What’s Good for the Goose, Mr. Berger….

North Carolina Senator Phil Berger might just be one of the most hypocritical political leaders in a legislature that is sadly FULL of hypocrites.  His single-minded goal for the past year has been to introduce elements of competition to the teacher pay scale (see here and here and here).  His argument is a simple one:  Getting rid of crappy teachers — and rewarding “accomplished” teachers — has to be made easier.

What makes me chuckle is that as the President Pro Tem of the North Carolina Senate — a position that he has filled since January of 2011 — Berger played a veto-proof role in redrawing North Carolina’s Congressional Districts, which have been rated as some of the LEAST competitive and MOST gerrymandered in the entire nation (see here and here).

Want to know JUST how skewed Berger’s redrawn districts are?  

Then consider that Sam Wang — the founder of the Princeton Election Consortium — ran North Carolina’s congressional delegation through millions of statistical combinations and our current breakdown of four Democrats and nine Republicans occurred in less than ONE PERCENT of the simulations.  “If districts were drawn fairly,” Wang writes, “this lopsided discrepancy would hardly ever occur.”

You see the hypocrisy here, don’t you?

The very guy pounding the teaching profession for its failure to embrace competition  literally led our state’s efforts to make elections LESS competitive.

Berger once said, “The vast majority of our teachers are dedicated professionals who…do a good job, but there are some that maybe ought not be teaching. Presently we have a system that does not, in my view, provide an effective tool for local administrators to remove those bad teachers.”

Let’s rewrite that quote:  “The vast majority of our LEGISLATORS are dedicated professionals who do a good job, but there are some that maybe ought not to be MAKING LAWS.  Presently we have a GERRYMANDERED system that does not, in my view, provide an effective tool for VOTERS to remove those BAD LEGISLATORS.

When legislators like Berger are ready to invest as much time and energy into reintroducing competition into North Carolina’s elections — something that doesn’t look likely given the ridiculous districts that they are directly responsible for, I’ll be ready to embrace the competition that they are ever-so ready to force on education.

Until then, it’s REALLY hard to take ’em seriously.



Related Radical Reads:

Three Reasons North Carolina’s Plans for Paying Teachers are a REALLY Bad Idea

Why I NEVER Recommend Teaching as a Profession

Need MORE Proof that Incentive Programs are Dangerous

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  • Michael Mitchell

    Right on point Bill. The

    Right on point Bill. The hypocrisy of the ed deformers is really unbelievable. 

  • Mary Baker

    Well said!

    Well said!

  • DeidraGammill

    What’s the difference?
    I’ve decided. I’m going to reform the dental profession. See, I had a bad experience at the dentist once, and I’m convinced that there are dentists out there who should not be practicing. Goodness knows they shouldn’t be allowed to examine mine or anyone else’s children!!

    I’m not a dentist. I didn’t graduate from dental school, nor have I ever looked in someone’s mouth (other than my children), given a shot of Novocaine, used a drill, or taken an x-ray. I’m not licensed or board-certified. But that doesn’t matter. I’ve known dentists and I’ve been to dentists. More importantly, I’m passionate about making sure no one else has to suffer pain at the hands of a dentist who possibly should not be in practice. I’m going to harness that passion, talk to the news media, visit my local legislators, and put a stop to the pain.I’m going to start a grass-roots movement to protect our nation from dentists who have no business practicing dentistry. Will you join me?

    When it comes to dental health, my opinion is just as important as the opinions of practicing dentists, of universities that offer degrees in dentistry, and certainly as important as the licensing entity and board-certifying entity that provide the certificates my dentist hangs on his wall. In fact, since I’m the one in the chair AND I’m the one paying for his services, my opinion is actually MORE important than the aforementioned entities. I pay his salary; he is accountable to me, isn’t he?

    What do you mean, I sound like a total idiot? I listen to people in my neighborhood and in the government talk about diploma-carrying, licensed, board-certified teachers this way all the time. What’s the difference? Am I missing something?