More incredibly wasteful spending. This is so maddening. Not to mention the test scores were inflated, and the grad rates padded through credit recovery and regents “scrubbing.” These out of classroom bureaucrats making more than $2 million in bonuses, wonder how many of whom are apparently already getting pensions from the DOE.
Last Updated: 7:05 AM, January 14, 2011
Posted: 1:13 AM, January 14, 2011
Hundreds of highly paid bureaucrats who don't work inside schools have quietly reaped more than $2 million in bonuses based on student test scores and graduation rates in recent years, The Post has learned.
The administrators -- most of whose salaries top $100,000 for duties ranging from overseeing student safety to helping with logistical operations -- have been eligible for annual bonuses as high as $7,000 since 2007.
In the 2007-08 school year, the first year of the bonus program, 358 support staffers hauled in more than $1.3 million in bonuses, according to Department of Education officials.
Bonuses are pending for the 2009-10 school year and are under discussion for the current school year, officials said -- despite looming budget cuts that are expected to be severe.
"It is wholly inappropriate to give administrators in central offices bonuses based on test scores, especially in this environment," said Patrick Sullivan, the Manhattan representative for the Panel for Educational Policy.
The bonus program stems from a union contract side deal that the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) signed with the city back when Mayor Bloomberg and then-Chancellor Joel Klein were pushing for merit pay for teachers and principals.
It covers educational administrators who work in "school support" organizations, at DOE headquarters in Manhattan and at borough-based back offices that were eliminated last year.
"Just as it is critical that every employee in our system be accountable for student achievement, it is important that educators be rewarded for excellence," said DOE spokeswoman Barbara Morgan.
Teachers and principals at 200 schools have been eligible for bonuses based on student test scores and graduation rates for the past three years. A CSA spokeswoman said the side-deal bonuses were a related reward.
"Non-school-based administrators and supervisors affect student outcomes as much as school-based folks," she said.
But some principals questioned the link between student scores and the efforts of administrators who might not even step foot in a school -- let alone in a classroom.
"If my school got any kind of differential pay for performance, I've got to tell you, we didn't get it because of our [external support]," said one high-school principal.