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Minneapolis school chief has overcome a shaky start.
The MPS board is terrified of Sup Johnson. They won't to anything to assist children in getting an education - but they'll sure "hand-out" another contract. Only if this was China or we had Michelle Rhea.
Johnson has improved the school lunches, and has cut down on bussing. Other than that, she is in over her head. Her community outreach is pitiable, and she surrounds herself with a multitude of over-paid administrators. $190 grand a year plus a bonus? Criminal. As taxpayers and voters, will we take the school board members to task on this? Only if there isn't any football or reality nonsense on television. We forget so quickly, which is to our everlasting shame.
"unanimous vote Tuesday to enter negotiations with Johnson"
You gotta be kidding. It is a government job. Tell her (and us) what the wages and benefits are. Why do they need to go behind closed doors for "negotiations"? We need the same government-union busting that took place in Wisconsin.
So after 6 years of Johnson here and ZERO results, the board wants to renew her contract and give her a bonus? In the real world, she'd be fired. Johnson is not up to the task, and her 'results' prove it. All she does is speak in platitudes and buzzwords. Just read her comments- she wants "sustainable and exponential gains" in student achievement. Yeah, so does everyone, and she's not producing any. How about the board do a nationwide search, and hire a REAL leader with PROVEN results for once?
It's really hard to describe the level of incompentence within the school board.
I'll look forward to the upcoming lawsuit that we all know will be coming from this poor dear victim after she has been rightly terminated.
Really well thought out contract extention.
Ms. Johnson makes about half again more than she should, but that's the Corporate management model for you. Lots of highly-paid, unaccountable "Executives" everywhere you turn, sucking the resources out of every system, and blaming the day-to-day workers when things don't go right. Look at Kaler at the "U", making $600,000. It's a sick joke. Meanwhile pay and benefits for the people who do the actual work are "too high" and have to be cut to balance the budget. Hmm. Maybe if we didn't go along with the gold-plated toilet seat routine for the "executives" and the layer up on layer of administrators and the squadrons of private consultants, we wouldn't be out of money when it comes time to hire enough teachers to not have 30+ kids in a classroom. But of course, what your priorities are makes a difference. If your priority is to run a school system, that's one thing. If your priority is to enrich corporate-style executives, that's another thing.
Ms. Johnson has been as good as anyone else would be. Might as well keep her. At least she's not a sociopathic egomaniac like Peebles was.
The biggest issues affecting the Mpls. Schools are demographic. More kids are going to Mpls. because the overall economy is ending the flood to the exurbs, and nobody wants to pay to bus city kids to the suburbs, and parents can't afford that either. And the achievement gap is caused by a small cohort of kids from families that are living in abject dysfunction and poverty. These kids move multiple times a year and switch schools or drag down "open" schools. They don't have stable homes, sources of food, places to do homework. They don't get enough sleep, they don't have supervision, and what parents they have can't help with homework. Heck, I know a teacher at Jefferson who has 9 kids in a room of 30 whose parents are in prison right now. How are those kids going to do well on some achievement test?
Like a baseball manager, the Superintendent gets too much credit when things are good, and too much blame when things go bad. Johnson is good enough. Let's keep her around, so at least we don't hire another Peebles. And if she and we are lucky, the economy will pick up, the demographics will improve, and it will look like she did a great job.
THE ONLY HOPE left for this cesspool is removing both Johnson and the Board and put the district under the control of the Mayors office...he could then clean house and get some prefessionals in there to run it. I predict the current 43% graduation rate will get worse.
Pay attention when they say they are rolling out a program to evaluate teachers. I sense vast administrative resources will be spent including adding salaried staff trying to quantify the performance of teachers (a daunting task), just to appease a public clamoring for teacher accountability. But none of that added money and effort will be spent actually teaching kids anything directly. So it goes.
Okay school board - what the heck. It is time now to start looking for superintendent. It seems to me, you - board, have "botched" this hiring of Johnson. I would fire her on the spot! So, you need to take your time in finding a "excellent" choice next time - instead of wasting money, time and the children's education!
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Updated Aug. 22, 2011
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