North Carolina bans automatic teacher raises based on advanced degrees

Jul 30, 2013 by

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina lawmakers have approved a major change in teacher compensation that other state governments would be wise to follow.

They have eliminated automatic pay increases for public school teachers, based solely on the attainment of a master’s degree.

“Although a few other states have talked about doing away with the automatic pay increase for advanced degrees, experts say North Carolina is believed to be the first state to do so,” said FoxNews.org, which reported the historic change in state policy.

Public schools have traditionally given higher pay to K-12 teachers who return to college on their free time and earn graduate credits and advanced degrees. Some states even make advanced college work mandatory for teachers.

The higher salaries are usually specified in union pay scales in collective bargaining agreements.

But numerous studies have determined that advanced college credits and degrees have no connection to effective classroom instruction. A teacher can obtain a Ph.D and still not be able to communicate basic concepts in an understandable way to youngsters.


The latest such study comes from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that traditionally supports teachers unions.

According to a report published last week, “the Center for American Progress argues that teachers with master’s degrees do not do a better job educating their students than their peers without advanced degrees.

“The report goes on to say that states waste money by giving salary increases to teachers as a reward for getting a master’s degree, spending nearly $15 billion annually on such pay hikes.”

Merit pay based on student learning and advancement is a much more useful way to reward effective teachers. Higher salaries should go to teachers who help children understand new material and motivate them to push ahead in their studies.

After all, teachers are paid to help students advance academically, not themselves. And public schools exist to benefit students, not the people who staff them.

North Carolina bans automatic teacher raises based on advanced degrees – EAGnews.org powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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