Before any discussion about a new path for teacher licensure and teacher pay takes place (espcially coming back from a pandemic), maybe look at what should be “undone” that put this state in the postion it is in now.
Before we even think about something as ludicrous as this –
– we should do the following:
1. Move Teacher Pay To The National Average
2. Reinstate Due-Process Rights
3. Reinstate Graduate Degree Pay Bumps
4. Reinstate Retiree Health Benefits For New Teachers
5. Stop Merit Pay
6. Reinstate Longevity Pay
7. Restrengthen Health Insurance and Benefits
8. Stop Attacks on Teacher Advocacy Groups (NCAE)
9. Stop The Revolving Door of Standardized Tests
10. Place Caps on Class Sizes
11. Stop Relying On Amorphous Measures Like “Graduation Rates”
12. Stop Using A School Grading System That Weighs Test Scores Over Growth
13. Hire 10,000 Teacher Assistants
14. Stop The Read to Achieve Initiative
15. Stop Unregulated Educational Savings Accounts
16. Stop The Opportunity Grants
17. Cap The Number of Charter Schools
18. Revitalize The Teaching Fellows Program And Expand It To ALL UNC-system Campuses
19. Stop The Frozen Salary Scale For Years 15-24
20. Follow Through On LEANDRO Decision
One thought on “Hey NC! Want To Recruit & Retain A Vibrant Teaching Force? Do (Or Undo) These 20 Actions.”
I share here a new Letter to the Editor (written by moi) for my localpaper.
Let us take note…
Funding for NC Public Ed has hit a historic fork in the road. Each party has its own plan for the future, and the plans have nothing in common.
The Democratic plan is a new budget proposal for the entire system, K through Ph.D., and it is an “inside job.” Elected representatives propose to invest tax funds intended for public education into our own public schools, colleges, and universities.
The Republican plan proposes a merit pay scale for teachers in K-12, and it is an “outside job.” Elected representatives have already begun spending tax funds intended for public education on outside firms, consultants, and lobbyists.
The outside interference in the Republican plan has been so excessive and secretive that Forbes Magazine devoted substantial space to it on October 6, 2022. Please google and read: “Who Is Behind North Carolina’s Plan To Upend Teacher Pay” by Peter Greene. You will be amazed. It reads like a spy novel.
So, what are the two plans?
The Democratic-sponsored House Bill 1079 [Google: ncleg 2021 HB 1079] proposes to redress the damage done by the Republican majority over the last 11-13 years. It will restore jobs, respectful salaries with annual increases, healthcare in retirement, the pipeline of new teachers, support for Pre-K, and social/racial equity.
It will also add a statewide School Leadership Academy. School administrators from NC’s 100 counties will participate in programs to network, stay abreast of current issues, and exchange best practices (maybe also horror stories). Such gatherings, in my experience, broaden experience, enhance community, and put wind in the sails.
The Republican plan looks really good at first glance. [Google: “EdNC NC Pathways to Excellence for Teaching Professionals” for a good, recent chart]. It is simple and clear, opens the door to teaching assistants with an Associate’s degree to teach at a lower salary ($30K), and offers some nice carrots to teachers with a Bachelor’s degree: four levels with fixed salaries of $38-56K, and two “advanced” teachers (with no Master’s Degree) at $61-72K.
But an astute reader will see the problems with this plan immediately, namely, it is a hierarchy with no quotas for the levels or annual salary increases. Add to that our present teacher shortage, and some school systems may well end up with many teachers at the lowest levels but few, if any, at the “advanced” levels.
What’s worse, the “advanced” teacher levels have term limits of three to five years with no guarantees of positions at those levels even when achieved; and they must shoulder hefty responsibility with the principals for advising and evaluating lower-level teachers for promotion up the income ladder, hence their higher salary.
The life-altering salary jumps ($5K or 11K annually!) will place a lot of pressure on upper-level teachers–and principals—when deciding on promotions for the chosen few. It’s an administrative, ethical nightmare, one I would not want.
Furthermore, no clear, consistent standards for evaluations are actually defined and without them, there will be friction in the schools and, I fear, court cases, perhaps class action suits. It could get messy and expensive, not fun for faculty, staff, or school boards. By contrast, the more standard Democratic annual salary increases sound like an equitable, peace-keeping alternative.
Teachers across the state are already rebelling against the Republican plan, calling it “God-awful.” So, voters have a school choice: send Democrats to Raleigh. Break the majority!
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