Governor McCrory acts like a man who had a serious health scare and now vows to eat right and exercise. His main exercise is running away from the state Senate as fast as he can.
Clearly, the Governor has seen the Senate’s poll numbers on education. He doesn’t want to catch that bug.
Too late. He’s got it all over him, and there’s no escape.
Believe me. I’ve been there. Governor Hunt froze teachers’ pay during the 1982 recession. Teachers didn’t forgive. Some of them even sat on their hands when he ran against Jesse Helms in 1984. And remembered it when Hunt ran again in 1992.
McCrory’s latest effort to get immunized is “the Governor’s Teacher Network,” which promises $10,000 bonuses to 450 teachers for creating professional development, teaching, and assessment plans for other teachers.
But there’s a big catch, according to one teacher expert: The plans have to be approved from on high. It’s “basically a covert way for the administration to carefully select what ‘innovation’ they want to see, and continue to punish the rest of experienced teachers who collaborate and innovate on a daily basis, without bonuses. He’s saying ‘Yeah, here’s a $10,000 bonus if you can do exactly what I want and convince your colleagues to do the same’.”
Here are some other teachers’ reactions: “Everyone has their price….This (is an) obvious divide and conquer ploy….”
And: “This is not a bonus or reward. This is pay for another job added to their normal teaching duties….Teachers are already sharing their expertise at their schools….”
And: “Just great. We’re headed into the last quarter and McCrory wants to distract 100s if not 1000s of teachers in the next four weeks as they scramble to compete for $10,000 when they should be focusing on getting their students ready to end the year at or above grade level.”
And: “This is so far removed from what really improves teaching. When I was in the classroom, I learned far more from hallway conversations with experienced teachers than I ever did from planned CE programs offered by the ‘system’.”
And: “Are we supposed to do this before, after or during benchmark and EOG/EOC prep? Can we take a “short session” and use, oh say, a week of personal leave to accomplish this? Nope, I forgot, we can’t find subs and we can’t use personal leave. I guess we could pull this off between 11 and 3 AM – about the only time most of us sleep.”
And: “As a teacher, this is a slap in the face. As if we are not doing this already???This is not going to encourage collaboration among teachers. It is going to create animosity and the loss of more good teachers. I have been teaching since 1987. I will most likely retire in NC making under 50,000.”
The moral: You can run, Governor, but you can’t hide.