George Griffin: Berger’s numbers

August 21, 2013 

Berger’s numbers

Sen. Phil Berger’s intense personal grudge with the N.C. Association of Educators continues unabated as evidenced in his recent letter. I am a veteran educator (38 years) who has never been an NCAE member.

Berger’s letter was full of half-truths. The dollar amount spent on public education is greater, but the percentage spent is lower than ever.

Berger’s school grading plan is the same plan that is not working in Florida and several other states. Reducing all variables affecting overall school performance is statistically invalid and practically misleading. This works only when every school has identical resources and students. That’s called Dreamland.

Berger stated that the overwhelming majority of teachers deserve more pay and that’s why he added $10 million for 1,000 teachers. There are 97,000 teachers in North Carolina; an overwhelming majority (70 percent) is 67,900 teachers. How about the other 66,900?

He then claims that the top 25 percent of teachers (what happened to overwhelming majority?) will see regular cost-of-living increases and could earn an additional $5,000. N.C. teacher salaries have declined by almost 16 percent over the past decade (inflation adjusted). This doesn’t even begin to play catch-up and ignores 75 percent of all teachers.

The only honest thing he wrote is that there are some bad teachers out there. There are some bad legislators, too.

George Griffin

Chapel Hill

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