Rodney Ellis, first-year president of North Carolina Education Association (NCEA), was guest speaker at the January meeting of the Richmond County Chapter of the N.C. Retired School Personnel, the special section of NCEA for retired members.
Ellis, an eighth grade language arts teacher from Forsyth County, spoke of the need for retirees and active members to work together, and for all of them to encourage members of the Students of North Carolina Education Association chapters on college campuses. He noted that the last decade has seen nearly 50 percent reduction in statewide membership in NCEA.
Ellis also spoke of the need for NCEA to learn to work in a true bipartisan manner at the political level, striving to work with the newly-elected Republican House and Senate, and find common ground with all legislators and local government.
“Our focus should be on every candidate, in an election, who is best for public education in North Carolina, and not on the candidate’s political party,” Ellis said.
He said that North Carolina, with the 48th lowest teacher pay in the nation, is studying the Colorado model of teacher evaluation and tenure, and that changes could be expected as soon as next school year.