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Pay for Principal: Salaries in Caddo - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Pay for Principals: Salaries in Caddo

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CADDO PARISH, La. -

It has been said that behind every good school,  is a good leader. That leader is typically the principal and as far as some parents are concerned, they say that is exactly what former Booker T. Washington High School Principal  Patrick Greer was at BTW.

"He is the reason why I kept my daughter in this school," said  parent Bridgett Woods.  

"I came to orientation and I was so impressed by the cleanness of the school, the structure of the school and the strength of the principal and I said Thank you lord! " Woods, whose daughter is in the 10th grade,  told Education Reporter Eric James that the departure of Greer to a Central Office job is "bittersweet."

 Greer's leadership  helped  prevent a state takeover of the school.  Just before the school year started, BTW was removed from the "Academically Unacceptable "   list along with nine other schools. But  for many, like Woods, the  accomplishment  was slightly overshadowed  when  Greer , who is a former coach,  announced he was leaving BTW  for a job as a supervisor in athletics.  

 "We want them to always aspire  to do bigger and better things and to impact what goes on in the district," said Interim Superintendent Dr. Mary Nash Robinson. The theory is that a successful principal can then have a bigger impact across the district by sharing his or her techniques with other principals.

That promotion to central office also often means a bigger pay impact for the principal.

But in this era of accountability, where student performance scores and graduation rates are key to measuring a school's success, education advocates asks if it's time to reverse that incentive system.

"For some reason Caddo has always had this system that if you want to make more money you have to move to Central Office," said Scott Hughes. Hughes leads the education advocacy group, Alliance for Education

"We have got to pay our principals more," said Hughes, who feels there needs to be a shift in the pay scale.

We took a look at the base pay scale  for nearly 6,000 Caddo School employees. Of the top 20 highest  paid people in the district, only three of them are principals.

Jerry Badgley at C.E.Byrd High School, Dr. Sandra MaCalla at Captain Shreve High  and Albert Hardison at Walnut Hill Elementary and Middle .

"They are great neighborhood schools that have performed great for generations and the thing they all  have in common are great stable leadership," said Hughes.

Hughes also credits Sabrina Anderson at Oak Park  for overhauling the school and for her efforts to expand the school to a K-8th campus. Hughes says the  district needs to make it more attractive for principals like Anderson to continue to work at the school level rather than leave to the school for job in Central Office.

A closer look at top salaries revealed how top heavy Central Office salaries are compared to the salaries of principals. Consider the salary of Mary Harris. She is the principal at the number one ranked elementary school in the state, South Highlands,  yet she makes less than one of the three top transportation supervisors  for the district.

Hughes says the job of principal should be made the most important job in the system and he sees nothing wrong with pulling people from central office and placing them back into schools as principals rather than continually shifting current principals from school to school.

But is money really the answer to keep good principals in place?  Some like Bridgette Woods, the parent who placed her daughter at BTW  because of former Principal Patrick Greer, says if the community and  parents want  principals to stay,  they have to become more involved.

"These principals don't have the support they need -- not from the public and not from the board -- to stay in place," said Woods, who attended a meet and greet with the new principal of BTW, Dr. Stacy Russell. Woods says she doesn't fault Greer for leaving for a central office job, nor does Hughes, but both think something has to be done and the shifting of principals year after year needs to stop.  

But Tui-Rell Walton, who also attended the same meeting as Woods, feels a bit differently.

"I don't think it is  money  or parent involvement, I think the person has to have  a commitment. Commitment to the students, commitment to the community and commitment to the school versus a desire to gain more power in Central Office. "

 Walton graduated from BTW  in 2010. In the three years he attended the school he says he had two different principals.

And along with others he is  hoping the new principal will create a legacy of leadership at BTW  that parallels that of other successful schools with great leaders.  

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