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  • Ben Cooper

CUSD Drops Bonus Eval Standards, Equity No. 1 Goal

Milking taxpayers? For the allocation of up to $3,200 in yearly bonuses for CUSD teachers, the district is lowering standards. The total cost for the bonuses is estimated to be around $10 Million. Equity, i.e. equal outcomes, is the No. 1 performance goal.

During the governing board meeting of the Chandler Unified School District in Chandler, Arizona, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, Craig Gilbert, laid out the district's pay for performance plan for teachers.

Teachers are eligible to receive up to $3,200 in bonuses for the 2021-2022 school year. Bonuses are partly based on district and school performance, partly on individual performance and partly on seniority. The total cost to taxpayers for all pay for performance bonuses is estimated to be around $10 Million.

The No. 1 goal for individual performance is equity, i.e. the achieving of equal outcomes due to unequal treatment. To the outside the district officially maintains that critical race theory - which is another name for school equity - does not exist in CUSD.

Performance goals for the district are not measured in absolute terms, but are compared to other districts. In our failing school system pay still goes up every year as long as a district manages to sink a little slower in comparison to some suitable chosen average, or, finds a suitable reason why it's sinking faster.

Several performance metrics that the district expects to reflect on it negatively, such as service hours and professional development, were dropped.

The performance plan will be voted on by the board at their next meeting on February 9, 2022. The plan also has to be approved by at least 70% of the teachers in the district. Mr. Gilbert said that in past years agreement from teachers was 99%.

Only one board member asked a question. Lara Bruner, a teacher herself, made an inquiry about a technical detail of the 48 point performance rubric used to measure teacher performance. Questions such as: What percentage of teachers receive the bonus, what percentage is deemed to be ineffective, were not asked by the board.

Over the past two years or so, CUSD has seen an exodus of several thousand students as parents have taken on tremendous cost in time, money and effort in order to provide their children alternative education options. According to projections it is expected that the student body will continue to shrink in the coming decade. At the moment around 43,000 students are enrolled in the Chandler Unified School District.

The district has around 5,000 staff and the average teacher salary is ~$65,000 per year. In 2021 Mr Gilbert drew a salary of $148,511, an increase of 8.6% over the previous year. It's not known how much of the $13,500 in potential bonuses Mr Gilbert received for 2021. For comparison, the average salary of a working Chandler resident is less than $45,000 per year.

Comments to the CUSD80 governing board are due at noon on Tuesday before the bi-monthly board meeting on Wednesday and can be made here. Board meeting dates can be found here.

Below is Mr Gilbert's presentation to the board.



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