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Wake NCAE calls for teacher walk-in instead of teacher walk-out on Nov. 4

Wake NCAE is urging teachers to hold a walk-in and not a walk-out on Nov. 4 in response to the issues facing the state’s public schools.

As noted in today’s article, Wake NCAE President Larry Nilles said he’s proud of the work done by organizers of the proposed statewide teacher walk-out. But Nilles said that actually holding the walk-out would antagonize parents. Instead, he said holding a walk-in and meeting with the public after school would do more to transform public schools.

“We are proud of the work that the organizers of the Nov. 4 walk-out have done,” Nilles told Wake County school board members on Tuesday. “They drew attention to the frustrations of public school employees and the damage done to public schools during the 2013 session of the North Carolina General Assembly.”

Wake County school board on teacher tenure and other issues

Here’s a recap of what’s taken place so far at today’s Wake County school board meeting.

The most heated discussion took place about how Wake would have to implement the new state law eliminating teacher tenure. Like other districts, Wake would have until June 2014 to offer 25 percent of the teachers a four-year contract that comes with $4,000 in raises over the next four years.

The contracts can only be offered to teachers who have tenure, called career status in North Carolina. If they accept, they’d voluntarily give up their career status.

Wake NCAE announces Wake County school board endorsements

Wake NCAE is backing the three Democrats running this fall for Wake County school board and Republican Bill Fletcher in the race where there are only two GOP candidates.

In a press release today, Wake NCAE announced it was endorsing incumbent Tom Benton in District 1, Monika Johnson-Hostler in District 2, Zora Felton in District 7 and Fletcher in District 9. The group says the four candidates “have the vision and experience necessary to be committed and effective advocates for our students, their families and the educators who serve them.”

“Our recommended candidates have the experience and know-how to improve educator working conditions so that we, the 18,000 employees of WCPSS, can focus on our most important job – meeting the individual needs of every student,” said Wake NCAE President Larry Nilles, in the press release.

Impact on bond issue of turning Wake County school construction to commissioners

Will the issue of who will be in charge of school construction in Wake County affect the outcome of this fall's $810 million bond referendum?

As noted in today's article, supporters of Senate Bill 236 say the bond's chances of passing will improve if control is transferred from the school board to the county commissioners. But critics argue that removing it from the school board will put the bond in danger of being defeated.

"I still feel very strongly that the bill will have a negative impact on the bond," said school board member Jim Martin, who calls the bill "reckless legislation."

Wake County school board to discuss holding early release days on Wednesdays on Dec. 4

Pencil in Dec. 4 for what could be a lively discussion about whether the Wake County school system should hold early release days on Wednesday or Fridays.

As noted in today's article, the school board's executive committee has put the early release issue on the agenda for the Dec. 4 board work session. The board's Democratic majority has the votes to push through a change but whether they want to risk any appearance of a scaled-back return to Wacky Wednesdays/Wake Wednesdays remains to be seen.

Aside from the argument from supporters that Wednesdays would be better for promoting student achievement, you're also likely to hear that they're only talking about six Wednesdays per student and not every week.

Susan Evans and Christine Kushner promote Wake NCAE endorsement

Wake County school board candidates Susan Evans and Christine Kushner have both released statements today trumpeting the endorsements they've received from Wake NCAE.

In Evans' press release, she says she's "proud to have earned the endorsement of the Wake NCAE, a group that truly has the best interests of students and teachers at heart." The group represents nearly 5,000 Wake school employees.

In Evans' press release, Wake NCAE Vice President Larry Nilles also takes a shot at the school board majority to explain the endorsement.

Wake NCAE announces school board candidate endorsements

Wake NCAE, which represents 5,000 Wake County's school employees, is citing school funding in announcing its reasons for its school board candidate endorsements.

In a press release today, Wake NCAE announced it was endorsing Kevin Hill in District 3, Keith Sutton in District 4, Jim Martin in District 5, Christine Kushner in District 6 and Susan Evans in District 8.

In the release, Wake NCAE faulted the current school board majority for not having backed a motion to ask county commissioners for enough funding "that could have prevented" cuts this year such as laying off custodians and cutting pay for teacher assistants.

Avoiding adding five days to the school calendar

In theory, school leaders think it's a good idea for students to have a longer school year.

But as noted in today's article, Triangle school administrators are looking for ways not to implement the new requirement mandated by state legislators to expand the school year by five days and with 25 more hours of instruction.

Wake's approach is to add the hours without adding the additional days. Wake Superintendent Tony Tata has said this change, having the 25 hours spread out over 180 days, "accomplishes the intent" legislators had by putting the 25 hours over five more days.

Celebrating American Education Week next week

Schools in Wake County and across the country will be celebrating American Education Week starting on Monday.

American Education Week is an effort from the National Education Association to promote recognition of teachers and public schools. The week is marked by daily activities such as encouraging parents to visit schools, honoring support staff and substitute teachers and encouraging community leaders to serve as educators for a day.

Wake NCAE has encouraged individual schools to hold events.

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