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NC Education Bill Would Do Away With Tenure, Limit Standardized Tests

North Carolina lawmakers are trying again this year to push through a number of changes to education, including getting rid of teacher tenure. 

That got dropped from an education bill Senator Pro Tem Phil Berger introduced last year.  He’s hopeful it’ll pass this year since Republicans increased their numbers in the General Assembly.  Berger says doing away with tenure is one more way to ensure each student has a good teacher. 

“Human nature will work its way into any dynamic.  What we’re concerned about is the incentives that are out there and trying to make sure we have incentives for folks to excel as much as possible,” says Berger.

Under the bill, those teachers who already have tenure would be able to keep it.  Those teachers with good evaluations could receive contracts of up to four years. 

The bill would also only allow school districts to administer end-of-year standardized tests within the final 10 days of the year. 

Echoing last year’s education law, the bill directs the state to continue working on a performance pay system for teachers.  Berger says North Carolina still has a ways to go on this since it needs to find a better tool to evaluate teachers.  Plus, it’s not clear where money would come from to pay for bonuses for highly effective teachers.