Wednesday, January 15, 2014

State's big issue: Teachers and money

Next month policymakers and opinion-shapers from around the country will gather at N.C. State University to discuss  "Teachers and the Great Economic Debate."

Each year since 1986,  the university has convened a forum on  "big issues that affect North Carolina's growth and prosperity."  Recent topics have included health care, manufacturing and  "investing in Generation Z."

This year the Institute for Emerging Issues is zeroing in on teachers:  How they're treated,  how they're paid and how well they inspire learning,  around the globe and here at home.

Ron Clark and students
State leaders such as former Gov. James Hunt,  who co-chairs the institute,  and state Board of Education member John Tate will share platforms with such national education celebrities as Ron Clark,  whose founding of Atlanta's Ron Clark Academy was turned into a TV movie,  and Diane Ravitch,  one of the most prolific and controversial voices in the education scene.  Gov. Pat McCrory and Phil Berger,  president pro tem of the state senate,  have been invited to speak,  and a panel of legislators will discuss next steps for North Carolina.

The forum is Feb. 10 and 11. Registration costs $400  ($275 for higher education, nonprofit and government representatives),  which puts it outside the reach of many teachers.  The Belk Foundation is addressing that by footing the bill for 150 teachers from around the state.  There's also an option to watch online;  staffers say last year's forum drew about 1,000 in-person participants and 1,200 online viewers.


Anonymous said...

I would bet a paid registration that Berger or McCrory won't step foot near that place!

BolynMcClung said...


February 10th is a Monday.

Can anyone say Moral Monday?

Bolyn McClung

Jeff J said...

take the best teacher in each subject per district or smaller area - have them do lessons in advance and record them on camera. then play them for each class. then you just need teacher assistants in the class rooms to help the students follow lesson plans, etc. that way you have the best doing the teaching and save money by just using teacher assistants in the classes.

Anonymous said...

Where's all the lottery money to help subsidize this ?!!!!!! Isn't this what it was for ?!

For what it is worth said...

I've always wondered why educrats never figured out to put the classes of a master teacher and a rookie together and thus 2 great advantages happen. One, the master teacher is teaching to more students. Two, the rookie teacher gets a year on OJT. The rookie teacher is there to handle more one on one type instruction. They see classroom management at the top of the scale. And they get a huge jump in self confidence with a positive experience.

As for the pay aspect for teachers. NC legislators are caught between a riock and a hard place. You speak to many of them privately and they fully understadn the frustaration of the teachers. But the past democrat adminsttrations have this state in a bind. One, they started this frozen pay scale stuff. Second, they've gotten this state into a huge debt to the feds with the unemployment benefits loan. And third, they've accepted Race to the top money and now have all these committments hung on the stae board and the legislature. Additionally, this state's Medicaid burden is ever crushing. We've got to pay back the unemployment loan. We've lost many good paying industries over the years like textiles and furniture. And more like Rev Barber wants the state to take care of more and more people because of their skin color. And needless to say the feds failed in their job to protect our borders.

Shamash said...

Jeff J,

Hey, that sounds like a plan Bill Gates would approve.

We can have Microsoft "certify" the teaching assistants, too.

Then it will be easier to outsource them all to India or China.

Or maybe even Vietnam, where their education standards are higher and labor costs are much, much lower.

Shamash said...

This Ron Clark fella sounds like a real hoot.

Accolades by Disney and Oprah.

And he has his own Academy named after himself.

Where could THAT go wrong?

I've gotta read his books.

I wonder if he'll franchise.

Shamash said...

For what it's worth...

Funny, but Shanghai is already doing something very similar to this.

They regularly rotate their best teachers to other schools so the students and other teachers get some exposure to real "best practices".

It's an idea that is catching on in China.

Anonymous said...

The politicians have created a first class mess. Teachers are hit with a double whammy - low pay for years and foolish mandates driving them from the classroom. Common Core and Race to the Top have demoralized them. They are no longer valued to make decisions with the training they have received. They are being micromanaged by a burgeoning mid-level bureaucracy that creates busy work for them. teachers are now procedural managers instead of teachers. The hyper-testing is killing both teachers and students. We have a dire situation in this state. It's best teachers are leaving or looking for the quickest way out!

amyo said...

10:58, I agree with everything you said, except that it's not best that teachers are looking to get out--not for students! My children have had wonderful teachers--it would be a tragedy if these caring folks left the system.

What we all need is for teachers and parents who are unhappy with what's going forward to contact their state representatives! Do they really think teachers and parents don't vote???!? We really have to make our voices heard.

Anonymous said...

Jeff J, you are on to something. With BYOT, the teachers will be phased out of the classroom soon enough. The class will need a lower paid classroom monitor or assistant to supervise over a room full of students working independently on their personal technology devices, taking tests I presume. Isn't technology grand?

Anonymous said...

And CMS would save BILLIONS on transportation as kids could use schools closest to home. Just log on and learn remotely via the Gates software. The kids will learn the minimum and I will send mine to private schooling. CMS reduces its BOE and Heath since it wont be needed. Just a lawyer to negotiate the contracts with Bill Gates. You guys could be onto something. Keith W. Hurley

Anonymous said...

Jeff J.....Great idea about hiring ONE teacher to videotape the lessons and have assistant teachers "monitor" the students while they attempt the work.
Let us imagine THAT with next year's NFL. Hire the Head Coach who wins this year's Super Bowl game. Videotape him telling the NFL players from all the other teams how to play, and let the owners pay "monitors" to babysit the athletes who are watching the lesson. What a big savings! Of course the smart owners want BETTER teams so they know THAT won't work because the Athletes NEED PROFESSIONAL feedback AND motivation. Why would we even THINK about SHORTCHANGING our children?
The State always FINDS money for everything ELSE and "pulls" from education. There are no shortcuts. Pay the professionals what they are worth. Even those sports teams that fall short of the mark PAY the coaches well. Pay the big bucks up front, then Transfer or let go of the teachers/coaches that fall short YEAR AFTER YEAR. Other states will draw the better teachers and those who don't pay can't win. e.g. NC

Shamash said...

Anon 5:41

And, yet, such an oddball approach is exactly what billionaire Bill Gates loves.

You should see him gushing about Khan Academy.

Which is basically a bunch of videos of people scribbling on blackboards for the most part.

And Gates thinks it is the cats pajamas.

And lately, he's been quite influential in education.


What works for Bill Gates doesn't necessarily work for everyone else.

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...

Did a little more research on Ron Clark.

Seems that he can work miracles if he's given total control of every single student admitted to his school.

And he only takes about 1 out of 7 applicants after a series of interviews.

And he's very careful to only select students whose parents can volunteer 10 hours per quarter at the school.

Maybe they should try that at all the schools.

Then every teacher can be a rock star.

And get approval from Disney and Oprah.

And, of course, there's this:

The Essential 55 by Ron Clark

(which even includes hints on the proper way to eat corn...)

Anonymous said...

A few words from a retired CMS teacher who was, along with 5,000 of my closest irritated friends, threatened by CMS administration to go see Ron Clark and his Gomer Pyle dog and pony show at the old, old Coliseum a superintendent back. The school system wasted tax payer funds, Ron pranced around telling Pitt County and New York hocus pocus stories like he was a composite of a Southern Freddy Mercury/Ernest Angeley tent revivalist, and many of us went back to school wondering, what a waste? Flannery O' Connor couldn't have written it any better. Such idiocy is the norm, Norm.

Tiny Tim said...

Later School Start Times Improve Sleep, Health and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents. CMS, please take note. School systems all over the country are making this important change.

Anonymous said...

There is NO MONEY!

Teachers please go find a manager job at Burger King and increase your pay


Shut up and sit down



Rob C. said...

Tiny Tim, Good stuff and I agree 100%. Insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic with potentially serious impacts on mental and physical health, safety and learning. Early high school start times contribute to this problem.

Adolescents are not getting the physician recommended 9-10 hours of sleep per night due to homework, sports, jobs, extracurricular activities and their addiction to technology. It is a fact of life now, and our school district should seriously consider pushing back high school start times to 8am or later. It is not only a personal but a public health issue.

Anonymous said...

So we start school at 8:15 the teens go to bed at 1:00. We start at Noon and they go to bed at 4am after partying all night/video gaming. NOT the schools' responsibility. PARENTS need to enforce a curfew and "bedtimes". Do we really think that if a teen won't go to bed at 9:30 on their own that they will get up and go to school AFTER the parent has left the house for work. GET REAL.

For what it is worth said...

Ron Clark originally started out as a teacher in NC in the northeast part of the state. He then went to HArlem and taught in one of the public schools there. He used many of the "ideas" being floated around these days. He was out sick many days at one stretch so he videotaped a lesson each day and had the assistant principal run the tape as the class monitor. He did a few KIPP type tricks along the way. At the end of the year, his class of the lowest students from the year before outperformed the AG class at the school. One of his students even tied the NYC public schools' highest score.

Nothing to see here folks. Move along!

Anonymous said...

what a waist of time... Give teachers their step pay back.. increase with inflation and give extra pay to teachers who students test well. All students should be tested at the start of the year and at the end. Look for growth. Admin should fire bad teachers, no excuses now the protections are gone. If admin fails, they are gone.. If a student misses school or is suspended all the time, they do not count. If a new student comes mid-year, test and go from there. Y do we have all this BS.. Y is my sons teacher, whom we love leaving mid-year.. I will vote..

For what it is worth said...

8:47, right on. CMS tried this with 2 high schools some years ago. Parents quickly caught on that the students were skipping school at higher levels. than before. The parents had to leave for work before the student needed to get up to catch the bus so guess what happened? The students never got up to catch the bus.

So in the typical CMS/government/PR way, since a few kids could not deal with the bettering of their plight, all students returned to the "suffering".

Anonymous said...

School starts to early, teachers get paid to little and this is North Carolina.. At least we have the disco chicken and Ikea..

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...

For what it's worth...

Yeah, I found his movie on Youtube and was watching it, too.

Odd, though how his current "Academy" in Atlanta is so different from his Harlem experience.

Sounds like he's found a way to guarantee his future success, though.

Many people legitimately wonder whether his success in Harlem is scalable.

It's not like he's had repeated success in the same situation, is it?

Sounds like he gets to call the shots and pick and choose his students, unlike his Harlem job.

A lot of times the winners are the ones who just know when to quit while they're still ahead.

I suspect that two or three more attempts at his Harlem experience would have led to total burnout.

Not that I don't think he's doing it the right (or a better way) NOW, but then he's doing the same that other "success" stories are accused of doing.

Namely, cherry-picking the students and parents to ensure success.

That seems undeniable now to me.

He now seems to teach the class "across the hall" from the one he originally had at Harlem.

Shamash said...

Anon 9:33-34.

Makes too much sense.

Except to the social engineering crowd running the schools who can't figure out that tolerating (and even rewarding) failure creates more failure.

For them, every possible excuse must be made for all the failures from students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

And no way would they want to reward anyone who does better.

All to avoid "disparate impact", of course.