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North Carolina Teachers Voice Concerns Over Controversial Proposal

Source: News & Observer

The North Carolina Association of Educators have spoken against a controversial measure aimed at overhauling the way teachers are promoted and paid in North Carolina.

Under a new proposal pushed forth by the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission, North Carolina teachers would receive a pay raise based on a combination of standardized test scores, student surveys and peer and principal evaluations – rather than the current system of factoring experience or their credentials. 

“Any approach to compensation that relies on standardized test data for base salary would be damaging to instructional practices,” Justin Parmenter, a seventh-grade teacher at Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte, stated in a News & Observer interview earlier this year. “Teachers who are already strapped for cash will be tempted to teach specifically for test mastery rather than the broader skill set that students actually need.”

Educators across the state have voiced concerns and push back against the controversial measure, underscoring that the proposal will drive “veteran teachers out of the profession, leading to greater teacher shortages”, and ultimately deterring “new educators from entering the profession, exacerbating the problem.”

“The plan is more of a deterrent than an encouragement for teachers to enter the profession. I’ve said before that this plan is punitive in nature. It sends the message that we as educators are not doing enough and that we must prove our effectiveness based on upon the results of a broken measurement system,” stated Harnett County educator Daria Fedrick.

The controversial proposal comes as the nation is facing a teacher shortage

A nationwide survey earlier this year revealed that 3 in 10 teachers are considering leaving the profession at the end of this school year, with more than a third of the 2,000 K–12 educators surveyed cited new state laws restricting classroom discussions on race, gender, and sexuality as a reason why they are leaving.

In North Carolina, a report found that the rate of North Carolina teachers retiring or leaving their job increased last year compared to the previous year, with more than 600 teachers leaving their teaching job.

Decades of underfunding, inadequate resources and low pay, compounded by Republicans’ campaign to censor teachers, has had a severe impact on educators across the state. 

Renewed oral arguments later this month surrounding the Leandro plan may take the step forward in bringing in education funding for public schools and making investments towards supporting teachers and staff across the state.


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