To the Editor:
The news about North Carolina’s new educational approaches illustrates an extraordinary backsliding of logical organizing for educating students as the state eliminates tenure, refuses to pay for advanced degrees, and establishes a letter-grade rating system for its schools (“N.C. Teachers to Lose Tenure, Salary Bumps,” News in Brief, Aug. 7, 2013 and “GOP Moves on Activist K-12 Agenda in N.C.,” Aug. 21, 2013).
These punitive measures for licensed public school employees are being implemented with a straight face as the state refuses to rate private schools in the same way and sets up voucher funding for students to transfer out of low-rated schools into privately owned schools outside the public school rating system.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which addresses equal protection under the law) and civil rights cases that arise out of these new laws could bring the state to its knees financially as they play out to change this system in favor of private schools.
This blatantly shameful legislative action will have enormous effects on teachers, their families, and children who remain in low-rated public schools filled with transient teachers who choose to use a North Carolina teaching job as a jumping-off point to pursue long-term teaching careers in states with fairer employment conditions.
Consultant and Adviser
Harwich Port, Mass.
The writer has worked in public education for 50 years, including as a teacher, administrator, and associate superintendent.
A version of this article appeared in the August 28, 2013 edition of Education Week as N.C. Policies Will Cause Long-Term Problems