Teachers

Education
3:56 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Ranking Teachers: NC Bets Big On A Complicated Stats Model

State Senator Jerry Tillman addresses the Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Next month, a million or so North Carolina public-school students between third and twelfth grade will start taking tests. Lots of them. Reading and math tests for the younger kids; biology, Algebra, and English for the older kids.

Their scores will be tabulated and run through some servers at SAS Institute, a private company in Cary. There, software called EVAAS will compare the test score the student earned to one a statistical model predicted the student should get.

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Education
4:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Evaluating Teachers: Part Art, Part Science, And More Important Than Ever

The North Carolina Teacher Evaluation includes six standards and 214 check boxes.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Remember fifth grade? Well, whatever comes to your mind is not anything close to what it’s like now, at least in Nick Taylor’s fifth grade class at Lake Myra Elementary School in eastern Wake County.

Tucker barks out instructions to his students, directing them to grab laptops and Ipads and get with their small groups to begin comparing and contrasting two different versions of The Three Little Pigs.

Quickly and efficiently, the students mobilize.

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Education
9:24 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

One-Fourth of School Districts Oppose Law Repealing Teacher Tenure

Credit Karin Vlietstra via Flickr

At least 28 school districts across the state have voiced opposition to a new law that repeals teacher tenure and replaces it with a plan that rewards the top teachers, according the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Cumberland County Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools are among the latest to reject the law, which is meant to phase out tenure for all teachers by 2018.

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The State of Things
1:39 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

School Boards Challenge The Elimination Of Teacher Tenure

Broughton High School teacher Lee Quinn speaks out against the 25 percent mandate.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Durham school board members voted unanimously yesterday to join a lawsuit that challenges the elimination of teacher tenure and replaces it with a selective performance pay system. 

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Education
8:35 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Gov. McCrory To Review Law Repealing Teacher Tenure

Credit NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory says his staff will consider making changes to a new law that offers raises to top teachers who give up tenure rights.

Under the law, teacher tenure will be phased out by 2018 and replaced with a plan that requires local school districts to pick the top 25-percent of teachers who will be offered four-year contracts and bonuses.

“I think it’s an example of passing a policy without clearly understanding the execution,” McCrory said.

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The State of Things
12:16 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

State Legislators Propose Merit Pay For Teachers

Teachers protest
Credit Dave DeWitt

A task force created by the legislature last year met earlier this week to discuss incentives for good teaching. Some Republican leaders favor a merit pay system that would reward a limited number of teachers based on their individual performances. But many educators believe this would discourage collaboration within their schools. 

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Education
8:15 am
Wed February 26, 2014

'16 Years To Reach $40,000 Salary': Considering Pay Incentives For NC Teachers

Teachers protest
Credit Dave DeWitt

State lawmakers and education leaders are considering paying North Carolina teachers based on their individual performance, despite  concerns from stakeholders who argue it could harmfully affect students and teacher morale.

Republican Senator Jerry Tillman, an education budget writer, is helping lead a newly-formed legislative task force that will develop recommendations for alternative pay plans. Members, whom include legislators and education leaders across the state, must factor in teacher evaluation measures and student performance outcomes.  

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Education
8:36 am
Fri February 21, 2014

N.C. Leaders, Educators Evaluate Common Core Rollout

North Carolina legislators are still struggling with Common Core standards in schools.
Credit Photo by biologycorner. - http://spotlight.macfound.org/blog/entry/future-of-testing-and-data-driven-learning/#sthash.ANdJLjay.dpuf / MacArthur Foundation

North Carolina lawmakers continue to scrutinize the implementation of Common Core Standards, as they collect suggestions from leaders and educators to improve, amend or even replace them.

The state adopted the standards in 2010, though they were first implemented last school year. They are supposed to set a clear, consistent blueprint for what students across should learn from kindergarten through high school.

Implemented in 45 states, Common Core creates goals and rigorous tests that are intended to look the same across the country.  

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Education
7:48 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Teachers Ask Durham To Refuse Tenure Law, Sue The State

The North Carolina Association of Educators is organizing teachers and advocates to resist a state law that would require school boards to offer raises to the top 25 percent of teachers in exchange for giving up tenure.
Credit North Carolina Association of Educators

Some teachers and advocates with the N.C. Association of Educators are asking the Durham Board of Education to follow Guilford County's lead and decline to comply with a new state education law.

The General Assembly passed a budget that eliminates tenure in 2018. Meanwhile, school districts will offer the top 25 percent of teachers four-year contracts and $500 raises to relinquish their status.

Hillside High School teacher Nicholas Graber-Grace said the model is stacked against teachers with disadvantaged students, and it discourages collaboration among colleagues.

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Education
5:34 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pay Cuts, End Of Tenure Put North Carolina Teachers On Edge

Elementary school students in North Carolina stand outside their school in November, during an event organized by teachers to protest changes in public education.
Dave DeWitt WUNC

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:00 pm

Teacher salaries are losing ground fast in North Carolina.

Jennifer Spivey has been a teacher for three years at South Columbus High School, on the north side of the border between the Carolinas. She's been recognized as an outstanding teacher; she has a master's degree, and last summer she won a prestigious Kenan fellowship to improve education. But she still lives in her parents' basement.

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