Recently I’ve been on the North Carolina General Assembly. For the first time in over a century republicans control both the state house and the state senate. And in that time they’ve made two pretty big mistakes:
- Trying to overturn the Racial Justice Act
- Trying to pass Amendment One – Making a constitutional amendment that bars gay marriage.
Now, however, they have announced a new plan that would dramatically impact public education in North Carolina:
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina’s public school teachers would see employment tenure eliminated, but become eligible for performance bonuses under an education reform package rolled out Monday by Senate Republicans.
This is AWESOME!
The ability to fire under performing employees is critical in maintaining a productive and highly achieving staff. By keeping archaic tenure laws on the books schools are forced to lose young and innovative teachers at the expense of retaining old potentially poor performing teachers when they are forced to make staffing decisions. Rather than keeping, promoting and handing out bonuses based on performance, schools are forced to pay older teachers more for no other reason than the calendar turned.
“We’ve said for a long time that the policy needs to be right in order for us to expect the kinds of results the people of North Carolina and our kids deserve,” Berger, R-Rockingham, said.
The proposal would do away with tenure to veteran public schools teachers who now receive their permanent teaching license after a four-year probationary period. The current policy makes it difficult to fire the tenured teachers when administrators determine they are ineffective, Berger’s office said. Instead, the changes would allow local school boards to employ all teachers on an annual contract that doesn’t have to be renewed each fall.
“If a system determines presently that a teacher is an ineffective teacher, it is very difficult if not impossible for them to discharge that teacher,’ Berger said. “This would provide systems with tools that would allow a superintendent or a local school board to make decisions about hiring the best teachers for their kids.”
Mr. Berger is correct. By allowing superintendents and school boards greater latitude in staffing decisions resulting in the very best teachers staying in the profession and the poor performing teachers would be let go.
This is long past due.