Wake County Schools

Wake school board: State incentives could turn teachers away

Posted October 15, 2013
Updated October 16, 2013

— Wake County school district leaders say a new state law aimed at improving teacher performance could turn talented teachers away.

Under the law, districts leaders must pick out teachers that are performing in the top 25 percent in the county. Those teachers will be offered four-year contracts with built-in annual raises worth $5,000 a year. All other teachers will be offered one-year contracts.

Teachers with tenure can keep that status until it is phased out in 2018. Wake Schools staff members say tenured teachers who accept raises as part of the top 25 percent will forfeit their tenure status.

The law is meant as an incentive to improve the quality of education in North Carolina schools, but the Wake County Board of Education said it might send the wrong message.

"More than 25 percent of our teachers are superior teachers," said board member Tom Benton.

Board member Kevin Hill, a former school principal, agreed.

Kevin Hill Wake school leaders worry new law sends teachers wrong message

"Strong teachers may not make that 25 percent," he said. 

School system leaders say it will eventually mean the end of tenure or career status for teachers as well, which could have a significant impact on recruiting.

Larry Nilles, president of the North Carolina Association of Educator's Wake County chapter, said tenure doesn't guarantee bad teachers a job, it helps good teachers keep theirs.

"I know really, really good teachers – Wake County teachers of the year – that would not have been invited back by their principals because of personality differences," Nilles said.

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  • rushbot Oct 21, 3:29 p.m.

    the law is garbage..if a child has been passed on k-7 without learning the fundamentals and does poorly in 8th grade math or science or english or whatever, it is not the fault of the 8th grade teacher..the regressives of the nc ga have passed a really really bad law...

  • common tater Oct 21, 3:05 p.m.

    A company performance policy is completely different from tenure...the company can still easily fire or lay you off at any time for almost any reason. One school board member said the teachers need to fight the new rules based on the constitution...it's sad we will elect people who think tenure is a constitutional right.

  • old school123 Oct 18, 11:51 a.m.

    Children are really the customers of public education. What is best for the child does not always sit well with the parent.

  • Mo Blues Oct 18, 10:19 a.m.

    lazy: "Tenure is a good thing, you may have parents that don't like a teacher etc. This is a bad idea."

    I hate to break it to you, but parents are the customers of public education.

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Oct 17, 7:23 p.m.

    It will defintely turn teachers away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • westernwake1 Oct 17, 6:15 p.m.

    "Name a company that uses that system today, or ever has or that matter." - btneast

    There are several local companies that use "forced ranking" based on McKinnsey performance management systems. Cisco used forced ranking from Year 2000 until I left. Cisco had a system in which the bottom 5% were 'managed out' each year, the top 15% got rewards, and the middle 80% merely got to keep their jobs.

    Recently I hear Cisco is moving away from McKinnsey because they found it did not "improve employee performance, enable teaming, or create an environment that delivered on commitments".

    IMO one of the reasons Cisco went from being a leader to a has-been is their failed 'forced ranking' system. Many Cisco alumni agree.

    Many companies are moving away from forced ranking after finding it destructive over the past decade.

    A misguided attempt to implement a similar destructive performance system in the public schools is a failure from Day 1.

  • ConservativeVoter Oct 17, 4:51 p.m.

    "Apparently you never had the misfortune of working in the private sector for a company that strongly implemented the "rank & yank" performance pushed by McKinnsey, where the bottom 10% gets fired each year and the top 10% gets rewards, and the middle 80% gets nothing.

    Name a company that uses that system today, or ever has or that matter. You rely too much on what you read somewhere else and not what you personally have experienced.
    btneast"

    IBM and CISCO.

  • glarg Oct 17, 12:59 p.m.

    FYI- this system is hardly Rank and Yank. The comparison is intentionally fallacious.

  • btneast Oct 17, 12:21 p.m.

    Apparently you never had the misfortune of working in the private sector for a company that strongly implemented the "rank & yank" performance pushed by McKinnsey, where the bottom 10% gets fired each year and the top 10% gets rewards, and the middle 80% gets nothing.

    Name a company that uses that system today, or ever has or that matter. You rely too much on what you read somewhere else and not what you personally have experienced.

  • btneast Oct 17, 12:15 p.m.

    Yet voters just handed them over $810M to squander as they please.

    That's because the only people that bothered to vote were the supporters of the bond. Many that were against the bond failed to realize that a non vote was as good as a yes vote.

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