Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, who hands out cash bonuses to teachers in schools that show big jumps in test scores, was eligible for a bonus of her own last year. Rhee's contract with the District calls for a performance bonus of up to 10 percent of her $275,000 base salary.
According to the contract terms, it's based on effectiveness in "Student Academic Achievement and Improvement; Financial Systems and Management; School Facilities Maintenance, Improvement and New Construction; Student and Staff Safety and Security; Staff Improvement; Communications with Community and Families; and Technology." Mayor Adrian M. Fenty decides.
Standardized test scores grew significantly on Rhee's watch last year. But Fenty might get an argument on some of the other criteria. For openers, school construction chief Allen Y. Lew, not Rhee, oversees facilities. Student and staff safety and security have been enough an issue that the chancellor is revising the disciplinary code. One middle school, Hart, needed an emergency intervention last fall after assaults on teachers and over-the-top student behavior.
It's apparently all moot. Dena Iverson, Rhee's spokeswoman, e-mailed: "Considering this difficult fiscal climate at this time, the Chancellor has decided to forgo her earned bonus."