Uncategorized

House Education Week Kicks off with Superintendents’ Concerns

This morning, state lawmakers heard from school superintendents across North Carolina who came to voice their concerns about budget cuts, merit pay, vouchers and digital learning, among other issues facing public schools.

Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Ed Pruden opened the dialogue with the declaration that vouchers and education tax credits are the single greatest threat to our public schools. Publicly funded private schools, he contends, would be positioned to pick and choose the students that will perform the best and create a two tier, segregated school system that turns its back on 70 years of progress in North Carolina.

Pruden concluded his remarks by pleading to the legislature not to allow our public school system to be an instrument for entrepreneurial gain.

On the subject of merit pay for teachers, superintendents agreed that individual bonuses for teachers tends to inhibit collaboration. A suggestion was put forward by Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Frank Till to reward entire schools for progress, which encourages increased collaboration among teachers who are all working toward the same goal.

Greene County Schools Superintendent Patrick Miller offered the results of his teacher tenure work group  insisting that those already tenured or in the pipeline for tenure should be grandfathered in and that contracts and due process mirror the cycles for principals. There should also be incentives for teachers to opt out of tenure.

When evaluating public schools on an A-F grading system, Rockingham County Schools Superintendent Rodney Shotwell raised the point that just one or two tests are necessary to deem a school failing. What is needed instead, he offered, are better measures over time to assess how schools are underperforming. Speaker Tillis appointed Shotwell to a working group to determine the best methodology to grade schools.

Superintendents were glad to hear that digital learning was on the radar of the legislature. In response to Rep. Horn’s bill intended to fund teacher training for digital learning, Superintendent Moss of Lee county schools raised concerns about the use of the funds, noting that not all teachers need the same amounts of training in digital learning.

Other subjects raised include school calendar flexibility, incentives for students to pursue AP coursework, and, briefly, charter schools.

Today’s session, led by House Speaker Thom Tillis, was the start of Education Week in the chamber. School principals and teachers will visit the general assembly tomorrow and Thursday.

One Comment


  1. […] be sure to read reporter Lindsay Wagner’s post on the laundry list of other concerns Superintendents’ outlined for […]

Check Also

Changing hats, but my focus remains on education

Dear NC Policy Watch readers, It’s been a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Harold Brubaker, the former Republican House Speaker turned powerful lobbyist, tried to ram through [...]

A bill to limit local regulation of small cell towers is moving to a full House vote, despite concer [...]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the North Carolina GOP drew unconstitutionally racially ger [...]

The most shameful thing about the disastrous budget passed by the Senate two weeks ago is not the vi [...]

Court setbacks, public opinion, progressive activism and Trump bode ill for NC conservatives Profess [...]

So, the question as always comes down to one of vision. The elected chieftains who decide how much m [...]

2.8 billion---amount in dollars of needs in communities across the state for rebuilding efforts from [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more