It’s Teacher Appreciation Week – How About Restoring Respect For The Teaching Profession

We have no new budget. Still. And we are still in an unprecedented pandemic which has altered the landscape of education for a time.

But there is a lot of hope with vaccines and science.

If people get vaccinated and stay vigilant.

For fourteen months, educators have adapted, invented, created, and constructed ways and means of helping students in this time that could never have been envisioned before. No standardized test could ever measure what educators and schools have done, yet we have a governing body that still insists on introducing bills and other edicts that do not honor our profession.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and many policy lawmakers in Raleigh seem to think that the best way to show appreciation for teachers is offering rewards.

What teachers and other education professionals really deserve is respect – especially after these last fourteen months.

A reward is something that is given in recognition of someone’s service, effort, and/or achievement. One could get a reward for doing well on a project or completing a task. Some could look at a bonus check as a reward for accomplishing a goal.

To have respect is to have a deep feeling of admiration for someone because of his/her abilities, qualities, and value. It is understanding that someone is important and should be taken seriously.

  • A reward sounds like something that can be used as a political ploy. Respect needs no political prompt.
  • A reward could be a one-time gift. Respect is continuous and grows.
  • A reward is a reaction to something. Respect guides your actions.
  • A reward is giving teachers a small bonus that gets taxed by the state and has no effect on retirement. Respect would be to bring salaries for teachers at least to the national average.
  • A reward would be to give a school some sort of distinction because it met a measurement achievement. Respect would be honoring teachers because of actual student growth in the face of factors out of the schools’ control.
  • A reward would be providing more textbooks. Respect would be to keep growing per-pupil expenditures to ensure that all students got the resources they need.
  • A reward would be giving a one-time pay hike to teachers. Respect would be to make sure they kept getting raises throughout their careers on a fair salary schedule and restoring longevity pay.
  • A reward may be to alter the teacher evaluation system. Respect would be to restore due-process rights for all teachers.
  • A reward may be to give more professional development for teachers. Respect would be restoring pay bumps for graduate degrees.

And respect would also be making sure that teachers on the front-lines of education are a vital part of the discussions about what to do in the face of this pandemic and how we as a state should proceed as far as our students and schools are concerned.

We have seen what a lack of respect for teachers has done to our state in a short amount of time. Where we once were considered a flagship state system in the South, we are now in a state of regression. So while I will not decline a “reward” of a pay raise, I will tell my lawmakers that affording more respect to teachers, administrators, and teacher assistants could go a long in helping stop the attrition of teaching talent in North Carolina.

Why? Because if you respect something you will show it through your actions, not just your campaign speeches and vague promises.

And respect can work both ways. For those lawmakers who view public education as a priority and view teachers with respect, I will not only reward them with my vote, I would show my respect by supporting them throughout their terms.

But most importantly, don’t reward me for teaching.

Respect me for being a teacher.

TAW 2017 Carousel Banner2_665x348

Our Public Schools Are Better Than The North Carolina General Assembly Wants You to Believe

Our public schools are better than many lawmakers portray them to be – lawmakers who have never spent time as educators.

A lot better. And the problem is not the schools. The problem is the lawmaking body that controls the narrative of how schools are performing.

With the constant dialogue that “we must improve schools” and the “need to implement reforms,” it is imperative that we as a taxpaying public seek to understand all of the variables in which schools are and can be measured, and not all of them are quantifiable.

And not all of them are reported or allowed to be seen.

Betsy DeVos’s March, 2018 assertion on 60 Minutes that America’s schools have seen no improvement despite the billions and billions of dollars thrown at them was a nearsighted, close minded, and rather uneducated assessment of public schools because she was displaying two particular characteristics of lawmakers and politicians who are bent on delivering a message that public schools are not actually working.

The first is the insistence that “they” know education better than those who actually work in education. Just look at the most recent former US Secretary of Education and the most recent former State Superintendent of NC.

The second is the calculated spin of evidence and/or the squashing of actual truth. Those who control the dialogue in North Carolina and in many other states only tell their side of the spin and neglect to talk of all of the variables that schools are and should be measured by.

Consider the following picture/graph:

schools 1

All of the external forces that affect the health of traditional public schools generally are controlled and governed by our North Carolina General Assembly, rather by the majority currently in power.

The salaries and benefits that teachers receive are mandated and controlled by the NCGA. When graduate degree pay bumps and due-process rights were removed from newer teachers, that affected recruitment of teachers. When the salary schedule became more “bottom-heavy” for newer teachers, it affected the retaining of veteran teachers.

With the changes from NCLB to RttT, from standard Course of Study to Common Core, from one standardized test to another, and from one curriculum revision to another, the door of public school “requirements” has become an ever-revolving door. Add to that the fact that teachers within the public schools rarely get to either help create or grade those very standardized tests.

North Carolina still spends less on per-pupil expenditures than it did since before the Great Recession when adjusted for inflation. Who has control of that? The North Carolina General Assembly.

Within the next ten years, NC will spend almost a billion dollars financing the Opportunity Grants, a voucher program, when there exists no empirical data showing that they actually improve student outcomes. Removing the charter school cap also has allowed more taxpayer money to go to entities that do not show any more improvement over traditional schools on average. When taxpayer money goes to vouchers and charter schools, it becomes money that is not used for the almost 85% of students who still go to traditional public schools.

And just look at the ways that schools are measured. School Performance Grades really have done nothing but show the effects of poverty. School report cards carry data that is compiled and aggregated by secret algorithms, and teacher evaluation procedures have morphed more times than a strain of the flu.

When the very forces that can so drastically affect traditional public schools are coupled with reporting protocols controlled by the same lawmaking body, how the public ends up viewing the effectiveness of traditional public schools can equally be spun.

schools 2

If test scores truly dictated the effectiveness of schools, then everyone in Raleigh in a position to affect policy should take the tests and see how they fare. If continuing to siphon taxpayer money into reforms that have not shown any empirical data of student improvement is still done, then those who push those reforms should be evaluated.

So much goes into what makes a public school effective, and yes, there are some glaring shortcomings in our schools, but when the very people who control the environment in which schools can operate make much noise about how our schools are failing us, then they might need to look in the mirror to identify the problem.

Because in so many ways our schools are really succeeding despite those who want to reform them.

Local School Boards Should Not Be Partisan

Yes, public education is political. But it does not have to be partisan.

Yet, in the last few years, more and more local school board elections are becoming partisan races steering school systems by a GPS system based on political dogma and controlled in Raleigh rather than what is best for the local school system.

My own school system, the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools is a partisan board and many, including myself, see that as an obstacle in fully helping our schools.

Below is from an article in Education Week dated in December of 2017.

The volatile mix of partisan politics and school board elections is on full display in North Carolina.

The Republican-controlled legislature in the last five years has systematically flipped the election process for more than a quarter of the state’s 116 local school boards from nonpartisan races to ones in which candidates are identified by party affiliation.

Depending on whom you talk to in this politically purple state, it’s a historic shift that could lead to much-needed transparency, upend board-member relations, or shrink black and Latino political representation in a racially and ethnically diverse state.

The push toward partisan school board elections in North Carolina has gained momentum since 2013, shortly after the federal government loosened the reins on Voting Rights Act restrictions under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder decision, and after Republicans took control of the North Carolina legislature. The state now has 35 school boards that will be elected on a partisan basis—at least 10 of them added to that pool by lawmakers this year alone (https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/12/13/shift-to-partisan-school-board-elections-looms.html). 

At one time on the WSFCS school board were two people who never were elected to such a position. One of them actually became the Vice-Chair before he was defeated in the primary when he actually did run for that office.

What had happened was that two people had resigned / left and because it was a partisan school board, the party affiliation of the member leaving got to dictate who came on board as a school board representative.

Currently, about a third of the LEA’s in NC are partisan. EdNC.org just put out a map showing those districts.

That EdNC.org aricle also has a list of those that are partisan and the election term dates in a link..

Later in that aformentioned EdWeek article it states,

The state’s Republicans say having local school board candidates identify by party affiliation on primary and general election ballots is simply an effort to make sure voters know candidates’ stances on polarizing issues such as school integration, vouchers, and which restroom transgender students should use.

But North Carolina Democrats counter that party politics will only bring to local school board meetings the sort of partisan rancor that’s dominated federal and state politics in recent years.

“I believe people should look at the qualities of the individual and determine if they have a heart for education,” said Bea Basnight, a Democrat and the chair of Dare County’s board of education, which will hold partisan elections for the first time next year. “We put our party affiliations aside when we walk through the door because it’s about the children.”

I agree with that statement by Basnight.

The only affiliation that a school board member should have next to his or her name is that he or she is pro-public education.

The Hypocrisy of “Transparency” In NC Schools & Society

Remember this recent bill?

Senate Bill 700 was filed less than four weeks ago.

Here are a couple of parts to that bill:

Post everything that is used and the sourcing of all of these materials? So that people can make judgement without the context and measure those materials against their own personal bias and viewpoints?

Oh, right. For transparency’s sake.

Remember this? It’s still going on.

But we already have this on the books in NC:

Yep. Transparency.

The ACT Should Never Have This Much Power Over NC High Schools

A little over five years ago, an extended editorial appeared in newspapers across North Carolina concerning public education. I happened to read it in the Winston-Salem Journal.

It was written by Walter McDowell, a board member of BEST NC. McDowell, a former executive with Wachovia, talked of the dire need to transform education in North Carolina. And just to clarify, there are many who will always say that we “need to transform” education. You can read that op-ed here.

In short, McDowell told the state it had a huge problem and that his consortium, BEST NC, was mapping a way for our transformation. He called it “Excellence: North Carolina’s Education Vision.”

“Recently, Excellence: North Carolina’s Education Vision was launched. It was developed with input and collaboration from education, business and policy leaders from across the state. Excellence outlines a shared vision to make North Carolina’s education system the best in the nation by 2030.

Inspired by this vision and the important work of our educators, the 115 business leaders who compose BEST NC will continue to work with the education community, the governor and the General Assembly on high-yield investments and systemic strategies that will dramatically improve students’ educational experiences in our state. It is our hope that our elected leaders see from this report that elevating educators must be at the top of the list in those discussions.”

It is always nice to think that we educators are being “lifted” in the eyes of the public, but McDowell used as one of the measures to qualify our state’s dire circumstances the state’s average ACT scores.

He said,

“Then, shortly before the budget passed, North Carolina received news that we are still last in the nation in college and career readiness as measured by the ACT exam. There could be no greater urgency in North Carolina than solving this education crisis.”

I responded to McDowell’s argument with a rebuttal. It was published in the 10/17/15 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal. Specifically, I responded to the use of the ACT as the barometer of the entire health of the NC education system. I argued,

“North Carolina is one of only 13 states (in 2015 – in 2017 it was around 17) that requires all students (EC, LEP, etc.) to take that exam, which has no impact on their transcripts, provides no feedback in its scores on how to improve student achievement and is administered on a school day on which other activities and classes take place. Most states only have paying students take the ACT on a Saturday; those students have an investment in the results, hence higher scores” (http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/columnists/stuart-egan-judging-schools-by-an-unfair-standard/article_0aa55234-8b82-5713-8114-65bc43e80eb1.html).

Unfortunately, BEST NC is still active in Raleigh trying to lobby business style reforms for public education.

And there is talk in Raleigh to stop using the EOC tests in high schools and replace them with national standardized tests. Of course the ACT would be one of the tests that could be considered. It is already mandated to be taken by students. It is possible that it becomes even more of a presence in the measurement of school and student achievement.

Besides the aforementioned reasons that we as a state should not rely on the ACT so much, there is that characteristic of the ACT that is similar to our state’s school performance grades: it measures the effects of poverty on schools as well as racial/ethnic divides.

Jon Boeckenstedt, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, writes a blog that comments on admission tests for colleges and universities. One of his posts dealt with the ACT score distributions based on reported income and ethnicity.

The patterns are clear.

Here’s what it looks like based on ethnicity.

Name the only state in the country with the lowest legal minimum wage, one of the lowest corporate tax rates, no collective bargaining rights for public employees, no Medicaid expansion, loosely regulated voucher and charter school expansion, a school performance grading system that measures achievement over growth, and has had congressional district lines declared unconstitutional that were drawn on racial lines. 

North Carolina.

Would ACT scores reflect that?

Now Is The Time To Expand The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program To Include All NC Public Colleges & Universities – Especially Our HBCU’s

These two data exhibits in the recently released Leandro Report paint a vivid picture of what many in this state have been describing for years: the weakening of the teacher pipeline in North Carolina because of policies set by the NCGA.

leandroretention2

From 2009-10 to 2016-17, the percentage of new teachers who came from the UNC system dropped nearly 30%. Couple that with the fact that teachers who come from the UNC system have higher rates of retention at both the three-year and five-year mark (see below).

leandroretention1

Then on page 218 directly following the above exhibits, the Leandro Report states,

Although there has been an increase in the number of teachers of color (now about 30% of teacher enrollments in state teacher preparation programs), some of these teachers — particularly African American and Native American recruits — are primarily entering through alternative routes, which have much higher attrition rates. One reason for this is the steep drop in teacher education enrollments in minority-serving institutions, including historically Black colleges, which decreased by more than 60% between 2011 and 2016.

Teachers of color are an important resource. Recent research — much of it conducted in North Carolina — has found that having a same-race teacher has a positive impact on the long-term education achievement and attainment of students of color, particularly African American students (e.g., Dee, 2004; Gershenson, Hart, Lindsay, & Papageorge, 2017).

This state could do one action to help both increase the number of teacher candidates trained in our UNC system and bring in more teacher candidates of color – expand the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program exponentially – the same North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program that put so many great teachers in our NC schools for years.

That is until it was abolished and then brought back as a shadow of its former self.

The latest iteration of the Teaching Fellow Program only accommodates 160 potential teachers at “only one of five public or private universities to be selected by an appointed committee ” for only select fields. This comes nowhere to replacing a program that yearly helped train 500 potential teachers at multiple campuses  in a variety of subjects who were for 25 years also walking advertisements for teaching in the state that was at one time committed to public schools.

What NC needs now is to raise that number of yearly candidates to at least 1000.

Imagine if just one-tenth of the budget surplus that Phil Berger and Tim Moore have been bragging about these last few years was reinvested into the Teaching Fellow Program and expanded it to beyond what it used to be to include all state-supported colleges and universities with emphasis on our public Historically Black Colleges & Universities.

hbcu

Because this state needs more good teachers – more good teachers who stay. We especially need more teachers of color to whom our students can look up to in the most impressionable times of their lives.

Studies show that students of color who have teachers of color achieve more in school.

And that Leandro report confirms that.

What Do North Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, and Idaho Have In Common? Indoctrination Witch Hunts

We are not the only state to start targeting teachers.

Last month our new Lt. Governor established a task force to expose indoctrination in our public schools.

As a concerned citizen you can now issue a complaint of indoctrination on the Lt. Gov.’s official website.

Yesterday, Idaho announced the same type of initiative.

Idaho Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin is working on putting together a task force to examine indoctrination in Idaho education and to protect our young people from the scourge of critical race theory, socialism, communism, and Marxism.

“As I have traveled around the state and spoken with constituents and parents, it has become clear to me that this is one of the most significant threats facing our society today. We must find where these insidious theories and philosophies are lurking and excise them from our education system,” Lt. Gov. McGeachin said. “Idahoans are increasingly frustrated by the apparent lack of awareness and leadership coming from the state on these issues.”

When Berger’s Spokesperson Says, “They Blocked Teacher Raises A Couple Of Years Ago,” He Forgets To Mention This.

Today it was reported that NC has fallen to 33rd in the country for teacher pay.

The process that NEA uses to figure teacher pay in this report is not as fluid as one might think. Too many states provide differing data and then it has to be normalized against other data when it hardly seems possible.

But it’s that “two years without raises” thing that is the topic of this post and what Sen. Berger’s spokesperson, Pat Ryan, said about that.

Actually, it ain’t that simple, Pat.

NCGA GOP stalwarts like Sen. Berger’s spokeperson are trying to frame the narrative that Gov. Cooper and NCGA Senate Democrats placed teachers on the chopping block because they upheld a veto on what was presented as a 3.9% average raise in teacher salaries a couple of years ago.

And that narrative is a gross misinterpretation of the reality.

On the surface, what Berger & Co. are presenting to the public is that teachers were to get a 3.9% average raise.

3.9 1

But many people forget that when budgets are written for the state, they are biennial budgets: two-year budgets. When teachers are said to be getting a 3.9% pay raise in “this budget,” it means it is over a two-year period. That “full” raise is not occurring immediately. Plus, any budget  can be amended in a future session to offset anything passed in this past summer.

3.9 2

Now, consider this when that “raise” was first presented a couple of years ago:

3.9 4

Step increases based on seniority according to that tweet above are also part of the “raises.” The issue is that those step increases had already passed in a mini-budget bill in the fall of 2019.

Lawmakers in the Senate Thursday passed what’s known as step increases for teachers.

It’s basically a bonus. For each year you’ve been a teacher, you’ll get about a $100 step increase up until a certain point but some are worried it’s not enough.

Lawmakers have been passing these ‘mini budgets’ since Governor Cooper vetoed the full budget, months ago.

That makes that whole narrative of leaving a 3.9% raise on the table even more misleading.

3.9 3

What Cooper and Senate Democrats vetoed was based on the last graphic there.

Actually that bill was this one – Senate Bill 354.

SB354 1

That bill would have put the following salary schedule in place for teachers.

SB354 2

It would have replaced this salary schedule.

schedule4

The problem is that there is not much of a difference. In fact, it would only affect teachers with 16+ years and even then, not much at all. Just look at the comparison.

SB354 3

What that translates to is a monthly increase of $50 for all teachers with 16-20 years of experience.

150$/month for teachers with 21-24 years of experience.

$60/month for teachers with 25+ years.

But look at it in this manner – Why? Because it is important to note that the number of veteran teachers in North Carolina has gone down in the last few years – especially when the current NCGA powers who are currently bragging about what SB354 was offering.

Kristin Beller, the president of the Wake County Association of Educators and a champion in public school advocacy, “ran” these numbers concerning the proposed raises in SB354 against the current numbers of teachers in the state (those numbers can be  found here).

true raise1

The first part concerns the numbers of teachers in the state broken down by experience.

beller1

Then she added numbers in the categories defined by SB354’s compensation ranges and showed the percentage of those groups as part of the entire teacher workforce.

beller2

Then she multiplied the number of teachers in each rung that would get a raise by the actual monthly raise defined by SB354 and then added those products together. That sum is the amount of overall money given to the raises.

beller3

Since the graphic near the beginning of the post “represents” the entire teaching profession getting an average “%3.9” raise, then it means that every teacher should have gotten something. Right?

Not so.

Furthermore, if you divide the sum of money to be used in the raises by the number of teachers in the state, you get… less than $33/month.

beller4

And yes, that bill had “raises” for the following year.

SB354 4

It does the exact same thing as the 2019-2020. Except it only adds $50 a month to each of the teachers in the 16+ year experience range.

That’s what Cooper vetoed.

His plan would have been much better for all teachers.

Great Teachers Can Admit They Are Wrong To Their Students

It was about a year ago when then President Donald Trump made an assertion that sunlight and heat could offer a cure for COVID-19.

On a stage in April of 2020 with 50,000 Americans dead (over 570,000 now) from the COVID-19 virus addressing a national audience in an election year with the economy crashing and unemployment rising by the second, you do not as a leader have any inkling of being sarcastic on live television.

wrong1

It wasn’t sarcasm.  Anyone who has taught for years in large public schools could expertly tell you that.

Just say “I was wrong.” And maybe apologize.

Teach thousands of classes, input thousands of grades, manage hundreds (even thousands) of students in a career, you will be wrong in front of students.

And they will catch you and put you on the spot.

Been there – a lot. And I will tell them I was wrong. I will let them argue with me about the answer or the process and if they are right and I was wrong, I will acknowledge it.

Why? Because I have learned that great teachers do that and I want to be a great teacher. If I am going to try and teach my students to be thinkers and inquisitive life-long learners, then I need to remove the obstacles and show them that I am not only capable of being wrong, but willing to keep learning from it.

When a new younger teacher comes into my school and teaches in the same department, one of the first pieces of advice I tell him/her is that they need to get over being the only person who is right. Having students call you out on wrong answers means they are listening and it makes you a better teacher because it shows where you might not be as strong as you will the next class.

Students will respect you for it. They may show it it in different ways. But they will respect you for it. And I have issued my share of apologies and wouldn’t take a single one of them back.

Plus, the “average” student I have in my classes is already a master at verbal irony – which is a rhetorical term.

This NCGA Just Doesn’t Want Veteran Public School Teachers Working In This State

7-11-OldTeachersMug

There are many on West Jones Street in Raleigh who are deathly afraid of when teachers come together to fight for public schools, and they are especially scared of the North Carolina veteran teacher.

Interestingly enough, you can still find veteran NC teachers in public schools. Many have graduate degrees in education and other vital fields, have due-process rights, and have survived many government-driven initiatives to change curriculum, testing, and evaluation protocols. These veteran teachers have also withstood the failed initiatives of merit pay, No Child Left Behind, and Race to the Top. Currently many are weathering, but still educating effectively, continued reforms in the wake of school voucher programs, ridiculous school measurement instruments, and lowered funding. Some even belong to education advocacy associations like NCAE.

And having these veteran NC teachers in our schools is vital to our students and our communities. Furthermore, they pave the way for newer teachers. If there are no more veteran NC teachers, then the new NC teachers will not transition into veterans themselves.

However, many profit-minded political poachers are lurking in legislative chambers hoping to alter the environment for these veteran teachers in hopes to prevent more from coming into fruition. Why? Because veteran teachers with due-process rights have the ability to provide a check and balance for the public school system like none other against the forces of personalities and profit that are mixed in NC’s politics.

And while there are still many veteran NC teachers in schools now, they are lower in number than five years ago, and those numbers will continue to dwindle if current conditions stay in place.

It will get to a point where the veteran NC teacher will be no longer. They will either go to other states or transition into another profession or early retirement.

They will be extinct. And our schools, students, and communities will suffer severely from that.

What actions have been taken to help eradicate our veteran teachers and keep new teachers from becoming veterans in North Carolina? They are many and they are deliberate.

  1. Removal of due-process rights. At one time the NC General Assembly took away due-process rights for all teachers. It was ruled unconstitutional by the court system in the case for those veteran teachers who already got those rights when they became fully certified. However, newer teachers in the profession will not get due-process rights in North Carolina. That will surely inhibit those teachers from advocating loudly for schools in the future for fear of reprisal.

And those teachers who had due-process rights may be retiring earlier than expected because of conditions.

New NC teachers cannot fully become veteran NC teachers if not allowed to stand up for themselves and the students they teach.

  1. Removal of Graduate Degree pay bumps. As with due-process rights, graduate degree pay bumps have been abolished. What once represented the only way (besides National Board Certification) to gain a promotion in pay was to get a relevant graduate degree. While many have argued that teachers with graduate degrees are not more effective, that argument is usually made by people who stand to profit from controlling teacher pay (https://www.ednc.org/2016/04/22/why-teachers-believe-advanced-degrees-matter/). New North Carolina teachers cannot become veteran North Carolina teachers if not allowed to work on becoming more qualified.
  2. Salary Scale “adjustments”. This current GOP-led NCGA put into place a new salary schedule a few years ago that literally tops out at a little over $53 K as the highest salary a new teacher could ever make in a thirty-year career. While many in the NCGA claim that salaries have gone up for teachers they lock in on a trivial word – “average.” It’s true that average salaries have gone up, but really only for the newer teachers. Veteran teachers did not receive these kinds of raises.

Besides, it is easier to pay three new teachers than two veteran teachers if you are only looking at the bottom line for salary. However, think of the mentoring and the effect on student achievement coming from those veteran teachers, especially if they are respected by the state.

Oh, and that doesn’t even begin the discussion of the removal of longevity pay, which in NC only applies to teachers.

New teachers in North Carolina cannot become veteran teachers in NC if they cannot make a salary that allows for them to support a family and/or have a mortgage.

  1. Removal of class size caps. When the legislation removed the caps on class size, it helped to balloon the number of students in a class for teachers. That applies to all teachers, k-12. Some systems made the switch to block scheduling as well for their high schools. Simply put, teachers are teaching more classes with more kids with less planning time and collaboration opportunities. If you remember NC’s “Class Size Chaos,” then you will be familiar with the unfounded claims by the NCGA that “extra” funds were given to school systems to help pay for more space and teachers to create smaller classes. Those claims were lies.

Also put into consideration the removal of funds for professional development and teachers are forced to either get re-certified in the summer on their own time and money, or they have to squeeze that professional development into the school year which takes away time from those bigger classes.

New teachers in North Carolina cannot become veteran teachers in NC if they are forced to teach so many kids that it takes away from the student/teacher dynamic crucial to learning.

  1. Too many standardized tests. The only thing a citizen has to do is to see how many tests are administered in a public school for the sake of measuring student achievement – EOG’s, EOCT’s, PSAT, PLAN, Pre-ACT, ACT, AP, ASVAB, etc.,etc.,etc.

And that doesn’t even touch the time needed to review for the exams or to take teacher made exams.

New teachers in North Carolina cannot become veteran teachers in NC if not allowed to have a say into what is on the test and how those tests are graded.

  1. Inconsistent teacher evaluation programs. Three words – Value Added Measures.

New teachers in North Carolina cannot become veteran teachers in NC if their effectiveness is measured arbitrarily.

  1. Lack of resources and less money per pupil. This has been explained so many times, but it can’t be stated enough.  –

New teachers in North Carolina cannot become veteran teachers in NC if they constantly are asked to do more with less and watch as charter schools and vouchers suck more money from traditional public schools.

  1. School grading system. This letter grading system used by the state literally shows how poverty in our state affects student achievement. What the state proved with this grading system is that it is ignoring the very students who need the most help — not just in the classroom, but with basic needs such as early childhood programs and health-care accessibility. These performance grades also show that schools with smaller class sizes and more individualized instruction are more successful, a fact that lawmakers willfully ignore when it comes to funding our schools to avoid overcrowding.

New teachers in North Carolina cannot become veteran teachers in NC if they are constantly being told that their schools are “failing” when they actually show substantial student growth.

Those are eight of the more visible ways that the NCGA has tried to alter the environment to eventually exterminate the North Carolina veteran teacher. To a certain extent, it has worked.

And there is no telling what this school year during a pandemic will do to the teaching ranks.