I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dennis Walcott Makes Case For Cutting His Salary

Diane Ravitch points us to a piece by Lisa Fleisher in the Wall Street Journal about the complete lack of accountability at the top of New York's City's schools under Generalissimo Mike Bloomberg's rule:

Top administrators at the city's Department of Education haven't been subject to formal evaluations during the Bloomberg administration, a break from past practice and an unusual occurrence among school districts across the U.S.
The disclosure follows the culmination of a yearslong battle by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to implement tougher teacher and principal evaluations in the district.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who has been on the job since April 2011, said formal job reviews weren't necessary because he informally evaluated his staff daily, and he was evaluated daily by the mayor. Teachers, he said, were in a different position.
"They're in front of the classroom and teaching our children, and we need to have a sense of how well they're doing," he said. "With us, we're not teaching children directly, we're setting policy. And I don't think it's hypocritical at all." [emphasis mine]
Yeah, see, Dennis Walcott is only in charge of the schools - he's not actually in the schools! It's completely different! It's like, we have to know how well teachers are doing - but we don't have to know how well their bosses are doing! It's just so obvious...

The implication here, of course, is that actually teaching the children is much more critical than setting the policies. And you know what? I completely agree: the teachers matter much more than the Chancellor. They should be properly evaluated (and they were before Bloomberg pushed all this test-based garbage on to NYC's teachers), but those teachers should also get salaries that reflect the importance of what they do.

If Dennis Wolcott's job is so trivial that he doesn't need formal evaluations, and if NYC's teachers are so important they must be formally evaluated, shouldn't all of their salaries reflect this reality?

Walcott, last I checked, makes over 200 grand a year. But the average NYC teacher pay is $73,751. I think Walcott makes an excellent case that this is exactly backwards: I mean, if his job doesn't require a formal evaluation, how can he possibly justify making more than a teacher, who must have a formal evaluation?

At the very least, his salary shouldn't be any higher than a teachers - especially since we don't "need to have a sense of how well [he's] doing." What do you say, Mr. Chancellor? Isn't it time your salary reflected your real worth?

Or lack thereof...

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