Superintendent speaks out about new teacher tenure law - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Superintendent speaks out about new teacher tenure law

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Superintendent of Brunswick County Schools says a new state law that addresses teacher tenure is causing problems for teachers and school systems across the state.

"I'm not sure what type of a problem the General Assembly was trying to solve in passing this law but it has created a terrible problem for school systems," said Dr. Edward Pruden.

He says the new law does away with tenure in 2018. It also forces the superintendent to recommend 25 percent of the teachers who have worked in the school system for more than three years to be put on a four year contract and receive a $5,000 bonus over the course of the four years.

In Brunswick County, 132 teachers should be recommended for this bonus.  Dr. Edward Pruden says he's supposed to pick teachers based on effectiveness but he says that's extremely difficult because there is no accurate and fair way to rank effectiveness.  He says it gets too subjective.

"We don't have the kind of data that would help me say to the 133 person why they didn't get the money and the 132 person why they did we can't slice the onion that thin, without getting into very subjective methods of performance which are not fair," said Pruden.

Pruden is also worried the new law will pit teachers against one another, explaining that education has finally gotten to the place where teachers work together and share methods. He worries that if they are competing they will not share their ideas.

He says he's hoping the law goes before a judge, arguing that you shouldn't be allowed to pay people different amounts of money without a basis.  He says right now they are seeking advice to see how they should proceed, but says he hopes a judge will stop things before it gets to the point where he has to pick 25% of his teachers.

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