Under the Dome

Big school districts on the big education issues

Superintendents in the state’s 10 largest school districts – that includes Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg – are weighing in on the hottest education issues of the day. The superintendents have a set of recommendations on Common Core standards, vouchers and teachers salaries for the legislature and the State Board of Education to consider.

The quick summary on Common Core: keep it, but get the testing straight. They want the State Board of Education’s assurance that it’s committed to the new standards and won’t put districts through another change for at least seven years.

Superintendents want nationally-normed tests and want the state board to let school districts help decide which to use.

On vouchers: dump them. Superintendents want the legislature to repeal the law giving low-income parents tax money to send their children to private school. Barring an outright repeal, superintendents want the legislature to keep the income limits where they are: at 100 percent of the free and reduced lunch income level. The income ceiling is set to rise in the second year of the program. (The state superintendents association put stopping vouchers at the top of their legislative to-do list last year. The legislature started a voucher program despite the opposition.)

The superintendents have nine recommendations on teacher salaries. Among them: adopt a five-year plan to bring teachers’ salaries to the national average.; work with teachers, schools and others to adopt a comprehensive pay program that includes pay-for-performance, a competitive base salary and incentives for teachers to advance; restore the master’s pay salary increase for teachers.

The group is calling itself the North Carolina Large District Superintendent Consortium.