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Charter school bill would lower teacher quality standards

Tomorrow afternoon, the North Carolina Senate is set to vote on SB 337, which creates a Public Charter School Board that is separate from the State Board of Education and does away with the Charter School Advisory Council.  This bill would needlessly exempt charter schools from any requirement that teachers be certified.

Under current law, just 50% of charter school teachers in middle and high school and 75% of charter school teachers in elementary school are required to be certified.  SB 337 removes even this minimal floor and allows charter schools to operate without any certified teachers.  Charter schools can already employ many uncertified teachers, and teachers outside of core subject areas in grades 6-12 are not even required to be college graduates.  There is no reason to lower the bar even further when it comes to who can teach children in charter schools.

Parents want their children to be taught by high quality teachers and they expect that teachers will possess education and certification in the area they are instructing.  Research confirms what parents already know – certified teachers do a better job of educating children.  Dr. Helen Ladd from Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy found that North Carolina students who were taught by uncertified teachers suffered losses in student achievement when compared to children who were taught by certified teachers.

According to State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey, this bill would also create an unconstitutional school board.  The State Board of Education, charged in the North Carolina Constitution with overseeing the state’s education system, presently relies on the Charter School Advisory Council to review charter school applications and make recommendations regarding the approval and oversight of North Carolina’s charter schools.  Both bodies have been working to develop and implement a system of charter school oversight and approval that grows charter schools responsibly.   SB 337 would create a completely separate school board that makes charter schools less accountable and loses the progress that has been made toward creating a meaningful approval and oversight process.

The original purpose behind public charter schools was that they would work together with traditional public schools to share best practices and innovative teaching techniques, ensure that services and educational programming are not needlessly duplicated, and generally make sure that charter schools and public schools are working together to serve the diverse needs of all children in the state.  SB 337 would lower the quality of the teaching force in charter schools, stifle charter school oversight and accountability, and create an unconstitutional board that pits one public school system against another rather than foster collaboration.

9 Comments

  1. Doug

    May 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Dont even consider the fact that many of the same facts are applicable to the direct government schools. There are a lot of teachers that may not be certified, or work outside their base curriculum. What actually matters most is if the teacher can connect with the students and get the information over to them….not if they have sat in an English class for a certain number of hours.

  2. Gene Hoglan

    May 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    As if teacher standards are even relevant to why this is happening. As always, follow the money.

  3. david esmay

    May 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    NC GOP, lowering the Human Development Index one bill at a time.

  4. Jack

    May 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    According to Doug teachers don’t even have to be skilled at their profession as long as they “connect” with their students in some ethereal way. Sounds like a stoner hippie commune style of education. “Little dude, you ever looked at your hand? I mean, really looked at your hand? I’m no college educated teacher but I think the hand is amazing!”

  5. Doug

    May 7, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Jack,
    The way the government is moving the curriculum, that is probably right. There is little left other than being able to connect with the students because the material is laid out so rigidly. And like I said, a lot of teachers have not taken classes in the subjects they are teaching, and the certification process is more about how to lay out lesson plans and indoctrination into the educrat complex than building to teaching as a skill.

  6. Ann Wood

    May 7, 2013 at 9:30 am

    It is hard to believe that my State, North Carolina, has sunk so low.
    How can you take taxpayers money, and move it to Charter schools
    without being sued? Once again, people who care nothing for children are using them as pawns in their game of making everyone less educated. Uneducated, underpaid, underemployed – well, it all works for the enrichment of the already rich and powerful. The public watches the propaganda stations (Fox News, among others) and then goes to the polls and votes AGAINST their own interests. Amazing.

  7. david esmay

    May 7, 2013 at 10:40 am

    New charter school in the works, “The Doug/Republican Shool for Kids That Don’t Read Good”, Fletcher Hartsell is on board to walk the application through.

  8. Jack

    May 7, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I don’t disagree with you on the “indoctrination” aspect of education Doug but that applies to teachers and students alike. During my time in the public education system I was indoctrinated to be the best worker drone I could be. I always rebelled against that. Not until I attended a small liberal arts college did I receive a meaningful and life changing education.

  9. gregflynn

    May 7, 2013 at 11:27 am

    For NC teachers certified and licensed mean the same thing.

    NC Professional Educator’s Licensure

    All professional employees of public schools must hold a professional educator’s license for the subject or grade level they teach or for the professional education assignment that they hold.