Education

McCrory reconsidering teacher tenure provision

Posted March 8, 2014
Updated March 10, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory holds a news conference at the Governor's Mansion on Jan. 21, 2014.

Gov. Pat McCrory says his staff will consider making changes to a new law that offers raises to top teachers who give up tenure rights.

Under the law, the current "career status" available to teachers with four or more years on the job will be phased out by 2018 and replaced with a plan that requires local school districts to pick the top 25-percent of teachers who will be offered four-year contracts and bonuses.

“I think it’s an example of passing a policy without clearly understanding the execution,” McCrory said.

Currently, North Carolina teachers who have "career status" can’t be dismissed without a specific due process.

Teachers are paid in part based on seniority – their years on the job. That pay scale is determined by the state legislature. Some local school systems augment the state allotment for teachers in their districts.

The new law eliminates tenure, or career status, by 2018.

Lawmakers asked districts this year to identify their top 25 percent of high-performing teachers and offer each a new four-year contract with a $500 annual salary increase. In exchange, those teachers lose the chance at tenure.

After the law is fully in effect, teachers with four or more years of experience would be considered "non-probationary," a protected status. To maintain that status, teachers must submit to yearly observation evaluations. If a teacher receives two years in a row of negative evaluations, he or she would become probationary and could be fired at will.

Durham public schools on Wednesday night voted to join Guilford County in a lawsuit to overturn the law. More than a dozen local school boards across the state have passed resolutions opposing the law, including Wake County this week. The North Carolina Association of Educators filed a separate lawsuit against the law in December.

Opponents of the law say cutting tenure and replacing it with a system that only rewards a small percentage of teachers discourages collaboration among educators and undermines public education.

McCrory says his staff will review the impact of the law between now and the short session in May.

“I share some of the concerns expressed based on the implementation of the rule. The intent of the rule is very good -- the implementation process needs to be more clarified,” he said.


This report first appeared on WUNC/North Carolina Public Radio as part of their education coverage.

Reema Khrais is the 2014 Fletcher Fellow focused on Education Policy Reporting. The Fletcher Fellowship is a partnership between WUNC
and UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication funded in part by the Fletcher Foundation.

42 Comments

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  • CherryDarling Mar 13, 9:34 a.m.

    His "reconsiderations" are based on which way the wind blows... who knows what tomorrow will bring?

  • jackaroe123 Mar 11, 8:31 a.m.

    Actually these are well thought out, long term fixes for these problems. It is the way they were... View More

    #1, you're passing the buck. I don't care who else has done that previously. If you're going to approve of his being aggressive, firm, and strong, don't shy away from holding him accountable by pointing fingers at someone else. And again, it doesn't matter who has previously done the same thing. Continuing to do that is exactly the type of thing you would praise the Governor for not doing.

    #2, 'aggressively' and 'permanently' are demonstrably incompatible in this instance. The Governor and his GA were aggressive, but we're already seeing backtracking, court challenges, and resistance. That aggression has been short-sighted and led to extremes that will not actually be permanent. You want something to stick, you take the time to do it right.

  • Smilester Mar 11, 8:07 a.m.

    Mafia/union.(NCAE)
    Remember come election time "informed" voters.

    — Posted by TTCP

    No collective bargaining power means the NCAE is not a union. In fact the majority of teachers don't pay dues to NCAE. If this example of knowledge is what makes someone an "informed" voter I hate to see what the rest of the voters consider themselves to be.

  • TTCP Mar 10, 7:33 p.m.

    Mafia/union.(NCAE)
    Remember come election time "informed" voters.

  • CherryDarling Mar 10, 5:12 p.m.

    pssssst... Pat... you do realize you have more employees than just teachers under you, right?

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone Mar 10, 3:21 p.m.

    Thanks for nothing McCrory.

  • 2coolkids Mar 10, 3:18 p.m.

    He need not reconsider that, unless he wants us to reconsider him next election. I would hate to... View More

    — Posted by A person

    He's reconsidering b/c he's figured out that making legislation that appeals to the angriest,... View More

    — Posted by jackaroe123

    Actually these are well thought out, long term fixes for these problems. It is the way they were... View More

    — Posted by A person

    A well thought out plan would have included a fully-funded bribe worth more than $30/month after taxes for one year. Or perhaps no bribe at all. Why not just take away tenure this June if that's what they want? They could. Instead they are kicking the can down the road until 2018. Me thinks maybe there is a reason??

    Berger thought teachers would jump at this insulting bribe. He was wrong. Now his own district (Guilford) is refusing to implement it and suing over this budget provision. It'll be interesting to see what the Rockingham county school board does tonight. The fact that they are even considering a resolution or suing doesn't make it look like his constituents are a fan of this provision.

  • dragonflyz Mar 10, 3:16 p.m.

    I think there needs to be more merit based pay increases in teaching, but BEFORE you pass... View More

    — Posted by bill0

    Thank you for understanding the need to use multiple systems of measurement for teachers. I love the analogy of advanced stats from sports. I think the evaluation system needs to look at student performance and growth [not just one or the other], as well as a combination of multiple other data points [not just 2 observations annually, which comprise less than 1% of a teacher's actual time teaching]. Utilize peer evaluations, parent and student feedback, narratives, etc. If you're going to try to reward your best and and most effective teachers, find a comprehensive way to measure it. Plus, if you create a system that really is comprehensive, I think a lot more teachers would be on board.

  • Mon Account Mar 10, 3:09 p.m.

    “I think it’s an example of passing a policy without clearly understanding the execution,” McCrory said.

    Oh, so *now* he's catching on that they should publicly debate before blindly and quickly passing laws behind closed doors. I smell elections around the corner... one and done for this guy, please!

  • NC_interest Mar 10, 3:04 p.m.

    Now that the GOP is realizing that their policy was built on nothing but Myths and lies, it is... View More

    — Posted by NC_interest

    Seeing the condition of the Democrat party, I would not be bragging about anything

    — Posted by A person

    Who said I was a democrat.
    I am much to smart to be limited by dividing into a party that does not represent all my views. 90% of those that belong to a political party have sold out their own beliefs.

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