The Public Schools Our Children Deserve? North Carolina Residents React to State Legislative Changes
UNC-Wilmington Watson College of Education professors Robert Smith and Scott Imig developed a survey to gauge the reaction of North Carolinians regarding the quality and direction of public education in light of recent legislative changes. Coming on the heels of their December, 2013 survey of 700 teachers, this new survey represents feedback received from more than 2,350 respondents, 80 percent of whom have children attending a NC public school.
According to the authors, “North Carolina’s citizens overwhelmingly disapprove of the direction of education in the state.”
The report’s key findings include:
- Over 94% of respondents said that they felt public education in North Carolina is headed in the wrong direction.
- Seventy-seven percent of respondents have a “great deal of trust” in teachers and administrators to make educational decisions for our public schools. This ﬁgure was just 11% for local school boards and 0.7% for the NC Legislature and Governor.
- Almost 30% of respondents indicated that the recent legislative changes have made them consider sending their child to a private or charter school.
- Over 94% of respondents agreed that raising teacher pay in North Carolina should be a top priority.
- Ninety-six percent of participants disagreed with the removal of additional pay for teachers earning a master’s degree in education.
- More than 76% of respondents disagreed with the elimination of teacher tenure.
- Ninety-six percent of participants disagreed with the removal of class size caps.
- A full 95% of respondents disagreed with the decision to not increase teacher salaries in 2013 for the fourth time in ﬁve years.
- In regard to the legislature’s plan to identify the top 25% of teachers for annual pay raises, 76% of respondents disagreed.
- More than 85% of respondents disagreed with the state’s decision to provide low-income families with private school vouchers.
- Almost 73% of respondents said they oppose the inclusion of students’ standardized test scores on teacher evaluations.
- Over 81% of respondents agreed that talented high school students interested in teaching in North Carolina should be awarded scholarships by the state legislature.
- Large numbers of respondents expressed concerns about the current curriculum, instruction, and assessment being implemented in our state’s public schools.