Lowering Hiring Requirements in Rowan-Salisbury School System is Simply a Bad Idea

From WSOCTV.com on October 23:

The Rowan-Salisbury School District is considering making changes to hiring requirements for teachers as it looks to widen the field of candidates to educate your children.

A new proposal being considered by the district drops a four-year college degree requirement for applicants hoping to be hired as a teacher. Instead it requires a relevant degree, relevant work experience, a 2.5 grade point average and successful completion of orientation.

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All that would be needed is:

  • a relevant degree
  • relevant working experience
  • employable in a renewable district or charter school
  • be on a one-year contract
  • have a 2.5 GPA
  • successful completion of orientation

Sounds pretty ambiguous.

Since Rowan-Salisbury Schools became a “charter district” in a quick transformation over the summer, it has been extended “charter-like” freedoms in how it does its business. Please be reminded that there is no empirical evidence that charter schools work well in North Carolina on a wide scale, but that did not stop the NCGA from expanding its “charter school” experiment to an entire school district.

Those lowered requirements do not bode well as it seems to put a priority on hiring people to be content deliverers in a more plug-in-play approach to pedagogy.

Who decides what is a relevant (maybe non-four year) degree? Who decides what is relevant working experience?  Don’t we already have lateral entry? If they are to be employable in a renewal district or charter school, would that make them employable in a traditional public school? How about a private school? A 2.5 GPA? Just in college-level work? For a four-year degree they never had to get? And what is the orientation process? Similar to Teach For America?

Such an idea sounds familiar to the Chad Barefoot championed SB599 teacher pipeline bill.

This really is another jab at de-professionalizing a profession that the GOP majority in the current NCGA has already de-professionalized to a large extent and a way of maybe attacking the very teacher shortage in areas not fully funded.

In fact, it is a way to deal with a  teacher shortage that Raleigh created. How did Raleigh create it?

  • uneven salary increases
  • removal of due-process rights
  • no more graduate degree pay bumps
  • low per pupil expenditure rates on the national scale
  • a school grade performance system that literally only shows the effects of poverty
  • insipid bills like SB 599 and HB 514
  • allowing privatizing entities to enter NC and have influence on policy
  • merit pay and bonus pay schemes
  • lack of teacher input into educational “reforms”
  • removal of over 7500 teacher assistants
  • elimination (and the shadowed re-creation) of the Teacher Fellow Program
  • unregulated charter school growth
  • vouchers
  • a horrible principal pay plan
  • reliance on secret algorithms like those found in EVAAS to measure teacher effectiveness
  • class size chaos
  • horrible charter virtual schools
  • an unproven Innovative School District
  • attacks on educational advocacy groups
  • a revolving door of standardized tests
  • a revolving door of teacher evaluation protocols
  • lack of student services
  • lack of textbooks
  • and a state superintendent who seems more loyal to everybody except the public school system that he was elected to serve

Students in Rowan County and all of North Carolina deserve better than this. They deserve to be taught by educators who are respected as professionals, no contractors who fulfill watered-down requirements.