UPDATE: NC teacher compensation plan

Yesterday, I reported on a new teacher compensation idea that is making its way around Raleigh. It’s called the NC 60/30/10 Plan, which, among other ideas, would pay the bulk of NC teachers $32,000 and limit all teachers to a 20-year career.

I attempted to get in touch with the plan’s author, Dr. Lodge McCammon, several hours before posting my story–but I did not hear back from him. McCammon reached out to me after the story went online to explain the details behind his plan.

McCammon explained that his plan is nothing more than a brainstorming project between himself and a number of teachers and researchers. He said he only put his name on the plan to protect the identity of those who contributed their ideas, given that some of the solutions are controversial–and he declined to name those individuals. He also said he just wants to encourage the idea of flipped classrooms.

McCammon asserted that he did not intend for the document to be shared publicly, but did cite North Carolina’s Principal of the Year, Dale Cole, as one person among several to whom he sent the plan for feedback and suggestions. (Cole confirmed his account.)

McCammon, who says he’s not a policymaker but a musician, was employed at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation North Carolina State University until last September. The Friday Institute’s mission is to “conduct research, develop educational resources, provide professional development programs for educators, advocate to improve teaching and learning, and help inform policy-making.”

Reached for comment, Glenn Kleiman, executive director of The Friday Institute said, “Lodge is doing this without any connection to or involvement of the Friday Institute.  The Friday Institute does not endorse it or have any official response to it at all.”

McCammon told NC Policy Watch that the plan has since evolved into a draft that no longer contains a 20-year limit on teaching careers. When I receive the latest copy of the draft plan, which McCammon has promised to send along, I’ll post it here.


  1. Howard Shepherd

    January 22, 2014 at 11:33 am

    How many teachers did wunderkind Dr. Lodge McCammon consult before coming up with this clever little plan to revolutionize public education? (I discount Dr. McCammon’s classroom experience, since according to his bio on his eponymous website http://www.lodgemccammon.com, the young prodigy’s career as a classroom teacher began in 2003, and ended no later than 2008–probably much earlier, since in the interim he also earned a Ph.D.)

    He is, therefore, what those of us with decades in the classroom consider an “educational tourist”–sort of like those brilliant young Teach for America folks (like Michelle Rhee) who put in their 2 years in order to establish their cred, and then go and start a think-tank in search of the elusive Unified Theory of Education Reform.

    We teachers are accustomed to the slings and arrows from right-wing critics; their agenda is patently to privatize (and monetize) public schools as a capitalist venture.

    As a long-time progressive Democrat, however, I find it painful to acknowledge how clueless even those on the left are when it comes to what actually goes on in public schools–and what works, and what doesn’t.

    Arne Duncan is as much a villain to me as Phil Berger. (Well, almost.) And Dr. Lodge McCammon, however well his intentions, has proposed a scheme that is at least as crazy as Pat McCrory’s plan (lifted from the “Opportunity Culture” proposal from Public Impact–yet another clueless think-tank) to pay the “top 25%” of teachers a huge salary, and to push the other 75% out of the profession.

    The issue of school reform isn’t an ideological one. “Reformers” on both the left and the right make suggestions about “fixing the problem”–sometimes sincere suggestions; often suggestions that help enable the corporate takeover of public education.

    You want to figure out how to “fix” public education? Here’s a novel suggestion: ASK CLASSROOM TEACHERS.

  2. R. Jones

    January 23, 2014 at 5:57 am

    So exactly who are these collaborators whose identities must be protected from a link to such a bad idea?

  3. Matt Richmond

    January 23, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by “making its way around Raleigh?” I’m not sure what that entails. If this is just a document that some guy put together and people think has an interesting spin on things so they’ve talked about what it says, that’s different than lawmakers and staffers talking about putting it on the floor of the legislature. Either way I think it deserves being reported on, there’s some really bad ideas in there that should face the sun before they have a chance to grow. But given the tone and character of NC politics right now, would be interesting to hear what kind of attention this has gotten. I would also be interested in seeing the newest draft, to see if its actually been improved at all. (The apprentice concept is an interesting one, for instance, even if the framing around it is a complete disaster.)

  4. GOP Rules

    January 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I guess LSD was right as one of the first comments on the previous post. A lot of liberal hysteria over some ideas some dude with no power came up with.

  5. Grits

    January 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Is “The Progressive Pulse” in the habit of only giving folks “several hours” to respond before posting things? It seems that people are counting on this author to be informed. Could this story have waited long enough to give Dr. McCammon the opportunity to provide a thorough response? I’m thinking, since it isn’t emergency surgery that it could. Shame on you for the irresponsible use of your platform.

  6. Ingrid Thompson

    January 23, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you, NC Policy Watch for keeping us well informed !

  7. Douglas Michael Hutchens

    January 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Lousy idea and to hide behind the excuse he was a musician, do not drag musicians down to the level of this junk….. I’d like to see some of the wondrous accomplishments the good Dr. has done for education thru his music…
    I’ve been a musician since 1971 and played Professionally from Virginia To California and Ontario to Florida and also happen to be a full time teacher….. Just have to do two jobs sometimes in this life…. Evidently he got a pretty cushy job where he only did one…. I wonder what he was making?

    Sometimes people act their way into corners they have difficulty talking their way out of… When One Opens Their Mouth: They Express Two Things….What They Know And What They Do Not Know… We have heard enough from you sir….

    Let him go tune his instrument so his next performance will not play as flat as this crap has…..

  8. Indiana Teacher

    January 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Including the 20-year limit in the original version proves that McCammon is clueless about the teaching profession and how the proposal would devastate it in NC. And that’s my most charitable assessment of his role in this scheme. My less charitable view is that he must be among those folks who just don’t want to pay for public education. After all, if you can get rid of 20-year veterans (the ones who are making relatively more money) and, I presume, not have to pay them much of a pension, if any, then the corrupt politicians can afford to give even more tax breaks and other favors to their rich contributors in the corporate world.

    Seriously, when someone in this brainstorming group suggested the 20-year limit, why wasn’t he or she laughed (or kicked) out of the room? Would any profession stand for this? How about McCammon himself? How would he have liked it if the government had forced him out of music after 20 years? Why would smart, dedicated, ambitious young people decide to embark on a career that would send them packing in their early 40’s, no matter how great they are at it?

    Apparently the idiot who suggested this idea was allowed to stay in the room, and then, astonishingly, the group approved of the idea for the proposal! I can’t help but wonder how many of the participants in this session have been in their careers for 20+ years.

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