EXTRA CREDIT NIXED
EXTRA CREDIT NIXED
ED. BONUS-PAY FLAP
By YOAV GONEN, Education Reporter
NY Post December 31, 2007 -- Bonuses that end in zeroes - good. Those that begin with zero - not so much.
A plan to offer bonuses to about 100 top-level managers at the Department of Education in 2008 has been sidelined because of budget constraints, The Post has learned.
Regardless, education officials said, the performance-management plan underlying the bonuses - which aims to spread the rewards and punishments associated with accountability from schools to the central management offices at the Tweed Courthouse - is proceeding as intended.
Just without the carrots.
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein told his top aides last week that their performance would be reviewed at the end of the school year on three criteria, including principal-satisfaction surveys and goals tailored for each department.
He also announced, for the first time, a systemwide objective for student achievement by which top managers would be judged, both internally and by the public.
"It's going to be right out there for everybody to see," Klein told The Post. "If you make the [targets], that's great. If you don't, then the question is: 'Why?' "
Klein called for raising the city's four- and six-year graduation rates by 3 percent from last year, while closing the gap between the city and state by 1 percent.
He is also seeking a 2 percent hike in the number of students in grades 3 through 8 who meet state math and English standards while closing the deficit with the state by a point.
"The administration has to meet goals just as a school meets goals," said Education Department spokesman David Cantor. "We'll be publicly accountable for it, with whatever consequences."
But City Council Education Committee Chairman Robert Jackson questioned what kind of stick the public could use on education officials, especially when there is a lame-duck mayor at the helm.
"Accountability? The may- or has total control of the system!" Jackson said.
"If you have a centralized school board that makes decisions on whether or not anyone stays, then you have accountability."
Panel for Education Policy member Patrick Sullivan was also unwilling to embrace the new measure, particularly because of the link between administrative bonuses and student test scores.
"I'm concerned about putting pressure on administrators to meet certain numbers, because sometimes there are unintended consequences," he said.
"We have to make sure that what they do to deliver those rates is in the best interest of the students."
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