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North Carolina's Teacher Pipeline Crisis by the Numbers

North Carolina faces a looming shortfall in the number of teachers entering our public school classrooms in the coming years. This section highlights facts and figures that illustrate various facets of the emerging crisis.


Decline in NC teacher salary, 1999-2013

Teachers who left Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, 2013-14


Teacher turnover, NC Beginning Teachers (statewide), 2013-14

Decline in education degree enrollment in the UNC system, 2010-13


We’ve curated major news items related to North Carolina’s teacher pipeline crisis, with links to relevant content.

Last week the N.C. Senate approved a budget that includes a $57.5 million cut to teacher assistant funding. This would eliminate 5,200 teacher assistant positions in the next school year and more than 8,500 teacher assistants over the next two years. With 7,000 fewer teacher assistants in classrooms today compared with the 2008-2009 school year – and nearly 50,000 more students – the Senate budget would eliminate roughly a third of all teacher assistants working in North Carolina today. It is instructive to understand how teacher assistants came about in the first place. The position was first created and funded by the state as part of the 1975 Primary Reading Program. The goal of the program was to improve literacy among children in early grades. My mother was among the first group of teacher assistants hired in the state. Significantly improved student achievement scores followed. It makes sense – adding another instructor immediately cut the ratio of student-to-educator in half, which gave more time for individualized attention to struggling students.... read more
The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that a state law to end tenure rights of public school teachers is unconstitutional, upholding a superior court decision last year. In a 2-1 decision, the three-judge appeals court ruled that Republican lawmakers unconstitutionally took away contract and property rights by repealing tenure, also known as career status, in 2013. “We have no trouble concluding that the trial court was correct in its determination that the Career Status Repeal substantially impairs Plaintiffs’ vested contractual rights,” wrote Judge Linda Stephens in the opinion. She wrote that teacher tenure is a “fundamental part of the bargain,” that teachers accepted when they may have weighed other professions that could’ve reaped more benefits or pay.... read more
The state Senate took a preliminary 30-19 vote Wednesday afternoon to pass a budget for the state over objections from Democrats who argued the spending plan shortchanges education. The Senate’s $21.47 billion plan increases spending 2 percent. After a final vote Thursday morning, House and Senate leaders are expected to spend weeks hashing out differences between their proposals. Legislators are already expecting that a temporary budget could be needed to keep state government running past June 30, when the current fiscal year ends. Approved last month, the $22.2 billion House budget would increase spending by about 5 percent. It also featured industry-specific tax credits and across-the-board state employee raises that the Senate didn’t include in its plan. http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article24801286.html#storylink=cpy... read more


In this section, you’ll find video and audio content of live EdTalks and other relevant talks and interviews. Check back periodically as we include more!


Major research reports deepen our understanding of the causes and effects of North Carolina’s teacher pipeline crisis. They also provoke thoughtful, evidence-based analysis of potential courses of action we might take, as communities and as a state, to address the crisis. If you know of additional research we should spotlight, send it to us and we’ll consider featuring it here.

Each August, we release The Condition of College & Career Readiness (www.act.org/newsroom/ data/2014), our annual report on the achievement of the ACT-tested graduating class relative to college readiness. In 2014, a record 57% of the US graduating class took the ACT® test. The steady increase in ACT test takers in recent years has enhanced the breadth and depth of our data pool, providing a more comprehensive picture of the college readiness levels of the graduating class while giving us a deeper look into the data. Our data review from this year’s graduating class has offered a glimpse into new areas of study, including emerging educational pipelines. http://www.act.org/newsroom/data/2014/states/pdf/FutureEducators.pdf... read more
If you spend time in almost any major school district in America today, you will notice that the students often do not look much like the teachers. In fact, in some areas, the students don’t look anything like their teachers. There is a significant demographic gap in the largely white teaching profession and an increasingly diverse student population. To prepare American students for lives of high achievement, America’s schools need a teaching corps that is not only highly effective but also racially and ethnically diverse. Progress has been made in recent decades in attracting people of color to the teaching profession. But major barriers—including a scarcity of highquality, teacher-training programs targeted at teachers of color; the educational debt students of color must shoulder; and the general lack of esteem in our society for teaching—stand in the way of producing an optimal pool of teachers. Without vigorous policy innovations and public investment, the demographic gap will only widen to the detriment of children’s education. https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/TeachersOfColor-report.pdf... read more
The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program, created in 1986, was a breakthrough initiative that addressed a critical need for teachers in the state by recruiting top North Carolina high school students into teaching. The program provided holistic training and support to develop Teaching Fellows as exceptional teacher-leaders. To underscore the message that teaching was a career as prestigious as law, medicine, business or other prominent professions, the Teaching Fellows Program offered competitive, four-year scholarships in return for a commitment to teach in North Carolina public schools for at least four years. If a recipient could not repay the scholarship through teaching service, the loan had to be repaid to the state with 10 percent interest. http://www.ncforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/PSF_TeachingFellowsReport_WEB.pdf... read more

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