Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NC Teacher Pay Task Force Recommends Pay Increases for Beginning Teachers & Merit Pay

The North Carolina Legislative Task Force concluded its series of meetings to study teacher pay in North Carolina, and here’s their recommendations in a nutshell:
  • Raise beginning teacher pay and not raise the pay of any other teachers.
  • Future raises for any teachers should be performance-based or merit pay tied to test scores.
  • The General Assembly should direct the North Carolina State Board of Education to study educator compensation models and submit recommendations to the General Assembly AFTER this fall’s legislative elections.
That’s it. Those are the recommendations of this so-called Task Force. While they might have buried these exact recommendations in tons of verbiage, these basically do the following:
  • Endorse Governor Pat McCrory’s plans to only raise pay for beginning teachers. (Why am I not surprised that this Task Force turned into a rubber-stamp committee of the McCrory administration and our current legislative leaders?)
  • Recommend that the state adopt some kind of merit pay scheme, even though that’s been tried and proven to not work multiple times. It has been even tried in North Carolina. (Again, considering the state of our North Carolina Legislature, I am not surprised at all they basically endorsed plans put forth by the American Legislative Exchange Council and many others who see merit pay as the salvation for everything.)
  • Finally, recommend another study, this time by passing the buck the North Carolina State Board of Education. Of course this passing the buck was by design due to their own earlier law. Isn't it really interesting though that the State Board of Education is to REPORT BACK AFTER THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS this fall? You can certainly read much into that move!
There’s absolutely nothing in their findings that wasn't out there and already being discussed. Meanwhile, North Carolina is hemorrhaging teachers who are seeking greener pastures elsewhere, and there are so few teachers graduating from colleges to replace them. In addition, morale for teachers in this state has never been lower, and all our state leaders can do is study so that they can again study the studies? This is all due to a legislature, who at least judging by their actions and appearances, absolutely detest public education.

Some other interesting things coming out of this exercise in political pointlessness, were the comments made by some of the teachers on the task force.
“I’m struggling to understand why we were brought here.’' Teacher Timothy Barnsback stated. He also called the whole ordeal’s four meetings “Presentations and Propaganda.”
Johnson County History teacher Richard Nixon said the report ignores veteran teachers who have been frozen out of their contractual pay increases for six years. He stated, “I don’t recall anyone saying we should raise salaries for beginning teachers and leave the rest down the road.”
It is clear that our North Carolina Legislature continues to predictably be no friend to public education. After passing a slate of legislation all designed and directed toward dismantling the teaching profession, it isn't really surprising at all that nothing substantive comes out of this North Carolina Legislative Task Force on teacher pay. Our state political leaders have certainly remained steadfastly dedicated to their anti-public education agenda, and they are counting on kicking this "teacher pay can" down the road past this fall’s elections.

UPDATE: Read WRAL's article here "Teacher Pay Report Gets Chilly Reception" and also you can read the Legislative report here: "NC Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force Report."

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