Letters to the Editor

10/7 Letters: Wake County Board of Education calls for fair principal pay

Regarding “Change in principal pay spurs fear of salary cuts” (Sept. 16): In the thoughtful book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” author Daniel Pink convincingly presents evidence showing that performance based pay proves effective only for simple tasks. Using such a pay system for complex tasks is not only ineffective, it undermines the outcomes and motivation.

The NC General Assembly’s belief in “paying for performance” with public school principals is fundamentally flawed. The work of public school principals is amazingly complex and involves working with a wide range of teachers, staff and students. It is impossible to construct a fair “performance based” pay scale that reflects the value and complexity of the principalship. The public school principals in our state deserve an effective salary system because we need them to be effective leaders for our schools. Every day, public school principals lead organizations that focus on teaching our children the skills and knowledge they need to go out into the world as productive citizens. That is complex work, that is important work, and if North Carolina wants to attract the best and the brightest to do that work, we must have a fair way of paying and respecting these professionals.

Monika Johnson-Hostler, Chair

Christine Kushner, Vice Chair

Wake County Board of Education

Animal experiments ‘vital’

Regarding “Tillis should push to outlaw the VA’s dog experiments” (Sept. 24): Animal models remain vital to scientific discovery. Because of physiological similarities with people, dogs, although not used frequently, are used when they are the best model for a specific study. Devices and treatments such as the cardiac pacemaker, the first liver transplant, the nicotine patch and the discovery of insulin were developed through research with dogs at the VA. Canines have played a vital role in cancer, aging and Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, 22 of the 25 most prescribed medications resulted from research with canines.

Research with dogs has made significant contributions to the veterinary sciences as well. Vaccinations against canine distemper, parvovirus, rabies, coronavirus, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, measles and hepatitis all exist due to research with canines. Prevention and treatment of common health issues like heartworm and a variety of intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites and mange resulted from research with dogs. If enacted, the proposed legislation would mark the first time in our nation’s history that Congress has decided which animal models are or are not appropriate for scientific research, which could lead to unintended and serious consequences for human and animal health.

Suzanne Wilkison

President, North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research