NBC12 Investigates performance incentives in new superintendent' - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

NBC12 Investigates performance incentives in new superintendent's contract

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Richmond's school board laid out its expectations for the city's new superintendent, who takes his oath of office Monday morning. In a lengthy contract, signed by both the school board and Dr. Bedden, board members wrote specific benchmarks for the district under the new leadership.

There are high expectations for Dr. Bedden's tenure.

"The message in the contract is that we expect performance," NBC12 education specialist Dr. Bill Bosher said. "We don't expect someone to just maintain the system."

That performance section of the agreement includes incentives. The new Richmond Public Schools leader is eligible for an additional 10% of his $225,000 salary based on certain criteria, for example, the number of schools receiving state accreditation and showing improvement on overall SOL scores.

This comes after a year under Dr. Yvonne Brandon, where only 13 out of Richmond's 46 schools were fully accredited and some saw single digit test scores. Dr. Brandon's contract did not have benchmarks and was terminated early after disappointing results.

"Regrettably, the scores this past year in some instances might have been better if you'd not taught, if you'd just randomly given the students the test," Dr. Bosher maintained.  

Also listed as standards are the number of students taking PSAT and SAT tests, taking AP exams and going to college.

They are all measurements the board thought crucial to include in a district trying to turn around.

"The superintendent, in order to meet these standards, will early on have to 1) setup an accountability system: what does he expect of staff and students and secondly, to let them know the consequences for failing because he has consequences if he fails," Dr. Bosher added.

If Dr. Bedden doesn't fail and makes progress in Richmond, the contract runs through June 30, 2017.

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