Philly Superintendent’s $65K Bonus Criteria Released

Welcome to part two on Philadelphia school Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s bonus. (If you missed “Unethical Philly Superintendent Leeching Taxpayers Dry,” click here.) The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that, though her evaluation is not to be public knowledge (as dictated by her contract), the school district recently released the criteria for her $65,000 bonus. Get ready.

Four general categories were:

  • Accelerating the achievement for all students and reducing the differences in achievement among students in a safe environment that promotes student learning
  • Creating an equitable distribution of resources within the School District of Philadelphia
  • Creating accountability systems for all adults within the School District of Philadelphia
  • Creating family, community and other stakeholders as partners in raising and maintaining high student achievement

Twenty-seven evaluated targets included:

  • Works to improve good employee morale and loyalty to the organization
  • Responds appropriately when faced with unforeseen events
    • (Last December, Ackerman waited six days to publicly address violence against Asian students at South Philadelphia High and waited two more days to even visit the school.)
  • Demonstrates tact and diplomacy in working with individuals and groups
    • (When some Asian students feared more violence and stopped attending South Philadelphia, Ackerman refused to meet with them for almost two weeks. She treated them harshly at the eventual meeting.)

Unsurprisingly, the district supports its superintendent. Robert L. Archie Jr., Chair of the School Reform Commission, led the evaluation and provided the criteria for Ackerman’s substantial bonus. Archie claims that Ackerman “went through an extensive evaluation process and exceeded” the requirements.

Despite Pennsylvania’s economic crisis during a national recession, Ackerman has accepted this $65,000 bonus. She seems bent on exacerbating the taxpayers’ plight: Her base salary far exceeds those of the superintendents in New York City, Chicago, and Boston, and she has even divided underlings’ responsibilities and brought more pricy employees into her district.

The “criteria” notwithstanding, an overpaid superintendent should not accept a huge bonus at taxpayers’ great expense.