Sunday, July 28, 2013

A step in the right direction

North Carolina has become the first state in the country to eliminate tenure and automatic pay raises for obtaining an advanced degree (usually a Masters) at the K-12 level.  From a short article at
North Carolina took the first step to change their education system and make it better for the children. Governor Pat McCrory (R) signed a bill that eliminates teacher tenure and eliminates automatic pay increases for any teacher who earns a master’s degree.
Many states do allow an automatic increases when a teacher receives a higher degree, but it does not always mean better teaching. Teachers in elementary and high schools will not receive tenure and salaries will be frozen for the fifth time in six years.  North Carolina is the first state to pass this type of bill. The Wall Street Journal said other states have talked about using student performances as a way to evaluate teachers.
The problem has always been, of course, that teachers unions hate the idea of merit raises based on teaching performance.  They want, and usually get, raises based on seniority and other non-teaching performance related criteria.  And it is notoriously difficult to fire a teacher for incompetence if he/she is in the union.  So we get stuck with lots of bad teachers who get raises for variables that have nothing to do with quality teaching and can't be fired.  That's why this move in North Carolina is good news, a step in the right direction.  What we need now is a stampede in the right direction!