JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The North Carolina State Board of Education is meeting this week to discuss a draft proposal that could affect teacher salaries.
If approved, the proposal would change teacher salaries based on their experience to merit-based pay, for their students’ standardized testing scores.
Lauren Piner is a Pitt County history teacher. She said although this new model could bring new people to the profession, it could drive veteran teachers away.
“I’m not in favor of the plan. To me, going towards merit-based is not something necessarily that works well in the teaching profession,” said Piner.
She said educators work best when they collaborate, so this new model could pit new teachers and veteran teachers against one another.
“To me, it makes it more of a competitive program, rather than collaborative that rewards veteran teachers and their experience and their expertise,” said Piner.
Amy Perry is an Onslow County Title I reading specialist. She agrees this change could hinder teachers’ support for one another.
“Teachers aren’t going to want to share their strategies and their good lessons and how they’re implementing things because they’re not going to want that competition,” said Perry.
Piner added standardized testing only covers math, English, and biology.
“If this were to go into effect, since I’m not a tested subject, my evaluation for growth in this model would be based on principal observations, peer observations, student observations and feedback, which are all very subjective,” said Piner. “And again, sort of increases that model of competitiveness that doesn’t necessarily mesh well.”
If the system changes, North Carolina will be the first state to stop paying teachers on an experience-based scale.
“I don’t necessarily see it as cause for celebration,” said Piner. “I think we’ll see a further exodus of veteran teachers, more so than we’re seeing now.”