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Wake Short Dozens of Teachers as School Approaches

Posted August 13, 2007

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— The Wake County school system has 76 teaching vacancies with two weeks until traditional-calendar schools start classes, officials said Monday.

Principals were conservative in hiring because of the confusion about the lawsuit over year-round schools, district administrators said.

Wake County converted 22 traditional schools to year-round calendars this year to create room an an estimated 8,000 new students. But a group of parents sued, and the district was required to obtain consent from thousands of families assigned to year-round schools to comply with a judge's ruling in the case.

Year-round and modified-calendar schools, which started classes last month, have filled all of their teaching vacancies, district administrators said.

"To date, we have hired over 900 teachers, (with) 59 percent of them from out of state – from New York, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania," Assistant Superintendent Maurice Boswell said.

Many new teachers were in orientation Monday, and the district already has job fairs scheduled to recruit teachers for next year.

Other states produce more teachers than there are vacancies, Boswell said, adding that North Carolina needs to expand teacher education programs to keep up with demand.

"We know that North Carolina colleges and universities are not producing enough teachers to go around, so we are looking for creating ways to grow our own," he said.

Aside from national recruiting, the district is using millions of dollars in grants to recruit teachers who don't have degrees in education and then helping them get their teaching certificates.

The district's ultimate goal is to keep the teachers in Wake County. The local turnover rate among teachers is 10 percent, compared to the statewide rate of 12 percent of teachers who retire or leave the classroom each year.

"The first year for teachers is critical," Boswell said, noting that Wake County splits its new hire bonus – $500 for the first semester and $500 for the second semester – to encourage teachers to stick with it.

Most of the vacant teaching positions are in high school math, science and special needs, he said.

Surprisingly, Wake County hasn't had much trouble recruiting English as a Second Language, or ESL, teachers, who are usually hard to find. The district has filled all of its 141 ESL slots, Boswell said.

Those teachers work with many of the 13,000 Hispanic students in area schools. A year ago, the district had about 11,000 Hispanic students.

121 Comments

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  • mlmt4 Aug 14, 2007

    Well, I'm starting Year 6 in the public school system and I have yet to teach to the test. I do not worried about my students passing the EOCs, I worry that they won't be prepared for the next math course. If you teach the curriculum and you prepare them for the next course, the EOCs are not an issue. Of the 65 students I had this past year who took an EOC exam, there were 15 at Level III and 50 at Level IV.

  • chargernut69 Aug 14, 2007

    ....looking for some nice warm bodies to teach. I think they need more new subdivisions, less roads & more taxes... stoopid-people....

  • rc4nc Aug 14, 2007

    Teaching "to the test" or teaching what the students need to succeed "in the real world", interesting problem to say the least. I'm the parent of 2 and my children attended public school, They learned their lessons at home via homework one on one with a parent. They went to school to learn social skills and to reinforce/be tested on what they had learned at home. Parents, you are the most important teachers your children will ever have. If you fail so will they.

  • Rawil Aug 14, 2007

    There's nothing wrong with the little girl's hair.

  • Nancy Aug 14, 2007

    "Maybe I'm being naive but I will not and I refuse to teach for the test. I want my students to remember what they have learned."

    And here is the making of another teacher who won't last 5 years in the public school system...................

    Your idealogy (albeit the right one) will be lost the minute you walk in the door of a public school.

  • redwarrior Aug 14, 2007

    My only question is this... who did that little girls hair? TERRIBLE!

  • aneagle Aug 14, 2007

    UniversalDestiny- you can say all you want that you wont teach to the test but i will tell you this...if those kids dont pass that test you can be lookin for emplyment somewhere else...you dont have to teach to it but reagrdless of what you think you will be very close to it regardless of your techniques...unfortunately you wont have the time to teach how you want to...thats from EXPERIENCE

  • MizzZeta Aug 14, 2007

    NCTeacher - check your facts: tenure for school administrators in NC ended more than 10 years ago; administrators who had received tenure before the new law kept it if they stayed with the same school system - new adminstrators are contract only in this state. Also, NCLB made allowance for lateral entry teachers from 2001 through 2006. The "sun set" on school systems using lateral entry teachers June 30, 2006. If you'll visit the web site at http://www.ed.gov/nclb/methods/teachers/teachers-faq.html, you'll find the current requirements under NCLB state the following:
    "Each state that receives Title II funds must develop a plan to ensure that all teachers of core academic subjects are highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year. The plan must establish annual, measurable objectives for each local school district and school to ensure that they meet the "highly qualified" requirement." The consequence for noncompliance is sanctioning of Title II dollars.

  • UniversalDestiny Aug 14, 2007

    I'm currently a student teacher down at UNC Pembroke and I was thinking of applying to WCPSS. However, I'm starting to rethink my options given some of the comments that I've read on this board. Recently, UNCP has informed student teachers that we only had to take the Praxis I test in order to get our license since the DPI dropped the Praxis II requirement. I'm really starting to think that some school systems haven't gotten the message.
    Also, I am against NCLB because I feel that students are not learning what they need to learn in order to succeed in the real world. We are being forced to teach for the test and in return, the students are not retaining the knowledge they need for success in the real world. Maybe I'm being naive but I will not and I refuse to teach for the test. I want my students to remember what they have learned.

  • NCTeacher Aug 13, 2007

    Schools cannot be fined for hiring lateral entry teachers. The state wouldn't allow for lateral entry otherwise. If a teacher is lateral entry- they have to meet certain requirements (going back to school, taking the Praxis...) within a time limit. NCLB leaves a provision for teachers who are working on becoming highly qualified. Some counties try not to hire them because they get more federal money when they have more highly qualified teachers.

    And teachers may get tenured- but so do administrators. Administrators earns their years for tenure just like we do. And to me- tenure doesn't really make all that much difference. It doesn't mean that I can't be fired if I don't do my job. It just means that my license renewal process is a little different.

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