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Brunswick teacher rallies against school performance bills

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The Brunswick County Board of Education got a lesson on new bills in Raleigh that would grade schools based on performance grades. Teachers feel they would be penalized and could lose pay under the system.

One Brunswick County teacher is raising support and passing out red arm bands to highlight her cause. Laura Hunter spoke against the legislation at Tuesday night’s meeting.

"There are a lot of penalizing things," Hunter said. "I have identified three major issues: Accountability based on growth; performance pay that supports and celebrates growth; and of course unfreezing teacher pay."

Teachers across the state are organizing their efforts to oppose House Bill 435 and Senate Bill 361.

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My pay as a teacher should

My pay as a teacher should be based on my performance, so come into my classroom anytime you want and see what I do. What I cannot control is my students' lack of motivation to complete the assignments I work hard to prepare. I cannot control their apathy towards the standardized tests the state rolls out. It is unfair to evaluate me and base my pay or my "performance" on the performance of my students, especially based on ONE TEST that is four hours long - a test of endurance even for the highest achieving students. In the private sector is your raise or evaluation based on the performance of the guy in the cubicle next to you? The one who listens to his iPod all day, texts his friends, talks back to the boss, starts fights with his co-workers, is late to work every day, who never hands in a project by the deadline? I don't think so. Would you stay at a job where you haven't had even a basic cost of living raise in five years? In fact, where you received a paycut? I didn't think so. Stop teacher bashing and listen to what we have to say.

I cannot force a child to take a stake in his education; I can provide engaging opportunities to learn and succeed. At some point the onus is on the student. I have upwards of 30 students in my classes for 90 minutes at a time, 3 classes a day, so I am responsible for at least 90 students each and every day for 180 days out of the year. I spend hours of unpaid time calling parents, preparing lessons, staying after school to help my students be the best they can be. I attend countless days of professional development to improve my strategies, to bridge the gap, to improve reading levels and various other "bandaids" that are thrown at us. I think the perception that the majority of teachers are incompetent is completely off base. Everyone I know works hard for YOUR children, as do I.

As a parent of two school-aged children, it is up to me to make sure they are well prepared and attend school every day. I wish I could say the same of the parents of all of my students. Don't make the teachers' job harder by teaching your children that the teachers are the enemy. Too many children are being taught that education holds no value.

Longer days? I leave at 7 and get home around 5. I don't get paid for my 10 hour day. I grade and plan for at least 6 hours each Sunday and for at least 2 hours every night. Unpaid. Phone calls home? That's in my "free time" too, on my own dime. But ok, bring it on. A longer school year? Ok, but make sure your child has pencils and his completed homework everyday.

It takes a village to educate a child. This teacher is tired of being the village scapegoat, sacrificed to the parents, the media, the state and the Dept of Ed each and every day.

Let's get real

I'm not a teacher. But I am a salaried professional in a similar income bracket. I, too, work more than 40 hours in a typical week. I, too, bring work home nearly every night and routinely put in hours over the weekend. 7 to 5? I would love to have those hours. You work 180 days out of the year? You poor, poor thing. I work 260 days out of the year. I do not get the entire summer off as well as every holiday, teacher work day and staff development days. I love my career and would never think to voice the number and kinds of complaints that you have voiced about yours. Do you still want that red carpet rolled out for you or are you ready to get back to work now?

In reference to your

In reference to your statement teachers work 180 days out of the year. True, but keep in mind teachers DO NOT get paid for working over the summer, so essentially teachers are unemployed for those months. Some find second jobs over the summer to supplement their income.

Interesting...

You clearly work hard to develop your teaching techniques and all the other "unpaid" things that you repeatedly claim to do "on your own time" and "on your own dime." But did it ever occur to you that perhaps these techniques you've developed are not suitable in reaching the diverse needs of your students? Teachers need to consider the students and where they are coming from, not criticize others when their preferred methods perhaps are not as effective as they hoped they would be. Just sayin.

As I said, come into my

As I said, come into my classroom. Come see how diverse my students are, how diverse my school is, and how diverse my strategies are. In one class period we might do 6 or 7 different activities. I reach the students who WANT to be reached. The only people being consistently criticized are the teachers. I truly think that the public has no idea what we actually do day in and day out.

You Mean We Are Demanding Quality ?

Having quality standards, for protected bearucrats to meet, unthinkable. We don't care if our kids can't read and write. We're more concerned about the hundreds of totally incompetent teachers, who are being carried and protected by the system, year in, and year out.

#46

Meanwhile, teacher pay in NC falls to #46 (thanks Pat!) Look folks, either we invest in schools and attract quality teachers, or invest in more prisons. Tired of government handouts and entitlements? Prepare students for real jobs and stop basing everything on standardized tests. And please stop blaming the teachers. Our hands are tied. Think our job is easy? I challenge you to substitute teach for just one day.

As in all professions not

As in all professions not everyone is created equal, there needs to be a way to grade teachers and judge their performance thru their students and if they are not up to par then let them go into another profession, we are paying a premium for education now.

Huh?

"we are paying a premium for education now."
We are actually ranked 25th out of 50 states for per pupil spending.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/thenextamerica/education/analysis-how-muc...

Hardly something we should call "premium".

Vog

Performance

There needs to be a way to rate the teachers performance. That way the poor performers can be let go. They are not held countable for their poor performance and their subject matter. I think they should have to retest for their teaching license every 5 years to show they still have the knowledge to teach.

I know for the last several years all they are doing is teaching the test material to the kids. So, the kids should be scoring high on these test.

Not only to they teach to

Not only to they teach to the test, the kids get three chances to pass. If that is not padding the numbers then I don't know what is. Teachers need to get past their entitlement attitude and just focus on being good at their jobs.

Nope - no more "3 chances" -

Nope - no more "3 chances" - once and only once. No more retests.

Teacher guidelines?

Sure we can use students grades

Dumb the curriculum down so everyone gets an A or a B. Teacher wins children lose. And WE sit back and wonder why our kids are falling behind again.

Keep the curriculum tough and we fire teachers and get new ones in who have the same problem.
Kids lose and teacher wins, again.

All the while our kids come home from school and play video games or are on their cell phones, listening to their iPads or what have you. When "we" come home its dinner then it's? Yep TV and bed.
Rinse and repeat

I have a hard time when it comes to teachers and how do we measure them. A teacher cannot be held responsible when the parents don't instill good study habits in their kids. Teachers cannot be held responsible for lazy students.
But I do agree this should be more like the private sector. Make the school week 40 hours long and 50 weeks a year. Oh I can "give" a a little on this - make it from 8:30am to 5:30pm but give them a 44 week year.
The problem with this is that PARENTS object to it (as do teachers). Yet this type of school year is prevalent in countries like Japan, Korea, Britain and Germany.
As Parents we want whats best for our kids so long as it doesn't interfere with our precious schedules. As a society we've become lazy and complacent.
In the private sector goals are laid out, and meeting them is a personal responsibility that has very little other party's involvement.
Teaching is all about other party's (student) involvement with the parents acting as third parties. In a sense, a teacher only controls 1/3 of his job environment. Hard to judge personal performance on that.

But I think we can make adjustments to the "job" of education that will benefit us all.

Vog

TY VOG

I highly agree..

"passing out red arm bands to highlight her cause"

It looks like someone’s starting to see the handwriting on the wall. Instead of putting her effort into passing out armbands, perhaps Ms. Hunter should focus her efforts on becoming a better teacher.

Welcome to the real world Ms. Hunter, where even teachers can now be held accountable for their performance, just like in the private sector

A teacher should know this ...

Red arm bands are normally worn in support of AIDS Awareness .... not the Plight of Complaining Teachers. As a teacher she should have known this before starting her red arm band 'campaign.'

Really???????

Focus on becoming a better teacher? She was just names Brunswick County Teacher of the Year. She makes many valid points. LISTEN.

BRUNSWICK County

Read your own statement a little more closely. She was BRUNSWICK County 'Teacher of the Year.' Unless I've missed the most recent statistics, Brunswick County is hardly known for its education system. Being considered 'the best' in a school district that is severely lacking is not necessarily something to be proud of.

Typical government workers

They all think they are irreplaceable,overworked and underpaid. Then they do not want to be graded on their performance on top of that. I have worked for the government for 17 years and in the private sector for 17 years and without a doubt the private sector is way more demanding. No raise and possible job loss if I did not perform in the private sector and no appeals.

Typical Government Workers

Nothing typical about these government workers. I also worked in the private sector and went into education as a later career. This is some of the hardest work you can ever do and the rewards are personal not financial. The "other" government workers (senate, house, etc.) reward themselves with ridiculous raises every year. Their work, if graded by their voters, would probably receive a failing grade consistently. Wake up. Term limits and not life time politicians would be a great start.

NC does not care about education. They talk the talk, but they are not prepared to make the hard sacrifices.

A friend sent me an email that the word entitlement needs to be taken out of the dictionary. I agree. Parents need to teach hard work at home and not feel that their children are entitled to good grades just because they show up.

There has to be some sort of

There has to be some sort of guideline established to rate teacher performance. Student grades seem to be the best way to do this. If a certain teacher produces classes with substandard grades over and over, it would seem to me that there is a problem and most likely it would be a poor learning environment. Certainly steps should be taken to improve this situation. It would seem that teachers who will not accept this fact and have a genuine desire to improve their profession overall is more interested in pay than performance.

To believe that only

To believe that only teachers teach for pay is ridiculous. First our pay increase steps have been frozen for 5 years and during that time the cost of living has increased 15% resulting in many leaving the profession. Pay for performance in the way it is written only encourages competition between teachers which ultimately hurts students. Good teachers welcome accountability because they are getting the job done, BUT accountability must be fair, it must be based on individual student growth. If that was the criteria there would be no reason to teach to a test because students would be assessed on what they learned. What I would like to ask of you and all those making comments is this: how many hours have you volunteered in a public school this school year? How many times have you been to a parent conference or a PTO meeting to show your support for public education? Please participate and investigate first hand before passing judgment.