Wednesday, February 5, 2014

NC teacher pay: A plan, a poll and some buzz

CarolinaCAN,  an advocacy group pushing for a better system of teacher pay,  is calling for 4 percent across-the-board raises this year and a plan to raise starting pay by more than $5,000 by 2016.

"Investing in Excellence," a report released today,  calls for a long-term investment to make North Carolina the Southeast's leader in starting and average teacher pay. The group's plan calls for front-loading the pay scale so teachers get the biggest raises in early in their career  (five years of pay freezes have accomplished the opposite effect)  and creating high-paying career pathways for top teachers,  similar to the  "Opportunity Culture"  jobs being piloted in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

"The first step to attracting and retaining excellent teachers in North Carolina is increasing base pay enough to make the profession competitive with teaching in nearby states and to put it at least in the ballpark of the other professions competing for top college graduates,"  the report says,  citing a cost of $187.2 million for a 4 percent raise.

New teachers with a bachelor's degree currently start at $30,800 on the state pay scale,  though many districts supplement that.  The CarolinaCAN plan calls for bumping that to $36,000 by 2016,  which would move North Carolina ahead of South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee if those states make no change.

The report says some reforms can come at little cost.  For instance,  the group supports the state's plan to eliminate extra pay for advanced degrees in lower grades,  but says those savings should be used to restore the additional pay in higher grades,  where graduate work in the subject area being taught often leads to higher student achievement.

N.C. taxpayers appear to be willing to foot the bill for teacher raises,  according to a High Point University poll of 421 adults from around the state. That poll found 72 percent willing to accept a tax hike to get N.C. teacher pay to the national average in four years.

The poll also asked for reactions to the many education changes the state made last summer.  Most popular were the Read to Achieve program and expansion of Teach for America.  Frozen teacher pay,  lower per-pupil spending,  cutting extra pay for master's degrees and removing class-size caps were unpopular with strong majorities of respondents.

Finally,  a handful of educators have contacted me over the last couple of weeks asking about rumors that the state is considering a  "60/30/10 plan"  that would put teachers into three career categories,  with fixed pay for each and pay cuts for many of them.

That's coming from an N.C. Policy Watch blog post about an idea drafted by Lodge McCammon,  a former Wake County teacher who has also worked for N.C. State's Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.  There's no indication that this is a formal proposal that has traction with state lawmakers.  As Policy Watch reporter Lindsay Wagner reported in a follow-up blog,  McCammon described the plan as an informal  "brainstorming project"  and the Friday Institute is not associated with it.

But as Wagner notes,  and as many around Charlotte would agree,  it's always wise to keep an ear open for the ideas that are floating around Raleigh.


Unknown said...


The Republican General Assembly has a terrible dilemma.
How does it give pay raises to state employees and teachers when the new tax system hasn’t been tested? In an odd way it makes the Republicans look like Democrats who willingly spend without any concern for revenue.

For those in need of a Tax Reform primer, the tax code was changed to improve business. The improved business climate would create jobs. Sales and income taxes increase. State spending for roads, education and political payoffs can be rejuvenated.

The high pressure atmosphere demanding teacher pay has moved the spending ahead of tax collections and job creation.

Bolyn McClung

Shamash said...

CarolinaCAN's four points make good sense to me.

Especially the one about which (and where) advanced degrees matter.

And the one about getting the pay up to snuff.

No point in making NC the training grounds for teachers to just build a resume and then leave.

Shamash said...


I haven't heard of many highly paid administrators leaving CMS or other school systems for "better" opportunities.

Unless they've been caught doing something inordinately lame.

Maybe they can squeeze some blood from those turnips.

Or maybe we just haven't been hearing the stories about all the great high level admin folks who are underpaid for all their hard work.

What's the ed. administration turnover rate among the 80K+ crowd?

Anonymous said...

The poor treatment of our most seasoned professionals is astounding! If my experience , loyalty, and longevity is suddenly not valuable, why am I forced to be a MENTOR without compensation?! The state of North Carolina broke its agreement with me and has permanently affected my retirement forever. This " keep 'em poor" push is shameful! I wish to God I would have retired when my colleagues did and got their full salary scale benefit. I have been cheated. It makes me deeply sad. I LOVE teaching and I am good at it. but I'll leave ASAP. I can't bear this treatment. Put your green-horn testing robots in those classrooms- and then live with the consequences for generations. SHAME on our elected officials!

JE said...

Is there a "like" button I can press for Annon @ 10.15's comment?

Anonymous said...

You can either pay these people and attract teachers that will educate, and raise the scores of the poor and uneducated.....or you can continue down the path of attracting LAZY teachers, that think $30k a year is an acceptable salary that comes hand in hand with health insurance, and a job where they only have to be at work for 10 months out of the year (but don't have to work hard while they are there), and can call in sick once or twice a month (or more??) and expect ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY no repercussions whatsoever. You get what you get with what you pay.

BolynMcClung said...

TO: Shamash

Subject: Admin cost.

I've long looked at K12 admin cost across the nation. It's an easy comparison of CMS to others because our district is often included in comparisons.

CMS' admin cost are usually in the lower 25% of whatever districts are being compared. But never the bottom. SPOILER ALERT: numbers come from CMS.

8% for CMS. 6% for Denver which is similar to CMS in many ways.

As long as Wake and CMS remain the testing lab for NCDPI the 8% is likely to be fair.

I would not make admin cost the first or even fourth concern. Health benefits and retirement cost are out of line with the private sector.

Bolyn McClung

Shamash said...


Thanks for the info. I didn't really check, so you could be right about that.

Still, education seems a bit "top heavy" to me. I'm not sure that a comparison among other "top heavy" bureaucracies matters much.

I think the same problem plagues most government jobs as well, including the health and retirement costs.


Shamash said...

Anon 10:15 am.

So what's wrong with being a MENTOR?

I don't recall ever getting paid extra to mentor anyone either, it was just accepted as part of my job as a "professional" that I would mentor and train as many people as needed.

All kinds of people mentor.

Especially among the professionals I've known.

I'm not sure why teachers find this so horrible.

In fact, many of my co-workers over the years have taken pride in being able to share certain tricks of the trade.

I've mostly seen a loathing to mentor among hourly clerical workers than among professionals.

So this attitude toward mentoring surprises me a bit.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say, but many teachers are unable to respond to this because they are busy EDUCATING. The job that they take seriously and do well. Most EDUCATORS in know willingly pay out of pocket for student books, supplies, and classroom manipulatives that school districts cannot AFFORD to supply. These same EDUCATORS have been lambasted as being lazy, underperforming, not deserving of a "living wage" and in not so many words as leaches on the system on some of the comments here.
Enough is enough, short of having a mass walkout, when will we learn to support those that are on the frontline instead of dragging them over the coals? No one goes into education to become rich, but you do want to be able to have a living wage. At the rate we are going, the teachers that are left will retire on what amounts to pennies and those that can and did leave are long gone! Corporations and developers dictate how and were schools operate and what will be left is a skeleton of what used to be the envy of the world.

Shamash said...


I think the thing that got me thinking about the admin costs is something I read about the number of "teachers" on the payroll vs. the number of "teachers" who actually teach.

Or rather, the pupil:teacher ratio.

On one hand, when you look at the pupil:teacher "ratio", it looks pretty low, but when you look at classroom sizes, they look somewhat high.

According to this, the pupil:teacher ratio has dropped from 26.9:1 back in 1955 to 15.5:1 in 2007.

So it seems to me that a lot of "teachers" aren't in the classroom or are getting easier jobs or smaller classes than others or are counselors, admin, etc., etc.

How did those earlier teachers do it?

Shamash said...

I do sympathize somewhat with the teachers, especially on pay, but on some issues I simply cannot.

My second year out of college, I took a new job in a new city.

Before my first anniversary in that job, my company was bought out by a corporate raider.

This was the early 1980's.

And back then it was legal for someone to raid the pension plan to pay off company debt, so that's what the raiders did.

They deliberately sought out companies with good, solid pension plans, bought them, sold off the pension plan, gave everyone a tacky little annuity, and essentially owned the company for nothing.

Then they usually broke it into parts and sold it for whatever they could get.

So, I find it hard to believe that ANYONE expects a pension in the 2010's.

But I know.

Government is different.

All the other sheep were shorn decades ago.

amyo said...

Hi Shamash--

A couple of points. You asked why teachers wouldn't automatically consider mentoring other teachers. Many do, on an informal basis, but I think the former poster was talking about being an official mentor which is a tediously time-consuming process that involves lots of paper pushing, observing, tracking, documentation, etc. The manual on the DPI site is 30 pages long. So no, it's not something anyone would just rush out to do without being compensated, although most veteran teachers would gladly exchange lesson plans and give encouragement for free--and they do.

You also asked, or begged the question, about why teachers would expect a defined benefit plan, when individuals in private industry do not. The reason is pretty simple--teacher pay is low, has always been low, and always will be low, relative to the market for individuals with similar education and experience. The state has balanced that stick with the carrot of the defined benefit plan. On the day when we no longer have that carrot left, I'm not sure how anyone will entice folks to enter or stay in education.

Unknown said...

TO: Shamash

Subject: Student teacher ratio

1955 is a very bad for comparison. Too many baby boomers.

Every community from Levittown to Oakland to Destin, Fla was bursting with children.

Three years later(1958) in another Florida town I started the 2nd semester in a brand new school by going half days. Yes, by the time the new school was finished around Christmas there were twice as many students as in the construction plan. Half went in the mornings. Half after lunch.

Too many students. Not enough teachers. Not enough classrooms. This was the first sign of the urbanization of America.

You'll find many a person my age who went to school in a classroom that just 10 years before had been a barracks or hospital ward on military base.

Classrooms and teachers were in short supply. Therefore: high student to teacher ratio.

I have little sympathy for the stuffed classrooms of today when it comes to space or headcount. Where I do get ill is in 1955 the teacher's time was spent teaching...not being a data collector.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Bolyn, perhaps you should reconsider your sympathy for space and headcount of today's classrooms. My grandmother and I were having this conversation just the other day. She taught 4th grade in the 50's and had 42 students. I couldn't believe she had that many in her class, especially after she said she could step out of the classroom to go to the bathroom and the kids would still be sitting quietly. I told her I taught at a local high school in CMS a couple years ago where I had 30 kids and if I stepped out for two minutes all hell would break lose. Her reply? Kids were different back then. Better behavior. Let's be crystal clear here...classroom size matters, and is more of a factor when dealing with remedial or even college-prep courses. That is, you can stick more honors kids in a course and still get acceptable results, but you can't do that with any other students and expect similar results.

Also, I to the poster who touched on mentoring. Exactly. The formal mentor process used to earn a veteran teacher a small supplement. Not anymore. I was in charge of the program at a high school several years ago, just after the county removed the supplement, and just getting teachers to volunteer to be a mentor was a challenge. Not that they didn't want to be helpful. It's just that the formal process required a lot of paperwork, and observations, and documentations, etc... so it just wasn't worth the time. Informal mentors? Sure. I guarantee you won't find one school in American that doesn't have veteran teachers take a rookie under their wing. That is, unless, they are now having to compete in an ill-advised merit-pay system, and then it becomes survival of the fittest. Hardly an environment I would want my children in, but hey, what do I know. I only work in the industry, unlike the boneheads who set policy that know NOTHING of the reality of education, on theory.

Shamash said...


True, the baby boom was a bit of a mess.

I was on the tail end of that, going to school in the 60's.

It seems that we all were in classes of 30 to 40 kids.

And I see the problem with all the data collection.

And the standardized tests.

(But I don't remember a lot of illiterate kids.)

I still think one good set of standardized tests (like MAP) should be sufficient.

Much of the testing seems unnecessary and is also a reason I suspect there is more administration than needed.

Both tasks and people.

That and the total amount of money we spend on public education seems to be much higher than it was during the "boom".

Not that I'm a big fan of Bill Gates in education, but he does make that point as well.

Not sure if this is in inflation adjusted dollars or not, though:

"Over the last four decades, the per-student cost of running our K-12 schools has more than doubled..."

If true, then where is it all going?

Administration, plush buildings?

Athletic facilities?

Obviously NOT to teacher salaries.

Shamash said...

To all,

Thanks for the extra info on mentoring.

I can see now how it differs from the type of mentoring I've seen which was just taken on as a normal part of the job.

It would have been a pain, too, if I had had to record every minute or exactly what I was doing to "mentor" someone.

We just did it.

Again, it seems like more bloat in the bureaucracy in terms of reporting and such is a big part of the problem.

Wiley Coyote said...

...and Bolyn, somehow you survived to become the person you are today.

By the way, that's a compliment.

Shamash said...

Anon 2:31 pm.

I can believe that the classes were that large and that well behaved.

Because I was in them when I was younger.

And we behaved without good air-conditioning, too.

Something must have hit the fans after that time, though.

Except in Asia where you can still find well-behaved classrooms with 60 children in them.

I was stunned at the size of the classes when I got a chance to teach a little oral English in a Chinese school a few years back.

Wiley Coyote said...

The bar of what is acceptable in our society was laid on the ground decades ago and has been stomped on ever since.

Shamash said...

Whoops, forgot to attribute that Bill Gates quote:

"Over the last four decades, the per-student cost of running our K-12 schools has more than doubled..."

Got it from here:

And FWIW, the numbers in Gates chart DO MATCH these INFLATION ADJUSTED numbers from NCES (National Center for Education Statistics):

Both show 1996 spending of around $8000 compared to around $10000 per pupil for 2006.

Of course, we know that money isn't going to individual teachers salaries.

And it isn't EXACTLY related to the increase in numbers of teachers, either.

Which leaves the question of ADMINISTRATORS...

The Friedman Foundation seems to think rising costs have something to do with excessive administration.

Maybe that's where I got the idea from since I saw this before:

"Nationally, states could have saved—and could continue to save—more than $24 billion annually if they had increased/decreased the employment of administrators and other non-teaching staff at the same rate as students between FY 1992 and FY 2009."

OK, so I've found the part of the turnip to squeeze for more blood.

Or at least a source to examine.

Shamash said...

More about the turnip to squeeze:

•Virginia would have had an extra $29,007 to spend per teacher if it had limited the growth of administrators and other non-teaching staff to its growth in students from FY 1992 to FY 2009.

Maine would have had an extra $25,505 per teacher,

and the District of Columbia would have had an extra $20,472.

Those funds could have been spent on salary increases for teachers or some other worthy purpose.


This report says that NC could have $5649 per teacher for raises if non-teaching staff increases had simply kept pace with student increases over 1992-2009.

Anonymous said...

Are you really going to compare a student from 1955 to today's one parent over indulged sons of iniquity... That's rich, lay of the mothballs sweetheart

Anonymous said...

Carolinecan, is one of these out of state corporate reform groups right? They are sheepeopls of the Mitchell Rhee, I think? The chancellor of the DC schools that was run out on a pole. She had very little success in DC and the success she did have is now in question do to possible cheating. Is this that kind of group or am I wrong?

Anonymous said...


Go get a job at Burger King,


or shut up and sit down.

There will NEVER be any increase in money for you !

Anonymous said...

Ann, Your forgot to mention that before 2014, North Carolina had one of the worst income tax rates in the country. After the last election, the tax rate got lowered. Do you really expect the politicians to hike taxes so soon after lowering them?

Anonymous said...

Teachers can't strike. Burger king is a better paying job if you can get to a low level of management.. Teachers are going to leave. If not the state then CMS. Many teachers are just retiring. Some are to close to retiring to leave, so they are just hanging on. This place is a joke. Other states are openly recruiting teachers. Teachers talk about retiring like a child talks about their birthday. Young teachers talk about leaving the profession and veterans agree that they should. They used to tell them to hold on. The best thing for an NC teacher to do is leave. Who could blame them. As a student teacher, my life's plan has come into question. Good luck NC

Anonymous said...

Ann, is CarolinaCan a corporate reform group?

Anonymous said...

6:52, click the CarolinaCAN link in the first sentence, then go to the bottom of their page and select "About 50CAN" under "who we are."

Fake Name said...

Speaking of needing more, apparently we need to start rewarding success.

And the best place to start it is in our Charter Schools who get so much less than their brother schools like CMS.

See this story and feel good knowing that a lot of Democrats voted in raising in the Charter School Cap.

Success is something we all want for our Children.

Anonymous said...

I agree with their central message, however eliminating pay for advanced degrees in the elementary grades would be unfair, ecspecially if teachers in others grades got paid for. If they believe getting an advanced degree in the particular subject that you teach leads to better student achievement, then why can't that be true for teachers in the lower grades? I graduated with a 3.98, I teach the first grade, and I have a masters degree in my field/ subject area...elementary education. I think that knowledge I acquired getting my advanced degree helps my classes grow and affords me all the accomplished and distinguished ratings on my evaluation. Bottom line is you can't pay some teachers for an advanced degree and not others!

Anonymous said...

Just leave, teaching in NC will always be crazy.. If you are in college and are going in education, transfer out. CMS is a crazy top down mess. They make decisions without any concerns of staff or students. From what I hear, the rest of the state is pretty nuts as well. Heath Morrison is Peat Gorman with a bad haircut. CarolinCan is a bs corporate education advocacy group ran by over eager soccer moms. Teachers pay in NC is crap. Before the great recision it was crap and now it's even worst. We are lucky we even have any teachers in this backwoods state. Pay them what they where promised. Break up these giant districts. Fire 2/3 of the administration and put them in trailers on school sites and move on. Does any body really think Bev, Mcory or Tillis give a s%$t about education. Mcory AKA the CEO.. Is a Cronie capitalist puppet. Tillis believers government is here to serve his ambition and Bev is at home.. one hit wonder.

Anonymous said...

Teachers need to get on Facebook and social media and create a voting block. How many of you voted for Mcory and Tillis only to be screwed by them. How many of you voted for Beverly and where abandon. Start voting as a group. Use
Social media. Think of all the teachers, assistance, security's, bus drivers, lunch ladies, spouses, sons of teacher(me).. Think.. Don't bote party but people. The Lt govener seems supportive. He you would vote for. Tillis and Burger hate teachers.. All Republicans, so vote for Lt govener. Same with dems. If you could organize your vote, you would have a voice in this "backwoods" state.

Shamash said...

Automatic pay increases for advanced degrees are ridiculous.

It should depend on the school, the degree, the GPA, and what's needed by the employer, as well.

That's the way it works everywhere else.

I don't think an elementary school teacher with a Masters degree in Elementary Education should necessarily get paid as much as a high school teacher with a Masters degree in Chemistry, Biology, Math, English, History, etc., etc.

(But probably not PE.)

And Education is notorious for grade inflation, so, sorry to say, but a 3.98 just might not mean much depending on the school.

Maybe they could be one of those official Mentors, though, or a facilitator, and get paid more for that.

By comparison:

A top MBA program may only admit the to 5% of graduate students from all backgrounds, while a mediocre MBA program may admit nearly anyone who applies.

And some of those people don't get anything for their degree, either.

Some can't even find jobs.

Like this poor gal who wasted her time on her Masters degree in "Management and Leadership" or as she calls it, "an MBA without the math".

Bad idea... People want the math.

GPA's mean little. Degrees mean little.

The school you attend and the subject of your major means more.

It's that way just about everywhere. Not just teaching.

Shamash said...

I would add, though, that I think it makes more sense to pay teachers who were top students from top schools more than they pay teachers who were neither.

At least to start.

I think that's a good step in the right direction of encouraging better students to go into teaching.

Again, that's what happens outside education.

The 3.5 student from MIT gets paid more than a 4.0 from some lesser known college.

Shamash said...

Also, automatic pay for higher degrees result in this kind of "rent-seeking" behavior:

Thread: Easiest Master Degree and Schools? Please Help!

"Just asked a question its for some state jobs. I am being honest asking people what they think. Im having a hard time find a master program that easy. some jobs I can use it for just requires any masters degree."

Whoopee! That's what our tax dollars are being wasted on.

Just ANY Masters degree.

Sounds like a certain police chief we know.

This should stop. Because it has to. We don't have that kind of money to throw around anymore.

But it is apparently acceptable in government.

Anonymous said...

Just to play devil's the business world, a company will PAY for your master's degree. In education, YOU PAY for the master's degree.

Since the business world presumably does things "better," should education follow suit.

Anonymous said...

Any training in my work place is paid for by my work place. The Republicans watch to Much fox news and came in with an ax to grind. Almost every state in the union pays for masters. I am a Republican and I am disgusted by the treatment of teachers. Evan if pay for masters is bs, is now really the time to address this. Their pay has been frozen for 7 years. Poor leadership, Tillis and Burger came in to kick a dead dog. The puppet Mcory did what he was told. It's wrong, and it's being done to a defenseless group. I have never had a problem with my children's teachers. I have had issues with administration. I have seen lazy good for nothing parents. Teachers are an easy target and its crap. CarolinaCan, can go back to New York or DC or where ever the hell you came from.

Anonymous said...

10:55 That's a nice sentiment, but it's not true in most cases. Most graduate and PhD students in this country pay their own way through cash and student loans.

11:49: You should ask your employer to pay for some training in basic English grammar.

Anonymous said...

Hey Shamash

Time magazine compiled a list of the top 25 people responsible for the economic meltdown of 2008.,29569,1877351,00.html

Out of these people, I wonder who and how many have MBA's from "top" schools?

For what it is worth said...

I have a dedicated awesome teacher in my family and even reviews by well respected prinicipals have backed it up. I see their struggle to reach some of these studentas that the "family units" have screwed up. Yes we all may be equal at birth but that is when it ends for many of these kids.

I don't see the point in laying that blame on the teachers because they can not fix it. But politicians and educrats are scared to point out the 900 pound gorilla.

Lastly, while per pupil funding may have increased 2 to 3 times over the last 20 years, i'll bet most of that never reached the schoolhouse. The sorry state of public education has many reasons and while "substantdard" teachers may be part of it, they are a long ways from significant effects. The federal government failed its citizens with its lack of interest in immigration control. It also has failed its citizens as it has remade public schools into social service delivery vehicles.

State and federal politicians are scared to address the 900 pound gorilla in the room and just think it is easier to lay it on the teachers and then get cheers from the low information populace and journalists.

Anonymous said...

This is a blog, not the English journal of medicine. Don't get your panty's in a bunch.

Anonymous said...

12:42, that is one of the best observations of the education issue, I have ever read. O'Reilly the other night said something very similar. Teachers are escape goats.

Anonymous said...

That's prior to getting the job. Not after. My grammars correct. This is a blog Mr. Jhonson :)

Shamash said...


I agree that the 900 pound gorilla in the room is the family.

That's who should be (and actually does) teach kids the most.

I know it's as true in my family as it is in all the families who never show an interest in education.

And I tried to quickly see where the money is going in education because I KNOW it is not going o the classroom or teacher.

But it does appear to be going to more "staff" SOMEWHERE.

That was the point of the Friedman studies. There is money, if they are willing to cut back on support staff per pupil.

Right now, they are saying that there are roughly as many non-teacher jobs per pupil as teaching jobs (BOTH around 1:15 per pupil).

That HAS to impact teacher salaries.

Shamash said...

Anon 12:05pm.

Well, since the "American Consumers" were also part of that list, I'd say that a very small percentage have MBA's from "top schools".

Or any schools at all.

Not quite sure of your point, though, since you obviously didn't do much research on the list.

Except to try to imply some unfounded connection, I guess...

My guess is any degree can be abused.

So how many teachers who molest children have Education degrees?

It's about as relevant...

Shamash said...


I'd say that in addition to our lack of immigration control, is our failure to put the immigrants (or ELL's) in separate schools (or even classrooms) until they learn enough English to do well in regular school.

We are so afraid to do that because of political correctness and fear of "re-segregation".

We try to "mainstream" everyone, including those who can barely read and those who probably belong in prison or reform school.

And it is just silly.

Anonymous said...

I noticed someone mentioned the article regarding the "state of charters" in todays paper in this blog. If you compare apples to apples(students of the same demographic group), generally speaking charters do not outperform traditional public schools. The reason why charters look like they perform better is that they exclude the undesirable students, as such the school average is higher. However what the auther also failed to mention is that the best CMS schools out performed the best charters. Don't take my word for it, do some research and you will see what I am referring too. My kids have had some amazing public school teachers and they deserve a pay increase and our respect!

Anonymous said...

Many of those goats have already begun to escape. It would be very interesting if Ann could get a FOI request for the number of escapees already this year. It's not a 900 lb. gorilla, but "CMS we have a problem." Ask Heath about his staff exit surveys.

Anonymous said...

To me, masters are not really the point. The legislative body came in and started taking from teachers. If this was Atlanta or New York , fine. NC teachers have not had a raise in seven years. I voted for most of these people. Its like they are punishing teachers. Why would a teacher come here. If you came here 7 years ago, your pay hasn't changed. The pay was average to begin with. Get rid of the administration, cut non teaching positions. Make real changes but don't punish the teachers.

Wiley Coyote said...


The lack of "undesireables" is what's attractive to parents looking at charter and private schools, regardless of whether they outperform any CMS schools.

Anonymous said...

I disagree, you may get the job for the degree and grades. You do not deserve a raise until you prove your worth it. My brothers freind was a TFA. She went to the right schools and had the best grades. She taught for for one year and left. She openly admits to being infective at teaching. I am sure there are studies that show otherwise. There is a study for everything. We used to say communism looks good on paper. The application is the problem.

Anonymous said...

sorry, Ineffective and one for, long day.

Anonymous said...

I have seen some really effective TFA teachers. I have seen some Ineffective TFA teachers. Not to many stay longer then 2-3 years.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome.. How many of them saw the economic meltdown followed by the biggest government hand out in history. Gift wrapped from a Republican and then regifted by one of the most liberal president in history. My brother is an engineering degree and is currently working as a computer programmer. He tried helping me with math when I was younger. It was a nightmare. My sister (not a math major) explained it to me in 10 minutes. Understanding information and explaining it can be to very different things. Haven't any of you seen the big bang theory where Shelton tries to teach:)

Anonymous said... make me want to slam my head in a door...the idiocy of 1/2 of what you say. You are probably some bored house mom with nothing else to do but troll the Blog all day. Just...stop talking...or at least go get a job at a title 1 school and get some real world experience as you really have no clue what you are talking about. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

BS, many of the people on the list where Haverd to wall street.

BolynMcClung said...


Last year at the MeckEd Teacher of Excellence Award I sat next to one of the winners. She was a TFA. I say "was" because she had already accepted a non-teaching job in Chicago.

She got what she wanted. Students got a teacher that her principal said was good enough to be nominated.

The taxpayer got the bill for her training and now will have to pay to recruit the replacement and then more training.

It's a story I don't like.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Smash could teach DECA at Providence. She said was born at the end of the "boom" so she is probably an empty nester. Had a career, left for children, husband still works and she is board. I enjoy her post and we all have a right to our opinions. I would recommend volunteering. Put your degree where your mouth is.

Anonymous said...

Why pawn her off on Providence? Poor kids, to know they will never be as smart as her offspring that she touts is the most brilliant ever. Poor faculty, to know they are being looked down upon and judged constantly.

Anonymous said...

She and bored.. Tired sorry

Anonymous said...

At least she stayed a school year. I have seen teachers go to there cars to get something and never comeback. Google TFA horror stories. It's hilarious. We have a TFA teacher in our school. She is not the best in her department but she is a good teacher. She will be leaving after this school year. Another victim of this past summers legislation.

Anonymous said...

Teachers can STRIKE !

NC is a right to work state. You can be fired as a consequence for doing it.If enough of the teachers do strike, then how is CMeS ever going to replace the THOUSANDS who have the courage to do it?

Anonymous said...

Yes, and if a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his butt when he hopped. When you can get all teachers to strike, you let me know. I'd like for you to start picking my lottery numbers too.

Anonymous said...

Would thousands do it? Some teachers have kids and can barely pay the bills as is. TFA teachers are looking to get their loans payed off and go. Older teachers are just waiting for the Magic 30. Young teachers are leaving. Even the 30 something's are trying to get out.The best thing for teachers to do is vote as a group. Send Tillis and Burger home. Elect the LT Govener and others that support teachers. Make Mcory a flash in the pan.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:53 No one has their panties in a twist.

Yes, this is a blog, but it's kind of hard to put much value in the comments of someone who tries to discuss education but doesn't display evidence that they received a very good one. English grammar, spelling, and conventions are like that first impression you make when you meet someone. They speak volumes.

Anonymous said...

And all this time I thought Shamash was a man.....

Anonymous said...

@ 9:16

No, or it would have already happened.

Anonymous said...

When you meet someone, they use the spoken word. Oral language does not always have the same rules as the written word. This is a blog and it is assumed people are on phones and on the run. Spelling and grammar are usually given a ride. Very similar to texting. If you do not understand, ask your children. They may have the time to explain it to you.

Anonymous said...

Will somebody please tell the uninformed, NC does not have a teachers union. Please!! Willy, your an independent minded fellow. I see your name on other blogs. Could you please spread the word.

Shamash said...

Ad hominem, ad hominum, ad infinitum...

Why would I want a "job" at a Title I school?

I spent my freshman HS year in a "Title I" school, or one "poor" enough to get Title I funding for sure.

And I HATED reading History tests to the illiterate basketball players back then as a HS student, too.

They would have looked funny in third grade where they belonged, but that isn't my problem.

But it taught me a lesson.

Don't be a teacher!

In the US public schools, at least.

Especially at a "Title I" school.

As for what I know or don't know.

Please feel free to correct me where I am wrong.

Vague accusations about my personal life (of which y'all apparently know NOTHING), mean so little.

No one is stopping you from putting out your own information.

But most would rather try those personal attacks, wouldn't they?

As for volunteering, I volunteer to take care of my own kids first, but thanks for the suggestions.

Tell it to the Project LIFT and Title I parents.

If you can find them.

And my "real world" experience was elsewhere in the "real" world and I have put my degrees to good use.

We pay our bills, pay our taxes, and take care of our kids.

So meh.

Shamash said...

Do I tout my kids as "the most brilliant ever"?

Not really.

They do what I think most normal kids could do if they were taught by their parents.

Something most of the US seems unwilling to try any more.

I can't help it if they turn out to be ahead of grade level.

That's everyone else's problem, not ours.

Maybe grade level is just too low.

It's not like I strap them down and force-feed them "knowledge".

They just learn and I help them along.

It's funny, though, how rank amateur parents can do what billions of dollars and a bloated, politically corrected bureaucracy can't seem to accomplish.

I send my kids to school reading by the first grade.

So they won't be a "burden" on all the other kids and teachers.

Wouldn't it be great if everyone did that? Or at least tried.

Instead, they dump the whole burden of learning on the schools and then complain when the "teachers" don't do their "job".

And if they don't get a free lunch while hanging out at school.

Who holds the parents responsible for doing their "job", eh?

Apparently no one.

And some would even criticize those who do.

For shame, y'all.

And I grew up poor, too, so I don't see that as an excuse, either.

Anonymous said...


Did you actually look at the list of 25 names I sent? Did you see the positions they held? Do you actually think CEO's of major banks, mortgage companies, Alan Greenspan, et al., DON'T have MBA's from those "top" schools you envy? I guarantee at least half of the list meet your requirements. So they should automatically earn more, right? So a teacher with a master's from Duke should automatically earn more than a teacher with a master's from UNCC? Sorry, I don't have time to connect the dots if you can't see them. I'm growing tired of the delusional every day.

Shamash said...

Anon 8:27 am.

Of COURSE I looked at the list.

In more depth than you did.

(About 2 minutes...)

And rather than "think" these people all have MBA's as you apparently do (incorrectly, I might add), it is best for YOU to verify YOUR facts first.

So, what if you have MBA envy?

Or top school envy?

Or think someone's degree from Podunk U is better than Harvard or MIT (or worth more pay).

That's not my problem, either.

You put the list up, did you VERIFY those degrees?

Because I sure don't care to debunk it until you try.

But I'll tell you one thing.

And it's enough to DISPROVE your silly little hypothesis about that list.

(Assuming you understand how the scientific method works...)

Bernie Madoff didn't have an MBA.

Now, do the rest of the research yourself.

Don't come whining to me because your "facts" are flimsy.

Of course, if you have nothing of value to add, you can always try the ad hominem attacks.

They are just spot on.

Shamash said...

Anon 8:27.

Alan Greenspan doesn't have an MBA, either.

Another 30 seconds wasted doing YOUR research...

Keep at it, though.

You're sure to convince the "low information" crowd with the increasing shrillness of your claims.

I do note, that you have changed your claim to "1/2" of these people having MBA's.

Care to lower that to 1/4 now?

Keep "connecting those dots", eh?

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I assumed he did have an MBA. He has a PhD, and you can't earn one of those without a master's degree, so since he was an economics major, I figured he'd have an MBA. Regardless, the point is the very people we as a society hold in high regard due to their education level crippled our nation, and we are still paying the price for it. Therefore, a fancy MBA doesn't equate to good business practices, such as a fancy Master's in Education from Duke doesn't equate to a good teacher, therefore we shouldn't pay them a higher supplement for their degree than, say, a Master's from UNCC. That was your whole point.

Anonymous said...

Who cares, the class next door to me has a teacher with an MBA. He is from the north. He went to all private schools and is a very component man. He is not a very good teacher. The children are eating him alive. (He knows it. He has a resume out.) I am sure there are teachers with the same credentials, that are effective. For years, the Navy Seals have been studying recruits. They want to see if there are common factors in men who make it. They can't find it. I believe teaching is very similar.

Anonymous said...

Bingo, 10:14. That was my whole point.

Anonymous said...

Competent, sorry rushing

Shamash said...

Anon 10:02am.


Well, thanks for explaining MY point using your bad examples.

I can find my own.

I could just as easily make the same argument for any child molesters with advanced Education degrees as you make for MBA's being the root of evil in finance.

Of course, the criminals don't deserve higher pay.

They deserve jail time, fines, etc., etc.

And these people didn't get AUTOMATIC pay raises just because of their degrees.

Their degrees are in all areas, but, yeah, a lot of people don't get to the top of the financial world without a financial degree or an industry relevant degree of some kind.

Maybe we should look at the number of Naval or Army Academy graduates who are guilty of war crimes or military scandals, too.

Again, I wouldn't be surprised to find a few.

And probably more than with English degrees.

But it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with their degree or that they didn't deserve the pay they got until they went bad.

Now, as to MY WHOLE POINT, it was that RATHER THAN automatically pay anyone for any masters degree from any school (and especially an education degree where it isn't necessary)...

That it would make more sense to pay more to teachers with better degrees from better schools at the beginning.

Now that doesn't mean FOREVER.

Again, I'm against entrenched bureaucracies and lock-step promotions, etc.,etc., based solely on seat-time or seniority.

And it's also in line with what private industry does when faced with starting pay for a graduate from MIT vs a graduate from Podunk U. where there IS competition for the best graduates.

Unlike education, where there apparently ISN'T much competition for the best.

At least not with pay from what I can tell. (So why should they try?)

And it's just a fact that private industry typically pays more for a good student from a good school.

Later, with experience and performance, that may change.

And I think that a teacher who WAS good student from a good school may still be (or could be) a better teacher than a bad student from a bad school with a bad Masters Degree from the same bad school.

So why pay extra for just getting a Masters degree?

Shamash said...

I swear. Y'all are fixated on the MBA. Jeezus. My bad.

I should have chosen a different degree, I guess, other than that evil MBA.

(You know some of those guys who were in the financial meltdown list had Bachelors degrees in English, too...)

And sure, you can always find examples of bad teachers from good schools and good teachers from bad schools.

And EVIL lurks around every corner.

But, on average, don't you guys in "education" think that the school you went to matters?

If not, then why not get all those degrees from DeVry or Phoenix University or online or your nearest, cheapest diploma mill?

And go ahead and get a few extra Masters and Ph.D's as well.

Because the policy everyone seems to be defending (which I think is wrong) is AUTOMATIC pay raises for JUST getting a degree.

And if you need counter examples, I can cite just about every "science" and "math" teacher I ever had (including Da Coach) who had "Education" or "PE" degrees and didn't know diddly about math or science.

Getting a Masters degree in Education would NOT have helped them.

Whereas a Masters in a science or math would have.

Since y'all like personal anecdotes...

My 10th-12th grade History teacher had a Masters in History and she was great.

My 9th grade History teacher had a Masters degree in History and wasted it trying to teach down to illiterate basketball players.

I had to co-teach my HS Trig class as a Senior because my math teacher (bless her heart) was trying to learn Trig at the same time she was teaching it.

While I had just finished a Summer program as a HS Junior in a nearby college and still had it fresh in my mind.

Our class was a group teaching/learning effort.

Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it's hardly ideal.

Anonymous said...


Because that is how they do it in the business world.

Look up "MBA bump."

Since the current trend is to try to treat schools and education on a business model, because big business does things right (right?), then why shouldn't teachers who have jumped through the hoops get treated with the same respect?

Anonymous said...

Some school systems won't recognize degrees from diploma mills. And now the only way to get paid for your master's degree is to be teaching in the content area of your masters. This prevents, say, a math teacher from getting a master's in PE and being compensated for it. Doesn't happen any more, and hasn't for years.

Shamash said...

I've also seen where they probably SHOULD pay for a relevant Masters degree, but don't as well.

The example I saw was a Math teacher getting a Masters in Aeronautics.

Which is basically applied math.

And they won't pay him for his Masters, which is ignorant.

So I'm not exactly seeing that they got it right in education, either.

So the big challenge is deciding what's "relevant".

And I'd say different rules should apply to HS than to elementary school.

My suggestion to use "diploma mills" was sarcasm.

But there are school rankings in education just as there in all areas.

It just makes sense that someone completing a degree at a top school might be worth paying just a wee bit more for.

And I'm not saying that business always gets it right.

They don't.

But they sure can and DO fire people fast when they make a mistake.

As for myself, I like the Finnish model.

Regular Bachelors degrees for everyone, and only a few top graduate schools for education.

And pay for it.

The problem is getting to that point and what to do with everyone under the "old" system.

I'd just start fresh by paying extra for THAT kind of educational background and let it happen over time through recruiting and attrition.

Right now, though, we can't even set a goal, so we'll go nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Getting a masters degree in education doesn't meany anything these days anyway. Has anyone ever heard of someone NOT graduating with their master degree? Of course not. The colleges and universities are diploma mills where anybody with the money will get a diploma, guaranteed. So just how valuable is a masters degree that anyone with money in their checking account can purchase? The colleges certainly aren't going to make things more difficult because if word got out that people were actually failing your courses people would take their money elsewhere and some of these pie in the sky college instructors would be looking for work in the real world.

Shamash said...

Anon 10:44am.

I know about the MBA bump.

It's not automatic. And it is not for your current job.

Most people switch jobs and careers after their MBA's to get that "bump".

Been there, done that.

I know people who went from being school teachers to being business consultants.

And, yes, their starting pay for the consulting job was a significant "bump" over their former pay.

Typically more than 100%, even if they weren't that great as an MBA.

I know one guy who went from about 30K to over 100K easily.

But he didn't go back into teaching.

And he also had a GMAT of over 700 and a 4.0 in the MBA program.

So he was a top tier recruit.

No way you could have recuited him back into teaching.

Lesser students got lesser offers.

And some got more depending on their backgrounds.

But that was at a "top 20" business school.

YMMV depending on the school and the demand for your MBA "specialty" at any particular time.

Anonymous said...

So, what you are telling us is you don't like tutoring basketball players?

Shamash said...

"So, what you are telling us is you don't like tutoring basketball players?"

Yep. That's it.

Not unless I'm getting paid an awful lot for it.

Anonymous said...

Would you prefer baseball players?

Shamash said...

Nope. Offered that, too.

In college.

Wouldn't even take their money to do it. Wasn't worth my time.

Basically, if they are in school and shouldn't be, it's not my problem.

Study or fail.

Anonymous said...

Glad Shamash is not a teacher.

So much for republican's "compassionate conservatism."

Wiley Coyote said...

File this under "some buzz"...

...Cupid is welcome but candy is not.

That’s the new rule this year at Harwinton Consolidated School in Connecticut, where parents received an email from the principal directing them to make sure candy was not attached to any Valentine’s Day cards.

“We are asking for parents/guardians to be sure that food products of any kind are not a part of your child’s Valentine’s cards,” Principal Megan Mazzei wrote to moms and dads. “We are working to encourage healthy practices as well as manage food choices in classrooms where food allergies are present in order to maintain a safe environment.”

One teacher announced that instead of a party, they’re going to have “academic Valentine activities.” OK, kids. Spell “lame.”

That means no chocolate candies in heart-shaped boxes. The school won’t even allow kids to share those pastel-colored candy hearts with clever sayings like “You Rock” and “True Love.”

Now back to your regularly scheduled teachers vs. MBA vs. raise vs. we don't make enough money programming.

Shamash said...

I just love all the "spot on" personal attacks.


C'mon now.

I'm an independent.

And I voted for "your boy" in his first term. But not for re-election.

And I voted for Clinton. And for Bush I, but not Bush II.

But y'all think y'all know me so well, dontcha?

Just because YOU can't see beyond YOUR politics...

And as I've said repeatedly:

I HAVE been a teacher.

For pay. And for free as a volunteer.

Just not for fools...

Wiley Coyote said...


I don't like you because you put a line after every sentence.


Shamash said...

That's because I've connected an old IBM Selectric typewriter to my computer...


Anonymous said...

Very little information has changes over the years, Newton's laws are still Newton's laws. Grammar is still the same grammar that we learned. If I was a teacher I would be tired of everyone telling me how to do my job. Let the teachers teach, get out of their way Administration.

Anonymous said...

Your not allowed to have fun in class. CMS is the same. Principles have been told not to have classroom parties. Some teachers do it anyway.

Anonymous said...

Seattle Schools consider flipping grade school, high school start times.

Anonymous said...

He's not my boy, most teachers I talk to are independent or conservative

Anonymous said...

I do not believe most teachers (in NC) are liberals. Politics usually come from your parents. I have only voted for one Democratic in my life. He was more conservative then the Republican running. Some of the legislation past this last session was good. Abortion is murder. If you can not get an identification card, you probably shouldn't be voting. Never have had the time to get a masters. The tenure legislation angered me. Only because all the hoops and extra work my administration gave me to earn it. I didn't really ever know what "career status " meant anyway. I knew I would loose my job if I did not attain it. CMS doesn't seem to have any trouble getting rid of teachers. The increased class sizes was a mistake. Larger classes increase the chances of behavior issues. Each students comes with more work( More parents, more meetings, more IEPs, 504s, paperwork, etcetera). Leaving teachers in limbo is what pissed me off. 7years of waiting. The turn over is getting old. It's hard to make long term plans and create a stable learning environment. 4 teachers have left this school year. On Friday my buddy turned in his 30 day. Schools in NC have become an awful place to work.

Anonymous said...

CMeS does not CARE about turnover or teachers leaving. Look at the previous articles on how much they spend going on recruiting out of state trips and TFA's.

Burger King
Sit Down / Shut Up

Anonymous said...

I don't think it was fair to say that the previous Governor Bev Perdue abandoned public edcuation/teachers. She was hamstrung with the first Republican house and senate in over 100 years, they wanted to crush her and they did,now look what we are stuck with(hopefully he will also be one and done). I think she really cared about public schools. Now, Mike Easley, yes, he abandoned public schools, he had no excuse. We can already see where Mccrory sits with public edcuation. With regards to charter school expansion, most states had little choice or risk losing federal funding under he "Race to the Top" put forth by Arnie Duncan and President Obama.