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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A judge has ruled that a law cutting teacher job protections in North Carolina is unconstitutional.

Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood said Friday that veteran teachers have an established right to a layer of review beyond school administrators when they face firing.

He says the law passed by Republican lawmakers last year violates constitutional rights that protect contracts and prevents governments from taking a person’s property.

North Carolina law for more than 40 years has said veteran teachers cannot be fired or demoted except for a series of listed reasons that include poor performance, immorality and insubordination.

The new law orders school districts to give the best 25 percent of teachers four-year contracts. The teachers would get pay raises totaling $5,000 but lose their tenure rights.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Wilmington Observer

    Elementary teachers are not allowed to give students a “zero” when students fail to turn in homework assignments. A “zero” would cause a students grade average to plummet. Many times making it impossible for them to bring their average up to passing before the end of the grading period. Elementary teachers are also not allowed to give failing grades on report cards or “retain” a student or require them to repeat the grade level next year. Administrators don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

    Middle school teachers inherit students who have not learned the responsibility of turning in homework assignments or basic reading comprehension. Middle school teachers have to prepare three different versions of any test that they give; one for the smart students, one for the students who have not learned to read (the teacher have to read the questions for them) and another versions for those students who have learned nothing because they DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH (an ESL teacher is supposed to come into the classroom to translate the test for them, but often never shows up). The only requirement to receive a passing grade is to put their name on the test).

    I can’t believe that a law enforcement agency has not investigated the system. It CANT be legal for an administrator to change student grades so that no one “fails” the grade. It CANT be legal to give a student a passing grade just because they put their name on a test. It CANT be legal for my (highly intelligent) kids to receive no instruction time because the teacher’s time is taken up by the kids who don’t have the self discipline to sit, quietly, in the room so the teacher can teach (teachers can’t send disruptive students to the office anymore. They have been told to “handle” disruptive students themselves).

    Wilmington Observer

  • Chester

    To me the fact that schools are turning out GRADUATES that read and write (and talk) on a third grade level should be a huge sign of incompetence. There are some good teachers. There are some who should be fired tonight. I know in the case of my daughter her English teacher told her that her spelling was very good but that she was making the “less advantaged” students look bad and for her to quit trying so hard. Her spelling went downhill by the end of the year and the “poor” children’s grades got better. When I tried to read one of her papers and saw what the situation was I went to talk to the principle and he told me they graded on a curve and if my daughter kept getting very good grades they would have to flunk some of the other kids. I told him that was the teachers problem and if that was the best she could teach maybe Burger King needed help. He told me that I should not worry as my daughter was getting good grades. I told him I would prefer that she learn English. Nothing got better. As long as the idiots passed he did not care. This was not fair to my daughter or the kids who were not learning. But the teacher kept her job. She shouldn’t have.

  • Guest000000

    Tenure doesn’t make a teacher unfirable. It just insures that they can’t be fired without showing just cause.

  • guest622

    teachers cannot be fired or demoted except for a series of listed reasons that include poor performance, immorality and insubordination.

  • jj

    This makes tenure a form of a union now. No one and I mean no one should be above firing if they are doing a poor job. When someone has tenure they know it will take an act of Congress for them to be fired and so they don’t care what type of job they do.

  • Mechanic

    You are correct. A very sad day for education. North Carolina just refuses to emerge from the Dark Ages in almost every way. This is just the latest. Somewhat akin to welfare, rewarding those who do not measure up, are lazy and just want a check and does as little as possible to get such. It will not be many years until teachers in classrooms will be a thing of the past. This is the beginning of the end.

  • educator457

    “North Carolina law for more than 40 years has said veteran teachers cannot be fired or demoted EXCEPT FOR a series of listed REASONS THAT INCLUDE POOR PERFORMANCE, immorality and insubordination.”

    Which part of that quote from the news article do you not understand?

  • Paul Scheuch

    Well I’m so glad to see that the teacher tenure law was struck down in North Carolina. Instead of building teacher morale that law destroyed it. We need an education system that prepares our teachers to prepare our children for the future. Raise abysmal pay and poor morale doesn’t make for an effective educational environment. Don’t try to balance the budget on teachers backs. They are too important to our community.

  • Vog46

    This law gets struck down.
    Voter ID law to be struck down (by most accounts)

    I wonder how many OTHER laws enacted will be struck down?


  • Wilmington Observer

    Every teacher, in NC, should send $5.00 to these teachers to help with the legal fees that these teachers had to pay.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Guest000000

    How is EARNING Tenure considered welfare? Do you honestly think a a teacher who is lazy and doesn’t “measure up” will last long enough to get Tenure? Tenure does not make a teacher unfirable. It simply means that any reason for firing must be properly documented and that a teacher can’t be fired at will by an administrator who might have a personal problem with them, etc. Apparently you haven’t been in many classrooms lately if you think there are many teachers “who just want a check and do as little as possible”. You are right about NC heading into the dark ages. Stripping EARNED rights from teachers is one way we are heading there. Watch the exodus of quality teachers to other states and the refusal of young, talented new educators to even consider this state destroy the progress that has been made. The race to 50th has begun.

  • Guest2020

    Why should teachers have special protections that others in NC do not? This is part of what is wrong with our education system. It should not take an act of congress to get a bad teacher fired. A teacher that tells a student that handing them a math test is a waste of paper, should not have special protections. A teacher that loses her temper when a student asks for an alternate book to read, instead of the trash assigned, should not have special protections. As long as it takes an act of congress to get a bad teacher fired, we will continue to have an education system that sucks.

  • Guest000000

    Here you go with your personal ax to grind again. You had a couple bad teacher experiences (which may indeed be true or just a case of sour grapes from a disgruntled student) and you rush to judge an entire profession. You’re right that tenure is not offered in all professions, but it is used as a tool to attract and keep the best professionals in certain highly competitive fields. Tenure doesn’t make an employee unfirable. It simply insures that proper steps and criteria must be met before an employee is terminated. For example: a parent, student, or colleague with an ax to grind can’t find a sympathetic administrator to get rid of a teacher without cause. Tenure has to be EARNED over a significant amount of time. Most below par teachers don’t make it that far. If you want to improve the education system, you don’t get rid of the main tool used to attract and keep the best in their field. And if you are upset that YOUR job doesn’t offer Tenure, you’re more than welcome to seek a profession that does. After all, that seems to be your response to teachers unhappy with their job…just go find another. I’m also glad that people much more learned than yourself are responsible for deciding which works of literature are trash and which are not.

  • Guest000000

    Someone recently informed me of the true meaning of “Bless Their Heart” and I can unequivocally say that if ever a heart needed blessing it’s 2020’s.

  • SnarkmeisterGeneral

    Guest000000, “2020” has been a “one trick pony” for the entire duration of my being stupid enough to read and comment on this forum. For some reason, she despises teachers and won’t let an opportunity pass to demean them. Bless her little heart!

  • Guest2020

    The examples in my previous post are just two of the issues that have occurred over the years that I have been dealing with the public schools. I have absolutely no reason to lie. Teachers have gotten to be like most welfare recipients with their sense of entitlement. They should be thankful for what they have.

    I don’t think there should be tenure in any profession. If an employee sucks at the job, the the boss should be able to fire said employee without jumping through hoops.

  • Guest000000

    …and no boss should be allowed to fire an employee simply because they don’t like them. Following due process is hardly “jumping through hoops”. And comparing teachers to welfare recipients? That just shows how completely uninformed you are. Most teachers are very grateful and WORK very hard for what they have, they’re just tired of people trying to take it from them. You either need to come up with some new talking points or find a new subject to harp on.

  • Guest2020

    I don’t hate teachers. I just hate their entitlement attitude. They think they are entitled to raises, when the entire state is having budget issues. They think they are entitled to a job guarantee regardless of how poor performance may be. They have it better than most and they really should quit their whining.

    I don’t need a “bless her little heart” from you or anyone else.

  • Guest000000

    BLAH.BLAH.BLAH. How you, or anyone, can claim that someone who works well over a 40 hour week has an entitlement attitude is insane. Again, please come up with a new issue to harp on, or provide some new and insightful information to back up your asinine claims. Until then, in the words of the snarkmeister, “Bless your heart”.


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