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Report Names RVC Superintendent as Highest Paid in US

William Johnson was paid $567,248 during the 2011-12 school year, according to reports.

A report from Fox Business last week says that Rockville Centre School District Superintendent Dr. William Johnson is "likely the highest paid school superintendent in the country."

The report, published less than 24 hours after residents passed a $45.9 million school improvement bond, discusses increasing school costs based on rising "pay packages" and the effect they are having on taxpayers.

According to a separate report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy, Johnson was paid $567,248 during the 2011-12 school, the highest salary of any school employee in New York State.

The next closest employee to Johnson is Syosset Superintendent Carole Hankin at $506,015. After Johnson and Hankin, the top pay declines significantly to $418,217.

Johnson, who was hired with the district back in December of 1979, has a salary that also "includes access to a lump sum 'bonus,'" according to the Empire Center.

Fox Business reports:

What increased Johnson’s pay package? A veteran of more than two and a half decades, he got a crack at $300,000 in retirement pay, but opted to work for four years without pay raises, according to reports.

In Rockville Centre, Johnson oversees seven schools with an approximate student base of more than 3,500.

Johnson gets paid more than the head of the biggest school district in the country. New York City Schools chancellor Dennis M. Walcott earned more than $212,600 annually to oversee 993,903 students.

insider April 10, 2013 at 01:02 PM
There are a lot of people who will come out of hiding if there is a large group to support each other, you'd be surprised at who they are.
LetdowninRVC April 10, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Is someone already running? I saw some signs around town to reelect John O'Shea and I assume nobody would spend the money on a campaign if they were the only candidate. That would be a silly waste of money.
Ted David April 10, 2013 at 02:10 PM
I just explained why I need to be in the backseat on this one. Instead I offered the recipe to get things moving. Why don't you begin it RVCmother? Someone has to, why not you? Who knows where it might lead? Get a venue, even if it's a big table at one of our watering holes. Or rent a conference room at the Hampton Inn. Collect enough at the door to pay for the room. Make it at 7:30pm and get out the word! Start the Facebook page first, people to sign up, then you have a means to create a data base and email list. You can do this!
rvcmother April 10, 2013 at 06:21 PM
OK Ted. But my only reservation is that people will be reluctant to give up their anonymity especially parents with children still in the school.
Ted David April 11, 2013 at 01:36 AM
And this is why he is able to get away with all this crap. People are afraid. The fact is the light must shine on the dark underbelly of this district if it is to be purged. People need to be willing to step up and speak out. And they should make it clear they do not expect any repercussions or reprisals or they will be addressed at the highest levels.
beentheredonethat April 11, 2013 at 03:20 PM
I agree Ted that Dr. Johnson is able to get away with so much because of intimidation. Anyone who speaks out is denigrated in outright and sometime subtle ways. Now he is rallying the parents as part of the opt out movement in New York State. Of course, parents who fear their children will not do well on state tests will opt out and raise his ratings for the district. He is misleading parents about state testing which is really an assessment of the district not individual children. Do parents honestly believe that how their child does on a 4th grade math test will be life altering? The answer is yes because Johnson and Company have hyped these parents to the max. The pressure on these kids (and there is pressure) is coming from within the district with test prep running amok just to make the district look better. Parents need to start thinking logically.
Appalled2 April 11, 2013 at 04:26 PM
It really is unbelievably shocking how Johnson is rallying the parents to "opt out" of the NYS tests. I've seen the letter he sent to principals with all its CYA references to what his attorneys have "advised" him. Teachers in the schools are actively advising students to get an opt out letter from their parents. Is this absolutely pathetic or what? His Eminence Johnson must really be stinging from the 508 standing in NYS - kinda makes a mockery of his #22 in the nation BS doesn't it. My kids are taking ALL of the standardized tests. I hope the sanctions against Johnson and the School District from the NYS Regents are swift and severe.
LetdowninRVC April 11, 2013 at 08:21 PM
I believe we could lose state funding if we don't meet a specific participation rate. And now Burris in NYS Principal of the year? For what...#508 out of 1159? I'd hate to face her wrath if she asked me as a teacher to write a recommendation and I declined. What a farce.
rvc_esq April 11, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Why would Dr Johnson advocate for parent's to "opt out" of state testing if there was going to be a lose of state funding? We have to pass a bond to fix our schools that were to be maintained throughout the years yet we can pass up state funding. Someone please explain what is going to here...
beentheredonethat April 12, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Shellbanker, since you already stated that you have no children in the district I don't believe you are in a position to adequately assess Dr. Burris and whether she deserves this award. Dr. Burris has sacrificed quality education for our children to the alter of IB. She has allowed what started as a good program to be watered down to the point that no students are well served by the curriculum. She has twisted the statistics to dupe parents into thinking that the program is a success and then she personally enriches herself by writing a book about the IB experiment in RVC. I have no doubt that she coaxed the more vulnerable teachers into writing her recommendation letters. In addition, there are the "most favored" teachers (or retired teachers who never seem to stop working at the school) her are more than happy to do her bidding to retain their "most favored" status. Meanwhile, any child who jeopardizes her stats is banished to Greenhouse. A school rife with grade inflation, double standards for scholar/athletes, discouraged employees and hypocrisy. Check out schooldigger.com before you arrange the victory parade for Dr. Burris, Shellbanker.
Shellbanker April 12, 2013 at 04:46 PM
@Been there, do you have kids in rvc schools?
beentheredonethat April 12, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Now what do you think Shellbanker. If I didn't I'd have to change my name to "wasn't there haven't done that" Did you check out the stats in Schooldigger.com?
Shellbanker April 12, 2013 at 05:06 PM
So if you have so many problems with out schools/administration, what the hell is your kid(s) still doing in rvc schools? Like you said earlier in your post, if you aren't a fan of this district, why are you still here? You are right I don't have kids in the system..yet, but when I do, and if I don't like what I see, private school here we come. What I am not going to do is speculate/b-tch/cry about every single item that happens under this administration while my kids are parked at sshs...makes no sense been there, nobody is keeping you here..trust me.
insider April 12, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Shellbanker-you seem a bit hot around the collar. Beenthere is right, it you don't have children in the district how can you comment? I say let the students and parents write the letters of recommendation for Principal of the Year, I bet the letters wouldn't be stellar. As for sending children to private school, you should never count anyone's money. You don't know what someones financial situation is. Every child is supposed to be guaranteed a FREE and APPROPRIATE education. RVC schools is supposed to provide that. Our children are not supposed to fit in their mold, we have should have options for our children, not a one size fits all program. As for commenting on Principal of the Year, people might be practicing the ol' saying; If you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. I guess there isn't much to say.
Shellbanker April 12, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Insider, I was not counting anyone's money except my own. If a private school is not in the budget and you are not receiving the "free and appropriate" education you are entitled to in rvc, you, been there, and everyone else can simply move out of rvc and enroll your kids in a another district where you see fit. I know TONS of families that will buy your house. You are the same people that will have a problem no matter where you end up. Enroll 1 of your kids in my wifes inner city school, and you will really see real world issues..not this mickey mouse circus that goes on this thread..
Michael April 12, 2013 at 06:56 PM
If I am paying almost 20K for school taxes I'll be damed if I have to pay for a private school because the public school can't teach my children. This school district has it wrong, they are to meet the needs of our children, not our children meet their needs. You are of the same ilk that tells senior citizens to move because they say they can't afford the taxes any longer. Demanding quality education is not having a "problem" it's knowing that it's not happening in RVC and demanding that it does. We don't need to go to your wife's school district to see problems, we have a lot of our own problems right here in RVC. Stop drinking the juice....
Marc April 12, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Why do these threads always degeneate into personal attacks?
beentheredonethat April 12, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Shellbanker my children are done with the public schools and I now have the benefit of hindsight to see my mistake in allowing them to have been at south side in the first place. Sadly, I was once a juice drinker and bought into the district hype. Heck, as a PTA member I even helped sell some of that hype. Reality has a way of kicking you in the behind when you children graduate and you realize that not only do they not have an advantage over children from other districts in college they are actually at a disadvantage because of the watering down of the curriculum. It is a cavalier approach to education to believe that one type of program can fit all students needs. We all don't fit into size small pants do we? Some of us need longer pants, some short and sadly some of us need bigger waistlines than others. It is my hope for future generations of RVC students, that parents wake up and stop buying the hype for the sake of their children.
Shellbanker April 12, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Michael, how long can you just sit their and ignore a problem you see daily? I'm not touting rvc schools, what I am saying that is if you aren't happy with the current system , change seems nowhere in sight, and the learning problems are starting to show their faces, what other "real" alternatives are there? Would you do the same for a job you hate going to every day, or working for a company that you see very little future/growth in? So why are you doing the same to your family and the school you put them in? Sell your house and your 20k tax bill, move to wherever you see fit a better/brighter education for your kids lies. Been there, I appreciate your openness on your last comment. I haven't drank the juice (just yet, I may or may not), but I can bet my last dollar I see something I don't like when that time comes, changes will be happening. I wont just sit there and be bitter towards it, DO SOMETHING!
beentheredonethat April 12, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Shellbanker what was Dr. Burris' article in the Washington Post about? I would be interested in looking it up and reading it. I also commend you for following our school district administrators so closely without having any children in the schools yet.
joe thrapp April 12, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Marc, This is very true, once you write down a personal attack you can never take it back. It's better to think through the issue before you write a response. I feel terrible about the way some of the people here are quick to denigrate teaching professional who have masters and doctorates and have worked with children for their whole careers. People who come to the table well informed with actual facts always have a better chance in entering the dialogue to advocate for change in the school district. I know it's very hard sitting across the table from somebody who makes negative comments about your personal and professional credentials. Name calling and false accusations about criminal activity will certainly stop people from being open and flexible. Good Afternoon.
Shellbanker April 12, 2013 at 09:25 PM
It's about why Burris went from a big promoter of common core to opponent of it. It's titled, "I was naive about common core". Google it, good read, written few weeks ago.
beentheredonethat April 12, 2013 at 10:19 PM
I read the article, Shellbanker. So her objection to common core is basically tied to her objection to APPR which is manifesting itself in this district's decision to promote the opt-out movement.
LetdowninRVC April 13, 2013 at 02:45 PM
There was a cheating scandal at Riverside a few years back and no coverage of that but Glen Coves cheating scandal is all over the news. Same story.
beentheredonethat April 13, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Burris likes tests when she can manipulate the results (IB exams) to make her look good but when they are going to be used to assess her performance (and graded outside of the district) she cries foul.
joe thrapp April 14, 2013 at 03:03 PM
BTDT, You don't know that Ms. Burris manipulates test scores. How can you say this? How can you scandalize Ms. Burris? Did your child directly benefit from test manipulation? If so, please come forward and let the Superintendent of BOCES conduct an investigation. Otherwise, please chose your words carefully in the future. Have a nice Day
beentheredonethat April 15, 2013 at 01:26 AM
Joe, the manipulation is simple. The Newsweek ranking (which Burris always cites as placing us at #22) is based on how many students TOOK the IB exam. Not how well they did. The motivation for placing all students in IB is to bring up the Newsweek numbers. In addition, Burris has been known to brag that all students passed the IB exams (you can't fail because there is no failing score). These are acts of statistical manipulation. Thus the discrepancy between our Newsweek ranking #22 and our NYS ranking (#508 out of #1159).
Ted David April 15, 2013 at 01:32 AM
I see no one has done a thing about truly organizing anything. You have resumed the thread with complaints and annoyance and indignation and not a soul has done a thing to organize, get together a data base of names, start a Facebook Page, get a concerned parent or taxpayer who is an attorney to explain how we go about contesting or appealing the bond matter, and possible misstatements by Johnson and or the Board. No one has done a thing. And not a thing will get done until and unless someone does something. This thread may be cathartic and a form of ventilation, but I just got my 5000 dollar half yearly tax bill. Whining here will not fix that. Only solid, constructive action, challenges and lawful dissent will fix that. Isn't anyone up to doing more than just posting there to see themselves in print?
joe thrapp April 15, 2013 at 03:37 AM
BTDT, Okay, It still doesn't sound like you have any real personal information on Ms. Burris alleged illegal manipulation of the actual test scores. On a lighter note BTDT. Watch this clip and hope you never run into Mr. Burris. Goodnight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4uYDLhtdPk
rvcmother April 16, 2013 at 02:12 PM
OK Ted. I'll start a facebook page and see where this goes.

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