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McCrory pushes teacher innovation, cuts to mandatory testing

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TWC News: McCrory pushes teacher innovation, cuts to mandatory testing
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CHAPEL HILL -- Gov. Pat McCrory said he wants to cut down on mandatory testing for students and promote teacher innovation. The governor announced what he calls his master teacher plan Thursday at the state conference on education in Chapel Hill.

Protestors lined the street to make their voices heard Thursday morning as McCrory prepared to talk education.

“Its when you feel so unappreciated and then in some ways almost assaulted,” said Redmond Grigg, a teacher who was protesting outside the meeting. “So it really ends up not mattering where they say the resources go.”

Their message was not lost on the leaders inside at the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce's annual education conference.

“This is the talent that produces the talent,” UNC System President Tom Ross said while sitting on a panel.

Education and business leaders sat side by side to address the issue of schools. Some say the current direction education is, and has been heading in is demoralizing for educators.

“They've heard people say on the national level that our schools are broken,” said June Atkinson, Superintendent of Public Instruction, “and teachers take that personally. And they have been broken quite a bit by saying that schools are broken. That teachers aren't doing a great job.”

But for McCrory, he said things are starting to look up on the education front. To help that trend, he is making some proposals for improvements.

That includes cutting down on testing in the classroom, which he said is currently turning teachers into proctors. He also proposes creating a $30 million Education Innovation Fund, where teachers get money for taking the lead.

“This program will invest a $10,000 stipend into at least 1,000 teachers who will be selected by their peers to implement Career and College Ready standards,” said McCrory.

This money will come from North Carolina's federal Race to the Top dollars, pending approval. McCrory, and his administration, said it will help to start the process getting teachers the financial recognition they deserve.

“This is an on ramp for us,” said McCrory education policy advisor Eric Guckian. “Completely revamping and revising the way teachers are compensated in our state.”

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