Wednesday, September 26, 2012

$pending has its Reward$ at Mythomania Lane!?!

Congratulations to Super Dr. Richard "Build the Trust" O'Malley on his Performance Bonus dinero after only 18 months on the job! Don't know if it's money well spent but it does fit in with Board of Mythomania's theme of Spending money - anybody's money they can get their hands on! Guess it's true - Spending has its Rewards!
Now, not for nothing, but it would be nice if we let Super O'Malley build a track record of his own and this Board stop with the fawning (aka - vulcan mind meld) and start with a little more focusing. I only mention this because we also had a former Super who after 13 months into a 3 1/2 contract - someone decided to re-negotiate and extend her contract by 2 years - and we ended up paying $500,000 for her to sit home.

Remember this:
Now, I know there's no politics going on over there and this Board doesn't feel the need to protect their own - but geez, if you want to help this guy succeed, then do your job!

Monday, September 24, 2012

2012-13 Goals du Mythomania!?!

Really? Here we go again over there on Mythomania Lane. Up for vote tonight at the Board's Action meeting-a-mundo are the Board's Goals for the 2012-13 School Year. Once again, it's disconcerting to see them rise to the level of mediocrity. How hard is it to write a well thought out and comprehensive set of goals that addresses the immediate and long term needs of a school district our size - without all the silly rhetoric and hyperbole?

Let's take an example from these four (4) goals they have listed. "Continue to exhibit fiscal responsibility by keeping the growth in spending in the next budget below the increase in spending in the current budget."
Really? How do you continue to exhibit Fiscal Responsibility if you haven't done it yet? In this case, the 2012-13 budgeted Spending is $212.2 million, up $7.2 million over the 2011-12 budget - and the 2011-12 had Spending of $205.0 million and that was up $6.4 million over the 2010-11 budget. So, if the Spending increase in this current year budget (2012-13) was up by $7.2 million and that's up over last year's increase of $6.4 million - how is it even possible to make such a disingenuous statement? It's not only a misleading choice of words to say "Continue" but to call it "Fiscally Responsible" to let uncontrolled Spending go Unchecked?!? A new definition to add the Board's Mythomania dictionary to go along with their definition of Savings. Blah! blah!, blah!

And here's another tad bit of a concern - since the Board takes these goals and turns them into Criteria for Dr. Richard "Build the Trust" O'Malley's Performance Bonus - does that mean that an increase in Spending of $7.1 million gets him some more bonus money in 2012-13?

There's more on the three (3) other Goals but I'm beginning to bore myself with their repetitive silliness. But I do like the term "Functional Education Space" - it's hilarious. And "Utilizing state assessment data" is a hoot too. But hey, I'm sure O'Malley likes these type thingies going into his Performance Bonus - whether he achieves them or not!

Anyhoo, here's the Board's Goals for the School Year 2012-13 (the comment in Red is just something that I think they should of added:
It really is the Land of Mythomania over there!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mythomania Hug$ & Ki$$e$ Bonu$ Award

Well, there you go. Out of that September 19th Caucus meeting Privileged session comes the announcement of the Board of Mythomania's award of a Performance Bonus for Dr. Richard "Build the Trust" O'Malley for the school year 2011-12. This will be voted on at the September 24, 2012 Action Meeting. Now, this is perhaps one of the silliest things I've seen come out of Mythomania Lane in quite some time - not to mention a foolish waste of taxpayers money.

You can see my take on this Performance Bonus in the June 3, 2012 post - Board of Mythomania's Super Performance Criteria. Briefly, if you're gonna set quantitative and qualitative criteria for a performance bonus, then the criteria can't be vague and ambiguous as it is in the criteria set for Dr. O'Malley. If you do, then you can't have any meaningful evaluation, which is what you get now.

Take for example the NJ ASK Scores. Fifty percent (50%) of his bonus is predicated on increasing %'s scoring in the Advanced Proficient and decreasing %'s scoring in the Partially Proficient. Now, that's nice but with all due respect, what does increase and decrease mean? What's the % needed? What scores are they looking at to evaluate him - total scores, individual school scores or the related sub-group scores? Ditto for what scores they using to compare against. Finally, how are they distinguishing between the normal year to year improvement and O'Malley's contribution to this year's scores?

Point being that with this vague and ambiguous criteria there is no clear and meaningful way you can measure performance and therefore, they can measure it any way they want. So it goes for the other three (3) Board Goals used in O'Malley's Bonus Criteria. Throw in the fact that a simple reading of O'Malley's contract here puts into question whether he's even eligible for a performance bonus in the 2011-12 school year.

But the Performance Bonus Criteria isn't the point of this post. I'll have more to say on this whole matter after they vote on it Monday night.

What you want to be aware of is this bit of duct tape transparency going on over there on Mythomania Lane. Once again, we have an unsigned agenda for the September 29, 2012 Action meeting that fails to disclose O'Malley's Performance Bonus is up for a vote. It's not listed on the Summary on page one (1) of the agenda. Maybe it's me, but something that important you might want to highlight right up front. Be that as it may, you'll have to search through forty-two (42) pages of the agenda to find it listed on page 25.

And here it is:

Now, this is exactly why O'Malley shouldn't be let around any numbers and certainly not be allowed to present anything that has to do with numbers. You see, they're only showing you what criteria they believe has been met and how much they're giving him. What they're failing to show you is how they believe he measured up to all the performance criteria they set up. Shouldn't they be telling us about how they measured him against all the criteria and not just the criteria they gave him money for?

Remember, fifty percent of his bonus is based upon four (4) NJ ASK Scores weighted equally and the other fifty percent (50%) is based upon the other three (3) Board Goals for 2011-12 and are weighted equally.

Here's his Performance Bonus Criteria:
And here's what they did, but failed to show you, to come up with the numbers used in the Action Agenda for September 24, 2012:
As you can see, all the numbers in Red, were not included in their resolution for O'Malley's Performance Bonus.

As I said, this whole thing is a tad bit of a joke but they could of at least put out the results of their review of all these silly performance bonus criteria - and not just selected numbers.

Not that it matters but they made him eligible for the Max 2% of his $210,000 salary for 2011-12 or $4,200 and he earned, according to the Board, $2,625 of that $4,200 or 1.25%.

Anyhoo, here's what the numbers would be if he earned the entire 2%:
And here. what the Board says he actually earned:
Guess he only had half a facilities timeline done!

But hey, what do I know? I still can't figure out if this $2,625 is for Performance - then does that mean the $4,200 raise he already got is for Non-Performance?!?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to turn Grapes into Raisins!?!

Well, took a family member over to the Farmer's Market over in Clara Barton this past weekend to pick up some fruits and vegetables. Very cool place and worthy of your patronage whenever you can. It was a fun time and they even had a food tasting contest going on when we arrived and two of the judges were Mayor Ricigliano and Councilman Dr. Prasad. It was nice to see both of them and have a chance to say hello.

Also, got the history of the farm market and the whole Clara Barton Revitalization from Ester Nemetz. That was pretty cool too.

But wouldn't you know it, just as grapes have to turn into raisins - my smile dropped to a frown! I couldn't believe it. There it was right in front of the farm market, pointing the way to the Clara Barton Branch of the Public Library - the donated sign. And who donated it?

Someone by name of Karabinchak. Now, if that's your friend and mine - Councilman Rob "March on Trenton" Karabinchak, then Really Rob? Couldn't you find another part of town to be so blatantly self-serving and get your name out?

Anyhoo, if it's not Councilman Karabinchak - then I humbly apologize and will certainly remove this post once advised so.

But, if it is, then there's one thing that needs to go along with the Happy Owl to make the advertising on the sign complete - and it's this:

Seriously, someone please tell me this isn't Councilman Karabinchak's donated I can salvage the remaining grapes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mythomania Superintendents' Contracts

You know, it's one thing to see such duct tape transparency with this September 19th Caucus agenda but it would be a tad bit disconcerting if the employment contracts for the assistant superintendents, BA & Superintendent popped up with Executive County Super (ECS) approval as a result of their Privileged session on Wednesday night. Recognize that the ECS has to approve certain contracts before the board can vote on them. As it sits today, here's the list:
Apparently, some of this administrative staff have received 2012-13 raises and some have not. The assistants and BA have one-year contracts and Super Dr. Richard "Build the Trust" O'Malley has a 4 1/2 year contract. The one-year contracts require annual approval by the ECS and the Super's contract needs to be approved if there were any changes to his previously approved contract, which you can see here.

So, it would be nice to know what's going on with these contracts - especially any renegotiations, modifications or other alterations to Senor O'Malley's contract. And while we're at it, the decision on any performance bonus for the Super for the 2011-12 School Year. You can see my take on the this performance bonus in an earlier post.

Unfortunately though, nobody likes an ambush - especially with the Hugs & Kisses going on over there on Mythomania Lane.

Anyhoo, let's hope none of this thingies pop up as a result of their Privileged session on Wednesday night.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Caucus Agenda - Mythomania Board of Led!?!

Really?!? You got to be kidding, right? This is the agenda for the September 19th meeting? Now, normally I wouldn't mind but when you're waiting for information from them and wondering when they're gonna bring up the subject of that information request - it's a tad bit obtuse to put out something like this:
But it's good to know the Board's 2012-13 goals and objections have been handed off to Super Dr. Richard "Build the Trust" O'Malley. That should give you a warm feeling all over. It's also good to Not know what financial resolutions are on the agenda. And my favorite, no listing of what's to be discussed in Privileged Session. Guess you have to physically be there to have a say on anything that may come out of that privileged session.

But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that no one wants to append their name to this informative piece of work. It must be the Unofficial Official list of thingies they may or may not talk about but don't want you to know about in advance anyway Caucus agenda!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Principals & Supervisors (P & S)

Here's the Summary for the P & S:
By Pay Type:
By Person Detail over the Contract Period:
As always, anyone wishing to have these files is welcome to them.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

ParaProfessionals Guides & Scattergrams

The Para's - you remember them. They're the ones that got dumped on with that infamous Side-Bar agreement taking a 25% pay cut during the 2010-11 School Year. But hey, at least the Certified staff didn't have to take a pay freeze. But I digress, so let's move on.

Here's the Para's Summary of the 3-Year Contract:
Here's the Base Year 2010-11 Guide & Scattergram:
Here's the 2011-12 Guide & Scattergram:
Here's the 2012-13 Guide & Scattergram:
Here's the 2013-14 Guide & Scattergram:
And finally, here's the interactive Excel chart that will take you through the Steps over the 3-Year Contract:
Next up, Principals & Supervisors.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Teachers, Nurses & Librarians

Here's the guides and scattergrams used in the Teachers, Nurses & Librarians piece of the ETEA contract settlement. If you want these files, just drop me a note - you're welcome to them.

Summary of the 3 year contract period:
Summary by Level:
Here's the 2010-11 Base Year Scattergram - a - mundo:
Here's the Base Year Heads used:
Here's the Guides - 2010-11 Base Year:
Here's the Guide for 2011-12:
Here's the Guide for 2012-13:
Here's the Guide for 2013-14:
Here's the Fixed Longevity Schedule:
And finally,once again, if you're like me and you don't want to be looking at columns and rows of numbers to find what you want to see - here's everything in one place - an interactive Excel chart that will take you through the Steps over the 3 Year Contract Life::
Next up - the Paraprofessionals.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

ETEA & P & S Contract Settlement Data

As you may or may not know, the collective bargaining agreements for the Edison Township Education Association (ETEA) and the Principal & Supervisor (P & S) unions have been settled a while ago. The new teachers' contract now runs from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014 or for three years. The P & S contract now runs out to 2014-15 because of the pay freeze they previously took.

You can read Board President Gene Maeroff's May 22nd take on these settlements here. Still on hold waiting for some documents and when received will share some thoughts about the settlements as well as Maeroff's take on them.

In the meantime, here's the summary data provided for the some 18 categories under the Certified and Non-Certified umbrella:

Dollar amounts over ETEA Contract Life by Category:
%'s increases over ETEA Contract Life:
And, if you're like me and don't like staring at columns & rows of numbers looking for what you want to see, here's an interactive Excel chart with everything in one place that you're welcome to have:
Here's the Summary data by Level for the P & S:
And here's the Summary data by Pay type:

This P & S data is also provided by person.

Next up, the ETEA & P & $ Guides & Scattergrams - a - mundo.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The New Mythomania Board of Led!

You know, there's no question  that the Board of Mythomania sets the policies and Super Dr. Richard "Build the Trust" O'Malley runs the district but you really, really have to wonder who's running the show over there on Mythomania Lane these days in Downtown Edison. Where's the oversight and who's watching and controlling the spending?

Do we really want the horse following the cart around with an extra $7.2 million added to an already bloated $212.2 million school budget for 2012-13 - with $13.5 million increased spending over the last two years alone??

It's really disappointing to see us going from one form of out-of-control spending to simply another form of out-of-control spending. We're supposed to be spending what we have smarter, better & more efficiently - not just spending more.

Sure looks like this board needs to stop relinquishing control and do what they're supposed to do - look out for all the stakeholders, and that includes us - the residents & taxpayers.

And please, spare me with these 'best-est ever' bloated budgets and that we saved ga-zillions of dollars with the recently settled collective bargaining agreements - they've saved nothing. In fact, they just used our tax relief money to fund increased spending in the 12-13 budget and our costs went up to pay for the raises & extra pay stipends given in the settlements and let's not even get into the extra couple of million or so for the retroactive pay for 2011-12.

Anyhoo, time for someone on this board to wake up the leadership. Apathy may very well get you somewhere but it will certainly get us in trouble down the read unless you get spending under control once and for all.

Here's what it looks like from here:
But hey, what do I know, I still can't figure out why you can't ask questions of 8 of the 9 elected board members at Board of Mythomania meetings.