Human Capital Roundtable member privately blasted NC teacher merit pay plan as “undercooked goulash”

A member of the shadowy group which drafted the controversial North Carolina teacher merit pay proposal blasted the plan in a private email to a colleague last year, calling out numerous flaws with the approach and deeming it “undercooked goulash.”

The document is noteworthy because the Human Capital Roundtable (HCR) has closely followed its marketing firm’s advice to “always speak about the plan in a positive manner” when members have commented on the controversial Pathways to Excellence scheme.

The refreshingly candid email was written in July 2021, a few months after PEPSC subcommittees took over work on the Human Capital Roundtable’s merit pay proposal.

At that point the HCR had shifted into marketing mode and begun assembling a “dream team” called the UpliftEd Coalition which was intended to drum up public support for making North Carolina the first state in the country to move all teachers to merit pay instead of compensating them based on years of experience.

In the email, the HCR member, who shall remain nameless, blasted the project as “undercooked goulash” and identified a variety of problems with the project, including:

➢ Unlikely that larger salaries and professional development will be funded

➢ Reduces rigor in teacher preparation

➢ Failed to adequately involve traditional classroom teachers and district personnel in design

This individual’s concerns mirror those which have since been voiced by many, including lots of classroom teachers and district personnel.

Despite the overwhelmingly negative feedback, the PEPSC Commission (kind of) voted 9-7 last month to advance a broad framework to the State Board of Education which would clear the way for the still-undercooked goulash to be officially considered.

The email was recently obtained via public records request, and you can read it below:


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