A national education-reform group is launching a North Carolina branch to push for changes in teacher pay, tenure and evaluations.
The N.C. Campaign for Achievement Now, or CarolinaCAN, is the seventh state spinoff from 50CAN, a national group trying to create like-minded organizations across the country. CarolinaCAN will formally debut today with an analysis of shortcomings in student achievement, followed by a "Year of the Teacher" push for evaluations, pay and layoffs to be linked to student results and other measures of effectiveness (find the issue brief at the CarolinaCAN web site above).
"Our state has an honored tradition of education leadership," the introduction says. "But there is so much more needed to support and leverage our great teachers. Three reforms will help us get there: improving our statewide teacher evaluation system, reforming the state’s outdated tenure and layoff systems, and creating meaningful rewards for excellence. This brief outlines the shortcomings of the current evaluation, tenure, layoff and compensation policies, and proposes reforms to re-position North Carolina as a national leader in teacher excellence."
The CarolinaCAN site says the national group recruited "a group of independent, nonpartisan organizations dedicated to top-notch schooling to consider joining forces to help improve the education landscape" in North Carolina, with those organizations helping 50CAN "and local partners" create CarolinaCAN and launch "The Year of the Teacher." The N.C. founders, in addition to Public Impact and Project LIFT, are listed as KIPP charter schools in Charlotte and Gaston; the Charlotte office of New Leaders (recently joined by former CMS Chief Operating Officer Millard House); Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina; and Teach For America offices in Charlotte and eastern North Carolina.. Teach For America President Matthew Kramer chairs the 50CAN board.
In other states, including Minnesota and Rhode Island, CAN political action groups have pumped money into state legislative and local school board campaigns. Hoey says there's no plan for CarolinaCAN to get involved in this year's Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board race, though she says she's not in a position to rule anything out for a group that's just getting off the ground.