Retired teacher wants lawmaker to experience the classroom - WNCN: News, Weather

Retired teacher wants lawmaker to experience the classroom

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Linda Ward Linda Ward
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A retired teacher in Wake County is challenging the sponsor of an education reform bill in the State Senate to spend a day teaching in a classroom. 

Linda Ward wrote an open letter to State Senator Phil Berger that was published in Sunday's edition of the News & Observer.

Ward says a bill sponsored by Berger is not fair to public school teachers.

"I challenge Berger to go spend a day teaching and observing in one Wake County elementary school classroom, not poking his head in and smiling at the class," Linda Ward said, reading from her letter.

She added, "It really makes me angry because I know the quality of the teachers that I worked with and they are so awesome and dedicated."

If passed and signed into law, Senate Bill 361, The Excellent Public Schools Act of 2013, would end tenure for public school teachers and replace it with contracts ranging from one to four years in length beginning July 1, 2014. 

It would also grade public schools on an A through F scaled based on student achievement.

In a news conference last Tuesday, the Senator said his bill would weed out bad teachers and keep public schools, and their teachers, accountable to parents and students.

"Our current system, in many respects, rewards mediocrity," State Sen. Berger said.  He added it would, "...foster greater transparency, encourage struggling schools to improve and allow parents to determine the best options for their children."

But Ward says the bill amounts to a punishment for teachers.

"You can't do your job if you don't have the backing from your administration and from legislators and for them to grade a school would be unfair," Ward said.  "It all depends on who is in that school."

You can read Linda Ward's letter here.

As of our Sunday evening deadline, Berger's office has not responded to our requests for comment via email and phone.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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