Rewarding Failure

By Eddie Campbell

Dear Editor:

I find it interesting that Perry County Schools administration is required by law to submit an annual employee salary schedule to the local news media. It is further of interest to review the dramatic rise in the fortunes of some central office employees.

In 2012, Perry Schools test coordinator Jonathan Jett pleaded no contest to falsifying Perry Central ACT standardized test scores, and was punished by Ky. Dept of Education with a 6-month suspension of his teaching certification. During that 6-month suspension he acted as bus maintenance supervisor. Immediately upon regaining his certification, he was promoted by a 4-1 vote of the school board to the superintendency. Today Jonathan Jett, with that hair-raising resume, enjoys an annual salary of $123,599.99, complete with a new automobile every two years and doctoral degree expenses paid by Perry School Board. Mr. Jett’s current contract expires June 30, 2017.

Another reward-for-failure episode is the story of the former Chavies Elementary principal, who left that school in disgrace after its cumulative test scores ranked lowest in the entire state. Today that individual enjoys a central office position and supplements his income by performing duties as 14th region football assigning secretary, along with officiating 14th region basketball, his presence seemingly unrequired during district athletic events for which he is paid to oversee.

Mr. Harrison Bailey, titled on the salary schedule as a custodial employee, appears to be performing the duties of athletic director, (assigning elementary school athletic officials and delivering checks to those officials), duties normally performed by the athletic-director, with no visible evidence of Mr. Bailey actually performing custodial duties.

In these cases, rewarding failure of this magnitude not only leaves multitudes of poorly served students, but breeds resentment, discouragement, and general ill-feeling among other employees who realize that good performance, work ethic, and attitude, is not enough for career advancement. The obvious end result of that mentality is a poorer-quality educational product for all concerned, along with gross misuse of the hard-earned tax dollars of struggling parents and taxpayers.

I have a responsibility to make you aware. You make the call.


Eddie N. Campbell,

Lost Creek, KY

By Eddie Campbell

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