Recent Posts

Frank McCourt: Teacher Man A Real Story About Real Teaching
The New Money Non-Profits for Education
The Terrible Truth About Teach For America, Inc
Teachers Have the Power to Take Back NC Schools
Buncombe County Board of Education Leads the Way Back
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Frank McCourt: Teacher Man A Real Story About Real Teaching

If I could, I would give every teacher, parent and elected official a copy of Frank McCourt's book Teacher Man.  

This is the story of a 30-year veteran New York teacher, what he taught and what he learned.  It is a story familiar to that of anyone who has been a public school classroom teacher.

Frank McCourt followed up his teaching career by winning the Pulitzer Prize for his bookAngela's Ashes, a memoir of his childhood in Limerick, Ireland. When Mr. McCourt was asked why he didn't write more books, he replied that he happened to be teaching for 30 years, a profession that took up all his time and energy.

The New Money Non-Profits for Education

Money talks.   

You hear Money talking on TV, on the radio, at County Commission meetings, at Board of Education meetings, and you hear it speaking very loudly in the halls of the NC General Assembly.   One targeted topic that Money is talking about now is how to get public taxpayer dollars shifted from public schools to the bank accounts of private enterprise schools. The purpose of this shift would be to put our dollars in the pockets of Money so that it could speak even more loudly about getting more money for Money interests.

The Terrible Truth About Teach For America, Inc

Teach for America, Inc (TFA) is a company started by Wendy Kopp in 1990 for the purpose of placing college graduates with only weeks of teacher training into professional full time teacher positions in disadvantaged public schools across America. TFA asserts that it can help close the education gap for children in low-income communities by the placement of advantaged college graduates, who have little or no experience and training as teachers, into these at-risk schools. 
Most recently TFA's mission has faced close scrutiny by school boards, professional education associations, schools of teacher preparation and professional public school educators.

Teachers Have the Power to Take Back NC Schools

Make no mistake about it; there is an attack on public education in North Carolina and the huge salvo was fired directly and fiercely towards our teachers.  In an effort to mend what  Governor McCroy calls, “broken public schools,” the General Assembly has taken action to live up to the Governor’s expectation.  By cutting back teacher job protection, cutting funding to schools and instituting an ill-fated merit based system to honor, “excellent teachers” the General Assembly has, in fact, further eroded morale and divided teachers.

Buncombe County Board of Education Leads the Way Back

The Republican-led General Assembly last session decided that the Fair Employment and Dismissal Law was no longer needed to protect career teachers from arbitrary and capricious contract terminations. So they did away with it. Now comes news that a local board of education is working on creating a local policy that will guarantee a level of due process to teachers recommended for dismissal.
The Buncombe County Board of Education is looking into ways it can protect career status for all of its eligible teachers, directly in opposition to the state mandate requiring that 25 percent of teachers give up tenure rights this fall.

Art Pope's New Tax on Public Schools

Art Pope, Governor Pat McCrory’s budget director, has announced his plan to give NC public school teachers a 2% raise next year. With one condition. That the teachers find ways to reduce each school budget by 2% to pay for it.
In my opinion this notion is a model of extortion of teachers, the public servants in this state who provide care and educational opportunities to our children. In order to get a raise, teachers must cut school budgets that have already been drastically diminished by the Republican-led General Assembly by more than half a billion dollars, while those same legislators cut 5,800 public school teacher positions and 4,500 teacher assistant positions.

I Stood With Public School Educators on November 4

I attended a teacher walk-in a local high school on Monday, November 4. I was proud to be part of this demonstration of frustration with a NC General Assembly that is sounfriendly to public education and public school classroom teachers. There was mostly a quietness among the educators assembled around the school’s flagpole where the American flag had not yet been raised over this great American school.
Some folks disparaged the 48 highest, or is that lowest, paid teachers in America. One man told me downtown later that day that he resented teachers getting paid $70,000 for 10 months pay and that’s without working on weekends he added.

Governor McCrory Mixes Education Budget Cuts Facts with Fiction

Gov. Pat McCrory unveiled his latest vision for public education on August 1, 2013 at a Chamber of Commerce Education Summit in Raleigh. The Governor asserted that his critics were incorrect about the facts around the education budget. I list the Governor’s statements and below the statements, responses with the facts fromreporter Lindsay Wagner of NC Policy Watch.
Governor’s Statement: McCrory said that “at $7.8 billion, this is the largest K-12 budget in North Carolina’s history.”

Reflections on a Wilmington Town Hall Meeting

Lt. Governor Dan Forest, Raleigh
State Senator Thomas Goolsby, Wilmington
State Rep. Rick Catlin, Wilmington
State Rep. Chris Millis, Onslow, Jacksonville
State Rep. Frank Idler, Brunswick Co.
Congressman Mark Meadows, Cashiers, NC
I attended this Town Hall Meeting last night (Tuesday, July 30, 2013) and my notes are below as relates to public education and public school classroom teachers.
The attendees were mostly conservative citizens who had supported the GOP led General Assembly this past session.

The Public School Classroom Teacher: A Threatened Species

The public school classroom teacher is a threatened entity. The NC General Assembly and state governments across the country controlled by privatizing advocates are proposing and passing legislation that is destroying the professional status of the classroom teacher.
New legislation proposed by the NC General Assembly would repeal the requirements for licensure of classroom teachers in private schools, religious schools, and charter schools. It would be possible to teach in these schools holding only a high school diploma as certification/licensure to be considered a classroom teacher.
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