The Wake County school board got a briefing Tuesday on the superintendent's plan to reward 25 percent of teachers with four-year contracts and $500-a-year raises.
The "25 percent rule," created by state legislators last summer, is part of a program to phase out career status, also known as tenure. It's posing challenges for districts across North Carolina as they try to figure out how to make it work. The biggest issue is choosing among teachers who meet the mandated requirements for three years' experience and proficient job evaluations.
Echoing a discussion by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board last month, Wake board members gave the state-mandated program thumbs down.
“This is a bad way for rewarding teachers,” said Wake board member Jim Martin, according to the News & Observer. “This is a bad way for just about everything.”
Wake's plan creates separate eligibility pools for each school, dealing with the concern that districtwide selection could leave some schools shortchanged. Wake also plans to ask eligible teachers whether they want to participate. That's a good question, given that accepting a four-year contract means voluntarily surrendering tenure. Some teachers say they'll refuse the contract and the raise if it's offered, and the N.C. Association of Educators is suing to protect tenure.
Once each school has a pool of eligible and willing teachers, selection will be done based on the highest job ratings in the past two years, with seniority as a tie-breaker.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools plans to unveil its plan later this month. The school board discussed issues and challenges at a December meeting (read the CMS presentation here).