For several weeks, Facebook has been buzzing with speculation of a North Carolina public educator walkout to take place next Monday. Teachers and education activists are hoping to shine attention on recent legislative measures including what they say is decreased spending per pupil, a new pay-for-performance system, increased standardized testing and insufficient educator compensation. However, locally, the demonstration will likely take the form of a teacher “walk in,” during which teachers will all wear red and walk into school together.
North Carolina teachers do not have the right to formally strike, according to Lynn Shoemaker, founder and director of the Wilmington-based Tarheel Alliance of Classroom Teachers. Noting that it is not in a teacher’s nature to abandon his or her students, Shoemaker adds that an in-school demonstration gives teachers an opportunity to gain support from parents and civic leaders.
"I understand that some of the schools have added onto that concept by saying it’s also a day for legislators and local leaders and parents to walk into school with them, to come and see what teachers and doing and see what students are learning."
The North Carolina Association of Educators, a Raleigh-based advocacy group, has encouraged the walk-in. A spokesperson says it could help inform officials’ decisions on the future of public education.