Phil Berger

Education
4:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Competitive Teaching? NC Wrestles With Paying Best Teachers More

Under the current teacher salary schedule, teachers are paid solely on years of experience.
Credit Dave DeWitt

This is an issue with way more than just two sides. To illustrate how convoluted and complicated paying teachers has become, consider this fairly simple argument from Terry Stoops, the Director of Education Studies at the conservative John Locke Foundation:

“Frankly it’s unfair to our highest-performing teachers,” Stoops says. “There’s no reason why the Teacher of the Year in North Carolina should make as much as any other teacher.”

Now here’s an actual, real life North Carolina Teacher of the Year, who, in a free market, would get paid more:

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Education
4:31 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Republicans Hope Salary Increases Ease Teacher Turnover

The Emerging Issues Forum: Teachers and the Great Economic Debate drew more than 1,000 educators, policy makers, and lawmakers to the Raleigh Convention Center.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Diane Ravitch is an education historian. She’s also a best-selling author and hugely influential on social media. In the past few years, she’s also become the champion for traditional public school teachers. What she isn’t, is subtle.

“North Carolina is bleeding talent,” she told the crowd at the Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh on Tuesday. “North Carolina is bleeding experience. North Carolina has a brain drain caused by bad policy.”

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Education
3:59 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Republicans Plan To Pay Some NC Teachers More, Democrats Scoff

Gov. Pat McCrory speaks to the Emerging Issues Forum on Monday.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Republican leaders in North Carolina have announced a plan to increase teacher compensation. It would raise the starting salary for new teachers, making North Carolina much more competitive in what it pays new teachers – especially when measured against southern states like Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Governor Pat McCrory chose his old high school, Ragsdale High in Guilford County, to announce the plan to pay new teachers a more competitive salary.

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Education
4:33 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Teachers Fight Over Loss Of Tenure, New Contracts

The public hearing on the proposed teacher contracts did not draw a large crowd.
Credit Dave DeWitt

There are 95,000 public school teachers in North Carolina, give or take. So how many, given their only chance to comment publicly on the end of tenure, would make their way to downtown Raleigh to voice their displeasure? Hundreds? Thousands, maybe?

Try four.

But maybe the low attendance wasn’t so much a reflection on teachers’ anger – it might just speak more to their sense of duty. The public hearing, after all, was scheduled on a Wednesday afternoon at 1 PM. Hardly convenient for a teacher.

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Politics & Government
10:02 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Potential Successors To Congressman Coble Step Forward

Rep. Howard Coble (R) is retiring next year. The race to replace him is already underway.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

 Audio FileJeff Tiberii's report on candidates who want to succeed Congressman Howard Coble.Edit | Remove

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North Carolina Teacher Project
4:59 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Where We Are Now: Teaching In North Carolina

Credit Dave DeWitt

Earlier this year, as the North Carolina General Assembly was just beginning its session, Senate Leader Phil Berger stood before the media to explain what he hoped to accomplish. Not surprisingly, much of his efforts were going to be focused on education.

“The goal obviously is to make sure that our kids have every opportunity to succeed in their educational environment but also in life,” Berger said. “Right now, our public educational system is failing too many of our students and we need significant improvement there.”

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North Carolina Teacher Project
4:36 am
Wed November 20, 2013

How We Got Here: Teaching In North Carolina

William Campbell on his first day integrating Raleigh City Schools.
Credit NC Museum of History

Alice Battle was already a veteran teacher when integration finally came to North Carolina.

Thirteen years after Brown v. Board of Education, she was peering out the window of her second-floor classroom, watching as white and black students streamed into Chapel Hill High School – together, for the first time. Battle had previously attended and taught in segregated Black schools and was more than a little nervous.

A riot had occurred a few days earlier, and tensions were high.

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Education
1:37 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Goodnight Decries Lack Of Support For Education

Ann Goodnight
Credit NC State University

Ann Goodnight is not happy. In a letter-to-the-editor in the News and Observer, she goes after the state budget and the leaders who wrote and passed it:

We are knowingly under-investing in our pre-K-12, community college and university students; in our teachers; and in innovative new approaches to learning. This budget is an embarrassment in its lack of investment in the skills and competitiveness of its people. This is a grievous mistake.

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Politics & Government
4:39 am
Fri July 26, 2013

General Assembly Casts Historic Votes

Many will remember this Legislative session for the Moral Monday protests it inspired.
Credit Matthew Lenard

The General Assembly's last days were punctuated by passionate debate.

It seems like a long time ago, but it’s really been just seven months since newly-inaugurated Governor Pat McCrory sounded this hopeful tone:

“North Carolina’s greatest strength and asset remains its people,” he said during his inauguration speech.

“On those main streets across this state, it’s the people that count and that make a difference. People will come from different backgrounds but share a common set of principles. Self-starters and hard workers.”

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Politics & Government
4:16 am
Wed July 24, 2013

State Senate Moves Toward Sweeping Election Changes

Protestors gathered outside the Legislature to oppose changes to voting laws.
Credit Dave DeWitt

If you plan to vote in a future election in North Carolina, the Voter Information Verification Act – if it passes – affects you. That goes double if you are a younger voter, don’t have a driver’s license, like to vote early, or may ever be subject to a random challenge of your status as a voter.

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