Dependable Erection

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Odd doings in the educational sphere

I stumbled upon this earlier in the day.
What is NC TEACH II?

To aid in improving North Carolina student achievement, NC TEACH is thrilled to offer NC TEACH II, funded by a U.S. Department of Education Transition to Teaching grant. The Transition to Teaching program supports projects that recruit highly qualified mid-career professionals, retirees and recent college graduates as teachers for high-need school districts.

NC TEACH II is working with school districts and charter schools identified by the U.S. Department of Education as high-need in order to recruit and prepare lateral entry teachers who are committed to remaining in a high-need school for a minimum of three years. In return for this commitment, the teacher will receive a $1000 education stipend and a $2000 technology allowance (or laptop computer).

Why is this project important?

NC’s lowest performing schools are more likely to be staffed by teachers without appropriate preparation or licensure. Recent research has demonstrated that poor teacher quality “trumps” even poor socioeconomic conditions in contributing to student underachievement.* Fourteen of the 15 NC school systems with the highest rates of children living in poverty are located in the areas that also have the largest minority population in the state.° Join NC TEACH II to ensure all students achieve academic success despite the challenges and inequities they may face in North Carolina's high-need schools.

OK, that makes sense. All things being equal, including salary and benefits, teachers, like any rational beings, would eschew difficult conditions in favor of easier ones. The intangible rewards of working with "underachieving" students only goes so far. We'll leave for a later time the discussion of whether or not a "$1000 education stipend and a $2000 technology allowance" is sufficient incentive to attract the higher quality teachers being sought in this program.

Instead, we'll take a look at this page (pdf file):
Eligible NC TEACH II High-Need School Districts (LEAs)

Alleghany County Schools
Anson County Schools*
Asheville City Schools
Beaufort County Schools*
BladenCountySchools*
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Clinton City Schools*
Edenton-Chowan Schools*
Guilford County Schools
Hoke County Schools
Hyde County Schools*
Jones County Schools*
Lexington City Schools*
MountAiryCitySchools
Mount Airy City Schools
Newton Conover City Schools
Northampton County Schools*
Pamlico County Schools*
Richmond County Schools*
Scotland County Schools
Thomasville City Schools*
Wake County Schools
Yancey County Schools

So, what i'm curious about is why Wake County Schools make the list as a "high need, low performing" district, but Durham doesn't? Did we simply forget to apply, or is there another possible reason?

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6 Comments:

  • I don't see Halifax or Warren Counties on here, either, which makes me think this is a second tier of the NC Teach program.

    By Blogger Valerie at We Love Durham, at 9:14 PM  

  • It's also possible Durham doesn't meet one of these criteria for "high-need LEA":

    "(3) HIGH-NEED LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY- The term high-need local educational agency' means a local educational agency —

    (A)(i) that serves not fewer than 10,000 children from families with incomes below the poverty line; or

    (ii) for which not less than 20 percent of the children served by the agency are from families with incomes below the poverty line; and

    (B)(i) for which there is a high percentage of teachers not teaching in the academic subjects or grade levels that the teachers were trained to teach; or

    (ii) for which there is a high percentage of teachers with emergency, provisional, or temporary certification or licensing."
    http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg20.html

    By Blogger Valerie at We Love Durham, at 9:28 PM  

  • The first answer makes more sense than the second, i think. I find it odd that Wake County meets those criteria, but Durham County doesn't, don't you? I mean, i keep hearing how bad Durham schools are compared to Wake and all that.

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:28 PM  

  • I lived in Raleigh for a number of years in the 80's. You don't have to drive far to reach the more rural areas of Wake Co., so maybe that's where the need is?

    Is this a rural initiative more than an urban one?

    By Blogger Tony, at 10:30 PM  

  • well at least it's not like my home town system, apparently so under-achieving as to make the list twice...

    By Blogger JHE3, at 9:46 AM  

  • My guess is, Wake's rapid expansion has led to their inclusion here, likely by them having to hire teachers that are un- or under-certified to get bodies in classrooms. Durham may have a lot of issues, but that isn't one of them - yet. Lots of teacher attrition recently in Durham, though. Lots of highly qualified, dedicated people running for the exits.

    By Blogger katuah, at 11:02 AM  

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