GPS Recycles an Inequitable Stepless Salary Schedule, Thinking Teachers Won’t Notice

Some teachers continue to believe that Gilbert Public Schools will come through on the raises that were promised if the 2015 tax override passed. These folks may have “The Heart of a Teacher,” but they still don’t understand that their hearts will be broken.

When the GPS board held a work study session that included discussion of a new stepless salary schedule for certified employees (teachers), Good Old Christina 3-2 Kishimoto recycled the same eduspeak* and slides that the board had rejected just a few months before. The board actually sent the superintendent and her cabinet back to work on their proposal with some specific guidance. Westie was so proud of those teachers!

We salute you teachers who spoke the truth to power about that Stepless Salary Schedule. You succeeded in getting that can kicked down the road for at least another year. Not that the pay scale will become any fairer, the top dogs just will *incentivize* you folks to be the ones who leave the district next year.

What Christina 3-2 Kishimoto and her staff presented at the first board get-together after they won their override was the same old stuff. They didn’t even try to pretend otherwise.

When asked how teachers would be able to earn more money, or at least earn salaries at the upper levels of the stepless schedule, the answer was that Christina and the Carpetbaggers haven’t gotten around to figuring out that level of detail. They blathered some mumbo-jumbo about Master Teachers, but they’re not sure what that would actually mean. They’re absolutely positive, though, that Gilbert Public Schools will no longer allow teachers to advance through courses called Professional Development. No sirree, the only way to advance in this new scheme is through additional formal graduate education.  You know, the classes that cost (conservatively) around $500 per semester hour. THOSE teachers might see $65.00 extra in their paychecks. That’s real critical thinking from true educrats. They must truly believe that will incentivize teachers … the reality of this nonsense is more like a direct route into the poor house for people who figure a 20 year return on investment is a pretty good idea.

Some perceptive folks with Hearts of Teachers are trying to alert their colleagues that the unicorns, rainbows and pixie dust are not going to materialize, not while Christina 3-2 Kishimoto controls the GPS governing board. Loyal GPS teachers deserve much better than the pittance this carpetbagger administration will deign to toss in their direction. One commenter pointed out that the details that have yet to be made public appear to be just more hoops that teachers have to jump through:

No one could explain a single component of the performance pay part of the schedule is not even close to being finalized. Two board members desired that test scores not be the “sole” standard for merit pay, but no specifics were even outlined. So if I were a teacher listening to the Work Study, I know that I can move within a cell by either reimbursement for college classes or by doing extra stuff via the Master Teacher component. But I have no idea how much more I’d make if I became part of the Master Teacher thing.

Don’t believe Westie? Here are Christina 3-2 Kishimoto’s words about her intentions, emailed just recently. “This board approved addressing staff salaries as the number one priority of the Override. Simultaneously, we will continue to look at effective recruitment practices where there are vacancies. Thus, both matters are important. As I have mentioned throughout this year, my priority is to retain our talent and minimize or normalize the turnover.”  Could the GPS superintendent have made a more totally tone-deaf comment? Teachers, she just told you to stuff it, as she has told you many times in the past.

Christina Kishimoto is going to continue paying newly hired teachers more than the loyal ones are paid. She’s going to incentivize you older, experienced employees right out of the district. Then she can hire new graduates for less money. She will kind-of, sort-of balance the loss of experience by hiring retirees through SmartSchoolsPlus at lower salaries. She does not care that this pound-foolishness will destroy the retirement system. Christina Kishimoto won’t be here when her strategies implode. Haven’t you noticed how she is busily burnishing her resume with all her talk about that national reputation stuff? In her mind, she’s got one foot out the door already.

Teachers who want the quid pro quo they were promised, and the GPS parents who supported those teachers and rallied to get the 2015 override passed, are not happy. Christina Kishimoto does not care. One teacher sparked a discussion about the double standard that appears to be operative with respect to the GPS stepless salary scheme:

If the Stepless Salary is approved by the board, will the “Chiefs” who currently hold positions in the district be required to return to an accredited college to attain their doctoral degrees too? No mention has been made regarding this. Will the GPS board also require Dr. Kishimoto to take additional college courses? For example, she could take graduate courses that would focus on methods of teaching young, special needs children, including understanding language development and education assessment tools, in order for her to attain a balanced blend of knowledge, practice, and theory, to be a well-rounded and successful superintendent.

Silly rabbits, Christina Kishimoto doesn’t even have an Arizona Superintendent Certificate and she doesn’t need one. Oh yeah, we remember when Silly JiLily were clamoring about how important it was for the new superintendent to have education credentials and a superintendent certificate. Then they picked Christina Kishimoto, who picked up an Ed.D. degree when she wasn’t too successful in business or public policy positions. We haven’t met anyone except Silly JiLily and Douple Dipper Charlie Santa Cruz who consider Christina Kishimoto to be successful as a school district superintendent, but it’s a bit late for any corrective measures even if they should come to their senses in the next year and a half of Kishimoto’s contract. Sigh.

Here’s what Perceptive People were saying about Christina Kishimoto six months ago:

Seems ironic that we hired a new, expensive superintendent (“expert”) who is not an educator and was never a teacher to come in and run off our great teachers by showing them such disrespect … then have her tell us that her strategic plan values our staff. NEWS FLASH … what parents value the most is our teachers and staff!!!!

Has anything changed? No.

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*Big Fat Asterisk: Eduspeak: words used to describe various education programs or initiatives or theories that often wind up sowing confusion or rendering important ideas incomprehensible.  ScienceGeek.net has an eduspeak generator that helps parents level the playing field when dealing with GPS administrators. Try it! Ask a GPS cabinet member, “When will the district disintermediate top-down outcomes within the core curriculum?” That’s a good one following your review of your child’s AzMERIT scores.


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