Contracts and measuring performance
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - They're the people leading the schools your children are in every day and they are paid with your tax dollars. We found some superintendents in our area are making more than the governor. But our investigation is looking beyond the salaries and benefits and digging deeper into the performance and achievements of the districts they serve.
A car, hundreds of dollars in monthly allowances, tuition reimbursement, and more than a month of vacation. These are some of the benefits superintendents in our area are getting.
2 NEWS Investigates looked through 12 area superintendent contracts and while most of them looked similar, one stood out.
When the Dayton City School Board hired its most recent superintendent, Rhonda Corr, they went about it in a different way.
"We saw deficiencies of former contracts which are really template, cookie-cutter contracts that all the other school districts have been using," said, Adil Baguirov, President of the Dayton Board of Education.
2 NEWS found Corr's salary is well below the 2015 average for a district the size of Dayton at $140,000 a year, but if the schools do well, she could be one of the highest paid in the area.
"Now we have very specific goals, we have specific performances. We have a slightly lower salary but the bonuses if you are able to hit them, especially all of them at once in one year, then that really puts you over the top," said Baguirov.
Corr's contract has four areas where she can earn bonuses more than $20,000 all together. She has already met one of them. Dayton is now off the "Academic Distress Commission" list. According to her contract that means Corr gets a $7,500 bonus.
"That is in the best interest of the tax payers because if the school district is improving, which we clearly are, then all the property values are rising and there are more job opportunities," said Baguirov.
Even though Dayton's latest report card issued by the state gave them "F"'s in 5 areas, they earned an "A" in the area of progress. That looks at the growth all students are making.
"We will pay bonuses all day long as long as you keep bringing us A's, and good grades and good news," said Baguirov.
2 NEWS Investigates found Beavercreek is the only other contract that mentioned a performance payment with its superintendent Paul Otten, but it does not lay out specific terms.
According to its latest state report card, they also got an "A" in progress and "B" in achievement. The only other district we found to have A's and B's in those categories is Oakwood.
Both Beavercreek and Oakwood's superintendents are also the highest paid in the area, each at about $161,000 a year.
But there are some districts in our area whose grades were low in the areas of progress and achievement.
Trotwood schools received "F's" in each area.
Both the Trotwood Board President and the Superintendent refused to answer my questions about those grades on camera, but Superintendent Kevin Bell did tell me in a written statement that his students are so much more than those grades.
Bell says they are in the process of getting those grades back up. He said they are working to get the community and parents more involved while using more resources and assessment systems to reach Ohio's learning standards. He also says they have conducted ongoing, sustained professional development with staff related to teaching and learning.
Xenia is the other district with low grades in these categories: a "F" in progress and "D" in Achievement.
Natalie: Were you surprised by the results?
"Everyone had told us to expect a 30-40% decline in scores. That's what happened. So I don't want to say we were surprised but at the same time we were disappointed. It was disappointing and difficult for our staff because they are working so hard and I felt bad for them, but at the same time we are putting things in place," said Xenia Superintendent Denny Morrison.
Morrison tells us Ohio has been changing the way they grade schools which is causing lower grades across the state.
"They've continued to raise the bar every single year and we are trying to hit a moving target," said Morrison.
He said they are making changes.
"Math has been our primary focus so we have revised 6-12-our entire math curriculum. We knew where we were was not getting the job done so we've made a complete brand new change," said Morrison.
With more than 40 years in education under his belt, 15 as superintendent, he said you have to be flexible when trying to keep a school moving forward
"You don't measure the success or failure of a school district based upon one day's testing," said Morrison.
How did your school do?
*The G.P.A. is taken from the average of the top six categories that the Ohio School Report Card looks at. This investigation looked only at the progress and achievement categories. You can click on the individual report card for the full, in-depth report as well as the contract for each district superintendent. The state's measurement for report cards has changed which has produced lower scores for districts.
|Average Salary by Enrollment|
|2,500 - 4,999||$167,289|
|5,000 - 7,499||$176,200|
|7,500 - 9,999||$151,000|
|2015 - 2016 Enrollment|
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