Monday, September 28, 2009

Roosevelt Wants $15K Raises out into the Future

is what it boils down to.

Mr. Roosevelt was hired at a starting salary of $165,000, and annual raises of $15,000 have boosted his pay to $225,000 for the current school year. One official said the new [3-year extension] also could offer Mr. Roosevelt $15,000 annual raises.

Last year, the average salary of urban superintendents surveyed by the council was about $228,000. (P-G, Joe Smydo)

Without respect to our School Superintendent's execution or leadership: aren't Pittsburgh Public Schools still structurally cash-strapped from an operating standpoint? Isn't the economic recovery post-natal? Would not the belt-tightening and frugality inflicted upon some of our schools seem more palatable if our fearless leader were to be seen to pitch in?

If board members waited until the final year of Mr. Roosevelt's contract, state law would allow them to reappoint him without a break in service, officials said.

But some board members said they want to act now to promote stability and keep Mr. Roosevelt off the job market. (ibid)

It would be nice to know which board members. Is this like the Penguins moving to Kansas City and Las Vegas? Pittsburgh Schools Superintendent is kind of a hot gig right now -- the Pittsburgh Promise, the Gates money pouring in, collaborations on all levels of government and community, a School Board which will improve with two new members who may be better fits. Why leave now?

Roosevelt did not provide a comment for the article, which is appropriate and classy. But if he happens to be concerned about ensuring his continued financial stability, I would suggest starting on his memoirs. Never too early! The dramatic and celebrated turnaround of the Pittsburgh School District should elevate his story to Best-Seller status by the time it's ready to go to print.


  1. this guy should get the same raises as the teachers.

    same percentage increases.

    the golden parachute contracts for school superintendents must stop.

  2. Actually, at $15,000/yr based on his current salary of $225,000 means his raise will be ~6.7% this year ($15/225), ~6.3% next year ($15/240), ~5.9% the next ($15/255), ~5.6% the next ($15/270), etc.

    If you look at ANY teacher contract you will see that teachers actually receive a raise every year that is TWO parts.. the "raise" that is publicized and the raise that is not. The raise that is publicized, usually "only", say 3%, is the amount attributable to tne increase the Salary Steps (i.e., Step 10 is now 3% more next year). The raise that is NOT publicized is the fact a teacher AUTOMATICALLY moves from Step 10 to Step 11... Step 11 was already more than Step 10 and now Step 11 is worth 3% more than it was this year.

    Teachers typically receive ACTUAL raises of 6%-8% per year. For 9 months work. Can't be fired (tenure plus Union). Good work if you can get it.

  3. Maybe many should do more reading. PPS is on the cutting edge of the move toward new evaluation procedures for teachers. Tenure is a myth from here forward. RISE is the acronym. Don't know for sure but it might have been the PG where it said the Gates people were already impressed with the work PPS did in designing a new model for evaluating teachers.

  4. Last year, the average salary of urban superintendents surveyed by the council was about $228,000.

    Is this adjusted for cost of living?

  5. CM:

    comparing a teacher who starts at a salary of 30k and gets raises until they max out at 65k after 25 years of service is not really a fair comparison when commenting on Roosevelt.

    If PPS is so cutting edge why does student achievement decline and my school taxes continue to climb ?

  6. It seems to me that this proposed contract violates both the letter and the spirit of the law. Could it be that Roosevelt wants to get the contract under the current board - which he controls - and not have to deal with any new board wild cards? And why does the PG always feel the need to get a quote from a Foundation member? Do his kids attend Pittsburgh Public Schools? How about more comments from parents who have actually had their kids be the guinea pigs for Roosevelt's grandiose plans (that are all smoke and mirrors)?

  7. Roosevelt's memoirs? That's either the most absurd idea ever assoicated with this particular Roosevelt or the most sarcastic. In either event, this Roosevelt will never measure up to the nostalgia that some might associate with the "New Deal," or the battle of San Juan. Rather, this guy will likely go down as the "Raw Deal" by which Pittsburgh schools got bilked out of treasures like Schenley High School.

  8. Clarification: The Teacher Evaluation process in PPS is cutting edge. That is all.

  9. Anonymous 9:02 might leave the impression the superintendent WANTS a new contract. It would be a surprise if this new contract were his idea at all. If he wanted them he could have bigger fish to fry.