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School District approves supertintendent incentive goals

By Staff | Sep 28, 2011

The Lee County School Board approved five performance incentive goals – each worth $2,000 if achieved – for the district’s new superintendent Tuesday.

The goals, all but one keyed to school grades and student and teacher achievement, were culled from a list of 17 possible goals that Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burke brought forth at a school board, superintendent retreat last week,.

Burke said they laid out some ambitious goals, which they will work on with district staff . He said he will have a series of meetings with principals over the next few weeks, so everyone in the system knows what the goals are.

“The staff is very committed to this,” Burke said. “I will be meeting with the principals to talk about the things we can do together. It is going to be a team effort.”

According to Burke’s contract, he will be awarded an amount up to $2,000 for each annual performance goal achieved or partially achieved. The performance incentive pay will be awarded by Dec. 15, 2012 and will not to exceed $10,000.

Board member Jane Kuckel said the incentive goals are “stretch goals” that go beyond the strategic plan for which Burke is also responsible..

The five superintendent incentive goals are:

* The school district shall increase by 4 percent the number of schools making an “A” or “B” school grade.

Burke said although they currently have six schools that are graded with a “C,” he anticipates one or two of the high schools will end up with a “C” or a “D” grade. The standings of the high schools are still undetermined because they have not yet received their grades.

* The district shall maintain its status as an “A” district.

*The district shall increase by 4 percent the number of students identified as “college or career ready” as demonstrated by the number who obtain a credit(s) in algebra II or higher-level math course(s) and by the number who complete career certification(s), respectively.

*The district shall implement a teacher evaluation system that provides for a compensation model that includes student learning outcomes, and the development of career ladder options for teachers.

*The superintendent shall present a revised student assignment plan to the school board resulting in a 6 percent reduction in budgeted transportation costs.

Burke said that the revised plan could take several different forms to accomplish a reduction in transportation costs. He said right now they are looking into a vendor that would produce a community wide survey on the issue of student assignment and school choice, which he said will be instrumental in determining cost savings.

School choice allows parents to select a school within a particular zone. It has been sometimes criticized due to the resulting transportation costs.

Board Chairman Thomas Scott said the incentive goals are going to require focus from the five board members, superintendent and staff of the district.

“We are all in this together,” he said, adding that he thinks the incentive goals are very meaningful and are not a part of the goals for fluff reasons.

Board member Jeanne Dozier said the goals are significant and she knows that Burke has embraced all of them.