Contents of this issue:
- Superintendent defends salary
- State may sell, then lease back,
School for the Deaf site
- Community library to staff
- Study: Bonus pay didn't make a
- Four new high schools to open in
SUPERINTENDENT DEFENDS SALARY
HARBOR BEACH, Mich. — Harbor Beach Community Schools
Superintendent Ron Kraft received total compensation of more than $300,000 last
year, higher than his counterparts in some of Michigan's largest public school
districts, according to media reports.
While some in the small district of 600 students have
questioned the amount, Kraft says his pay reflects experience, workload and
success, media reported.
Public school districts in Michigan are now required to post
the compensation of their top-paid employees online. Kraft's base salary as
superintendent is $104,000, according to television station WJRT.
Last year he also received $49,000 for handling some high
school principal duties, a position the district does not staff; $5,000 for
checking road conditions; $9,000 for working more than the 225 days required by
his contract; a $30,000 annuity; and about $39,000 for cashing in sick days,
according to WJRT and Michigan Capitol Confidential.
"It's appalling," area resident Sandra Glide told
WJRT. "There is no reason for somebody in this small community with our
base to make that kind of money."
Kraft, who has been with the district for 13 years, pointed
out to Michigan Capitol Confidential that the district received high grades on
its Michigan Department of Education
report card, has a balanced budget and did not lay off any employees this year.
He plans to
retire this fall and then return at a $60,000 salary, he told Michigan Capitol
superintendent's compensation package draws scrutiny," Sept. 21, 2010
Superintendent Defends His Compensation," Sept. 25, 2010
Education Digest, "About half of
districts posting financial data," Aug. 23, 2010
STATE MAY SELL, THEN LEASE BACK, SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF SITE
FLINT, Mich. — Alumni and the deaf community have mixed
feelings about selling the current Michigan School for the Deaf site to a
private investor who would build a new school and lease it back to the
institution, The Flint Journal reported.
David Sanderson, the school's chief administrator, said he
expects a contract to be signed soon between the state and Lurvey White
Ventures, The Journal reported. The state Legislature would have to approve the
transaction, the report said.
The proposal calls for the new school to be leased to the
Michigan School for the Deaf for 30 years, but some in the audience at a recent
meeting felt it should be longer, The Journal reported. Others were concerned
that the state would discontinue funding and still others wanted certain items
of historical significance preserved.
Sanderson said the proposal would forbid the new owners from
renting to a different entity even after the lease was up, The Journal
The Flint Journal, "Michigan
School for the Deaf plan could move forward soon; concerns aired during alumni
meeting," Sept. 23, 2010
Report, "Seeing the potential in
deaf education," Aug. 28, 2009
COMMUNITY LIBRARY TO STAFF SCHOOL
BYRON, Mich. — Byron Area Schools is contracting with the
Shiawassee Community District Library to staff the school library this year, an
arrangement that the district says will save money but that the Michigan
Education Association says is a contract violation, according to The (Owosso)
Superintendent Dan Scow said the district will save about
$33,000 by contracting for media specialist services for eight hours a day for
190 days, The Argus-Press said.
The MEA has filed a grievance claiming that the teachers'
contract requires certain staff to be district employees and members of the
union, The Argus-Press reported.
Scow said the media specialist will not have direct
responsibility for instruction, but will assist students and staff, manage the
book collections, coordinate the computer lab and coordinate volunteers, The
A hearing on the grievance is scheduled for November, the
The (Owosso) Argus-Press, "Byron
Schools contracts with CDL; union files grievance," Sept. 25, 2010
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Public School Support Service
Privatization Increases 8.0 Percent in Michigan," Sept. 10, 2010
STUDY: BONUS PAY DIDN'T MAKE DIFFERENCE
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A recent Vanderbilt University study
concluded that performance-based pay for teachers in a three-year study in
Nashville did not significantly increase student achievement, according to The
Grand Rapids Press.
The study tracked the performance of 300 middle school math
teachers who volunteered to participate, the report said. One group received $5,000
to $10,000 bonuses depending on student performance; the control group received
standard wages, according to The Press. It was up to teachers to choose methods
to increase student performance, the published study said.
Citing an article in Education Week, The Press reported that
academic increases were found among fifth-graders in the final two years of the
program; no effects were seen for sixth- through eighth-graders. The study said
that teachers did not feel that the goals were too high.
The program did not have a negative effect on school
culture, the report said. Merit pay programs have been alleged to create undue
competition among teachers.
The Grand Rapids Press, "Study
shows merit pay 'no silver bullet' to school reform," Sept. 21, 2010
National Center for Performance Incentives, "Teacher
Pay for Performance," Sept. 21, 2010
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "We
Still Need to Reform Teacher Pay," Sept. 23, 2010
FOUR NEW HIGH SCHOOLS TO OPEN IN DETROIT
DETROIT — Two conventional public schools and two charter public
schools will open in Detroit in the fall of 2011, including one sponsored by
basketball star Jalen Rose, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The schools are supported by a $2.8 million grant from
Michigan Future Inc. as part of a plan to open 35 high schools, according to
the Free Press and Crain's Detroit Business.
Rose is sponsoring the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy through
his foundation, according to the Free Press. It will partner with the
University of Detroit Mercy, while Cornerstone Health High School will
affiliate with the Detroit Medical Center, the media reported. Both are charter
Diplomas Now Detroit High School and the Dr. Benjamin Carson
School of Science and Medicine will be opened by Detroit Public Schools in
current school district buildings, according to the Free Press.
The schools have pledged that 85 percent of their students
will graduate high school, 85 percent of them will go on to college, and 85
percent of those students will graduate from college, the Free Press reported.
Detroit Free Press, "Basketball
star Jalen Rose helps announce new Detroit high schools," Sept. 24, 2010
million grant from Michigan Future Inc. to fund 4 new Detroit high schools,"
Sept. 24, 2010
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Detroit Public Schools Students
Bear the Pain of Limited Educational Opportunities," Sept. 10, 2010
MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report (https://www.educationreport.org), an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (https://www.mackinac.org), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.