WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Some North Carolina teachers will have to make the grade if they want an increase in pay and a four year contract. The state legislature is making changes, which includes eliminating tenure by 2018. Tonight, the New Hanover County School Board met to discuss those changes.
Kerri Cunningham, an 8th grade math teacher at Murray Middle School, spoke on behalf of about twenty teachers from the school who all oppose the new system that would eliminate tenure.
“It treats us like we are a business, which we’re not,” Cunningham explained. “We deal with human beings every day.”
According to the system, the top 25% of highest performing teachers would be determined by an evaluation.
“What I teach is so different from what someone else teaches,” said Cunningham. “So how can you use this structured evaluation tool?”
Cunningham believes a pivotal tool to the school system is teamwork, a tool she feels could be threatened.
“I feel like it would just pit teacher against teacher. The competition would be high within a school were you need everyone sharing and working together.”
Eligible teachers would have to work for the school system for 3 consecutive years, among other qualifications. Once a teacher accepts, they would relinquish their tenure. Teachers who were not selected, or not eligible, would be given a one year contract through July 1, 2018.
Educators at Murray Middle signed a petition stating they all plan to reject the offer.
“Every single one of our teachers are going to opt out, is not going to take this.”
During the discussion, School Board Vice Chair, Jeanette Nichols, said this is not fair to the teachers. After the meeting WWAY School Board Chair, Don Hayes, for his thoughts on the system but he said he could no comment because the board was going into closed session.