Friday, February 18, 2011

Perdue on teacher pay, flexibility and Gorman

Gov. Bev Perdue wants North Carolina to do a better job of paying good teachers, getting rid of bad ones and protecting teacher jobs from budget cuts, she told a group of Observer editorial writers and reporters this morning.

Here's what she had to say:

On teacher pay: Perdue voiced enthusiastic support for converting from a pay scale based on experience and credentials to one based on student achievement and other measures of teacher performance.

"I believe in the 21st century you've got to look at a whole different model," she said. "The way we're paying teachers now doesn't work."

Perdue said the top of the pay scale needs to be much higher than it is now, and districts need a better way to "get rid of low-performing teachers and principals." She didn't offer any specifics when I asked where money might come from to boost top pay levels. Instead, she noted that "there has to be a restart for the whole pay system."

Perdue also said she supports National Board Certification of teachers and thinks it's a mistake to let them leave classrooms for administrative jobs. I didn't get a chance to press for details on whether that translates to protecting the extra pay for certification.

On flexibility: Perdue says she won't yield state control over allocating teachers and assistants because she doesn't want local districts to have the opportunity to cut those jobs to close budget gaps. "Teachers and teacher assistants are really critical to me."

But she said Superintendent Peter Gorman, whom she described as "a great leader," has sold her on the notion that districts need more control over other spending -- for instance, the chance to decide that money for a state-funded administrator should be used for another position.

And she said local districts should get "some calendar flexibility" beyond what the current state law provides. Again, no specifics (large-group interviews aren't ideal for follow-ups).

On Gorman's worst-case budget approach: Perdue said she wishes more superintendents would roll out early projections on how budget cuts could play out, because it alerts the public and cranks up pressure on county commissioners to do right by school spending. "I admire what he's doing. I think the approach is direct with people and they need to know what's at stake."

You can read Perdue's budget plan here. Or try your hand at crafting a better version here. (I've heard there's a version of this in the works for the CMS budget, which would be even more complicated. I'm hoping the folks who are working on it can pull it off.)

And thanks for the questions some of you sent yesterday. We didn't get to touch on all of them, but I've sent some of the rest -- such as overtesting and lunch-subsidy audits -- to her press folks in hopes of getting answers.


Wiley Coyote said...

As always,

Thank you Ann and Eric....

Anonymous said...

Agreed Wiley,
Any squirming or body language? Evidently she's on the Pete bandwagon so criticism is not in the playbook?
Thanks for trying to get a straight answer from Ms. Perdue. No comment on student readiness, Pete's disregard for National Board Certification or the demise of CTE?

Anonymous said...


When I checked everything possible to cut spending and canceled any taxes I netted a $2,287,200,000 surplus. Why can’t the governor just do that? Why ask our opinion of the obvious?

The only thing good about “Charlie” the budget dog is that I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t Charles Bernard "Charlie" Rangel, congressman from New York.

The Governor’s multiple choice test; is it a blonde joke. What is she trying to do? Is she planning to wave the results in the face of the Republicans as she tries to convince them a budget that doesn’t cut taxes is the way to go?

Bev, just bring the budget down to rock-bottom. Reduce taxes. . . . and listen to the Republicans.

Of course she'd have that terrible to spend the surplus.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann,
Did she make any comments about how part-time community college teachers are paid? For instance, if someone has been teaching part-time at a C.C. for 20 years, why are they paid the exact same as a new hire with zero experience?

Anonymous said...

I'm confused....your article states,

"Perdue says she won't yield state control over allocating teachers and assistants because she doesn't want local districts to have the opportunity to cut those jobs to close budget gaps."

It that's the case, how can Gorman cut teacher jobs and all teacher assistants in grades 1 and 2?

blpadge2 said...

"Perdue voiced enthusiastic support for converting from a pay scale based on experience and credentials to one based on student achievement and other measures of teacher performance."

Of course this is 2011. Just wait til next year, and watch he tune change as she woos the NCAE vote!

Anonymous said...

She's totally out of touch with reality. Any woman that will steal teacher's pay to try and make up a short-fall will do anything. Pay for " performance" is stupid when tied to test scores. Teachers have little control over much what affects them. They don't create the tests and they can't make sure what " Johnny" does outside of class. Perdue is ANTI-TEACHER!

Anonymous said...

Well Mrs. Perdue is right about one thing, we need to get rid of low performing teachers! Thank God we got rid of one and she is now serving in Raleigh.

Anonymous said...

The only, and I restate the only reason why Mrs. Perdue and Mr. Gorman want to get rid of the state teacher scale is to save a buck, nothing more, nothing less. Studies in 8 previous states that tried indicated that only 30 percent of teachers were paid higher. This means a huge savings to the state and guarantees the state has an incentive to make sure that no one gets about that 30 percent.

Anonymous said...

I would say that Mrs. Perdue is signaling that she doesn't want to run in the next election for Governor. Maybe it's time for teachers to walk like an Egyptian. However, what's the difference between NC and Egypt? Egypt's dictator won't shoot or jail teachers.

Anonymous said...

Why did you leave Harding out of your story about Focus schools? Are you part of the conspiracy to keep the public from knowing that Harding is projected to fall from 87% proficient to 74% and its EDS population to rise from 59% to 74%? It has now been labeled a FOCUS school, why not report it?

Anonymous said...

So what happened to that federal money that Gorman "banked" last year?

Anonymous said...

How about we base politicians pay on results!!!!!????

Ann Doss Helms said...

1:21, I'm curious about that myself. When Gorman released the budget-cut plan, I asked whether some of the staff cuts were just based on state projections and would change if the state scenario changed. He said it was his "best thinking at this point," or something very close to that. My guess would be if the state doesn't cut teachers and assistants, Gorman/CMS board would be happy to keep them. But if the state passes along other cuts, it's possible they'd end up cutting school staff anyway.

I guess that's a long way of saying "I'm not sure."