First, former Gov. Jim Hunt in his Jan. 4 Point of View “Finding the will to raise N.C. teacher pay” and then N&O editorialist Jim Jenkins in his Jan. 9 column “For teachers, just say no” said North Carolina should strive to be mediocre.
Hunt offered a spending plan to raise teacher pay in North Carolina to the national average. Jenkins, in his column, concurred. Neither offered a way to finance it, but that’s a discussion for later.
North Carolina, as a whole, is far above average when compared with the other 50 states. Current teacher compensation may be below average, but aspiring to be mediocre (just average) is not the answer. Many factors, including cost of living, should be used when determining teacher pay but being in no less than the top 10 among the states should be the target. With teach pay in the top 10 nationally, North Carolina could attract better teachers, allowing us to be selective in who educates our children.
Hunt was an above-average governor, and Jenkins is an above-average editorialist. Shame on them for striving to be mediocre when it comes to teacher pay in North Carolina. Aspire to greatness, not being just average.