Friday, August 19, 2005

Raise the Bar - Lower the Integrity

Back on June 17th I was complaining about Victor Elementary School District Superintendent Ralph Baker's 78 percent pay raise that resulted in his new four-year, $1.2 million contract. At the time I was ticked off because all the teacher's unions were protesting the Governor's projected education budget at the same time that a superintendant was getting a 78% pay raise. Back then this overpaid jerk was telling his teachers, "$1.2 million wouldn't have a negative impact on the district, the teachers or the classrooms."

Well apparently Superintendent Baker feels he didn't quite convince everyone that he was worth his new salary. Now he is trying to convince us all that all superintendents are worth his new salary. An article in wednesday's Victorvalley Daily Press quotes Superintendent Baker:

"This is a superintendent's market. Boards need to pay more because (superintendents) will be able to write their ticket up and down this state and in this nation,"

Baker went on to say that if his board hadn't met his contract demands, he would have sought employment elsewhere.

Senior fellow at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College, Steven Frates, had this to say about Superintendent Baker's new contract:

"Anytime something like this happens it raises the bar. Now the issue is simply — to what degree?"

Yep, Superintendent Baker raised the bar, too bad he didn't do anything about raising the integrity of the educational bureaucracy at the same time.

We are being bombarded daily with ads from teachers screaming that they need more money. Of course they need more money. Guys like Ralph Baker are the reason our public school systems are in the financial mess they are. Too much money being spent on administration and not enough being spent on teachers and classrooms.

The Victor Elementary School District now has a Superintendent that thinks that he is the key figure in our education system. He is lobbying for even more money to be spent to increase the salaries of the other administrators in the high desert. I feel sorry for the teachers in this district. They are working for a guy who is definately putting himself and his fellow superintendents ahead of the well being of all his teachers and the students in his district.

Our public school system doesn't need more money, it just needs to stop wasting the money it has now. Stop lining the pockets of idiots like Ralph Baker who think:

"the pressures of accountability coupled with the fact that an entire generation of baby boomers are gearing up for retirement will also play a role in newer higher contracts."

Excuse my french but what the hell does an entire generation of baby boomers getting ready to retire have to do with School Superintendent Salaries?

To the voters in Victorville - Your school board members: Karen Morgan, Ernie Moran, Willie Pringle and Gabriel Stine all voted for this salary increase. Remember those names at the next school board election. Those four incumbants don't deserve your vote.

One last little bit of cud to chew. According to the California Ed-data website The teachers in Superintendent Bakers district received the following salary increases over the last 6 years:

1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04
4.0% 1.0% 7.0% 2.7% 1.0% 0.0%

That works out to a 16.58% increase in salary over a 6 year period, and yet Ralph Baker thinks he deserves a 78% increase. This man is not taking care of his employees! When he does discuss salary it is only to say that he and his peers deserve more than they are getting.

Ralph Baker's salary increase of $90,000 a year could have given every teacher in his district an additional $211 per year to spend on classroom supplies. But Ralph Baker and the school board felt that keeping Mr. Baker employed was more inportant than the education of your children.

Instead of pandering to highwaymen like Ralph Baker and the Victor Valley School District, the citizens of this country need to stop yelling for more money for education and start looking at where the money is being spent. Paying Ralph Baker $250,000 a year while his teacher's average one-forth of that will not improve the education level in our schools. We need to stop throwing money at administrators, they don't teach your children. Instead we need to put the money into the classrooms and the hands of the teachers. They are the only ones in the entire educational system that teach our children.

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