Superintendent Priorities

“Hard-wiring student performance into the compensation of the Superintendent would not serve Ohio’s kids. . . . “

I’ve been attending State Board of Education meetings since July, so I’ve had a chance to see firsthand some of the fault lines that exist there. One that came to light at their January meeting concerned priorities in the selection of the next Superintendent of Public Instruction.

As chairperson of the Ohio House of Representatives Education Committee, Rep. Andrew Brenner, R-67 (Powell) holds a nonvoting seat on the State Board of Education. During discussions of the salary goals for Superintendent candidates, he contributed:

“Why not offer massive bonuses of up to a million dollars for performance based on the results of the school over the next year or two or whatever the time frame is that we so desire in order to get the best candidates in and potentially to get people that might come in and think outside the box?”

The other Board members met Rep. Brenner’s suggestion with silence, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead. The House Education Chairperson cannot be ignored, and the person who holds that post is in a position to push his or her agenda. He may have just been brainstorming or floating an idea, but if he decides to pursue it strongly, it would be very troublesome.

Hard-wiring student performance into the compensation of the Superintendent would not serve Ohio’s kids. If we think there’s too much focus on testing now, just imagine what it would be like if the Superintendent were paid according to test scores! As a Board member, I’ll support common-sense accountability measures, but not the test mania that has overtaken education in recent years.

We’ll hear more next week; the Board meets February 8 and 9.

(You can hear the full recording of the Board’s January 12 morning session here. Rep. Brenner’s comments come about 1:22:15 into the recording.)

2 thoughts on “Superintendent Priorities”

  1. As a retired teacher, I so appreciate your involvement in our state government. The notion of giving bonuses to the state superintendent for improved test scores is another example of what is wrong with our government charged with overseeing education in Ohio. Great leadership involves collaboration with those doing the job of educating and asking, “What can I do to help you do your job?” Until we have leaders willing to ask teachers and administrators that question, the insanity of testing will continue.

  2. How about we take those massive million dollar bonuses and invest them in the schools? Maybe the fine art, physical education, and music programs that always seem to be the first the be cut?

    Best of luck in tomorrow’s polls, Mr. Lavezzi.

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