NC Senate bill would require districts to show how they’ll achieve same growth through remote learning that they would in school

A bill filed in the North Carolina Senate today would give school districts until June 30 to come up with a plan for how they’ll ensure remote instruction results in the same learning growth as teaching that occurs at school during school year 2020/21.

It’s hard to articulate how out of touch with reality that expectation is.

North Carolina’s educators are doing the best we can to teach our students in the midst of a global pandemic. As time passes we will continue to find ways to make remote teaching and learning more effective. However, what we’re already seeing is there are an untold number of factors that we have absolutely no control over.

Coming right out of the gate and setting an impossibly high bar sends the wrong message to our state’s educators at a time of crisis when collaboration is crucial.

What we need most from state legislators as we navigate these uncharted waters is the resources to ensure that all of our students have access to the education that is their right.

You can read the entire draft bill below. The section referenced is 5.11(a) point 9.


42 thoughts on “NC Senate bill would require districts to show how they’ll achieve same growth through remote learning that they would in school

  1. That is impossible. Some children are at home with motivated parents, great technology, and are able to maximize learning potential from Zoom classes, etc.; other children are at home with many siblings and one parent, who has to work many hours as essential worker. In some of these cases, there is no technology in the home, no one to get all of the siblings on line for one laptop even if they had it. Parents with limited resources and limited money are focused on their children being safe and fed. This is unrealistic, and I am disappointed in our education system. The children and the parents will be punished. None of this is their doing. Our government will be remembered by the decisions they make, even in education. The children are not going to get what they normally would, for most children. Instead of This type of unrealistic expectation, why not focus on exciting ways to provide remedial learning for the children who need it most when they return to their safe place?. School.

    • This bill is absolutely ludicrous. I did not go to school to earn a BA is Elementary Education and a Masters in SPED to feel this stressed or work from 7 AM to 8 PM every school day. With the schedules of several parents to consider, it is negligible to not provide those required services. Also, there are a lot of students who do not have access to technology and some of those who do have access haven’t logged on to a Zoom class yet, despite the parents being told every day that classes are being held. To say it’s frustrating is an understatement. Wake up Senators. You are not putting children first and you are going to be hard pressed to find any teacher who will consider doing this. I, for one, will not do remote teaching again. This is killing me physically, mentally and emotionally.

      • Thank you for what you are doing.
        I for one appreciate all you teachers and your efferts,but I also agree with you on our children need class time and face to face learning.
        Our children whom have learning disabilities and many whom just dont understand technology are having a difficult time with Elearning they need classroom structure.
        Thank you for all you Teachers do that we as parents and Grandparents cant do.

        • This is ridiculous! Absolutely can not go forward with this. As a child of a educator for 36 years!!! This is absurd! Kids needs the classroom for notebooks of reasons.

    • Both parents in our home are essential employees, still working our regular 40+ hours a week. Our elementary kids are in daycare while we work and trying to do the amount of assignments “recommended” to be turned in “as suggested” for them both in the 3 hours or so we have in the evenings along with our regular routines is impossible. They require our complete attention to do their assignments online. We have internet but only have work computers, we can’t use them. Our 3rd grader was able to get a borrowed chromebook but not the 1st grader. The class meetings are during the day time, and although “not required” it bothers us and our kids that they can’t join with their teacher and classmates. We were taking time off work for the meetings at least for the 3rd grader but we can’t continue to do that. To do it for both would involve 4 days a week, right in the middle of the day. I’m thankful for the suggestions of help from our teachers, I appreciate the effort to teach our kids. But this is an issue for many parents and it’s wrong to put this additional pressure and mental anguish on our kids and parents who feel like we’re not doing our best when we’re just trying to survive during this and provide for our families.

  2. I have parents telling students they do NOT have to do any work- said we’re gonna Pass ‘em all anyways! Really???? Remote learning cannot across the board compete with in- class work! Tooooo many variables!

  3. How deeply insulting. Will the NCGA be providing free internet and devices to all students in NC? I have a million other questions just like this that hit on the systemic injustices they created and perpetuated.

    • Hear! Hear! This is what they should be spending their energy to guarantee: Equal access to internet and tech to work from home.

  4. This is absolutely insane. Not only do all children not have access to technology in the ways that they need, but there is no way to replicate via technology the kind of teaching and learning that happens face to face. Remote learning right now is the best that we can do; stop trying to hit educators with more unrealistic, unattainable benchmarks. Take a step back and realize that we do the best we can for kids every single day no matter where we are. Look at what we ARE doing instead of trying to highlight what we are not. The most important thing we are doing is what we do always: caring about kids.

    • I agree with you but you know what? In my 36 years in education I have never known a pat on the back or a thank you any higher up than my principal. I think that the GA thinks that we are all home sitting around watching TV. There really is a HUGE lack of trust! The micromanaging has to stop and the GA needs to treat us as professionals and trust us to do our jobs!

  5. Except for the small problem that I have students who are STILL waiting on school provided chromebooks to access the work…and we are 3 weeks into remote learning.

  6. As a professor and researcher of education, this expectation is concerning. Educators have not been sufficiently prepared by preservice programs or professional development efforts to teach in an entirely on-line setting (remote learning). The student growth that they are working toward is based on a Face-to-Face learning model not a virtual model. Before we can evaluate (with validity) we must know what high-quality, rigorous (and equitable) on-line teaching looks like and then we must build teachers’ capacity to do that. We have done neither.

  7. Teachers are doing all they can to remotely teach their students but obtaining the same results as if students were at school is unbelievable!
    Some parents are available to help their students, but others can’t because they are just trying to earn a living. I am very disappointed!

  8. When you sit high and look low, one forget the reality of most persons and families. What about families who have one computer and one hotspot and five school age children whom need help to complete assignments and virtual learning trying to complete it eithin 1.5 a day because that’s all the school system a lots per day of internet service. What about working parents who are working more hours and get home late. I could go on and on about what I have encountered as a teacher- teaching from home. We are in a pandemic and most US are living from day to day.

  9. If we are grading student work that has been completed during distance learning, we are grading privilege. We are grading socioeconomic status. We are grading the inequity teachers have always seen in public schools.

    • This! Thank you for addressing this issue specifically. Because conditions and access vary so widely statewide and districtwide, there is no equitable way to do this.

      In my district, teachers have been asked to document our daily schedule and student contacts (via phone, email, social media) on a spreadsheet to be submitted weekly. Our Google Classroom interactions are monitored by administration and District Level staff. We are doing the work!

      My district’s e-learning plan provides 3 access points for students- paper only, hybrid paper/e-learning, or e-learning only. So, in order to reach families where they are we are providing the support we can. I applaud teachers and families for confronting the challenges presented and rising to the occasion as we always do in education.

  10. So ridiculous. In MICHIGAN, there was a press release on Thursday afternoon & schools closed the next day. No time to prepare. This has been extremely difficult for families, students & teachers all. Teachers, parents & students are doing the best they possibly can. I am a teacher. I have been up many times until 3 am trying to figure out the technology. I have to redo every single assignment. It’s exhausting. This is CRISIS teaching. Students are still learning, but many are not going to learn at the same level as they would in face-to-face classes. Some are just not cut out for online learning. So glad that my governor has a clue! Love That Woman From Michigan! 💜

  11. Long Post Alert: SICK OF IT

    Let me start by saying that this statement reeks of privilege. How can anyone with any kind of sense at this phase of the pandemic construct such profane request when the Senate has lacked the ability to provide adequate stability for teachers to do their jobs. The constant changing of expectations is added pressure and stress for many North Carolina teachers. Lets talk about privilege, lets make sure that all students have access, lets make sure all teachers have access. The inconsiderate demands of politicians who lack knowledge to lead the educational system gets to create demands for teachers. Teaching is a profession, I forgot, the NC Senate said that they could take away our career status. I forgot my Master’s Degree and soon to be PhD disqualifies me in this state to critique the systemic injustices and abuse of power by these corrupt hegemonic structures that continuously perpetuate oppression. I have a demand from the senate that has created a demand for teachers like myself. Give us a raise, settle the bill. No one can seem to come to a conclusion but you add pressure. Teachers have the ability to do their jobs but we are living in a different time. The NC Senate needs consistent rhetoric across the board because constant changes in plans of execution says that you are unstable and unfit to lead. A double minded man is unstable in all of their ways and obviously our Senate is. I’m over it. Lets be realistic and lets keep the main thing the main thing. Trust your teachers to do their jobs like we hope to trust you that you can reasonably do yours.

    • Let’s make sure all teachers have access. I teach in N.C., live in S.C. we do NOT have high speed Internet where I live. I must drive to school and work in the parking lot as I cannot go into the school. I am crippled, yet I go and sit in the most uncomfortable way with a laptop in my car to do the work I must.

  12. Well stated, Myra Langley! The indiscrepencies among students’ homes, technology and parental involvement and support is overwhelming!
    This bill shows exactly how out of touch the Senate is here in our state. I can see this as one more step towards undercutting public educators and schools!

  13. OMG- today, April 28,2020, families that we were finally able to get in contact with received devices and hot spots. This is not because we haven’t tried to contact them since March 16. Between Social Workers, Guidance Counselors, School Nurses, Teachers, Administration, Food Service and Bus Drivers contact has been a top priority for a month. So these students are supposed to be at the same place as their peers who have had devices and wi-fi/hot spots. Who introduced this bill? Do they have any sense of humanity? It’s not always about “outcomes”- it’s about relationships and trust. Apparently the NC Senate has no trust in those in the Education sector.

  14. It would be hard to write a bill that would prove more how out of touch the legislators of NC are than this one. Not all children have equal access to instruction. Not all students have parents at home that can serve as their teachers. Children with special needs are receiving no services. The teachers are currently working harder than they ever have to deliver instruction in ways that they, not their students were prepared for. And now, you wish to penalize them with this asinine requirements. You should be ashamed!

  15. This is not just out of touch, it is cruel, deliberately cruel. It targets districts and teachers and puts the burden on their backs for everything once again at a time when they are already working harder and more hours than ever before. I am amazed there was ever agreement to waive EOG testing for this year; however, this bill seems to be a back door way to turn around and impose the type of proof of growth data associated with that very EOG testing that everyone supposedly agreed would not be fair and appropriate under these unprecedented circumstances. THIS BILL IS NOT REALLY ABOUT KIDS LEARNING. IT IS ABOUT TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO AGAIN TARGET AND BLAME PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND TARGET AND BLAME TEACHERS. What this pandemic shutdown should have shown is how much more our schools function as society’s safety net, far beyond the mission to educate all students, and the need for more resources and support from our legislators. Inequities between students within a single school attendance area, between attendance areas in districts and between districts have been painfully exposed. Accountability for growth should only be demanded if there is equity in student access to the technology and if teachers have also had equitable access to resources and training and had support for being able to teach remotely/digitally.(Huge number of teachers are parents who have been faced with trying to homeschool their own kids or care for preschoolers while teaching their students—pretty darn tough to do!) Even with all of the laptops being loaned out in our district, for example, a sizable number of students are still not participating in online instruction sessions ok and or tutoring nor are they doing assignments. There are a lot of factors as to why kids aren’t stepping up—not the fault of the teachers or the district SO WHY HOLD THE TEACHERS AND THE DISTRICTS LIABLE FOR ALL THOSE THINGS THEY CANNOT CONTROL OR HAVE ANY IMPACT ON ????

    • As an instrumental music instructor this seems to be an awkward attempt to keep a politicians oversight on whether teachers are actually working… Which we are. Even when online instruction of our classes will never meet the standard course of studies expectations due to distance learning. Yesterday I zoomed my classes from 8 in the morning to my zoomed school parents at 8:30pm. Instead of recognizing that our rural communities were already economically endangered and under fed and that our schools are the safety net to fight food insecurity, child care needs, and promote developmental growth in normal times our politicians instead seem to be woefully unaware how this simplist yet dangerous and unsubstantiated language could further strangle our educational system.

  16. This is absolutely outrageous. Teachers and school districts have no way to force at home participation in distance learning. Distance learning is putting a sharp focus on economic differences among our school families, disparities that cannot be pinned on teachers and districts, and at the same time cannot be ignored for our families if distance learning is the best option we can come up with in this period. Overwhelmed and under resourced parents are breaking under the pressure of being homeschooling teachers in addition to trying to hold their families together in every way in this intensely stressful time. This bill shows that lawmakers are horrifyingly out of touch with the reality of people in this state. We have to do better for our parents and teachers.

  17. I am teaching my heart out as a 5th grade teacher. 13 out of 17 students have access to the internet. However we are not allowed to take grades so there is no accountability that requires the students to complete their work. Of the 13 I have 11 students that are faithful to complete their work. The other 6 students either don’t have support at home, no internet access, no device, or their parents are essential workers. To hold those students to the same standard is unfair. To expect this not to affect future learning is unrealistic. I have taught kindergarten in the past and know those kindergarteners and first graders are missing essential learning that will affect their ability to read til he rest of their school years.
    North Carolina would do well to adjust standards to allow an all students to recover from the time lost at school. My co-workers are not having the same success rate I am with students work. Other classroom teachers only have 25-35% of their students completing their work. There is no way this can not affect future learning.

  18. I would love for half our representatives take 6 subjects online while the other half take the same subjects in a classroom setting with subjects they have absolutely little to no knowledge about such as The Art and Poetry of the Chinese Dynasties and Astrophysics. At the end, let’s see if the final exam shows who grasped the content better. Then let them do it again, this time with 1 subject they have to teach online and in a classroom setting and see which class has the better outcome. Only then will I accept the folly of what they propose.

  19. I did a little homework instead of getting on here and bellyaching. Everyone’s world has changed – and apparently this bill was agreed upon by Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. What is their other option? If we are saying kids can’t be educated remotely, do you realize we can’t be paid? I was told yesterday the Exclusive Emoluments Clause of the NC Constitution prevents the state from just giving money to someone without some benefit to the citizens of the state. So, they can’t pay people who are not working. That is why we had to find work locally for hourly workers to be paid. So many others have lost their jobs, I am thankful. We don’t like any part of this shutdown, but my family needs income, and health insurance.

    • I haven’t heard any educators say kids can’t be educated remotely. But I’ve heard overwhelming consensus that they can’t be educated as well remotely. That’s the whole point. BTW this bill hasn’t been agreed on by the House. It’s a Senate bill. The House has their own bill and it doesn’t include this language.

      • I live in a very rural Missouri town. We have worked our butts off to make sure our kids have learning opportunities. However, in our area, Wifi is difficult to find. There are very few major companies and they certainly do not reach the areas that are 20 miles from the town in the middle of hundreds of acres. This is not even obtainable in my area. Thank goodness Missouri hasn’t pulled something like this.

  20. When you have already sent out that the kids will only be graded on what they have done threw March 13th as their final grade; most parents and students has decided that it is easier to stop worrying about the work and start focusing on family time. Then others who have parents in the education field are still making their children do the work so that they are not behind next year. If you wanted to make this bill valid then you should have not sent out how you were going to do grades till the last minute so that the kids will still do their work either online or by mailed home packets for those who do not have technology at home

  21. My sons one day a week classes did not start until End of March and then mid April it went to 2 days a week, one day for one class and one day for another.
    He gets homework but not really and he is 9th grade in Southern School of Energy and Sustainability

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