A rank not to be proud of

Mar. 07, 2013 @ 04:35 AM

Teaching is one of those thankless jobs where people use their education to provide our children opportunity to thrive.

According to GreatSchools.org, teaching demands “demands broad knowledge of subject matter, curriculum, and standards; enthusiasm, a caring attitude, and a love of learning; knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques; and a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people.”

While we can spin our wheels talking about the importance of testing and curriculum, studies show that the biggest factor used to determine a quality education is the quality of the teacher.

In Rutherford County we have the benefit of having a crop of the best teachers in the state.

It is easy for people to poke fun of the fact that the state’s education has fallen well below the times of old when North Carolina’s education system was admired and duplicated across the country.

Now, we have something else that can equally draw our ire.

A report issued to the State Board of Education on Wednesday indicated that North Carolina ranked 46th in the country in teacher pay. It ranked ahead of only Mississippi and West Virginia among the 12 Southeastern states, according to the Associated Press.

The public school system in North Carolina has made strides to improve the graduation rates of students.

The reward for that hard work ... low pay.

The report stated that one of nine teachers in the state earn the minimum of $31,000 per year because larger raises usually don’t kick in until the fifth year of employment.

In addition, the state has lost more than 4,000 teachers within the first three years of their careers since 2008.

Now, we understand that $31,000 a year is better than a lot of people get but we have to keep in mind what a teacher does.

No matter what grade or subject a teacher is involved with, they are responsible for fostering growth and progress in our youth. Their example and teaching will carry with our students far into their adult lives.

They are the gatekeeper for our children’s future and they should be paid what that responsibility is worth.

We have a responsibility to do what we can to keep our good teachers here to ensure that our students have the best education and mentoring that we can provide.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark