Wake school leaders offer alternatives to teacher tenure law
Posted March 24
Cary, N.C. — Wake school leaders want to change the new teacher tenure law, but they have to act fast.
“We have a small window, 30 to 45 days,” said school board member Keith Sutton, referring to the number of days before the General Assembly is in session.
School board members unanimously voted earlier this month for a resolution asking state lawmakers to repeal legislation eliminating teacher tenure in return for pay raises for a limited number of teachers.
The pay provision, included in the state budget last July, is aimed at rewarding teachers based on performance instead of having a tenure system that authors of the law say "fosters mediocrity and discourages excellence."
On Monday, board members suggested a few alternatives, including a possible career path for teachers using a peer evaluation or national board certification to grade educators.
“A combination of high expectations, autonomy and periodic accountability,” board member Bill Fletcher said.
Sutton believes mounting opposition to the new law will convince some legislators to listen to alternatives. School districts across the state have passed resolutions asking to repeal the law. The N.C. Association of Educators, along with Durham and Guilford schools, have filed separate lawsuits against the measure.
"Members of the General Assembly have heard from teachers in their district, superintendents in their district, principals in their district,” Sutton said. “We understand what you are trying to do, but just in terms of implementing this law, here are some potential flaws."