LEXINGTON, Ky. – When a professional sports team has a consistently losing record, season after season, the coach or manager is almost always fired.

That’s because performance is the bottom line, and the people paying the salaries demand excellence.

The Fayette County, Kentucky school district has obviously been struggling academically, according to a news report published last fall.

“On Thursday, when the Kentucky Department of Education released the scores from the ‘Unbridled Learning’ accountability system, which combines student test score performance with other measures of student success like career and college readiness and graduation rates, Fayette County Schools earned a score of 64.9 out of 100 possible points,” Lex18,com reported.

School officials clearly understand that there’s a problem, and obviously want to address it. But the news report suggests that previous efforts at improvement fell short.

“These scores are another piece of evidence that the district’s previous plan for accelerating the achievement of all students did not work,” Fayette County Superintendent Manny Caulk was quoted as saying in the news report. “We are three months into our new strategies and I am confident that we are making the right changes.”

The obvious question is how long will the school board and taxpayers wait for strong signs of improvement, particularly when they are paying the superintendent a very handsome compensation package.

In 2015-16, Caulk was paid $220,000 in base salary, $6,000 in fringe benefits, $8,250 in non-cash benefits and $10,068 in health benefits. The school district also paid $6,600 on his behalf into the state teachers retirement system.

That brought his total compensation for the year to at least $250,918.

In most jobs, that kind of compensation would be attached to a demand for outstanding results, sooner rather than later.

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