Monday, May 28, 2012

Real Costs of Oregon's Mandated Achievement Compacts

by Tom Olson

In my SOS blog I conservatively estimate a $20,000 unfunded cost imposed on local district to engage staff, community, board in developing achievement compact and negotiating the compact with state officials.
Here's how I arrived at the estimate. Remember, that the costs will likely go up next year, because 1581 requires the formation of a formal advisory group which will require even greater administrator/boardcommunity/staff dialogue.



1. Superintendent and administrative staff time devoted to clarifying conversations with state officials and orienting/explaining the achievement compact mandate to board, staff and community = minimum of 50 hours of administrative time (average cost of $100 per hour) = $5,000

2. Planning for, engaging and summarizing serious parent, community and staff input on

· the district's outcomes (and measures) necessary for student success that should be stated in the achievement compact

· Highest priority strategic improvement strategies

minimum of 100 hours of staff and administrative time (average cost of $80 per hour) = $8,000 (in addition to community members’ volunteer time to provide advice and input)

3. Working with administrative and teaching staff to search for available appropriate measures to measure the outcomes and to finalize the achievement compact = minimum of 50 hours (average cost of $80 per hour)= $5,0,00

4. Administrative time in securing board approval of priorities and budget adjustments, and negotiating the compact with state officials = mimimum of 20 hours (average cost of $100 per hour) = $2,000

Total cost in administrative and staff time = $20,000

Total statewide cost = 197 district X $20,000 = $3,940,000

Note: This estimate does not include the ongoing additional costs of measuring and reported the wide variety of outcomes now mandated by the state. This is a very conservative statewide estimate, and would definitely be inflated by the much greater costs incurred by the state's larger districts!

This estimate prepared by Tom Olson, Strategic Planning Consultant/Facilitator

Olson, a former high school teacher, administrator, executive in the Illinois Office of Education and two regional educational laboratories, has served as a strategic planning facilitator over the past two decades. He advised 13 different states and Pacific territories on their reform efforts, and has consulted with and facilitated well more than 500 local district and state strategic reform projects. He finished his career serving as Executive Director of the Western States Benchmarking Consortium (WSBC) for seven years. The Consortium is a nationally recognized group of seven unusually-high performing districts located in six states across the West. The Consortium developed and implemented nationally acclaimed research-based strategic improvement benchmarks and measurement techniques, including ones for evaluating a) district data-driven decision making procedures, b) community involvement, c) capacity building of staff and systems and d) student learning. Several of the Consortium superintendents were named state superintendents of the year and one was named national superintendent of the year.

Olson has also been an active volunteer and advocate for children. He recently served as facilitator for the 112-member Canby Vision Team, an ambitious community engagement effort to solicit advice on future directions for the Canby School District in these tough economic times.. He also is a volunteer advisory committee member of the Canby Dental Health Program for Children and Youth, and Canby’s Community Based Learning volunteers program. Olson is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Canby Education Foundation. He also served as President of the International Society of Educational Planners. He has spoken and written widely about educational issues, and has received numerous educational leadership and service awards.

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