Sunday, January 2, 2011

Exactly How Swollen is Your Membership?

Bear with us...but there are some more details about professional memberships we need to share with you.

Let's look a little more closely at one membership in particular: the ASCD, or Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  Our school district is shelling out for SIXTEEN individual memberships at a taxpayer cost of $2,410.  Why, we ask?  Why do SIXTEEN different people need to hold a membership to this organization.  But let's get back to that in a minute.  Let's ask a different question.  WHY are we paying for the top tier memberships instead of more basic memberships??  Hmmm.  Let's zoom in on this one, shall we?

ASCD offers the following INDIVIDUAL membership options:

Premium Membership:  ($219/yr): we believe we're paying for 4 of these
Select Membership:  ($89/yr): we believe we're paying for 12 of these
Basic Membership: ($49/yr): None
Online Membership ($29/yr): None

We paid for 16 memberships to ASCD:

  • 1 @ $79 (not sure...could have been intended to be $89 SELECT membership)
  • 6 @ $89 ( $89 SELECT membership)
  • 1 @ $89.99 (not sure...could have been intended to be $89 SELECT membership)
  • 4 @ $164 (looks to be a SELECT membership ($89) plus an additional $75 purchase)
  • 3 @ $219  ( $219 PREMIUM membership)
  • 1 @ $294 (looks to be a PREMIUM membership [$219] plus an additional $75 purchase)
Total cost: $2410.
For 16 staff, that comes to an average cost of $151 per staff member

Why do we need SELECT or PREMIUM memberships?  
The BASIC and ONLINE memberships offer the same advantages EXCEPT * free * books and prepaid vouchers for Professional Development Institute purchases. But, but....since any materials gained through membership fees remain the property of the district--not the employee-- why do we need 16 copies of books anyway?

Missed Savings Opportunities through Institutional Membership

ASCD offers both Institutional and Institutional PLUS memberships.  The Institutional  membership consists of one Team Leader getting the equivalent of a PREMIUM membership plus 10 other "Team Members" receive the equivalent of SELECT memberships.  The cost is $885, which comes to $80.50 each (nearly $10 less than a SELECT membership) and extends to 11 staff members.    We could have saved $1,525.  Come on...we need 5 volunteers to give up their uber-necessary ASCD membership.

Oh...wait...but the 10 staff members wouldn't get their *free* books (Someone...quick...dial Whine One One).  Only the "Team Leader" would get the 10 *free* books.  Ok... if these are an absolute necessity (eyes rolling) then we could have secured an "Institutional PLUS" membership which would give each of the "Team Members" 5 *free* books.  The cost would be $1,285, which still represents a savings of $1,125

How many more of these are out there?
This is what happens when people just rubber stamp the school district Check Runs every 2 weeks.  ASCD Iinstitutional Memberships   ASCD Iindividual Memberships