I Apparently Live Rent Free In Gerrick Brenner’s Head – #ncpol #nced

Apparently, I am living rent free in someone’s head lately.

Tons of cobwebs in there. Good times. 

TommyLee ReallyThe article Brenner links to is an op-ed at News and Observer.

The long and short of the article being the same, tired and debunked narrative Brenner’s Progress NC has been pushing for the better part of the year — teachers are leaving because of pay!

The op-ed is purely anecdotal. That works for the News and Observer when it comes from sources they like, but for parents speaking out on Common Core? Nope.

At the bottom we see who it is penned by:

Matt Buys is a member of the Asheville City Board of Education. His opinions are his own.

Yes, his opinions are his own.

“How bad can the discrepancy really be? Two of our top middle school teachers, a married couple, left for Georgia last year. They wanted to own a home. Considering the lower cost of living and that they could earn $25,000 more a year, who could blame them?”

Oh, so now it’s Georgia? What happened to Texas? The far, far left Progress NC really thought teachers were going to Texas, even though their turnover rate was nearly triple North Carolina’s last year.

The data doesn’t back his ‘opinion’. First, who are these people? Is the number Buys cites a combined increase of their salaries? How many years have the taught? What is their pay now? We don’t know.

I wonder, how does a wealthy county like Asheville lose teachers to low pay? Isn’t the teacher  supplement which they are responsible for setting high enough?

The Asheville Schools supplement for the 403 teachers in 2014-15 was $3,894. That made them the 13th highest in the state. As an Asheville Board member, Buys knows they are about to increase it again, yet he fails to mention that.

Look at their supplement rates over time. Asheville slashed them prior to the Republicans taking control of the legislature. Where was the outcry then?

Year Teacher No. of Positions Teacher No. Recd Supplmt Teacher Average Supplmt.
2014-15 403 403 3,894
2013-14 391 391 3,524
2012-13 382 382 3,650
2011-12 372 372 3,693
2010-11 370 370 3,252
2009-10 370 370 4,217
2008-09 389 389 4,003

Asheville actually seems to be maintaining the same number of teachers. How can that be thought? Because as Buys’s anecdotes continue to decry turnover:

I was complaining about our mass departure of teachers to an old friend on a school board in a neighboring rural county close to South Carolina. I told him, “Last year, we had a 15 percent teacher turnover rate. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen.”

He muttered, “At least you can hire teachers. In the last three years, we’ve almost lost half our teachers, and we have third-grade classes that still don’t have teachers. They’re all commuting to South Carolina. Nobody licensed has even applied for the jobs. It’s October, and we’re using subs. Those kids are losing the year.”

Since Buys left out the numbers for “the last three years”, let’s look at them.

Turnover 2010-2011 (%) Turnover 2011-2012 (%) Turnover 2012-2013 (%) Turnover 2013-2014 (%) Turnover 2014-2015 (%) Five Year Average (%)
5.3 5.25 13.19 17.07 17.13 11.59

Asheville’s turnover has increased even though we have seen that the supplemental pay has been increasing. When Asheville slashed their supplemental in 2010-11, the turnover rate didn’t rise. So again, is this really about pay?

Gee, this turnover claim Buy makes sounds more  like a district management problem to me.  Why would you have such a high turnover rate in a district that has the 13th highest supplement in the state?  He should know since he sits on the Asheville Board of Education, right? RIGHT?

Another trouble claim Buy makes was that about licensing. Nobody licensed applied? Really? Given that North Carolina over the last 4 years has granted nearly three times as many licenses to out of state teachers, I find this hard to believe.

Using Subs? They’re licensed, right? Were they offered the job full-time?  Whoever is running Asheville’s hiring department is falling down on the job. That’s within Buy’s purview to check on, perhaps he should get on it and spend less time writing slanted op-eds on behalf of Progress NC.

So it is really pay or lack of applicants as Buys asserts?

DPI’s own turnover report says no.

The vast majority stayed to teach in another NC School district and the second largest group retired. Note: To teach elsewhere in this chart means elsewhere in the state.


Why are teachers really leaving?  

In that turnover report is the little talked about number of 1,209 leaving because they were ‘dissatisfied with teaching’. That surpasses the number that ‘left to teach out of state’, which was 1,028 — less than 1% of the teacher workforce in North Carolina.

Two words: Working conditions.

DPI has created a toxic and hostile environment where teacher’s feel that they cannot speak out without fear of reprisal. Local school district administrations are no better.

Districts are funneling more and more money into black hole programs and less is spent on vital in-class basic supplies. These items are often supplemented by parents and very often come out of the wallets of teachers themselves. That’s a scandal.

Working conditions also includes dealing with the experimental Common Core standards being thrust on them.  To add insult to injury,  the ever increasing amounts of data collection that goes with Common Core is killing our teachers. More than one teacher has told me that they don’t feel like teachers, they ‘feel like data entry consultants’.

Related Reading:

Progress NC should retract mistaken-ridden op-ed

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), EDUCATION and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I Apparently Live Rent Free In Gerrick Brenner’s Head – #ncpol #nced

  1. Pingback: What They’re Saying In NC Education – WE 11/6/15 #NCed | Lady Liberty 1885

  2. BitterEXdemocrackkk says:

    I have forwarded this great article to all members of the AVL city screwl board, hoping for their public response to such lies! Matt Buys should be shamed. Leftwing LIES. ‘Get YOUR children OUT of government screwls as fast as you CAN! ‘


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