Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Dear Lit Loves,
And once again the North Carolina State Legislature fails public schools, public school teachers, and public school students. First, I read a quite accurate editorial this morning on site www.wral.com under the editorial entitled "Legislature's principal pay "fix"may hurt schools with most need" and alas, this is so true. In other words, principal bonus money is being linked to school growth and student performance. What's wrong with this picture? So here's the deal, if a principal is already at a high-performing school, they can receive as much as $13,000 in bonus money. (This is pitiful in that if teachers increase student performance we might receive a big whopping $1,000 in bonus money and that's if we are lucky). Let's all be real: It's not principals who bring about student performance improvements, it's the teachers. End of discussion. Plus, this type of bonus system leaves principals at low-performing schools clearly out of the loop in terms of bonus money. Obviously, if you want to turn around a low-performing school, you need the best teachers and principals in place. Now to me that would mean providing bonuses to those teachers and principals who take on the challenge of upgrading student performance at schools with the most need. And it would also mean additional bonus incentive money if those same teachers and principals actually deliver highly enhanced student performance. And how is principal pay determined in North Carolina? Is it by how timely principals address disciplinary reports teachers complete? No. Is it by how satisfied the teachers are with a principal's leadership of a school? No. Is it by how many teachers leave their positions during the school year or how many teachers return to the school the next year? No. Actually, I have been unable to locate exactly how a principal or assistant principal's pay is determined in the state of North Carolina which is highly perplexing.
Now, I sent emails to middle school principals in over 20 North Carolina counties detailing my new book that illustrates many areas of needed improvement in our schools. In total, this included 41 North Carolina middle school principals at low, average, and high performing middle schools. Not once single principal responded to my invitation to evaluate the book. Not one of these principals responded to my emails and I'm pretty sure none of the emailed middle school principals bothered to even obtain the book and gain a glimmer of the vast number of problems that need to be addressed in North Carolina's public schools today. That's sad, folks. Our North Carolina public schools, teachers, and students deserve better, much better.
In closing I would also like to point out that Senator Phil Berger made a promise to raise average North Carolina public teacher salaries to $54,200 by the 2017-2018 school year. In actuality, the North Carolina average teacher salary is hovering at $50,900. Thus, this senator and our state legislature are not delivering on their promises to North Carolina public schools, teachers, or students. And in my book that means when election time rolls around I will be encouraging voters to eject those legislative members who continue to not deliver where our public schools, teachers, and students are concerned in the state of North Carolina. It's high time to bring respectability back to North Carolina and its public school system.
Till my next post,