North Carolina Ends Teacher Tenure, Teachers Will Now Have to Be Good at Their Jobs to Keep Them

| July 31, 2013

imagesby Katherine Mangu-Ward,, July 30, 2013.

Republican legislators in North Carolina have pushed through a proposal to revoke lifetime tenure for the state’s public school teachers. Currently, all teachers are elligible for tenure after five years on the job, which makes it difficult for school adminstrators to hire, fire, and reward performance.

Under the new plan, top performers will be offered four year contracts, while others will be on one or two year contracts.

It’s not exactly at-will employment—the kind of jobs that most of us have, in which both parties can choose to end the period of employment whenever they like, without advance warning—but it’s a heckuva lot closer.

Naturally, local union officials are flipping out.

“It’s going to create a revolving door for public educators in North Carolina,” said Rodney Ellis, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators….

“That’s devastating to the educators and the profession itself,” Ellis said. “It sends the message to people throughout the state of North Carolina that educators aren’t valued for what they do.”

But North Carolina teachers still enjoy more employment protection than pretty much any other schmucks in the state. If the possibility of getting fired from your job means people do not value what you do, then the bosses of America are pretty universally ungrateful assholes.

This is hardly an unprecedented move by the Tar Heel State. Idaho killed tenure in 2011 [UPDATE: That measure was overturned by voter referendum the following year], and South Dakota, Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado, and Florida have all moved away from systems where teachers’ jobs are sacrosanct as well in recent years.

At times like these, it’s always best to turn to Ghostbusters for some sage wisdom on how to deal with panic induced by changes in the pleasant bubble of academe.

“You don’t know what it’s like out there. I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”

Category: NC SPIN Perspectives - Opinions from NC Leaders & Organizations

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tom Herndon says:

    How does one measure quality teaching. It’s not like teachers have little boxes full of products one can take out and evaluate. If teachers are to be treated like private sector employees, a legion of mid level administrators will need to be hired. No one in private sector is hired on a year basis on the outcome of one to three 15 to 50 minute observations. In my experience building level administration operates on a 1:25 ratio. What private sector has work groups of that importance under so little supervision. When the private sector jobs start testing clients to determine the efficiency of the workforce. . . It’s not the same kind of job and shouldn’t be treated the same way. It’s like a Christian preacher being retained based on the number of souls under his care that ascend. . .

  2. Talmadge Walker says:

    When did pissing on schoolteachers become an acceptable campaign strategy?