[SPEAKER CHANGES]Senator Rucho, what time do you have? You’re early for you. Members will be coming in. We don’t have to have a forum to begin with. We will have to have if we vote the bill today. And we have one technical PCS that we need approved, and Senator Soucek will present that at this time. Senator Soucek moves the PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Quick PCS, its a resolution honoring Billy Graham and Ruth Graham, its going to be heard today with theGraham family coming in for this so we needed to make a technical amendment so that the house and the senate versions are identical and that the honoring is correct, so I move for to ?? the PCS, which changes two technical items. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Alright, we move the PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Discussion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Barefoot. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Move for a favorable report to PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, we had a option already, but we’ll take that. Thank you. Favor of the adoption of the PCS. Aye? Any no’s? Done. Thank you. Want to recognize quickly our pages for today in the Senate we have Stephen Carmen from Hooker town, Don Davis is his Sponsor, Senator Davis. Brett Chapford, Snow Hill, Senator Davis. Sandrea Borkin from Winterville, Senator Davis, Ryan Warren, Snow Hill, Senator Davis. I don’t believe he knows he’ll have to take those to lunch on Thursday. Ruth Smith from Wilmington, Senator Goulsbey. And I don’t think I have any other pages there. At this time, let me quickly give you our Sergeants in Arms, and they are Ashley Mickens, Robert Young, Billy Fritcher, Stephen Wilson, and Canton Lewis, and they always do a good job for us, and we thank you. Members and guests we are going to hear from Senator Burger today on his excellent schools act bill of 2013, there is a lot of meaty and good material in this bill and I am going to ask him to explain the bill. The process today will be that we will hear the bill. We will take any questions from the members first. And then we have a few speakers that are lined up and I don’t think I have the list, but we said we’d take at least 3 from each side, with 3 minutes each, excerpt for our national superintendent of the year and we have granted him 3 minutes and 38 seconds. The following individuals are on my list: Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of the Year, Moorsville Grady School, Jacky Cole, board of Education Alamance County, Rodney Ellis, President of NCAE, and Tom Rhodes, I don’t know who he Represents, but those are the ones who we have signed up, and those will be allowed the three minutes to speak. And at this time I will call on Senator Burger to present the bill. Senator Burger. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr Chairmen, members of the committee, I believe there is a PCS, I don’t know if its been adopted by the committee yet? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Stein moves in adoption of the PCS all in favor aye, any opposed? Done. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairmen, again members of the committee I appreciate the opportunity to be here this morning. Senate Bill 361, the excellent public schools act of 2013 is a bill that attempts to build on some of the reforms that were passed in the budget last year and builds on some of the reforms that were in the original bill, I think it was Senate Bill 795 that was passed by the Senate last year. It does a number of things. What I would like to do is to go through kind of bullet point wise, what certain sections of the bill do, then would be more than happy to answer questions and I know staff is available to expound on things in a more detailed fashion if that becomes necessary. Part one of the bill is a carryover of Senate Bill 795 that didn’t make it into law, and what that does is it provides that state employees, the office of state personnel will set up a policy that will allow state employees to volunteer for community service leave time, for mentoring at a school up to a maximum of one hour each week to a maximum of 36 hours for the weeks that schools are in session. So thats part one. Part two is an effort to maximize instructional time, and basically it provides that that end of course tests..
though will be given in the last ten days of a full year course, in the last five days of a semester-long course. Part 3 attempts to strengthen teacher licensure. And it does a couple things. I've got three items in particular that it does. It requires North Carolina teacher colleges to include reading instruction, diagnosis, and interventions in the curriculum for elementary education including special education general curriculum teachers. It requires that all new K-6 teachers, including special education general curriculum teachers, must achieve minimum scores in reading and math on any Praxis Two or similar test required for initial licensure. And it also requires that for all K-8 teachers, that those teachers must receive at least three hours of continuing education credits in literacy for licensure renewal. It is important that we have highly qualified teachers at the head of the classroom, and these measures will help ensure that is the case. The bill goes on in Part 4 to make some changes in the school performance grades. As a result of the reforms we passed last year, parents are able to clearly identify high-performing, average, and struggling schools and overall student achievement through a transparent system that grades schools on a zero to one hundred numerical scale with a corresponding letter grade of A through F. These grades will be given for the first time at the end of this school year. For elementary and middle schools, our system utilizes a scale extremely similar to the former ABC model but awards easy-to-understand letter grades rather than ambiguous designations such as honor school of excellence, school of distinction, school of progress, and you probably know the rest. Senate bill 361 expands on that by also evaluating schools on whether they exceed, meet, or fail to meet student achievement growth goals. Together these two measures will foster greater transparency, encourage struggling schools to improve, and allow parents to determine the best options for their children. Then Part 5 is intent language dealing with Pay for Excellence. We are awaiting results from requests for input from local LEAs on their ideas of pay for performance, and we expect to receive those. I believe April the 15th is the date that we're scheduled to receive those. The bill makes it clear that we intend to move forward with a pay for performance program, and that in that pay for performance program we will utilize the evaluation instrument that is being developed and will continue to be refined. Part 6 deals with teacher contracts. It's probably the most detailed part of the bill. And what it does is attempts to address the continuing concerns that people have about how to ensure high quality teachers in our classrooms. In many respects, people believe that tenure or career status acts as an impediment, rather than an enhancement of ensuring that we have high quality teachers in front of our kids. This bill does several things with reference to that. For teachers who have been teaching for less than three- for three years or less, as of May the 1st, 2013, the bill would eliminate the prospect of career status for new teachers. The bill would go on to take the teachers who have three or more years of experience, would direct the superintendents around the state to evaluate those teachers, and to offer the top 25, the highest quality teachers in those systems, contracts of four years' duration. As an incentive for those contracts it would provide that any teacher who was offered and accepts a four year contract would receive not only their normal salary but would also receive a salary supplement or an increase in their salary of five hundred dollars per year, beginning the first year and it would build for the four years.
In addition to that, the bill would call for the complete elimination of tenure as of June 30, 2018. That is something that, because we put the date out approximately five years from now, will give the systems and the teachers the opportunity and the ability to deal with the changes that we're talking about. Those are the primary provisions of the bill. I think the important thing for us to realize is that we began last year with an attempt to address school policy in a way that, in many respects, is different than policy has been addressed in years past. We wanted to emphasize the importance of reading as the essential tool for kids to be successful in school. We wanted to emphasize that by making sure that kids are able to read, to the extent that that child has the ability by the end of the third grade. All of the studies show us that those kids who are unable to read at grade level by the end of the third grade are the kids that tend to struggle as they go through their education careers. The other thing that we are trying to do is to make sure that, to the greatest extent possible, we have high quality teachers in our classrooms. This bill continues that effort and moves us forward. It is not, in my view, the final say in what we will need to do to improve student performance in our schools. We will need to continually evaluate, reevaluate, and reassess where we are and make changes and make improvements as those improvements become necessary. With that, Mr. Chairman, I'd be more than happy to answer any questions people have. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Berger. I will see if the members have any questions at this time. We'll take questions from members. And after that we'll go to the guests and we'll do those. I think we have now one or two who've asked to not speak. So we're down to I believe three from the audience. But first, members. Senator Stein. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Berger, thank you. Question about the section on school grades. You have specified in the bill, on page 11, that, on lines 2 through 4, that the measure on school, student growth shall not be used to alter or adjust school performance scores or the school performance grade earned by the school. So this go-round, compared to last time, you are having some recognition of the value of school, the student growth that occurs over the year. But it's still not in the grade. And I did some looking into it. Actually, I had somebody do some looking into it. And there are only about 12 states that use this grading system, this simplistic grading system. And of the 12, we could find information on 10 of them. And all 10 of them have in the grade itself how the school does at helping students perform over the year. If you are a school in a struggling community, struggling neighborhood, it's very likely that the grades that those kids get at the end of the school year's going to be lower than a school with high-income kids. Whereas, that's not necessarily a reflection om the quality of the school, quality of the teachers, quality of the administrators of that school. Florida, for instance, two to one of their assessment on grades is on how the kids did over the year versus how they perform on a test. So two-thirds of their grade comes from school improvement. Oklahoma, it's a third of the grade is growth. Arizona, half the grade is growth. And ours, it's just going to be an addendum to the grade. And I also ask to have the current schools graded based on your scale were it to be law today, and 73% of high schools in North Carolina would get a D or an F under your grading system. And I just worry that it's too prescriptive on the one hand. ??? All page 10, one point for this, one point for this, one point for this. I feel like we're interposing ourselves to do the work of the State Board
Education, they are the education experts. Too prescriptive, and it does not reflect how well school actually does at improving how kids perform over that year. So, my question to you is, I appreciate that you have recognized that student growth is an element that should be reflective, but can we not somehow I just the formula so that it's more reflective of Florida, which was the original basis of your legislation. [speaker changes] Last year we did indicate that student growth was an important component of an assessment of any school. I think we had intent language last year we would go forward with a separate score. The question really is, and were not ignoring that we’re but basically having one score for how the students perform. It's basically, it's very much the same as the score that VPI originally had used, except that they used honor school excellence, school of distinction. Always done, for the most part, is translate that scale into A through F. so the question is, is it better to have a system where you can take a growth factor and use that growth factor to modify the A through F so that you could take a school where most of the kids are not passing tests through a growth factor that is a more subjective analysis than, I would say in many respects, modify a D grade to a B grade. Move it up to grades to a B grade. I'm not sure that conveys accurate information to public or the parents. Whereas if you have two separate scores and you can clearly identify with those two scores are. You have one score that assesses the student achievement and you have another score that assesses the growth. You've got some more accurate and a transparent way of conveying to the parents or the public how well our schools are performing. [speaker changes] Follow up: I disagree that one is any more objective than the other. Both of them are based on test scores. The growth model is a numerically driven, statistically based number. The question is, we are grading the school and the school is either a C school or a D school, and if you have two schools that have exactly the same performance, where the kids get the exact same grades, but one school has had a dramatic impact over the course of the year in advancing a kid from where they started in sixth grade up to an eighth-grade comprehension, but they have the same as another school where they just stayed exactly the same. Why we would have a system that says they are both C schools when one should get credit for having actually done a really good job that year; objectively having done a really good job that year. And then there isn't a grade, under your bill the way it’s drafted, for school growth. It says they have met, failed to me, or exceeded expected student growth. Your purpose and going to A to F gives something clear comprehensible to parents, that doesn't, to me, achieve your goal, as it relates to student growth. And as I said, Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, they all incorporated into the formula that creates the great in the first place, and I just encourage you to consider that as you move this bill forward. The follow-up question is, are you concerned under your model of the bill that 73% of high school… do you think 73% of high schools in North Carolina are a D or an F school today? [speaker changes] Sen. Stein, I think that the language has been modified, I'll ask staff to confirm that, but I think the language of the grading assessment has been modified. I don't think you'll find that that is what the result will be under the language of the committee substitute. [speaker changes] If ??? Wants to come up, they may, at this time. [speaker changes] Yes, Sen. ??? Calculation methodology has been revised so that one of the aspects that is different this time, the grades will reflect the proportion of students who took the assessment back in 2012
There was equal waiting for things like the science assessment that is only taken in 3rd and 5th grade, or 5th and 8th grade, now under the new formula, it would be proportionally weighed so it wouldn’t have an equal weighting to reading which is taken at the end of every grade, so that’s one of the changes, another change is that the students in 8th grade who take biology and algebra and English. There’s over 36000 students who are taking those traditional high school level classes in the eighth grade, those scores will now count so that will adjust the outcome. Another adjustment that has been made is with the students who are taking the ACT in the 11th grade, the original bill was looking at hoe many students scored at the benchmark level at all four areas, reading, English, math and science. The PCS says it will just be reading and math so that will change the outcome, but we do not have the numbers, because some of these adjustments were just made, as to how that would effect the percentages of a, b, c, d, or f. [speaker changes] Senator stein, to your point, we’ve tried to listen to what folks have to say about the bill, about issues relating to the bill and we’ve tried to adjust. What we’ve found was, with reference to the high school scores, the ACT test was really squing the results and was ending up with numbers as you indicated, didn’t appear to us that that was an accurate reflection of what was going on in the schools. Back to your first question, it just seems to me that we need to understand that the A through F is really telling us how well the students in the school are doing on these test, and so we need to recognize that that is what that score, that letter grade is for, that’s what it’s always been for, even when we were again talking about honors school of excellence and school of distinction and school of priority, it is important that we have information and convey that information to the public on rather or not schools are meeting growth goals and that’s the reason we have the second measure, I actually think, and the bill reflect that a more accurate delivery of information to the public would have those scores separated, as opposed to having a situation where you have two schools where all of the kids score on the test at a C average and yet because they’ve met a growth goal, we say that that school, as opposed to another school is an a or a b school where as the students’ scores are the same at two separate schools where one met growth and one didn’t meet growth. I think it’s more accurate to give information using two measures as opposed to one where you combine that information and that’s what the bill does. [speaker changes] For the sake of time, we are going to move on, I have senator berringer, senator robinson and senator Bryant and then we will move to the public comment and question session [speaker changes] My question has been addressed [speaker changes] Thank you senator berringer, I believe senator robinson, you’re next [speaker changes] Yes thank you Mr. Chair and thank you senator berriger as well for some of the modifications. One of the concerns I have if you and I, you’ll remember that several of us went to Finland a couple of years ago to look at [speaker changes] I was not able to go on that trip [speaker changes] [laughter] you really should have gone, it was a good trip and it was a bi partisan group, but one of the things, several of the things that we found, led to the high performance, all the way from early intervention and we have some discussion about that, but in terms of teacher recruitment that happened early on in high school in terms of those teachers who had pre-requisites those students who had pre-requisites to become good teachers and they looked at several factors, not only the tests, but recommendations and what those things are that would lead to having good teachers as they moved into and they really are selected, the end result they are selected to go into that teacher preparation program, where they are constantly mentored, they go into the teacher preparation curriculum, they go into schools they spend certain amount of time etc. [speaker changes] May I have a question? [speaker changes] Yes, I want to get to my point, I’m getting to it, but the piece that gets to me licensure, because and I see what you’re putting here.
For the requirements. If those are indicators, and I think you’re getting around to some of it in this bill. But if those are indicators for good teachers, which is an indicator, good student performance. My concern is about charter school. And just the other week we took out any language about certification and licensure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We’re on the, this bill-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] I know I know, I know I know. But my question is, a lot of the kids whose parents select out and say they’re not performing in these D-F schools will go there to charter schools. So if the licensure is a requirement here, in this one, and you think that’s important, I do have some concerns about it not being across the board. I see the grading across the board, but then the teacher requirements aren’t across the board, so I’d like some feedback on that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, Senator Robinson, with reference to that, you know, charter schools are in many respects schools of choice. And so parents can make decisions based on whether they want their child to attend a charter school, or whether they want their child to stay in a charter school. If they feel that the child is not receiving the kind of instruction, and is not progressing as the child should, the parent can remove the child from that charter school and go back to the traditional public schools or to another school. Children, parents who have no choices, their children are in the public school based on where they live and no other factor for the most part. I think we have a particular responsibility to look at some of the requirements under those circumstances, where parents have less choice to make decisions about where their kids go to school. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, we’re moving, I believe the last ?? we had ?? Senator Bryant. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have two questions. One was, my understanding is, that the ABCDF system will take effect this, is it, when was it, is it this fall it will take effect? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It’ll take effect based on the scores for this year. That modification of the grading scale was based on law that was passed last year. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. Thank you Mr. Chair. Senator Berger, did you consider with the changes in curriculum, et cetera., that schools are going through this year, doing some kind of a test run/trial run this year, but having it become sort of permanently in place, in the next, giving us one more year to get ready for it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It’s been requested by a number of people to delay the implementation of the A through F grading scale. It was my feeling, and I think the feeling of a lot of folks, that we need to go forward with that, with the modifications that are in this bill to try to ameliorate some of the concerns that you’ve expressed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But I have one more follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Two follow ups. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To Senator Berger and all the staff, I notice that there’s a provision for, that these actions that will be taken on the teacher contracts and renewals and non-renewals are to not be discriminatory or retaliatory, there’s a list of criteria. I was curious as to how that fits into the hearing process, and is that what you would have a hearing on in that process, or how will that be determined. If I feel that for discriminatory reasons or retaliatory reasons one of these actions is taken against me, what are my steps? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff, would you try to address that? Unless Senator Berger wants that one....?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m not sure I understand the question, because the bill actually retains career status for all teachers who have career status, through, I think it’s June 30, 2018. So, from now until June 30, 2018, those teachers who have attained career status and don’t opt for a four-year contract, will retain all of the procedural safeguards that are in current law. With reference to any other decisions, I’m not sure that the bill really addresses anything like that. I’ll leave it up to Staff. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant, if you’re asking about teachers under the new system -- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] They would be able to request a hearing, this is when the contract is up--
able to requesting it before the board, it’s in the board’s discretion whether to grant it and there’s an existing procedure under 115C45 for hearing before the board that they would be able go through to have the hearing before the board over the contract. But it’s in the board’s discretion whether to grant that at the end of a contract. During the term of the contract, however, there is a formal hearing process under which the teacher does have the opportunity to have an attorney present, to have witnesses, etc, and if they go before the board and the board decides to dismiss or demote them or give them a disciplinary suspension, there’s a process which they can appeal that to a superior court. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] In fact, as an editorial comment, during the period of the contract, be it one, two, three, or four years, you have all the protections you would have in any other situation if you are a career teacher. At the end of the contract period you may be renewed or not renew and those protections are subject to review and are gone for the most part and then you’re offered another contract. Senator Brown. That will be the last one, I don’t see any other burning question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think where Senator Berger, maybe you can help me answer this, but it’s hard to manage what you can’t measure. I think this is a push to start measuring our schools more. I think there’s pockets in the state, and I think all of us know where, especially in low wealth areas, where there is some definite need for help in some of our schools and I think what we’ll find with these measurements, is we can identify where those needs are the greatest and start allocating resources to help some of those areas more. I hope that what will happen. I think that’s the ultimate place we want to be as we move forward, but we’ve got to identify them before you can figure out how to help them. I think this is a way where we can identify where the biggest needs are and start allocating some dollars to bring those schools up to the levels that are needed to get better across the state. I always have had concerns that low wealth areas don’t have the same opportunities as maybe a wealthier LEA would have. But I think this will allow us to identify that and hopefully put dollars where they’re needed to change that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Brown. We do have one more question, and this will be the last one, and we’ll move to the audience. Our plan is today, with the time as it is, I believe we’ll be able to vote this bill today. Senator Hartsell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I apologize Mr. Pro Tempore for being tardy, but I assume from reviews, that there is no grandfathering of existing personnel in the tenure system. Is that… [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Now, in terms of the contracting side of this, at the conclusion of the four year period or whatever, there still is an appeal process that’s identified in the bill for someone who is not...it’s not a matter of not renewing tenure, but there is a process whereby someone who would be tenured is not grandfathered, but can proceed to go through a process to the board of education to renew their contract. Is that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is my understanding, Senator Hartsell, and I think that is what's being referred to if a contract’s not renewed, I think there’s a notice requirement and I think there’s an appeal process that the appeal is to the school board, but I’ll leave that to staff for sure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I understood it a little differently, Senator Hartsell, and correct me if I’m wrong, staff or any of these great legal minds that we’ve got out there. I understood that when the contract period was up, you were at will at that moment, whether you come back or not. Now, if I’m wrong, somebody let me know. That’s the way my contract always worked. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Kara [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman, you’re correct. They’d be at will. They do have, the statute does provide that they can request the board to grant them a hearing and the board in its discretion can do so and then they follow under the general judicial process of the board to have hearings for employment issues at that point for the process for that hearing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think we were both wrong. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Hartsell follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Then is the hearing on a contract renewal or...
For a contract termination. That's, that's what I'm. Cara, do you want to? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The hearing would be on the recommendation to non-renew the contract. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And that's at the end of the contract term. For contracts that are, if there was a move to terminate the contract mid-contract for dismissal or demotion, that is a different process then at the end of the contract. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Entirely. Thank you for the good questions, Senator, and the thoughtful bill that we have before us. And at this time, we have, I believe now, three people that have signed up, and I'm gonna go in order. Dr. Mark Edwards, superintendent of the year, Mooresville Grade School. It's Iredell in one part of the county and ?? in the other. You're from Iredell, aren't you? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm from Mooresville and Iredell County. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's Iredell up there. Okay go right ahead, Dr. Edwards. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. It's an honor to be with you, and I want to thank chairman Tillman and also Senator Soucek. Senator Berger, I want to thank you and I want to also call on our common experience from Danville, Virginia, and some of our, what we've learned together. I also want to thank Senator Rucho for visiting Mooresville earlier, and also our hometown Senator, Senator Curtis, who is a Mooresville High School graduate. So again it's an honor to be with you. I want to commend Senator Berger for focusing attention from the state on education. And the ID and understand that we can build the best education system in the United States of America, one of the best in the world. I also want to acknowledge and thank all parties in terms of fine tuning the bill, and making the bill a bill that will work for all students, all schools, and all communities. I really believe that we have the, we have the ingredients in the state of North Carolina within our existing school systems and within the infrastructure of our government to build the best in the nation. Now I'd like to call to the attention, to the committee that just this week, a national journal came out with an article says the best district in America. And it's referencing Mooresville, North Carolina. And the thing that I ?? here, and I know it sounds self-serving, but I truly believe this. I believe that we can use the same ingredients and build the best education system in the nation. In fact, I am absolutely convinced. But I would suggest a few things. One, I truly believe that building an infrastructure to make this work requires time and requires fine tuning, and it's essential that we build that fine tuning, and I believe that it's an, we're not there yet. I really believe we need to fine tune it. I see the fine tuning taking place, Senator Berger, right now, but we need some more time to build on that to make it work so that we have the infrastructure for all schools to be successful and build on current successes. And I would ask that we continue to work on this, and I want to volunteer my services, Senator Berger, to work directly with you to use the framework we've used in Mooresville to build on this and to make it work. I truly believe that we need to include a growth component. I truly believe that we are under the most, the huge changes with our assessment program that we are not prepared for yet, with all the changes with common core, the realignment of the state. But I would plead to have the opportunity to work directly with you, and I believe that we can build the best program in the nation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Edwards, if you'll just make sure that I or members of my staff have your contact information, we'd be more than happy to set up an appointment with you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, and next to speak would be Jackie Cole, who I met earlier, from the Board of Education, and Board of Education member, Alamance County. , [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning. My name is Jackie Cole, and I'm a member of the Alamance-Burlington Board of Education and a board member of the North Carolina School Boards Association. As a lifelong Republican, I join and applaud Senator Berger in his efforts to improve public education for the 1.5 million children that are served by our public schools across the state. We have seen growth in our school system, but there is much left to be done. The intent of this legislation is good, however, there are two pieces that while I agree with in concept, I think need to be altered slightly. I believe that most of the 775 school board members across the state would agree with me. First, while school board members voted three years ago to add eliminating career status to the statewide association's legislative agenda, it was with a caveat that all teachers who had earned career status and those employed with the understanding they would have the opportunity to earn it would be grandfathered. Grandfathering does not mean that we could not get rid of poor teachers, but merely that we would afford them the same due process that a teacher would
that under this bill if terminated mid-contract. This is important for two reasons. One, without grandfathering of those who have already earned it, it has been shared with us that a lawsuit is likely to be filed against either the state, a local school board, or both. Two, the morale among teachers is already low, and elimination of career status has the significant risk of continuing to demoralize the very professionals we want to be excited about the coming year and coming to school everyday to educate and nurture our students. The second area of concern is the A through F grading of our schools. State-wide, the majority of school board members do not oppose letter grading. We want to be accountable and transparent to the public, however the language in last year’s budget bill stated that it is the intent of the General Assembly to add a student growth component to school performance grades. The education community believe that this meant it would be incorporated into the grade and not be a separate measure. I want to share two concerns with you about having it built in. One, without a growth component, the letter grade, the goal of schools, becomes trying to get children to a three. That means that your high achieving students and your lowest performing students, those at a level one, may receive less attention and effort due to limited resources. The high achievers. Thank you, I appreciate your attention and regret I couldn’t finish my statement, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’ll finish it with me right after the meeting. I got a start on it a while ago. Very well. Sorry about the time folks, but we want to finish the business today and the next and last comment from the audience would be from Rodney Ellis, president of the NCAE. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, members of the Senate Education Committee, thank you for the opportunity to address this committee. I’d also like to thank Senator Berger for the opportunity he’s given NCAE to work with this staff and offer detailed feedback on this important bill. As we have shared with Senator Berger, NCAE is concerned about Senate Bill 361 and we ask the Senate Committee to oppose it in its current form. We believe that this legislation as currently drafted is not the most efficient way to handle the dismissal of presumed ineffective teachers in our classrooms. NCAE has a history of working with the General Assembly to ensure that there is an efficient way to dismiss deemed ineffective while protecting the best and brightest teachers from arbitrary dismissal. Two years ago, NCAE stood before this committee and asked that you support a bill by Senator Jerry Tillman that expedites the dismissal of underachieving career status teachers in our classrooms. We shared with you two years ago that enacting Senator Tillman’s bill would give administrators every tool they needed to in dismissal cases. You passed the legislation as did the house, but we have done nothing to require administrators in our school system to actually use the law. Now we stand before you and we are debating another career status reform bill. A bill that fails to give due process rights to a teacher whose contract expires without renewal. This proposed legislation fails to grandfather teachers who currently have career status, a property right we are confident will be protected by our courts. We submit that if the North Carolina Senate concentrated on the implementation of the current law, a law that the North Carolina school administrators endorses, that the North Carolina School Board endorses, then true reform could occur. Even with a grandfathering provision that makes the bill illegal, we are disappointed that teachers would lose all rights to present witnesses, use of counsel, or other other advocates, or provide appeals of evaluations. Teachers believe after four years of service to the state, they deserve the right to hear why they’re being dismissed and they deserve the right to present evidence in their defense. NCAE does not believe that teachers have the right to a job for life if they have career status, but they do deserve a right to defend their performance. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Rodney. And on the bill you’re referring to, that was Senator Hartsell and my bill and I regret to say that school systems did not do a good job of implementing that or training their principals how to carry out that bill. Had that happened, folks, we may not be needing the legislation we’ve got now. However, I think they forgot about that law as soon as it was passed. I didn’t see anybody do an inservice training on that to implement the law and the intent of that law. But today we’re talking about our bill in front of us. Senator Berger has done a good job and Senator Parman we will take your comments since I know you’ve to ask this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would like to ask Mr. Ellis a question. If I could. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m going permit that, but we’re going to stop that because we’ve had the comment from the...but I’m going to permit this and this will be the last one and then we’ll vote the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Ellis, if you could, could you explain to us how poor performing teachers
currently be dismissed today. Mr chair with your leave i would like to yield to our in house internee Anne McCall, to respond to the question. Go ahead we'll do this but folks make it brief we have a 3 minute time again. Anne McCall. Thank you thank you for the opportunity to address the committee. I would like to very briefly describe my background. I've been in education law for twenty-two years began as a 24 school board since my role has been in the process of assisting school systems in working with teachers that are looking for dismissal so in terms of the tools that are currently available we are currently available we currently have a wide range of tools that we use we use an evaluation system that has continued to improve over time we have a number of different source of action plans that we can use and we have a refined process that provides and opportunity for hearing. These are the things that Lori finds with the excellent school scat then was refined again two years ago. What i found as an attorney working with school systems and dismiss teachers we can make those things happen we are looking for a balance that also insures that teachers can be strong applicants for kids, and that means having enough job protection. They feel like they can speak out on the things that they seen in heir school system. Thank you we will stop at that, i could ask a question on how many teachers were actually dismissed. they had low career status and i know that's a low figure. I do know there was more resignations for Angara that the way you do it is that you get the resignations before going that route so those statistics aren't really that reliable. you don't look at just those numbers that were terminated, gone before they were terminated. So at this point senator Burger do you want to rap up comment and were going to take a motion at that time and i have one and ready here. Mr. chairman i would like to think the committee again to present the bill also i would like to thank the members who have made comments, and would reiterate that at that time and i know that members of the senate, members of my staff look forward to work with the public and public school teachers, with their representatives and with other interested parties. Trying to make North Carolina schools the best they can be and i think that this bill moves them into the right direction i appreciate the favor we will vote. At this time Senator Russo. Yes sir Mr. chairman. I would like to make a motion for favor report. The pcs or 361 an unfavorable to the regular bill the motion is unfavorable to pcs and is mended to before you. Any discussion all in favor I. any opposed no. The I's have it the bill passes. I believe there will be a referral to preparations to senator burger that's where we will go next Thank you.