For those who might not know, transparentcalifornia.com is a site that allows you to look up the salary and/or pension of any California public employee, which includes those of us involved in K-12 education.
From their About page:
Transparent California is dedicated to providing accurate, comprehensive and easily searchable information on the compensation of public employees in California.
Complete and accurate information is necessary to increase public understanding of government and help decision makers, including elected officials and voters, make informed decisions.
Just click the link or image above, and type the name of the employee in whom you’re interested. While the tool shouldn’t be “weaponized” or used as a “gotcha,” some questions may be worth considering, such as:
- Does better pay make better teachers? That is, is there a correlation between teacher pay and teacher effectiveness? FWIW, Transparent California would argue the answer to this question is “no.” Check out their Consolidated 2014 K-12 Press Release to see the data.
- Should a teacher’s or administrator’s pay be tied to their performance? Obviously this is a hot-button topic. While much of the research in this area has pointed to the ineffectiveness of performance-based pay, one study conducted by Harvard University’s Roland G. Fryer, Jr., The University of Chicago’s John List and Steven D. Levitt (co-author of the bestselling Freakonomics), and the University of California San Diego’s Sally Sadoff offers a unique viewpoint, arguing that “framing a teacher incentive program in terms of losses rather than gains leads to improved student outcomes.” Click here for a quick Washington Post rundown of the paper.
- Should administrators be paid according to the depth of their responsibility? This is a tricky question for Romoland School District in particular. Clearly, leading a district of five schools is just as important as leading a district of thirty-two. However, we have to balance the need to be competitive in our salaries so as to attract high-quality candidates for our district’s leadership positions, while also recognizing that we simply cannot afford to pay top-level administrators as if we’re a much larger district.