Legislators in the far-right legislature of the once forward-looking state of North Carolina waste no opportunity to demoralize teachers with their wacky punitive policies. They just don’t like teachers. They seem certain that only 25% of the state’s teachers are worthy, even though 96% were rated effective by the state evaluation system.
So the teacher-bashers in the legislature will make sure to play whack-a-mole with the lives of teachers.
The new plan is to strip tenure from all teachers and let teachers compete for four/year contracts and $5,000 bonuses.
North Carolina is one of the lowest paying states in the nation for teachers. One reason to accept low wages is a promise of reasonable job security. That will be eliminated. As Lindsey Wagner reported in NC Policy Watch, some NC teachers are leaving the state, realizing that the legislature wants to destroy their profession and reduce them to public mendicants.
Leaders of the state’s two largest districts see this as bad policy:
“The General Assembly voted this year to eliminate teacher tenure in 2018. In the meantime, school districts across the state are being required to identify which educators will be offered a $5,000 pay raise as part of a four-year contract if they give up their tenure. Roughly one-quarter will be offered the four-year deal.
Some of the most vocal complaints are coming from the Wake County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg school systems. Like their counterparts across the state, the large systems are searching for a way to carry out the new state requirements.
“I’m hoping the General Assembly will talk with educators and look at the long-term consequences – both intended and unintended – of this legislation before it does irreparable harm that will take years and years and years to fix,” Wake County school board member Kevin Hill said Tuesday at a school board meeting.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Heath Morrison said the four-year contract and bonus plan has raised a host of questions, and threatens already-rocky teacher morale.
But backers of the change say it provides meaningful education reform by basing job security and pay on performance. They say the old system of giving tenure and then basing pay on seniority rewarded ineffective teachers.”
Contracts and bonuses will be tied to test scores.
A defender of the legislation used the occasion to ridicule teachers:
“Only in the warped world of education bureaucrats and union leaders could a permanent $5,000 pay raise for top-performing teachers be branded as a bad thing,” Amy Auth, a spokeswoman for state Senate leader Phil Berger, a Rockingham County Republican, said in a written statement.
Historically, North Carolina public school teachers who have passed a four-year probationary period have earned tenure, called career status.”
And there is more to this sad story:
Critics of the system, such as Berger, have pointed to the firing of 17 tenured teachers in the 2011-12 school year to argue that too many bad teachers are still being employed. But supporters of tenure argue that it protects good teachers from being fired unfairly, and that many bad teachers are encouraged to resign.
Starting July 1, 2018, North Carolina public school teachers will receive contracts of between one and four years. Teachers will work under contracts that are renewed based on performance – like nearly every other profession, according to Auth.
Some changes go into effect now, such as offering four-year contracts to some educators.
A big question concerns how to determine which teachers will be offered the four-year contracts. Superintendents will present a list of names to their school boards, which can modify the list.
Administrators from 10 of the state’s biggest school districts, including Wake, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham, Johnston and Gaston, held a video conference Tuesday to talk about the changes.
“You actually have some school districts that are suggesting that they’ll do a lottery because of concerns about legal issues and concerns about morale,” Morrison said.
Auth stressed that the “top 25 percent of teachers” will get the new contract and raises, saying they’re “highly effective teachers.” Teachers must be rated “proficient” under the state evaluation system to be eligible.
But Ann McColl, general counsel for the N.C. Association of Educators, pointed to state statistics showing that 96 percent of classroom teachers were rated as proficient.”