The Supe's Raise

ma.jpg Goodloe-Johnson

Freshman Seattle Schools supe Maria Goodloe-Johnson had been on the job 366 days when she got the first of what could be annual ten percent raises.

This is thanks to a pay hike that was suddenly introduced and approved the same day by a sly school board. Her salary and perks now pay out at $292,400 a year, and could approach $350,000 by 2010. (Basic salary of predecessor Raj Manhas in 2007: $178,000).

What has Goodloe-Johnson done to earn more than Seattle's mayor and the state's Superintendent for Public Instruction combined? She has made a long-range plan, reorganized management structure, and visited all 92 schools, among other things. She has "demonstrated a clear focus on children, effective leadership, professionalism, energy and passion for the work," said board member Cheryl Chow.

Sounds like she may be doing her job, although you'd think that having a "clear focus on children" would be something any school supe ought to bring to work anyway. And isn't that what the salary was for? Doing the job?

Raises of this heft typically reward the giving of something extra, or extraordinary. Yet the schools' biggest issue, the one that raises or lowers all boats - those increasing operating costs that can put the district in the hole again - remains unsolved. As Melissa Westbrook writes on SaveSeattleSchools, referring to Chow's accolades for the supe:

I'll bet if I went back and looked in news reports of the past, I could substitute any other superintendent's name in that sentence and it would say the same thing.

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