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'My value should be recognized annually' | NC teachers slam proposed changes to pay, licensing

The proposal would replace experience-based pay with merit-based pay focused on student testing and peer evaluations.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Educators from across North Carolina gathered outside the Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh on Tuesday to address their concerns about the latest proposal to change the way teachers are paid and licensed in the Tar Heel state.

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) hosted the press conference to include perspectives from teachers and parents about how this plan could potentially do more harm than good.

“We don’t need radical reinvention of the wheel," NCAE vice president Bryan Proffitt said. "We need the support and resources necessary to do what we know works best for our kids.”

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Based on the proposal by the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC), teachers would be paid based on merit instead of experience. The plan would mean a teacher's success would be determined through standardized testing, principal and peer evaluations along with student surveys. This information would also be used in the process of licensing.

Some teachers argue these changes not only impact them but also students who are low-income, minority, and those with disabilities.

"In this case, it would be because teachers would know their ability to get a raise and climb this ladder that’s being proposed would depend on having students that will be able to do well on tests," CMS middle school teacher Justin Parmenter said.

Educators and parents are here in front of the N.C. Department of Public Education to discuss the proposed changes to teacher licensure and compensation being discussed by education policy makers.

Posted by North Carolina Association of Educators on Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Those in opposition to the plan say it fails to find a solution to the state's ongoing struggles with teacher recruitment and retainment.

“While the plan does offer a bonus upon meeting subjective and arbitrary outcomes, how is it beneficial if that’s only a monetary amount we receive once every five years?" teacher Daria Frederick asked. "My value should be recognized annually.”

State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis shared his thoughts last week during the August State Board of Education meeting saying in part:

"{Students} are the ones who stand to benefit the most from this important process. While the current licensure system is a detriment to our students and to teachers, North Carolina’s students deserve a system that rewards teachers who can best help them learn. We must do better."

PEPSC is expected to present its final version of the plan later in August.

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Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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