November 16, 2018 – What Could Be The Largest Student Section in West Forsyth History

It is not often that two teams from the same conference in the state’s largest athletic classification play each other again in the first round of the state playoffs.

What is even more rare is that those two teams literally played each other the week before as the final game of the regular season for both teams.

To make it even more special – these two teams represent two schools that border each other’s zones.

wacko2

So, what does that mean? It’s a big game. Actually, more than that.

It would be nice to see the entire stands on the home side full of Titan fans, and it would be even better if we had the largest student section that Forsyth County has ever seen at one sporting event in history.

Our boys earned it. Our coaches deserve it. So does the school.

Besides, we need to take the West Wackos group yearbook picture.

Who’s in?

Yes, Teachers Did “Remember in November” – There’s Also a November in 2020

Yesterday the News & Observer printed an article that framed how the effect of public school teacher advocacy helped break the GOP supermajority in the NC General Assembly.

T. Keung Hui reported,

Organizers of the historic May 16 teachers march in Raleigh say the words of the protesters became reality this week when North Carolina voters elected enough Democrats to break the Republican supermajority in the state legislature.

The May march marked the start of a months-long effort by the N.C. Association of Educators to elect enough “pro-education candidates” so that Republicans won’t have large enough legislative majorities to block vetoes from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

And NCAE president Mark Jewell said it well.

When we had the March for Students on May 16, we wanted to make it perfectly clear that all of our priorities were not a short-session General Assembly request but a six-month stretch to Election Day. We feel like the citizens of North Carolina stood up and said what the current supermajority is doing is not the North Carolina way.”

The breaking of that supermajority this November of 2018 did a lot to help public school advocacy in North Carolina.

  • A pro-public education governor can now use a veto. That’s really a big deal.
  • Budget process now has to be open. There is no way that a budget can successfully go through a “nuclear option.” Debate and amendments must now occur and that means that people like Berger and Moore have to actually talk about the budget.
  • Many municipalities and local LEA’s had school board shake-ups. For instance, the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County schools now have a school board that has a democrat majority. Look at Wake County.
  • Many privatizers and “non” public school advocates lost in races or had very close races. Nelson Dollar lost. He was the chief writer of the budget. Bill Brawley might might be gone after absentee votes due the HB 514 affair. Jeff Tarte lost handily after the stunt he pulled with DonorsChoose.org being used to fund affluent schools in his district.
  • With more seats to Democrats, Mark Johnson is held in check. Think about it. With current makeup of lawmakers, secretly crafted bills that take power away from the state school board and give it to a puppet of a state superintendent would be harder to pass.
  • The power of the judicial branch was preserved. Those two amendments were defeated and most all of the races for state-wide judicial races went to people favored by education advocates.

And there were some trends that were established that are incredibly encouraging for the 2020 election which will feature lots of state-wide races.

  • Look at the numbers of people who voted. It was a midterm election and over %50 of registered voters came out in a time where public education was a hot button item on many platforms.
  • Young people came out. Those civic lessons are working. Imagine what kind of force they could be in 2020 when state level positions are up for elections.

Now comes the next part. 2020 is around the corner. Every General Assembly seat that was decided last week will be up for reelection as well as the state’s highest offices.

And there’s the national stage as well – one that includes Betsy DeVos.

May 16th was just a beginning.

November 6th was just a beginning.

Today is another beginning.

Means we should plan to always “remember.”

november-3-2020-monday

 

 

 

 

Become An Ordained Teacher Online Now! – Sen. Chad Barefoot’s SB599 Becomes Reality With “North Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow”

295 to teach3

If you grew up in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, you might be familiar with a landmark television show called Northern Exposure which aired on CBS on Mondays during the 10 PM time slot.

It was about a quirky, eccentric small Alaskan town called Cicely which had literally secured the services of an Ivy-League trained physician from New York named Joel by funding his medical school costs.

The culture shock experienced by this Jewish guy from the East coast among his new peers fueled enough plot lines to make this show one of the best-written of the day.

One of the characters was Chris Stevens, who lived in a trailer by a lake, read literature, thought transcendentally, and hosted the local morning radio show spouting philosophical musings to a sparse, but loyal following.

He also was the only “ordained” minister in the town. Only he could perform certain ceremonies. He had answered an advertisement for the “Worldwide Church of Truth and Beauty” in the back of a Rolling Stone magazine.

Boom! He’s a holy man.

Now jump ahead a few decades and there appears this bill by another “ordained” man in the North Carolina General Assembly that will fast track teachers into the public school system here in the Old North State.

Sen. Chad Barefoot was the sole sponsor of Senate Bill 599. Alex Granados of EdNC.org talked about it in “Senate passes bill expanding teacher preparation options” (https://www.ednc.org/2017/06/13/senate-passes-bill-expanding-teacher-preparation-options/). Granados stated,

SB 599,”Excellent Educators for Every Classroom,” would let organizations outside of colleges or universities offer educator preparation programs…

The bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, said in an e-mail that the bill was far more stringent than Robinson said and “clearly lays out” the “paths” necessary to offer a teacher preparation program. 

The bill creates the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission, a body comprised of teachers and administrators. They would make recommendations on educator preparations programs to the State Board of Education, which would have the final say on the standards for programs and if programs meet them. 

“What this bill does is, rather than say that the traditional educator preparation programs in North Carolina…are the only way you can be prepared to be a teacher, it says ‘no’ to that,” Barefoot said on the Senate floor. “You can come up with any way that you can dream of, but we are going to hold you accountable to a set of standards that are rigorous.” 

Forget that we already have lateral entry. Forget that even today there was another report by Granados that might connect Barefoot with a financial incentive for introducing the bill. In “Campaign contribution by teacher preparation organization complicates expansion bill,” Granados reports,

In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Committee to Elect Chad Barefoot received $5,000 from Texas Teachers of Tomorrow, an organization that could stand to benefit from the bill (https://www.ednc.org/2017/06/21/campaign-funds-complicate-teacher-prep-expansion-bill/).

The company that is now advertising in NC is North Carolina Teachers for Tomorrow.

295 to teach2

Yes, it’s real.

And yes, “every child deserves a great teacher.” It’s just hard to justify the idea that a person who pays less money made in a week of substitute teaching can become an effective teacher with an online accreditation – more so than someone who has prepared him/herself to become a teacher with an on-hands program that lasted longer than the entire classroom experience of our own state superintendent.

Common sense and ethics aside, Barefoot should have gone further and taken a lesson from Rolling Stone and combined it with the power of the internet.

Maybe he would be open to an amendment although open-mindedness is something that many in the NCGA lack: becoming an Ordained Teacher online.

It’s not traditional and it sure as hell says “NO!” to the established educator preparation programs that Barefoot and his cronies have already weakened.

And by saying it’s “ordained” gives it that “holier-than-thou” feeling.

Just take a look at this website for the Universal Life Church at https://www.themonastery.org/landing/get-ordained?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsM2Yv4bP1AIVgTaBCh0wiwv2EAAYAiAAEgL9OPD_BwE.

minister1

In fact, this is a perfect template!

Think about it.

minister2

And the state could reap the benefits. We get more teachers. We make a profit from the certification process.

You don’t even have to subscribe to Rolling Stone.

But maybe still charge $295 dollars.

Really. $295.

295 to teach

Sen. Barefoot, what do you think?

Nine Reasons Why The 2018 Election Results Were Great For Public Education in North Carolina

results-north-carolina-primary-results-1525723360154-facebookJumbo

No. Not everything that public school advocates would have wanted from last night’s elections came to fruition.

But it was a very good night for public schools.

1.Super majorities were broken. 

Simply put, the governor now has veto power. Yes, Gov. Cooper could always veto a bill, but now it cannot be simply overridden automatically. Any bill that seems to favor a privatization effort like vouchers, or the ISD, or charter school funding must now be done in a more democratic fashion instead of behind closed doors.

2. Budget process now has to be open.

It is hard to pass a budget in committee without a super majority- a budget with education as the top spending priority. There is no way that a budget could successfully go through a “nuclear option.” Debate and amendments must now occur and that means that people like Berger and Moore have to actually talk about the budget.

3. Many municipalities and local LEA’s had school board shake-ups. 

For instance, the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County schools now have a school board that has a democrat majority. Look at Wake County. These bigger systems sometimes provide a blueprint for how to handle issues that all school systems face. With new leadership that are more teacher-friendly and willing to stand up to Mark Johnson and others in Raleigh, this might be a very encouraging thing.

4. The two most egregious amendments to the constitution did not pass.

Do not forget that there have been instances that the the courts have delivered decisions that affected teachers directly (keeping veteran due-process rights, etc.). And now that the governor keeps powers over certain judicial appointments and the fact that he is very pro-public education, this should not be overlooked. Oh, and look at the races for judicial seats for state level positions.

5. Many privatizers and “non” public school advocates lost in races or had very close races.

Nelson Dollar lost. He was the chief writer of the budget. Bill Brawley might have gotten a huge wake-up call after the HB 514 affair. Jeff Tarte lost handily after the stunt he pulled with DonorsChoose.org being used to fund affluent schools in his district.

6. With more seats to Democrats, Mark Johnson is held in check.

Think about it. With current makeup of lawmakers, secretly crafted bills that take power away from the state school board and give it to a puppet of a state superintendent would be harder to pass. Plus, with more people in Raleigh who would be willing to keep Johnson’s actions more in the limelight, the more he might actually have to serve public schools.

7. Look at the numbers of people who voted.

It was a midterm election and over %50 of registered voters came out in a time where public education was a hot button item on many platforms.

8. Teachers got galvanized.

May 16th started something. NCAE gained traction.

Teachers got people to the polls.

9. Young people came out.

Imagine what kind of force they could be in 2020 when state level positions are up for elections.

 

National Red Head Day With My Ginger Brigade

November 5th is “National Love Your Red Hair Day”.

I don’t have red hair, but I live in a house where everyone else has red hair. Maybe that qualifies me to talk about living with red heads and the boundless recessive genes they either display or carry.

Simply put, I have a Ginger Brigade in my house that I am very partial to. However, there are some “myths” and characteristics that I believe I may have insight into just in case you needed to know.

  1. Red heads have no souls. This is false.

Sure they have souls. However, those souls may not be their own.

There is a comical joke that says every time a red head steals a soul, then another freckle appears on his/her face. Both my kids and my wife have an abundance of freckles. Very soulful people.

redhead

But is it not interesting that Malcolm reaches out for me when I am not looking with a maniacal laugh?

  1. Worldwide, only 2% of people have red hair. This is true.

But most of them have brown eyes. All three red headed people under my roof have blue eyes, which is actually very rare. Apparently, I carry some recessive genes myself to be able to pass along to both my kids. By the way, red hair and blue eyes are a stunning combination. My wife is gorgeous woman. My kids look like her.

I simply have a nice personality and take care of spiders.

  1. People with red hair are more sensitive to painNot true in my house.

The non-red head in the house is the wimpiest person in the house. My wife has a high tolerance to pain. Malcolm would rather play basketball than deal with pain.

  1. Red heads do not get gray hair as fast as other people do. This is true.

Dammit.

  1. According to factretriever.com, the ancient Greeks believed that redheads became vampires after they died. To be determined.

However, my wife has every Anne Rice book ever written; therefore, I have a sunlamp ready to go.

  1. Red hair is thought to be the sign of a witch. This is a maybe.

But I am not a Puritan and Glenda from the Wizard of Oz and Hermione Granger have taught me that it might be a good thing to have a witch on my side.

  1. Scotland has the highest proportion of redheads in the world at 13%. Ireland is at 10%. The United States has the largest number of redheads. This is true.

And Forsyth County, NC seems to have the largest population of red heads anywhere I know of. But, I live there.

  1. Red heads can make more of their own Vitamin D. True.

But a supplement never hurts.

  1. Queen Elizabeth was a ginger. Yep.

And she kicked ass.

  1. Ginger Snaps are made from red heads. This is false.

That would mean you are eating vampiric cookies. But Ginger Snaps can be made and eaten by red heads.

  1. Ginger Ale is made from red heads. Again, false.

That’s ridiculous and gross.

Every day is actually “National Love Your Red Head Day” in my house, and maybe I am a tad bit jealous of my family’s unique beauty, I think I am a little more jealous that they actually have hair.

Our Six-Year Pre-Existing Condition: The Long, Deliberate, Slow Attack on North Carolina’s Public Education System

When Phil Berger and Tim Moore held a press conference last May in which they feigned surprise and indignation at the thought that teachers would even consider rallying on May 16th, it was rather apparent that it was a scripted endeavor.

From WFMY.com:

During the conference, the two said, “Republicans in the General Assembly made a promise to dramatically raise teacher pay in North Carolina, and we’ve kept our promise. Despite the lack of information in the media and the politically-motivated misinformation coming from the local affiliate of the national teachers’ union, the numbers speak for themselves, and we’re glad to have the opportunity to share North Carolina’s success story and set the record straight.”

For the 2018-19 school year, Moore and Berger said teachers should expect to see an average 6.2 percent pay raise. They say this increase comes without a tax hike(https://www.wfmynews2.com/article/news/education/nc-lawmakers-pledge-4k-plus-pay-raise-ahead-of-teacher-rally/83-552338553).

Forget that the word “average” was included in that statement. The fact that it was stated on the very first day of the convening of the NCGA should give concern. Without any debate, committee amendments, or input from the roughly 4.5 million North Carolinians who are represented by democrats, Berger and Moore seem to prognosticate the future with arrogant surety.

Why? Because they already had a budget (biannually made) and they planned on not opening it up for debate at all.

From WRAL.com on May 23rd:

House Speaker Tim Moore said Tuesday that he and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger plan to huddle Wednesday to knock out final areas of House/Senate disagreement on the state budget, which he expects to be ready for votes next week.

Moore also confirmed plans to roll that budget out as a conference report, a process that precludes amendments once House and Senate negotiators sign off on a deal worked out behind closed doors.

Democrats howled Tuesday as the plan circulated at the statehouse, partly because it will keep them from being able to offer amendments for public debate(https://www.wral.com/gop-seeks-to-prohibit-amendments-to-proposed-state-budget/17572652/).

Calculated with precision planning from a playbook straight from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Think of what all has happened since the current establishment took control of North Carolina’s General Assembly.

  • “Average Bear” salary hikes
  • Removal of Due-Process rights for new teachers
  • Removal of career status for new teachers
  • Removal of graduate degree pay raises for new teachers
  • Low per-pupil expenditures
  • School Performance grading system that really just tracks poverty
  • SB599
  • Merit Pay inititatives
  • Cutting teacher assistants
  • Elimination of old Teacher Fellow program
  • Threats to Governor’s School
  • Giving ACT too much power in measuring schools
  • Vouchers
  • Unregulated Charter Schools growth
  • Flawed principal pay plan
  • SAS and hidden algorithms
  • Class Size Chaos
  • Lack of textbook funding
  • Attacks on Advocacy Groups
  • Cutting of benefits for new teachers
  • Unregulated virtual charter schools
  • Innovative School District
  • ESA’s
  • Propping up a puppet state superintendent
  • Lack of Student Services

Think of the privatization efforts in the nation that have hooks in NC and to whom they are connected to within this state.

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list

For a full explanation, check this link: https://caffeinatedrage.com/2018/02/13/the-privatization-of-north-carolinas-public-schools-a-whos-who/.

Now add laws and mandates like HB2, the Voter ID Law, the gerrymandered districts, and the attempted judicial system overhaul.

Calculated. Patient. Crafted. Delicately Executed. Driven by dogma.

It’s been happening for six years.

Makes tomorrow so important.

In fact, imperative.

“Get Up” – And Vote! Playing R.E.M. At The Ballot Box

R.E.M._-_Get_Up

“Get Up” and vote.

It’s Election Day. Just “Get Up” and vote.

Immigration “policies,” Supreme Court appointees, exiting from multi-lateral agreements and treaties, Muslim bans, tariffs, mass shootings on schools and media outlets, partisan politics before principles, etc. – these are all part of isolationist nightmares, bad dreams that have become reality and more than “complicating” life.

Voting might be the single most powerful action people (especially 18-24 year-olds) can take in this “midterm” season. Every restrictive Voter ID law that is supposedly combating non-existent voter fraud is an attempt to get people to not “wake up” and exercise that right, a right to make real dreams that actually “complement” our lives. This week is not a time to get “sleepy.”

For so many people, “life is hard” with no access to health care or living wages and discrimination running rampant.

Help them. Help them “get up.”

Because you don’t want to wake up sometime in late November and ask, “Where (did) time go?” or realize that all of those music boxes in the bridge of the song no longer play.

Tuesday, November 6.

 

 Sleep delays my life (get up, get up)
Where does time go? (get up, get up, get up)
I don’t know

Sleep, sleep, sleepy head (get up, get up, get up)
Wake it up, up (get up, get up)
You’ve got all your life (way up ahead)
(Get up, get up, get up)

Dreams they complicate my life (Dreams they complement my life)
I’ve seen you laying pined (get up, get up)
I’ve seen you laying pined (get up, get up)

Life is rough, rough (get up, get up, get up)
I’ve seen you laying down (get up)
With the loving kind (get up, get up)
I know life is hard, hard (where goes your time?)
Where to turn? Where to turn? (get up)

Dreams they complicate my life (Dreams they complement my life)
Dreamtime

Dreams they complicate my life (Dreams they complement my life)
This time, no escape, I wake up (get up, get up)
(get up, get up, get up, get up, get up, get up, get up)

November 6th Is Another Day To March And Rally For Our Schools – At The Ballot Box.

One would hope that the current General Assembly is a little scared of us public school teachers and our supporters. Remember what happened May 16th.

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And they should be very concerned; aside from the Women’s March of 2017, this might have been the largest demonstration on the NCGA in history.

What had originally looked like an election year to simply resupply the NCGA with more ultra-conservatively minded demagoguery has now morphed into a debate about how our state government should serve citizens and fully fund our public schools.

On May 16th Raleigh, the Rally for Respect and March for Students helped to turn the focus of the elections this year to the right to a quality public education (explicitly defined by Section 15, Article 1 of the NC Constitution).

Remember, North Carolina has 100 counties (with 115 LEA’s), each with a public school system. According to the Labor and Economic Analysis Division of the NC Dept. of Commerce, the public schools are at least the second-largest employers in nearly 90 of them—and the largest employer, period, in 66. That means teachers represent a base for most communities, the public school system.  And we are strong in numbers.

Just look at May’s march and rally. Not a single time was there a word given to discourage what teachers and public educators were trying to support. There was a single purpose. Complete focus. And support from others.

Those incumbents running for the General Assembly knew that they were not fully funding public schools two years ago. They knew it when they took away due-process rights and career status from new teachers. They knew it when they froze pay scales and then offered “average” raises to cloud the truth. They knew it when they abolished the Teaching Fellows Program. They knew it when they took away graduate degree pay for newer teachers. They knew it when they allowed unregulated charter schools to take money earmarked for public schools. They knew it when they created Opportunity Grants. They knew it when they allowed for an “Innovative” School District to come to our state.

Considering the amount of counterproductive measures placed on our public schools today, the fact that we teachers and support personnel still educate and serve our kids to a high degree of effectiveness tells me that North Carolina’s teachers are still passionate and of merit. Teachers do not define themselves through partisan, political definitions; they define themselves by a duty to educate students and as a team of professionals working together, not individual contractors whose service is dictated by a yearly indenture.

And what a display of professionalism that was displayed in May because part of a teacher’s job is to advocate for students and schools.

Over 20K did it just in Raleigh last spring. Many more did in their hometowns.

And we all can advocate for our schools come Tuesday by voting.

Open Letter to the Registered Voter Who Believes in Public Schools

The current General Assembly majority is very scared of public school teachers and those who support them. Without their support in this next election cycle, many candidates for office simply cannot win. That’s why the NCGA majority has touted so many “band-aid” style electioneering schemes to make them appear pro-public education.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

From the Voter ID law to HB2 to fast tracking fracking to neglecting coal ash pools, the powers that-now-be have furthered an agenda that has simply been exclusionary, discriminatory, and narrow-minded. And nowhere is that more evident than the treatment of public education.

Make no mistake. This GOP-led General Assembly has been using a deliberate playbook that other states have seen implemented in various ways. Look at Ohio and New Orleans and their for-profit charter school implementation. Look at Florida and its Jeb Bush school grading system. In fact, look anywhere in the country and you will see a variety of “reform” movements that are not really meant to “reform” public schools, but rather re-form public schools in an image of a profit making enterprise that excludes the very students, teachers, and communities that rely on the public schools to help as the Rev. William Barber would say “create the public.”

North Carolina’s situation may be no different than what other states are experiencing, but how our politicians have proceeded in their attempt to dismantle public education is worth noting. The list below is not by any means complete, but it paints a clear picture.

  • Removal of due-process rights – This keeps teachers from being able to advocate for schools.
  • Graduate Degree Pay Bumps Removed – Removed a means for teachers to invest in their profession.
  • Push for Merit Pay – Never has worked in education. Besides, all teachers assume duties outside of teaching.
  • “Average” Raises – Average and Actual do not mean the same thing.
  • Attacks on Teacher Advocacy Groups – specifically NCAE.
  • Revolving Door of Standardized Tests – And many of the tests are made and graded by for-profit entities.
  • Less Money Spent per Pupil – NC still has not approached pre-recession levels adjusted for inflation.
  • Remove Caps on Class Sizes – Teachers are teaching more students and sometimes more class sections.
  • Jeb Bush School Grading System – This actually only shows how poverty affects public education.
  • Cutting Teacher Assistants – Hurts elementary kids the most.
  • Opportunity Grants – A Voucher scheme that profits private and religious schools.
  • Unregulated growth of charter schools – No empirical data shows any improvement in student achievement with charter schools.
  • Virtual Charter Schools – These are hemorrhaging in enrollment and are among the least effective.
  • Innovative School District – Again, an idea that “profits” only those who take taxpayer money and has no successful track record no matter what state they have been established.
  • Reduction of Teacher Candidates in Colleges – We are lacking in numbers to help supply the next generation of teachers for a growing state.
  • Elimination of Teaching Fellows Program – Another way to discourage bright students from becoming teachers. It has been brought back, but is a shadow of its former self.
  • HB 514 – The bill that is allowing affluent communities to set up their own charter schools that will in essence resegregate school populations while using property tax revenue to help finance new charter school construction.

So what can be done? Actually lots. And it all starts in the ballot boxes.

Remember, North Carolina has 100 counties, each with a county public school system (and 15 other city school systems). According to the Labor and Economic Analysis Division of the NC Dept. of Commerce, the public schools are at least the second-largest employers in nearly 90 of them—and the largest employer, period, in over 60. That means teachers represent a base for most communities, the public school system.  And they are strong in numbers. Add to that their supporters. The numbers get bigger.

If public education matters to you at all, then please understand the damage this General Assembly has done to our public schools and communities. The number of teachers leaving the state or the profession is staggering. It is has given rise to a new state slogan: “North Carolina – First in Teacher Flight.” If our communities are to recover and thrive, then this trend must stop.

Do your homework and see which candidates truly support our public schools.

Educate yourself, then please vote.

vote

Principals Need More Respect Than This

If you want to look at the reason why a school performs well, then look to the relationships that surround the people: student, teachers, parents, community, staff, and what might be one of the most underappreciated roles in public education – the principal.

Principles-for-Hiring-Principals

The responsibility of a principal is hard to even describe, much less fathom, if you have not been in administration before. They are the face of a school, the sounding board of a community, and the instructional leaders.

When a principal is effective, great things happen in a school. When a principal is ineffective, all facets of a school can stagnate.

All effective principals understand that the most sacred dynamic in the school is the student-teacher relationship. They understand that education is a people centered endeavor, not a transaction. They understand that a single test does not define a person.

Yet, principals in North Carolina ranked 50th in the United States when it came to salary two years ago.

That’s 50th.

Out of 51.

So the powers that be in Raleigh did something about it. Maybe they finally realized that recruiting and properly compensating principals would be greatly enhanced if they had a competitive salary.

Therefore, they “reformed” it. The problem is that those lawmakers forgot that education is a people-centered avocation – not a production line manufacturing plant of knowledge dispensation.

As the venerable Lindsay Wagner (newly housed within the Public School Forum of NC) wrote last fall,

North Carolina’s principals, whose salaries ranked 50th in the nation in 2016, watched this year as lawmakers changed how they are compensated, moving away from a salary schedule based on years of service and earned credentials to a so-called performance-based plan that relies on students’ growth measures (calculated off standardized test scores) and the size of the school to calculate pay” (https://www.ncforum.org/new-principal-pay-plan-could-result-in-steep-salary-reductions-for-veteran-principals/).

Yep, they really did something about it. As Wagner states,

But the plan’s design has produced scenarios that result in some veteran principals conceivably earning as much as 30 percent less than what they earned on the old  pay schedules—prompting some to consider early retirements.”

They made a terrible situation even worse.

This salt-infused Band-Aid of a reform is yet another example of a rough-shod method that lawmakers have used to overhaul a once thriving public school system into a shadow of its former self –  all in the name of improving education.

If one reads the entirety of Wagner’s report, it becomes apparent that the new principal pay plan is long on political ideology and short of thoughtful research and reflection. Too many scenarios exist that could force many a principal to see stark reductions in salary based on arbitrary test scores. Veteran principals, which are becoming a rare breed in NC, would even be encouraged to retire early.

But one comment really stands out.

“Board member Tricia Willoughby repeatedly questioned who designed the principal pay plan.”

It seems no one really knows who came up with the new pay plan. And that is just further proof of the problem that truly exists in Raleigh.

The problem? Lawmakers and other bureaucrats forgot that education is centered around process and progress, not test scores. They forgot that growth means more than arbitrary proficiency. They forgot that educators collaborate and not compete.

It is telling when you read a state board member say,

“The General Assembly really needs a partner called DPI, who understands the implications of various legislative proposals and can prepare expert advice on the outcomes that might result.”

What that means is that there is no communication. No collaboration. No respect for process. No respect for growth.

A good principal could have told them that.

For a group of people who have so much power over public schools, they sure could use a good education in how schools really work.