jessica said...

I'm so glad the public sees the MPS superintendent in her true light. I have friends working for the district who were embarrassed to speak out against her incompetence. That said, it is an important and a tough job. Like CEOs paid exorbitant salaries and benefits at a company on the verge of bankruptcy, school boards seem desperate to find either a savior or a fall guy. Let's just hope we don't all go the way of the LA school district with its mayoral take-over.