Sunday, March 18, 2001

Fairfield Schools tie raises to goals

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD — Raises for administrators in Fairfield Schools soon will be tied to how well they meet goals established by themselves, the superintendent and the school board.

        The pay system will begin in July with 13 administrators who received two- or three-year contracts at last week's board meeting. Other administrators will be subject to the new system when their contracts expire in 2002 and 2003, or if they request the change, said Superintendent Robert Farrell.

        Among those covered by the system are principals, assistant principals, the athletic director and supervisors.

        “We want to reward those who are doing a good job and send a message to those who might be dragging their feet,” said Anne Crone, school board president.

        Mr. Farrell has until June 22 to prepare criteria that will be used in setting goals and procedures for annual reviews. Among those criteria will be improvement in student test scores and how well building goals are met, Mr. Farrell said.

        “We want to get objective data to use,” Mr. Farrell said. “We believe our admin istrators will do very well.”

        The current pay system doesn't reward — or penalize — administrators who are doing well or poorly. Salary increases are based on a step system, experience and education, similar to the teachers' salary schedule, said John Pennell, administrative assistant for business.

        Salary ranges for each position will remain as before, but under the new system no one is guaranteed an annual raise. One administrator might not get the same pay increase as a colleague, Mr. Pennell said.

        “We will have the same pool of money available. It will just be distributed differently,” said Mr. Farrell, who will set goals with administrators, review performance and determine raises.

        “This is a good move for Fairfield,” Mrs. Crone said. “It will boost productivity. ... It will boost performance, pride and incentives.”

        A similar system is in effect in the Forest Hills Schools, where Mr. Farrell worked previously. Cincinnati Public Schools this year began a merit pay system for teachers. And in the Lakota Schools, a similar evaluation program is being considered for administrators. It is in effect for the superintendent.


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