Archives

There are a lot of reasons that supporters of public education in North Carolina are speaking up and showing their support today by “walking in” to public schools. Today’s “Monday Numbers” edition of the Fitzsimon File spells several of them out with disturbing clarity. 

Yesterday’s editoral in the Charlotte Observer also hit the nail on the head when it explained:

“Supporters of teachers and public schools are encouraged to visit schools, wear red to symbolize support for education, thank teachers in person or leave messages of thanks. Teachers at some schools plan to urge supporters to join school parent groups or volunteer or support schools in other ways. At some schools, there are plans for discussions before and after classes about what teachers are facing each day….

This sounds like a good approach.

GOP Senate leader Phil Berger last week lambasted the ‘walk in’ as a ‘political protest orchestrated by unions” and reminded the teachers that “schools have a duty to educate and protect our children.’ But it is Read More

Public ed cutsYou gotta hand it to the conservative politicians running state government these days; their willingness and capacity for waging war on public schools (what they often derisively refer to as “government schools”) and the educators who make them work remains something to behold.

Fresh off what was quite arguably the worst legislative session for the state’s public schools in memory; state legislators are now attacking already demoralized teachers and concerned parents for having the temerity to utter even a modest peep of concern. The utter spitefulness of these attacks is really something to behold and, is as is so common with conservative fire-breathers, so disproportionate to the protest that it really makes a body wonder who is advising these people.

Honestly, you would think that at some point these folks would figure out that the more they treat teachers and public schools as punching bags, the more damage they are doing to their long-term political prospects.

But I guess when you’re such a true believer in the anti-public education cause that you’re willing to fund schools that teach that slavery wasn’t all bad and that humans and dinosaurs trod the earth together or command teachers to tell untruths about human reproduction, you probably figure might as go all in with the plan to tear down and privatize  the whole system.

As North Carolina continues to recover from the Great Recession, growing more good-paying jobs in the state will require a skilled and educated workforce. As BTC analyst Cedric Johnson writes in the latest issue of Prosperity Watch, an increasing number of jobs are expected to require some level of postsecondary training, and meeting this workforce demand means that a growing number of the state’s public school students must exit the state’s education pipeline prepared to compete in a 21st century economy. And nowhere is this more important than among North Carolina’s lowest income public school students, a growing population that typically needs additional instructional supports to finish high school and enter the workforce fully prepared. See the latest Prosperity Watch for details.

 

This morning’s Winston-Salem Journal features an excellent editorial deriding the decision of Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly to turn all of the state’s public school teachers into temps.

“Hard-working teachers deserve job security

North Carolina’s judicial branch will decide if the legislature acted legally when it ended job protections for public school teachers and instituted a system of one-to-four-year contracts.

No matter what the court says, however, it is clear that the legislature’s actions are not good for students or fair to some very hardworking teachers. Read More

In case you missed it, the Wilmington Star News ran a thoughtful editorial on Saturday on the state’s continuing effort to turn all public school teachers into temps. Here’s one highlight:

“Tenure, officially known as ‘career status,’ does not prevent school districts from firing teachers for incompetence or misconduct, but it does require that they document sufficient cause. The state’s school districts have proven reluctant to go through that process, instead encouraging a resignation and “passing the trash,” as the practice is unofficially known, to other unsuspecting school districts. Attempts to address that problem by making more personnel information public have met with opposition from politicians who would rather keep such details secret from the people who pay the bills.

Tenure was designed not to shield bad teachers but to protect the jobs of good teachers against political whims and personal vendettas – complaining about a principal or speaking out against policies they believe are bad for public education, for example. Any contract should also spell out those protections.”

You can read the entire editorial by clicking here.