Performance Pay Without the Performance: DISD Could Give Employees Extra Cash For Showing Up

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Performance pay in public education is a touchy subject. It seems like a good enough idea in theory, but once you get into the details of how exactly performance will be defined and measured in practice, things start to get thorny. One option for avoiding controversy: Define performance as attendance and give extra money to everyone who shows up.

That's what the DISD board will consider at its briefing Thursday. Chief talent officer Charles Glover has proposed implementing "attendance performance pay" for the coming school year, which focuses very little on performance and very much on attendance.

From the briefing:

This proposal meets the intended purpose of compensating the hard working employees of Dallas ISD and rewarding those who are demonstrating outstanding attendance. It is important as the district goes through a transformation to make a meaningful and immediate investment in our district's human capital. The proposed APP will benefit all levels of employees regardless of tenure and/or role in the district. There are three opportunities in FY 2013 for employees to earn additional income for outstanding attendance.

In other words, a not-quite-across-the-board bonus. Spokesman Jon Dahlander said he doesn't have any additional info on how often employees will have to show up to get the bonus, or how much the bonus will be. But he does note that pay's been flat for a while now, and that central staff received a small pay cut last year.

Maybe this will dampen the criticism of Superintendent Mike Miles for spending so lavishly on his cabinet. Or maybe not.

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18 comments
bandito
bandito

So this is Glover's best shot at screwing teachers?

Figure out how much subs usually cost each trimester. If costs come in below budget, give "performance" bonuses to teachers with perfect attendance.

That could amount to $100 each.

That way teachers think they are getting something when they are getting nothing. Glover and all his TFA buddies ate the entire budget between him, Miles' 'aide" and the new TFA recruiter. No telling how many other TFA taught all of two years and got a $100,000 or above salary.

But you teachers, go ahead and come in when you are sick or got hit by a car on the way to work. Make that valiant effort so that sub money at $75 a day can be split between all of you. Charles and his buddies will all be sitting on their fat asses doing nothing all day for the salary of 5 teachers.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

It's consistent with their policy on giving students passing grades, so why not?

RTGolden
RTGolden

I wonder, if the administration nixed their plan of requiring teachers to work an extra 45 minutes per day, off the clock (so to speak), would they still have to bribe teachers to come in and work?

 

Is the bonus going to be enough to offset the lost income created by those unpaid 45 minutes over the course of a school year? (182 instructional days with average salary of 52,k/yr.  $285.7/day or about $35/hr, so they're giving up about $26/day or $4700/school year.  This is, of course assuming an 8-hr standard workday, which no teacher I've ever know actually gets the luxury of having.)

 

Where is this money coming from?  More to the point, what else is the education of Dallas' youth going to have to sacrifice in order to pay this bonus?

 

Can we deduct funds from the newly appointed 'cabinet' of Miles for days that they miss, are off 'consulting' to charter schools, or simply don't show up?  Also, are they eligible for the perfect attendance bonus as well? (For what they're getting paid, those august individuals should be on 24-hr call)

 

If the teacher's union (or whatever it is) calls for a strike or "sick-out" will there be some clause that allows teachers to 'phone it in' and still qualify for their bonus?  Or is this just one way of pre-empting the sick-outs?

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

Sick teacher?  Come to work anyway and expose your entire class and school to your disease! We'll PAY you to do so, b/c we can't find a more creative way to reward performance.  

TitusGroan
TitusGroan

Attendance performance pay.  This is the brilliant insight we imported from TFA?!  Awesome.

gangstead1
gangstead1

Is employee attendance an existing problem at DISD?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

it's not such a crazy idea.  The district has to pay $75 for a sub to come and fill in for days the teachers don't.  Encouraging attendance makes cents.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

Nothing will dampen the criticism of the lavish salaries because they are immoral and the people cashing those checks are people I simply don't understand.

 

As for the attendance pay, DISD seems to be figuring out that it's a bad idea to mistreat the very people willing to show up for the most challenging demographic of students in the region.

 

How many students will start the year with subs because of how badly the trustees and the administration treat teachers?  

http://disdblog.com/

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @RTGolden 

The bonus would not be necessary to attract and keep good teachers if DISD trustees would pull their heads out of wherever their heads are and institute some quick fixes:

-rescind the hateful and punitive 45-minute extension

-compensate teachers for the increase in insurance

-leave effective teachers alone--thank them for their service and ask nothing else of them

-ALLOW TEACHERS TO GET THEIR ROOMS READY FOR THE KIDS ON 1 OF THE IN-SERVICE DAYS INSTEAD OF MAKING THEM GO TO THE USELESS, STUPID "CONVOCATION."  

 

TEACHERS ARE SUPPOSED TO COME IN ON THE SATURDAY BEFORE SCHOOL AND WORK FOR FREE BUT MIKE MILES HANDED OUT $6 MILLION WORTH OF 6-FIGURE SALARIES?

 

Or, DISD can just keep on keepin' on and start the school year with hundreds of missing teachers.

 

bandito
bandito

 @gangstead1

 I don't Jennifer Sprague, is teacher attendance a problem? You've never taught, have you Jennifer? Just waited for Mikey to discover your talents and had an easy office life ever since.

Teachers have to show up when they have the flu and haven't recovered, when they have upset stomaches and can't leave their classes to go to the bathroom, and when they have a variety of other problems.

People like you Jennifer have never experienced no bathroom breaks and no lunch break, but taxpayers pay you to write stupid press releases using big words that really mean we'll shoot some of the lousy sub pay back your way if you will show up when you are sick or have a family emergency. The hacks in PR can just phone it in while lounging in their offices just like they do every day.

Making a meaningful investment in teachers would require firing most of central staff.

Let us know when that happens.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @gangstead1 This is more about the fact that other districts (nice, cushy suburban districts) have plenty of openings to attract candidates that would otherwise have to settle for DISD.

 

DISD is trying not to look desperate as it faces over 300 unfilled teacher slots a couple of weeks before school starts.  This is what the $6 mill Miles spent on "cabinet" salaries has gotten us:  no actual teachers in front of the kids on the first day of school.

RTGolden
RTGolden

 @DISDTeacher I don't know if you realize this, but I'm on the teachers' side in this.

bandito
bandito

 @gangstead1

 Ooops, forgot. Quit wasting our tax money paying someone on Ross Avenue to eavesdrop on blog to see how the campaign to elect Mikey to his next political office is going.

It's not going well. Google yourself and all you see are remarks about the lavish salaries spent on Miles and his handlers.

You've already screwed the pooch. No use wasting more time monitoring webs sites for Miles popularity ratings.

But gotta admit, old D Magazine did a bang up job of their carcicatures of Miles and Sprague. Message--we're watching you watching us.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @RTGolden Yes, I completely got that.

I meant to thank you for your excellent comments on this and many other topics.

bandito
bandito

 @gangstead1

 Attendance bonuses are bunk, but the bigger bunk is Miles' pyramid scheme of getting huge bonuses off the labor of teachers who are now at the lowest starting pay in the area.

Great pyramid scheme, trustees. If Miles doesn't want to work his hardest at $300K, a simple, NEXT, would do just fine.

 

Anyone who wishes to assault teachers on attendance rates needs to try a year in the trenches. Notice Clarence loved it so much, he did his two years and headed for greener pastures.

Teachers are exposed to every virus and bacteria known to elementary kids through high school students along with the threat of TB. Flu season is Russian roulette.

 

Your question was not innocuous, whatever the agenda, and Glover is a buffoon.

 

We have our Jennifer Sprague masks ready for opening day. An ocean of Jennifer. Miles should be pleased.

 

gangstead1
gangstead1

 @bandito Of course, but some of us are more Jennifer Sprague than others.

 

Seriously though, I'm not related to DISD in any form.  Your rant would get more views in a top comment than a reply to my question.  Attendance bonuses do sound like a misguided idea though.

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