John Williams III of Durham, N.C., is an example of the state’s success in taking its best students and turning them into public school teachers.
It is a pretty good bet that any program that treats teachers like star athletes is not going to last. A few months ago, as part of hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to phase out the fellows program — which has a $13 million annual budget — over the next few years. (There have been reports that the House speaker, Thom Tillis, a Republican, is reconsidering; his office did not respond to several calls and e-mails.)
It may not matter. Budget cuts have been so severe, pretty soon no one is going to be able to afford to teach. Anthony White, 26, another fellow, has been a math teacher for five years at Southern High Schoolhere. Like Mr. Williams, he had his choice of jobs but chose a school that serves a poor black neighborhood, a place where he felt that his work would stand for more. “Coming up,” Mr. White said, “I never had a black male math teacher.”
When Mr. White started, he was making $35,000, and five years later he is still making $35,000.