Steve Hall: Protect teaching investment

February 15, 2014 

Gov. Pat McCrory’s new plan is a “solution” that flies in the face of my 40-plus years of experience as a teacher and award-winning principal.

My No. 1 objective turning around the numerous schools I led was to develop my staff individually and as an aligned team, while identifying those few who needed to leave the profession. Every staff I worked with responded with dramatic improvement in serving students with quality instruction.

At the same time, we built the positive culture that results from seeing the impact of collaborative teaching teams learning from and with each other over time. That is why the governor’s plan, which begins with much-needed salary increases to recruit and retain new teachers, rather than starting by reaffirming the investment already in place with more experienced staff, is flawed. Who will mentor all those new teachers if we continue to lose our demoralized veterans?

Failing to protect the investment in long-term employees is bad education policy and simply bad business. As a successful school leader, I can assure the governor that his own Emerging Issues Forum appears to be offering a far wiser starting point for the state treasury to invest our precious tax dollars.

Steve Hall

Chapel Hill

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