Friday, May 9, 2014

Tweet wars and teacher pay

Meghan Brinkley,  a fifth-grade teacher,  wants everyone to know how it felt to be part of the group that showed up at Wednesday's Mecklenburg County commission meeting to speak for higher teacher pay.

"Teachers in the district often feel as though they don't matter,"  she wrote shortly after the meeting ended.  "Tonight, that was evident.  While concerns were expressed,  Commissioners were on iPads,  phones,  and even falling asleep.  Listening to concerns was not part of tonight's agenda.  Commissioner Bill James,  district 6,  took to Twitter throughout the meeting.  He even tweeted on his Twitter handle @meckcommish that teachers 'Attempt to hijack #meckbocc #meckcounty meeting. It makes me want to give them LESS Money.'  He continued with these sort of tweets that made it feel as though teachers, and those who care about education, had no reason attending these meetings."

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison has proposed seeking almost $27 million from the county for 3 percent raises,  part of a budget plan that's almost certain to win the school board's approval next week and be passed along to commissioners.  But aDavid Perlmutt reported,   the budget wasn't on Wednesday's agenda.  

Commissioners' Chairman Trevor Fuller insisted that no one speak about the budget until June 11,  when there's a public hearing scheduled.  So instead,  the people who had turned out for teachers talked about the importance of teachers without specifically addressing the budget.  According to Brinkley,  the speakers were respectful of commissioners' time limits and procedures,  but that respect was not reciprocated.

She wasn't exaggerating the nature of James' tweets.  Here's a sampling of more than a dozen comments he sent out during the meeting (#meckbocc is the board of county commissioners,  #cmsbd is the school board or CMS in general,  and #ncga is the General Assembly):

CMS teachers who are supposed to know the rules and follow the rules aren't really doing either.

Is the teacher that dragged down students at the wrong time at fault for not knowing the rules or for flaunting them?

Too bad didn't spend that time to address the since it is the legislature that has to provide raises not

Do it for 'the children' - that phrase has covered a lot of public school sins.

I can see why has such a bully problem. Mob rule. Gang of teachers attack over budget. Should be at

And yes, James made the comment Brinkley quoted,  apparently in response to a tweet from fellow commissioner Karen Bentley,  whose Twitter account is  "protected"  so only followers can see her comments.  Bentley's attitude toward speakers also came under fire in tweets chiding James (identified as @meckcommish)  and others.

Utter contempt - distain shown by towards the group of teachers in attendance last night was epic

This rhetoric reflects poorly on all .

Perhaps the should adopt 's policy of not tweeting while the public is speaking to you at meetings

As a reporter who covers public meetings on deadline,  I understand commissioners'  frustration with a long parade of speakers who aren't focused on the task at hand.  For those of us who are  "regulars,"  the public comment period can become just another time-eating item in an already long night.

But here's what I try to remember:  Coming to speak to elected representatives is a big deal.  Most people hate public speaking;  they're standing before the mikes only because they care so much.

And without people who care about the business our government does,  none of us  --  officials or the journalists who cover those bodies  --  would have a job.

So I'll give the last word to this tweet from another Charlotte teacher:

A friendly reminder to our : we are a big voting base. If you don't value us, we'll elect people who do.


Anonymous said...

With you 99% of time but not here. I am a teacher myself and was embarrassed to see what happened. It hurts our cause. The elected bodies - like classrooms and schools - have rules. The teachers were disrespectful of those rules. Why do we think we should be able to break rules that other citizens cannot?

Teacher pay is a state responsibility. We are state employees. We can make our case to county leaders, but we need to follow the rules and law.

Wiley Coyote said...

Pass a law that prohibits texting while governing.

I agree. It's disrespectful to be electronically rolling your eyes at those who elected you and pay YOUR salary.

Anonymous said...

Mr. James represents his constituency and what they believe in, the God given right to tweet, grandstand, for profit education models, and Fox News talking points. At least Mr. Bryan and Mr. Tarte had the decency to show up at the Teacher Pay Forum

Anonymous said...

Bill James is not wrong about everything, but using his electronics during any meeting is totally disrespectful and overrides any good that he may think he is doing. Childish behavior such as this is what causes silly rules (or laws) to have to be written. "No use of electronics or social media during government meetings", etc.

Anonymous said...

Why are the tech devices permitted in the public meeting? Is it too much to ask our public officials to listen to the speakers? Isn't that the point of the meeting?

Here's a room full of adults who can't concentrate, focus and manage their tech devices. Now, think of a classroom full of school children doing the same thing. Just another example of tech devices getting in the way of listening and human interaction. Ironic.

Anonymous said...

I have come to the conclusion as a teacher that there is no hope for my profession in this state. I must make a life change.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr Bill James. You never fail to be criticized by these whiny worthless liberal moral sewer scumbags. We wish there were more Bill James's on the county commission and that YOU were the Chairman of the Board.
Get the hijacker imposter Fuller gone and take your rightful place at the head of the table.
When will Ballantyne be a new city? We are anxiously awaiting that day. District 5.

Shamash said...


People flaunt their ignorance by flouting the rules.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 7:56

You are mean. I give you hugs.

Anonymous said...

"Gorman: New plan won't cut current teacher pay"

Anyone remember this headline back in 2011?

"Gorman initially said CMS would need extra money to make performance-pay work. Later, as the budget tightened, Gorman's top performance-pay official, Andy Baxter, began saying CMS would have to make it work with the same amount of money, which would likely mean some teachers would take cuts."

Now looking back on Gorman's effort to reward high performing teachers in response to cries about them departing CMS we're faced with a decrease in overall teacher pay. At the end of the day CMS is too big and needs to be split into smaller pieces.

Jeff Wise said...

While it is true that teachers get their salaries from the state, they get supplements based on county money and this year CMS is asking the county to step in where the state legislature won't.

The fact that Commissioner James points out minutiae about other county government matters and responsibilities but is deliberately obtuse about this reveals him to be just another politician.

To that point, what is Commissioner James' opinion on educational policy? All I know from him is he thinks CMS spends too much and inefficiently at that.

So what does he think education should look like in Mecklenburg County?

Anonymous said...

Teachers cannot do their jobs if RESPECT is not part of the deal, that means at home, in the classroom and government meetings.

Anonymous said...

Teachers (of all groups) should know that they have to follow the rules. After all, they are supposed to teach kids to respect the law. If teachers can't follow the rules themselves no wonder CMS has discipline problems with students. Yet, the group of teachers that showed up Tuesday night knew the rules in advance and ignored them, was told by the Chairman what the rules were AGAIN and then proceeded to argue with the Chair repeatedly insisting that they 'had the right' to do and say what they wanted. A 'mob' mentality for sure.

Finally the Chair after being berated by the first CMS teacher to speak, the Chair asked the Commissioners (the nine of us - Democrats and Republicans) if WE wanted to 'waive the rules' and NO ONE (not one Democrat, Republican, Black or white) did because to do would be to create a budget circus.

Yes, teachers want more money - who doesn't. Mental Health wants more, Welfare programs want more, Parks, Libraries. Of all the groups that should be in favor of 'rules' - teachers should be at the top of the list. What they wanted was the hijack the County Commission meeting for their own selfish purposes. Thankfully they didn't succeed.

The ironic part of their passion play was that the Commission isn't the one that provides raises - the State legislature does. They were uninterested in the facts, another strange position for a teacher to take.

Bill James
twitter handle: meckcommish

Anonymous said...

I don't think liberal or conservative is the issue. It's unprofessional and disrespectful. I would rather have seen the teachers get the money then see that building bond pass. I would also rather see money go to teachers the most the other crap money is spent on. My kids teacher is going to SC. The market needs corrected.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that Mr. James should comment on hijacking the meeting for their own selfish purposes with his long history of histrionics. Isn't that the definitive purpose of a politician? Evidently the population is seething and their representatives think Robert's Rules will soothe their weary souls.

Anonymous said...

Seven years without a raise and Governor with a plan 3 years away, that may or may not pass. Who wouldn't be pissed? Looking at state average's and teacher pay around the country, I would say teachers in this summer state are anything but selfish. I don't always agree with curriculum and I don't like common core but our teachers work hard for less. The tweeting thing is ridiculous, grow up. This has nothing to do with right or left.

Anonymous said...

How many teachers, principals, lunch ladies, coaches live in James district? If you don't like the man, vote him out. As for being yelled at by the public, this is America, politicians are not above the voters. Put your big boy pants on and take it like a man. Twittering like a scolded school boy. Toughen up man.

Anonymous said...

Aren't county commissioners elected to be the voice of the people? If so, should they not be open to listening to those people, during the public address portion of a meeting, when they so passionately share their stories about how it feels to be a teacher in CMS. They followed the one asked for money. They asked for respect. Further, although not asked for at the meeting as rules did not allow, don't local officials have the ability to impact the local supplement in CMS teacher pay? The local supplement is what attracts teachers to CMS over other counties. Seems to me that the this is not a situation of uninformed, petulant teachers. Instead, it is another example of propaganda in order to degrade public education and all it's dedicated employees.

Anonymous said...

I am a CMS educator. I was at the meeting. The rules were explained. The speakers were not following the rules. That was not helpful to our cause. That said, we are going to have a serious teacher shortage in CMS and in the state next year. Teachers have been disrespected by our politicians. Teachers have been blamed for problems in education. Is it really the classroom teaches fault? Who runs school districts? Who runs schools? Maybe there is a management issue. Teachers are being punished and blamed for things beyond their influence. What will get the legislature and the County Commissioners to hear us?

Anonymous said...

I'm a republican and I am embarrassed to admit that I voted for Mr. James. By using twitter while the public was speaking, he showed how little he cares about anyone's opinion. He needs to remember that two wrongs don't make a right, I will be certain to not vote for him in the next election. He was acting like a child throwing a tantrum.

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for Bill James tweeting, I wouldn't know what was going on throughout any of the BOCC meetings over the past couple years. The Observer coverage is light at best.

Anonymous said...

I am an registered nurse and have lived in many cities and states. Every state and city that I have lived in teachers and nurses make the same amount give or take. New registered nurses working at lets say CMC Main will start at about $50,000-$55,000. Hospitals know that they have to pay their nurses a certain amount not only because they deserve it but also because of the cost of living in the area, the hospital doesn't want to have to "ship" nurses in as it is very expensive and twice the cost. For a 23 y/o new nurse, that is a nice, comfortable salary if you were living on your own. It is that simple, pay teachers the same pay as a nurse as that is the norm in the rest of the country. It is not rocket science.

Anne, my question to you is, has CMS or any other county stated how much it cost to replace a teacher in terms of human resource cost, orientation, classes?

I know it is very expensive for a hospital to replace a nurse (human resources, hospital orientation, computer training etc and it is not a cost the hospital wants to go out the door). But a hospital you see unlike a school system has to report earnings regardless if it is non-profit or for profit. Schools do not and that there lies the issue.

Anonymous said...

1:13pm: Bill James can tweet, facebook, log and blog all he wants....AFTER the meeting. To do so during the meeting is purely irresponsible and insulting to everyone else in attendance.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't he the stationmaster in High Noon tapping out Morse Code to let Marshall Kane know the Miller gang was coming to Hadleyville? I thought that visor looked familiar. Have a great weekend Ann!

Wiley Coyote said...


Comparing teachers and nurses is apples to oranges.

The nursing shortage is real and will only get worse.

The overall teacher shortage is a myth.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2012-2022 released in December 2013, Registered Nursing (RN) is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2022. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022, an increase of 526,800 or 19%. The Bureau also projects the need for 525,000 replacements nurses in the workforce bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.05 million by 2022.

According to the “United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast” published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030. In this state-by-state analysis, the authors forecast the RN shortage to be most intense in the South and the West.

From Education Next:

....The shortest answer is that the dearth of qualified teachers is largely a myth. So is the related notion that raising teachers’ pay across the board would bring significantly more qualified numbers to the profession. In fact, the resources provided to most public schools are adequate to recruit and retain a competent teaching workforce. A much more productive line of inquiry is one that explores the costs of the inefficient, rigid structure of the teacher compensation system and the possible benefits of replacing it with a more market-based system.

Anonymous said...

That's ridiculous, go to the meeting

Anonymous said...

I think many NC Republicans are starting to feel buyers remorse. I have lived here along time and I am ashamed of the way we are treating teachers. I can't believe how little they make. Then add all the years of frozen pay. It's wrong. My Aunt was a teacher and she worked hard. If one of my grandchildren want to be a teacher, I tell them to move. Shame on NC and shame on you sir.

Anonymous said...

1:40pm Nurse - What do the readers think is a fair wage for a new teacher, fresh out of UNCC (or the like)? I would have to say the $50-$55,000 would be a bit much.

Anonymous said...

So we've learned today that our teachers can't follow the rules and our gov officials can't stay off their tech devices.

Larry said...

Bill James, the favorite name to mention, for the observer to get more hits and comments on their site.

And yet the first person the observer goes to when they need the exact numbers, and how they relate to the situation they are researching.

If anyone would note, he said that any group could come down to every meeting, and high jack the discussion each, and every time, keeping any other business from being discussed.

Anonymous said...


If you're going to cite an article to prove the myth of teacher shortages, you might want to use a source more recent than 2006. Also, Education Next is nothing but a propaganda rag for the corporate-based ed reform movement that's been a disaster.

Anonymous said...


If you're going to cite an article to dispel the myth of teacher shortages, you might want to use a source more recent than 2006. Also, Education Next is a propaganda rag for the corporate-based education reform movement that has been a disaster.

Wiley Coyote said...


Please post some of your left wing propaganda.

It is a myth regardless of what the source is.

There are always short term "shortages" for a variety of reasons, most of all funding.

When parents scream class sizes are too large, okay go out and hire a bunch of teachers which will do nothing to improve the education they are receiving.

But it will make Mom and Dad feel better that little Johnny is in a class of 20 instead of 32.

Here, from the Wall Street Journal:

Of course, since the writer was associated with GW Bush you'll discount this as well.

Shamash said...


Don't forget "shortages" due to unnecessary red tape and rules, as well as de-facto guilds for certain "professions".

That's worked well for doctors and to some extent, lawyers.

Maybe not as well for teachers, but there is quite a bit of red tape associated with becoming a teacher.

Some maintain, though, that many of the extra "credentials" and certification don't translate to better results in teaching.

Imagine that.

Shamash said...


From your WSJ article:

"Parents like the idea of smaller class sizes in the same way that people like the idea of having a personal chef. Parents imagine that their kids will have one of the Iron Chefs. But when you have to hire almost 3.3 million chefs, you're liable to end up with something closer to the fry-guy from the local burger joint."

Notice how doctors have largely avoided this "problem" by controlling the supply of doctors to ensure a perpetual "shortage".

They know how a market works.

It's tough to even get into a medical school.

That's just ONE major reason teachers will NEVER get the respect of other "professions", despite the number of certifications or whatever else they chase.

One thing I learned from being in the IT world (which NEVER really managed to "professionalize" itself) is that "certification" only means that you can be more easily replaced by someone with a similar "certificate" who will work for less.

Few will ever know (or care about) your actual skill level independent of your "certification".

This is true in many "professions" today from computers to real estate.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of idiots - you give your CHILDREN, supposedly the most precious people in your life, to teachers for 8 hours a day. You trust them to improve minds, incite a love for learning, make children feel safe, and cared for, help them become strong readers, adept at problem-solving, and proficient writers. And for all that, you want to pay them like they're assembling your happy meal. Great.

Larry said...

Strange folks who work at McDonalds make around 7.25 to 8 dollars an hour and have to work full time, year round.

I was not aware that Teachers made this little, nor had to work full time year round.

Can you tell us how bad the benefits are at schools, so we can compare them with your McMeal reference.

Anonymous said...

I know many people with degrees in teaching that have never seen a classroom. I also have many friends that taught for a couple of years and left. I don't think equating degrees with actively seeking education professionals is a good study. My best friend has a Bachelor degree in early childhood and a masters in middle school science. I don't think he is going to give up his corner office to teach. If he did, it sure as hell would not in NC.

Unknown said...


((one blogger suggested a coming teacher shortage))

Since 1970, the employment of teachers and teachers' aides increased 11 times faster than student enrollment ("America Has Too Many Teachers," The Wall Street Journal, Jul. 9).

The overall growth in the public school workforce is deceptive. The numbers include not just classroom teachers but also administrators, counselors, librarians, nurses, aides and custodians.

For those who have followed the CMS budget woes of the last years, they know the school district has been reducing support positions while trying to protect teaching slots. The moment of truth is now here. Can Johnny learn to read in a classroom of 30 just as well as 22? The situation is that Raleigh would like to return to the ratios of 1970 via fewer teachers that are better qualified.

No, there will not be a teacher shortage; just the inability to use them effectively. And there you have the magic word, “effective.” Maybe the discussion shouldn’t be about whether a teacher is effective but rather are they being effectively guided?

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Well, Larry, you clearly have no idea how many hours teachers work, including the ones who work year round. I'm not sure what your "full time" reference means I don't know any teachers who DON'T work full time. And if you'd like to know how bad the benefits are (or how good - it's all about perspective), check out the CMS website - it's all public record.
And yes, there are plenty of schools where things are very bad. You seem to be a little out of touch with public education, at least as it applies to CMS, and NC.
Instead of comparing the salary of the McWorkers to that of teachers, and noting how favorable it is, why don't you compare teacher salaries to the salaries of other licensed, college educated professionals? And keep in mind the main idea of my post: people trust us with their CHILDREN, and rely on us to keep them in our care. That ought to be worth a decent salary. Or don't you think children are worth it?

Anonymous said...

Well, Larry, you clearly have no idea how many hours teachers work, including the ones who work year round. I'm not sure what your "full time" reference means - I don't know any teachers who work anything but full time.
And if you want to know how bad the benefits are, (or how good - it's all about perspective), check out the CMS website. It's all public record.
Yes, there are plenty of rough schools out there - I've worked in them, but I worked there by choice, trying to make a difference, so I don't complain about that.
You seem to be out of touch with public education, at least as far as it pertains to CMS, and NC. Instead of comparing the McWorkers' salaries to teacher salaries, and noting how how favorable the teacher salaries look, compare teacher salaries to those of other licensed, college educated, professionals, working in their field of training - that's not nearly as favorable.
And when you do, remember my key point: you trust us with your CHILDREN, to educate them, and keep them safe. That deserves a decent salary, or don't you think children are worth it?

Anonymous said...

Coming from an RN, it is bull that teachers don't work as hard or have as much on their legal plate as an RN. You want to go to a hospital where an RN starts at $13.50 an hour? I have and lets say there is no way I would let even a frog go to that hospital for treatment. It is the same for teachers, you give them a certain salary and you get what you pay for.

Just like teachers, because of the pay structure, an RN in Charlotte will not make 6 digits unless they go into administration and that is a long shot.

I don't want to hear the excuse of they have the summers off, then fine have them do admin, classes, teacher plans during the summer.

But you are not going to get high quality teachers unless you pay them a living wage.

You can not have a stable, educated, healthy community unless you pay your teachers, nurses, police officers and firemen a healthy living wage which is comparable to the community they live in. It is not comparing apples to oranges, it is thinking about what really is the backbone of a community.

Anonymous said...

I don't care about the national shortage. I care that my kids school is loosing teachers. I care that the good school I live near is being effected by the idiots in Raleigh. Since when did people so far away get so much power. I didn't usually care about local politics but this is getting out of hand. How can any organization be successful with so much turn over. Republicans, Democrats, who cares!!! Since when did education get so political in NC. I will watch local politicians now and I don't care what party they are in.

Anonymous said...

First, CMS needs QUALITY teachers. What about $33k a year for 5 years makes an intelligent college leader choose to teach over starting out over $50k at BOA or Wells? 60+ hour weeks doesn't help. The Read to Achieve law doesn't help. Appropriate payment for hard, quality work helps draw talented people to the career.

Second, cost of living in Charlotte is much different than in rural areas of the state. It's the county's responsibility to appropriately adjust for those cost of living differences. One size pay doesn't fit all. It's tough to find a good home under $300k in south Charlotte, but is much easier to do so in the country.

Anonymous said...

Ya, market based system... Wait, what market? Are children commodities? Can you send a broken one back?

Anonymous said...

Wiley watched fox news. They had a whole hour on it. They talked about the wall street journal article and everything. Wiley knows man.. He knows.

Anonymous said...

Wiley,your doing just fine with your propaganda. Don't let the scary commie man get to ya. That article was in depth. Every one who has a teaching degree must want to teach. Forget the whole 3/4 of teachers leaving the profession in the first 5 years. That doesn't mean anything. They must be a dime a dozen like computer techs. The janitors of the digital age.

Anonymous said...

Well, Larry, you clearly have no idea how many hours teachers work, including the ones who work year round. I'm not sure what your "full time" reference means - I don't know any teachers who work anything but full time.
And if you want to know how bad the benefits are, (or how good - it's all about perspective), check out the CMS website. It's all public record.
Yes, there are plenty of rough schools out there - I've worked in them, but I worked there by choice, trying to make a difference, so I don't complain about that.
You seem to be out of touch with public education, at least as far as it pertains to CMS, and NC. Instead of comparing the McWorkers' salaries to teacher salaries, and noting how how favorable the teacher salaries look, compare teacher salaries to those of other licensed, college educated, professionals, working in their field of training - that's not nearly as favorable.
And when you do, remember my key point: you trust us with your CHILDREN, to educate them, and keep them safe. That deserves a decent salary, or don't you think children are worth it?

Wiley Coyote said...


Thanks for the info. I never saw anything of that nature on Fox News so it appears you've been watching it more than I have.

Anonymous said...

Larry, to give you an example of how many hours teachers work...I arrive at 7:00 a.m. and most days stay until 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. I take my class to the cafeteria and if we are fortunate enough to have a monitor on duty I get to go to the bathroom and eat my lunch in 20 minutes while checking emails from parents or colleagues. I take papers home to grade Every night and write lesson plans on the weekend. Since I teach five subjects I'm writing 25 plans per week plus posting grades and preparing materials for each lesson. This summer I will take classes and plan units of study for next year. The idea that teachers have summers off is humorous. People think that we just show up and teach and leave...reality couldn't be farther from that idea.

Wiley Coyote said...


My comment want to another RN who posted at 1:40.

It seems there is a contradiction between RNs....

Regarding "getting what you pay for", it seems for the past 40+ years that we have been getting lousy teachers based on your comment, as public education only equaled the highest graduation rate since 1970 in 2013.

Also, one of the main reasons for the rate getting better is more scrutiny on dropouts and getting them back into schools.

Wiley Coyote said...


From 3 1/2 years ago:

The National Board for Professional Teacher Standards has announced that 288 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers have earned National Board Certification this year – the largest number of new certifications in the district’s history.

The district ranks third nationally with 1,739 certified teachers.

According to the board, North Carolina has 2,277 newly certified National Board teachers in public school classrooms. They bring the state’s total number of National Board Certified Teachers to 17,957, accounting for almost one-fifth of the nation’s National Board-certified teachers.

CMS' graduation rate was 81% last year and they did it with all these board certified teachers, so why should they get paid more? Doesn't the argument "paying teachers more won't make a difference in achievent" ring true?

It seems to me with an 81% graduation rate we're getting a great bang for our buck?

Larry said...

Ann Please post this three times.

I do not believe I started the comparison between McDon....

Oh I get it.

Yes Teachers should get more money and I should not question the results.

They have no control of the situation and therefore they should not be questioned.

We should only look at Raleigh, Parents, Strangers, People who do not vote like us, Media, buildings which are more than six months old keeping these kids from learning, School Administration, etc.

Teachers are sacred and are not part of the solution, so no need to ask them to be.

Got it.

I bet a lot of Teachers out there know they can fix things, but for some reason are just sitting back.

But if not. then the ones I volunteered with have told me one thing while living another.

I will be happy to invest in a good working system. Heck we have done that for decades but the results are just more fluffed up reports of success at CMS.

Get things working first, and raises will not be the only reward Teachers will create.

Get the magic back in the classroom where the majority of kids were there to learn, and the Teacher had control of their classrooms, as they ignited hopes and ideas.

I once did a thing where I went out to the High Schools in Charlotte/Mecklenburg and took pictures of the Teachers lot and the Students Lot. Then asked folks to say which was which, based on the cars.

So sorry if I am not saying the things you want to hear, I am saying the things you need to hear.

And we all are to blame for letting it get to this point in our system. So sorry if you think I am upset with Teachers, they are the one ones I can see who can really turn this around.

But if the only motivation today, is more money, then something is wrong, very wrong.

Anonymous said...

How do you attract talented people to any field? Salary. How do you get great people from turning over and moving to a different field of work?

I want the best and brightest working with my kids on a daily basis. Teaching is hard, long work. It is different than it was 20 years ago. Most teachers I know work 40-50 hours a week in the school and then another 20 at home. They do get a month off in the summer, but if you average the workload throughout the school year with the summer, it ends up being no more than the 2 to 3 weeks of leave regular jobs get.

The fact that NC is below the national average in pay is embarrassing. The fact that NC is well below the regional pay is appalling. Our kids deserve the best. My kids deserve the best. We cannot keep losing great people to VA and SC.

Shamash said...

Anon 8:46pm.

"Every one who has a teaching degree must want to teach."

Well, I would HOPE the thought of teaching at least crossed their minds before they went to all the trouble of getting that degree.

But who knows, for many, maybe that's just one of many poor decisions they've made in their lives.

Anonymous said...

Does the state provide teacher salaries? Yes. Do teachers know that? Yes. If you scroll up and look at the second paragraph of this article, you will be reminded that one of the reasons teachers choose to teach in CMS is because we have a better local supplement. LOCAL supplement. As it states, a budget proposal will soon be going to the COMMISSIONERS to approve that would impact a raise in teacher pay. So in fact, we needed teachers to attend this meeting in order to advocate for our local supplement. Without it, CMS would not be competitive in teacher pay. As far as "following the rules", teachers in our state have to advocate on our own behalf because we are a right to join state. This kind of treatment would not fly in Chicago or New York because of the strength of their teacher unions. You think we are uneducated? No. We are simply unsupported.

So thanks for proving us right.

James said...

We are state employees, but it is the job of the county to account for the differences in cost of living. It takes 10 years within CMS to get over a $40,000 salary. There have been increases if you get an advanced degree, but the state is getting rid of those too. In the first 10 years of a career, how many people get married, have children, and buy a home? How is that possible with a $35,417.50 salary? CMS is not just in competition with other school districts in North Carolina. CMS is in competition with bigger districts in the country. How can CMS and the state attract the best teachers without meaningful compensation?

The BOCC has an opportunity to LEAD the state and put education first rather than playing the same blame game the state legislature is. We all know the state legislature isn't the most competent group out there. Why can't the BOCC be better?

Anonymous said...


Sit down and shut up


Organize and STRIKE

Anyone can strike even in a " Right to Work " state like NC. You bleeding heart teachers need to wake up and smell that early coffee on your 7 AM start time. Good luck living on your border line poverty pay scale for the next 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you miss the whole point I was trying to make, further exemplifying why our state ranks 46th in teacher salaries throughout the nation. The fix for all the problems in our education system - statewide, nationwide, and locally, is a complex, massive task. And it does not begin, end, or include, cutting, or freezing teacher salaries. Don't you get it? What value do you place on the care, safety, and education of our children? That's my point - not the myriad of problems that envelop education, not the inability of teachers to "put the magic back in the classroom" while administering individualized, lengthy, state-mandated tests. I'm simply saying that if a person isn't willing to fairly compensate the educators and caregivers of their children, then they don't value their children very much.
Telling me what I need to hear? I've heard it all before, and it makes as little sense now as it has all the other time.

Anonymous said...

Someone said the following previously: "So in fact, we needed teachers to attend this meeting in order to advocate for our local supplement. Without it, CMS would not be competitive in teacher pay. As far as "following the rules", teachers in our state have to advocate on our own behalf because we are a right to join state."

Bull. 'This' meeting wasn't even about CMS or teachers or other budget matters. The mob knew that in advance but wanted to change the agenda to suit them. This was a political attack using kids as props. They wanted the Commission to dare and deny 'the children' their chance - to dare to deny 'teachers' the right to say whatever they wanted.

Our rules say that any group that comes down and wants to speak on something NOT on the agenda (and NOT the budget) gets a total of 10 minutes. With all those teachers grandstanding and yelling the discussion lasted one hour and 1/2.

The teachers were arrogant, churlish and thought they could just ignore the rules. Some of them took the time to demean the Chair in front of kid. Just the sort of folks that parents want to teach their kids respect for authority (if they are raising an occupy protester).

What is it about teachers union groups that ignores the rules and thinks they don't apply to them?

They can come back on June 11th with everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Parent backlash against CMS and teachers brewing according to this article:

It seems that CMS has been using employee time, buildings, computer servers and e-mail to try and whip up public opinion against the State and County.

This is a 'no-no' and against State law. State law says that government resources can't be used to promote increasing public funds (even to themselves).

If true, CMS and these teachers groups may have to add illicit activity to their protest activity.

If they want to stay out of trouble; don't develop, copy, print or distribute fliers. Don't hand them out at school as 'take-home', don't use CMS e-mail (and PTA e-mail which is hosted by CMS).

Anonymous said...


Go to New York where you can live off a welfare benefits package of


Most of you have been living off $3,000 LESS for the past 6 years!

Anonymous said...

Republicans have a real chance at getting a major Democratic talking point off the table. Make a plan, fund it and get it done. It's starting to get strange and make the state look bad. Business leaders though out the state are all for a teachers pay plan. We do not want teachers on national news getting arrested in a protest . Let's be honest, NC gets off pretty cheap on teachers pay and benefits compared to similar market's. Make a plan, run with it and move on. Republicans are going to lose independent's and the soccer mom vote if they don't get it done. The whole thing is weird and bad for NC.

Anonymous said...

Smash, can you find any data showing the success of charters. All I can find is fluff. It's opinions fore or against charters. They have been around awhile now. Comparing apples to apples, is there data showing success? I personally am for choice but only for choice sake. My children's education started the day they came home from the hospital.
I did also have friends with degrees in education that never taught. They, thought they would like it, until they student taught and realized it was not what they wanted. Not going to the bathroom when she needed to, drove my one girl friend nuts.

Anonymous said...

I like fox Wiley, I just don't think the education issues they discuss are geared towards our state. Is taking away teachers tenure in my this state really going to affect anything? I know many people have issue with CMS but the teachers don't set the agenda or make policy. I know you have said, give them their pay back, with is funny because that's what most teachers want. I just think 7 years of frozen pay, being stuck in limbo and used as a political football is too much.

Anonymous said...

I think Booker T Washington would support the teachers.

Anonymous said...

Teachers will not strike in this state. They know it's not good for the kids.

Larry said...

Yes I do not understand how complex spending, politics and results all relate in fixing things at CMS.

So since I do not understand, I will only require, and pay for, results that I can understand

That way the kids are not harmed by my lack of knowledge, or the harm CMS has inflicted all these years.

And I agree with another poster, Teachers should go on strike. IF they are not getting what they should, they should be willing to fight for it.

Same with kids, taxpayers and everyone involved in systems like CMS.

Anonymous said...

Wiley..... YOU of all people are smarter than the stats.
High school Graduation rates have increased BECAUSE the graduation requirements were lowered from 28 credits to 24 credits. Please don't drink the Kool aid!!! The thought process is if we LOWER standards, pay and expectations of teachers (TFA's)we can achieve. REALLY??? How is this working for NC and Charlotte? Bright Flight to private, parochial and charter schools is the end result. Then our schools are "left" with unsuspecting, unseasoned teachers who leave in 2-3 years and students who have no hope.Soooo the "powers" lower the standards more and "Adjust" test scores. These decisions have nothing to do with teachers and our voices are NEVER listened to. The percieved success is a LIE!!!

Wiley Coyote said...


Surely you noticed all the question marks at the end of the sentences denoting an ounce or two of sarcasm.

Think about it. If we believe the hype/numbers put forth by CMS/state, then the analogy would hold true CMS achieved the graduation rate with high quality, certified teachers making less money than teachers in just about every other state.


Anonymous said...

CMS still requires more credit's then the rest of the state. This is not the reason for graduation the graduation increases. All the math, science, English and history requirements are the same. I don't care if my kid takes less fluff courses.

Anonymous said...


No, there will not be a teacher shortage; just the inability to use them effectively. And there you have the magic word, “effective.” Maybe the discussion shouldn’t be about whether a teacher is effective but rather are they being effectively guided"?

Well said although this doesn't address the pros and cons of an increasing number of lateral-entry routes into teaching including programs like Teach for America with so-called "higher quality" educators that haven't made much of a dent in closing the achievement gap because perhaps - as the Chair of the Department of Education at Harvard University notably stated - programs like TFA may be perpetuating the very things it is trying to solve.

THERE IS A VERY REAL SHORTAGE OF MINORITY TEACHERS highlighted this week by the announcement of the closing of the Dept. of Education at Johnson C. Smith University due to a lack of student interest in this major which is playing itself out at other HBCU's (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) around the country. It appears college educated minority students aren't that interested in making $32,500 a year working as a teacher in the fine state of NC - or anywhere else for that matter. Where are the Glenn Singleton's of the world when it comes to this issue?


Anonymous said...

8:14 You are correct, why have I received 4 emails from my elementary school principal about the teacher pay issue? He should know better.