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Load of Bollocks

The Daily News reports that Cambridge Education Associates is getting a 9% pay raise, even as NYC schools face budget cuts. The average cost of reviewing a school will jump to $4,856, up from $4,427. NYC taxpayers are dishing out 1.1 million for their travel expenses - looks like you and I are paying for our cross-pond friends to fly business class and eat warm chocolate chip cookies. Meanwhile, 8th graders who face retention have lost out on tutoring opportunities. Awesome!

With $2,375,649 spent on the 30 staff working in NYC Department of Education public relations via the "Communications Office," the "Office of Public and Community Affairs," the "Strategic Response Unit," as well as "Community Education Council" PR, can't these wizards keep pay for the Cambridge Ed punters out of the news? You'd think the folks pulling $175,250, $158,603, and $127,776 (top 3 earners in NYC DOE PR) could bring it. NYC Educator provides a clue - were all hands on deck prepping the Ed Next debutante ball?

Keep in mind that these are the direct costs of the quality reviews. As any economist knows, the total costs of a program include both the direct costs and the indirect costs, which for the quality reviews include the opportunity cost of teachers and other school staff preparing data binders and other documents for the reviews rather than, say, teaching. I'm already on record questioning the lack of evidence that these quality reviews have any positive benefits for NYC schools and schoolchildren.

Very good point, skoolboy. I'd also like to know how much Cam Ed's reviews cost in England - they are one of the major contractors for Ofsted.

Btw, looks like "Dumb Economist" has rubbed off on you!

School inspections will take a while to pay off; they are part of a long-term agenda that is extremely important, but doesn't offer any short-term results. The problem with conflating long-term policies with short-term problems is that you are in effect creating an incentive for perpetual band-aid reforms.

Good organizations know that you dig deep if you need to in order to fix the root of the problem. If school inspections are done well, they will eventually do more to reduce 8th grade retention than will any immediate expenditure of resources aimed to patch up this year's version of an annual problem. And yes, the reason good inspections have not been done in the US before is that they don't neatly provide into the instant gratification the political cycle demands.

Comments are now closed for this post.


Recent Comments

  • Socrates: School inspections will take a while to pay off; they read more
  • eduwonkette: Very good point, skoolboy. I'd also like to know how read more
  • skoolboy: Keep in mind that these are the direct costs of read more




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