Teachers

Teachers protesting
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.  

A common sight in almost every school -- students taking a test
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.  

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.

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.

Gov. Pat McCrory stands at a podium and speaks to the Emerging Issues Forum on Monday.
Dave DeWitt

After ongoing controversy about educator pay, Governor Pat McCrory announced a plan to increase salaries for new teachers yesterday. Under this plan, the base pay for the state’s beginning teachers will increase to $35,000 over the next two years, bringing North Carolina starting teacher pay in line with that of border states like Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina.

NCAE, along with six plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the repeal of career status which has been around since 1971.
SalFalko via Flickr

The N.C. Association of Educators filed a second major education lawsuit in a week, this time challenging the end of tenureotherwise known as career statusfor North Carolina public school teachers.

The lawsuit, also filed by six classroom teachers, argues that the repeal of career status violates federal and state constitutions by taking away basic due process rights.

little girl with surprised expression on her face
Miracle on 34th Street movie

Update 12/17/13, 10:00 a.m.:

In recent days we've asked teachers to tell us about unusual gifts they've received from students. The stories keep coming in.

Sue Edelberg is an ESL teacher at Clayton Middle School. She writes:

I'm a first year teacher so I've yet to receive a strange gift, but last week I received a very unique and creative gift: it was a little box made out of notebook paper, from a 6th grader who loves origami and magic tricks.  It had an X on it, so he said it was supposed to be  an X Box.

Ethan Tillman student and teacher
Dave DeWitt

Why do teachers stay and why do they go? Dave DeWitt has been reporting on this subject around the state in recent weeks. He's been meeting teachers and students and today he'll preview his series with Frank.

Plus the latest in the court battle over the state’s controversial new voting laws.

And, "rockin' country" with Raleigh's Erin Nenni Band.

A new report shows that the teacher turnover rate has been steadily climbing since 2010.
Gates Foundation via Flickr

An annual report shows that more North Carolina teachers left their jobs in 2012-13 than in previous school years.

Out of the 95,028 teachers employed, 13,616 teachers left their districts, resulting in an overall state turnover rate of about 14 percent, or about one out of every seven teachers.  

That number is a slight increase from the previous year’s turnover rate of 12 percent and 11 percent in 2010-11.

Lawmakers voted this summer to eventually eliminate teacher tenure, replacing it with temporary contracts. The State Board of Education will discuss a model contract this week.
cybrarian77 / Creative Commons/Flickr

 The State Board of Education is expected to approve a model employment contract for teachers this week, as teacher tenures will end within the next few years. 

The model is expected to give local school boards some guidance when drafting their own pacts with teachers.

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