Education reform effort is like a slap in the face

To the Editor:

This move by the state to “reward” 25 percent of the state’s teachers (and I’m not even focusing here on all of the far-from-minimal strings attached to those “rewards”) while at the same time dismissing 75 percent of the state’s teachers as unworthy of even a scintilla of recognition is probably the single most underhanded and potentially devastating action ever designed and implemented by anyone in this state who claims the title of elected representative. Make no mistake, this is a finely choreographed divide and conquer strategy intended to strike at the heart of education — the teachers, the administrators, the support personnel, the parents — by creating a system of “incentives” that will literally force the stakeholders to take sides, so to speak, and disregard and dismiss past efforts at teamwork, collaboration, and consensus.

I firmly believe that it is the unstated but very genuine goal of some of our so-called “education reformers” in Raleigh to dismantle our constitutionally mandated public education system and replace it with a taxpayer subsidized, privatized mishmash of unstandardized and unaccountable educational services that will absolutely ensure ongoing inequity and inequality of opportunity for North Carolina’s youth (but that will, at the same time, provide a wonderful investment opportunity for corporate educational profiteers who will gladly offer their services to our “failing” school systems).

This is a formula for educational disaster ... but such a great opportunity for the profiteers. Those who dreamed up this scheme knew that, though, and they still know it. The public now needs to do its part and call them out on what they are trying to do. 

Our “representatives” need to be shamed for supporting such a willfully divisive and potentially harmful scheme — a scheme, by the way, that is nothing less than a slap in the face to professional educators in this state (i.e., “75 percent of you are unworthy”) — and then disingenuously boasting that this is part of their effort to “reform” and “strengthen” education in North Carolina. I urge everyone to contact your legislators and let them know what you think of this “reform effort.” 

John Sanderson

retired principal, Waynesville

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