Advanced Degrees Matter – Did Then, Did in 2015. Do Now.

It is not surprising that with talk of possibly restoring graduate degree pay for teachers in North Carolina those who are emphatically opposed to it would speak out.

Take for example John Hood of the John Pope Foundation.

Over three years ago, he penned an op-ed that was posted on entitled “Not a matter of degrees.” In it he made the argument that graduate degree pay is an erroneous practice in North Carolina.

To put it more bluntly: those who continue to insist North Carolina should reinstate the pay bumps are either entirely ignorant about the subject or contemptuous of the very higher learning they claim to champion.

I, along with many other “ignorant” and “contemptuous” educators responded to his claims. And now, Hood has rehashed that same argument in his latest missive, “Don’t backslide on teacher pay reform.”

However, this post on this blog is not to rehash another rebuttal to his argument. He offers nothing new than he did over three years ago.

And this post is not to bring up the irony that between that 2015 piece and this recent one, Hood earned a graduate degree to help him gain better perspective in his current role. In fact, Justin Parmenter did a great job of explaining that in his recent post on Notes From the Chalkboard.

But this post does want to offer rebuttals on two specific items in his newer piece.

The first is the wording of the title: “Don’t backslide on teacher pay reform.” 

That would mean that what has happened in the last few years has been “forward” thinking, at least according to Hood. But what in the hell is “forward” about this?


And secondly he ends his op-ed with this:

“Restoring pay bumps for graduate degrees would be a triumph of special-interest pressure over sound policy, of image over substance, of hope over experience. North Carolina shouldn’t backslide. It should move forward.”

“Triumph of special-interest pressure?”

That’s coming from the paid mouthpiece of a highly partisan think tank led by a Koch brothers’ loyalist who happened to be the first budget director for the very governor and NCGA that started the real “backslide” in NC public education in a right-to-work state which ranks next to last in the country in the number of people who belong to unions.





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