D200 supt. gets pay increase, detailed goals on equity issues

Supt. Joylynn-Pruitt Adams gets standard 2.5% pay increase as board sets new goals for her to accomplish in area of equity

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

During a regular meeting on Sept. 24, the District 200 school board unanimously approved a 2.5 percent pay increase for Supt. Jolynn Pruitt-Adams, which brings her salary up to $248,256. But the board has slightly modified its plan for holding their top employee accountable. 

As part of its performance evaluation, the board has charged Pruitt-Adams with identifying by Dec. 31 no more than five measurable ways to meet the board's two main outcomes: an annual 2 percent improvement rate "towards the attainment and maintenance of 'exemplary' status" on the state's annual report card and an annual 2 percent "reduction rate in statistically meaningful correlations between race, ethnicity, and student achievement." 

The board has also tasked the superintendent with identifying or developing by Feb. 28, 2021 "two financial evaluation tools for implementation by June 30, 2021." 

The board is calling for the administration to determine a "resource framework" based on the state's funding model, which is designed to align funding with student needs, by March 15, 2021. The board stated that strategic outcomes should be measured "within a balanced budget." 

In addition to assigning those goals to the superintendent, the board has held itself responsible for holding "two book reads of texts on culturally relevant pedagogy especially with regard to racial identity" and setting a board retreat on racial equity by April 21, 2021. 

"We have long stated during the budget season that the district's use of tax-payer dollars should reflect its priorities," D200 board President Sara Dixon Spivy stated in a memo drafted Sept. 24. "This year's proposed goals provide greater insight and transparency into whether we are making good on that statement." 

Pruitt-Adams was hired as superintendent in 2016, after serving several months on an interim basis. In 2019, the board unanimously approved a three-year contract for the superintendent, which runs through June 30, 2022. 

Each year, however, the board has the discretion of adjusting the superintendent's annual salary after an annual board review and evaluating her performance. That evaluation is based on performance goals and objectives that the board establishes. 

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com  

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Ramona Lopez  

Posted: October 19th, 2020 10:33 AM

@ Ms Schumacher, Any household that has 1 child who is on a reduced lunch program, can get high speed internet from AT&T or Comcast for $10 a month with free installation. Please stop discounting the capacity of POC. You act as if we don't have the ability or the resourcefulness to teach our own children. Please don't call me "vulnerable" as well. You act as if POC are just a bunch of lost puppies that can't navigate the world without the helping hand of the "progressive" white person. Save your lip service sympathy for someone else, though I'm sure it makes you look good in front of your friends. @ Mr. MacMillan, OPRF has just ran out of bullets as I see it. Since they have been trying to close the achievement gap for years, their last ditch effort is to lower the scores of the white kids by doing away with honors classes. It will be interesting what they pull out of their hat in 5 or 6 years when they realize it doesn't work. https://www.oakpark.com/Community/Blogs/12-7-2012/The-Absolutely_Without_A_Doubt_Single_Most-Embarassing-Thing-About-Oak-Park/

Flo Schumacher from River Forest  

Posted: October 17th, 2020 4:32 PM

I will reserve judgment on whether Superintendent Pruitt-Adams has earned this raise until I see whether she is able to present a vibrant and workable hybrid learning plan to the board next month. Her inability to deliver on this crucial issue would be a grave disservice to those vulnerable students who cannot afford private tutors, learning pods and high-speed internet connections. Paying lip service to equity while allowing the COVID learning gap to widen would be an injustice.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: October 14th, 2020 2:22 PM

How is a board retreat on racial equity helping any kids actually learn anything? If the gap is ever going to improve, kids at the bottom of the gap will need extra class time, extra one on one for homework sessions, extra summer school. No one ever caught up on learning by having some Board member go on a retreat. Or getting a new olympic pool. Or getting rid of honors classes. They keep talking and never do anything to provide actual teaching help to the kids who need the extra help.

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