Governor Pat McCrory unveiled his ‘Master Teacher‘ plan last week at the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s annual education summit. His proposal would see 1,000 of the state’s top educators rewarded with a $10,000 stipend as they implement North Carolina’s Career and College Ready Standards.
The idea may have sounded promising to supporters, but it drew this sharply worded response from the editorial board of Raleigh’s News & Observer:
‘…but what about the thousands of teachers who won’t be recognized? What about the thousands of teachers in pursuit of graduate degrees who won’t get a raise when they complete those degrees, courtesy of the GOP in the legislature? What about the teachers who haven’t seen a raise in five years? No answers there.
McCrory may offer all the high-flying rhetoric he wants in front of a friendly audience, but saying it doesn’t make it so.
When former Gov. Jim Hunt pushed to raise teacher salaries, and created his Smart Start initiative, and focused his last two terms on education at all levels, he made his case, a successful case, in part by convincing lawmakers and the people that a quality education system was an investment that paid dividends, not a drag on the treasury. He became the chief advocate for public education, not its prominent critic.
Regrettably, Gov. McCrory would rather focus on tax cuts for the wealthy and for business. He’d rather talk about fracking. Education? A speech to affluent business types with a couple of minutes of clichés about training people for jobs and getting the public schools on the stick ought to do it.
And then there’s this gap he talks about, between education and commerce. Instead, there’s a leadership gap.’
You can read the full editorial here.