Local News

Wake Hopes S.C. Town Can Teach How to Keep Teachers

Posted April 27, 2008
Updated April 28, 2008

— Wake County school board members traveled 300 miles to Clinton, S.C., to examine a program that offers incentives to keep teachers in the profession.

Wake hires about 1,000 new teachers each year to fill gaps created by both growth and resignations.

The school system's needs will only increase as a quarter of its teachers become eligible to retire over the next few years – creating a potential crisis, school board members said.

"We've got to be able to keep the best teachers in the classroom," school board member Eleanor Goettee said.

School officials looked at Clinton's Teacher Advancement Program as one model that might be able to help achieve that goal.

"This is a teaching program whose purpose is to restructure. It's really to revitalize the teaching profession," Goettee said.

Performance pay and more position options are fundamentals of Clinton's program. One such position is that of master teacher; those spend some time in the classroom but also mentor and manage other teachers.

"We see a huge increase in teacher retention, because teachers are getting support by meeting in weekly cluster meetings," Goettee said. "They're sharing best practices; they're getting support from these master teachers."

Wake could become the first school system in North Carolina to implement a program such as Clinton's. The cost would be between $400 and $500 per student each, school board members said.

"To be realistic, we know the funds are really an issue and always will be," Goettee said. "We would not be asking necessarily for additional funds from the community. This is to re-purpose how we are currently using funds."

A major benefit of the program would be keeping younger teachers in the classroom, Goettee said.

Several Wake schools have expressed interest in participating in the program if the school board decides to move forward with it.


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  • GWALLY Apr 28, 2008

    For the past 22 years I have had kids in the school system. They were average students, participated in sports, music etc, etc. The youngest is in his first year of college. The other two have graduated with degrees......they all (without exception) have maintained 3.0 to 4.0 averages in college. The difference......they are with students that WANT to be in school and have a purpose for being there. The students that took away the teachers and facility's time and turned away the education and opportunity that was offered have long since been left behind....!!!!!!!! (remember 20% of the students take 80% of the teachers time, robbing those that WANT to learn of valuable education time).

    Hooray no more gov. run (day cares) schools.....happy days are here again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • colliedave Apr 28, 2008

    This is to re-purpose how we are currently using funds."

    This statement is prove that we need to clean house at WCPSS. How about using a term such as reallocate?

  • onetufteacher Apr 28, 2008

    I am teacher...want to know how to keep me here? Pay me what I am worth...have parents to their job at home so I can do mine at school...give me the supplies to do my job...respect me. That's about it.

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Apr 28, 2008

    More Pay does not keep good teachers. The bottom line here is when parents care enough to disiple and be held accountable for their kids action in school. It amazes me how a few agos a parent freaked out on a "Nanna-Cam" but yet parents are always blaming the teachers for what happens.

    Bottom line, if kids do not want to learn and follow the rules, they need to be just kicked out with no future.

  • ghimmy47 Apr 28, 2008

    WRAL how about a little information here? All I heard about a NC Lottery was how much money would go to education. I've heard about the few big transfers of cash, but it seems I hear more "poor mouthing" about schools now than I did before the lottery. What gives?

  • kmanc4s Apr 28, 2008

    I know quite a few teachers and most of them got into the profession out of a love of teaching kids, not for the money. However, I do believe that teachers are grossly underpaid for the most part. The biggest challenge and source of despair that I hear from teachers comes from the unrulyness, rudeness and lack of respect and discipline of a lot of children and that falls squarly on the parents. I have noticed here in Wake county especially how little respect children have for adults. When I was younger, you never spoke to an adult and used their first name as kids do around here as if the cheldren are the equals of adults.

    Second, teachers are frustrated by the lack of common sense of the administrators in the WCPS. I heard the other day that they no longer allow nap time for kindergartners so that they can spend that time beginning to prepare these kids for EOG's. I hope I'm mistaken.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 28, 2008

    The system has fundamental problems that need to be addressed. Until the schools are once again a safe, secure environment, populated by rooms full of students that want to learn, losing teachers is going to continue. The state needs to get serious about dealing with the societal problems that find their way into the classrooms. It will take getting rid of many students, out of traditional classrooms and into structured, controlled environments. Until this happens the system will demand more money and continue to produce less than satisfactory results.

  • beachboater Apr 28, 2008

    "I taught high school from 1970 to 1981, and the last think I ever wanted was more supervision, or more meetings, or more "master" teachers"

    I think you are right about the meetings and supervision, but what about the support of the administrators? If a principal would back a teacher instead of caving in to a mad parent, regardless of what happened, teachers would be much happier, and kids would learn life's lessons about following rules and respect for their elders as well.

  • WHEEL Apr 28, 2008

    Can we figure out a way to get S.C. to keep them down there?

  • The Oracle Apr 28, 2008

    I taught high school from 1970 to 1981, and the last think I ever wanted was more supervision, or more meetings, or more "master" teachers. I think even today most good teachers just want to be left Alone to do their jobs.