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The Friday Report

September 8, 2017

Leading News

As Public Schools Do Without, Public Dollars Rise for Private Schools

By Keith Poston

As students walked into their elementary classrooms this past week brimming with anticipation at the start of a new year, here’s what they found: many classrooms for art, music and special education are gone. At schools like Sycamore Creek Elementary in Raleigh, teachers educate students with special needs in tiny storage closets while art, music and specials teachers push their supplies in carts from room to room, teaching engineering concepts, for example, to two classes lumped together at once – all due to an unfunded mandate from the General Assembly to lower K-3 class sizes.

It’s just another new school year and another round of disinvestment in our state’s public schools that are struggling with drastically lower budgets for supplies, textbooks, teacher assistants, facilities and much more.

There were some bright spots in the last state budget. Drawing perhaps the most attention was another teacher pay increase, which moved the state up from an astounding low of 47th in the nation in 2013 to 35th last year. The General Assembly deserves credit for it.

However, I’d suggest that the most significant aspect of the budget receiving the least attention is the unmistakable shift from an emphasis on public education to private, for-profit education.

Consider this. State lawmakers have increased funding for education initiatives aimed at shifting public dollars into private – and, in many cases, unaccountable and/or for-profit – educational settings by 146 percent over the past five years. Now compare the diversion of public dollars to private, unaccountable educational options with this: teacher salaries aside, the General Assembly’s recently enacted 2017-2018 budget increases spending on public school resources by only 1.82 percent since 2008-2009.

We’ve gone from 3 percent of our public school budget for education initiatives that allow companies to profit from public coffers to nearly 7 percent today. Here’s how:

Private school vouchers. Lawmakers continue pushing the state’s private school voucher program down a path of exponential expansion, taking it from an initial annual investment of $10 million to $145 million by 2026, spending nearly one billion taxpayer dollars over that time. They’re doing this despite the fact that these funds go to private schools that aren’t required to tell the public whether they are doing a good job of educating students and to what degree they profit off of the taxpayer at the expense of providing high-quality educational experiences. And coming right behind vouchers are new Education Savings Accounts, similarly unaccountable and likely to drain public coffers at an even faster rate.

For-profit charter school management. Since the General Assembly lifted the charter school cap in 2011, the number of charters has nearly doubled. When charter schools are managed by private, for-profit corporations, taxpayer funds intended for instruction are used to pay hefty management fees that can be as much as 10 percent of the state dollars allocated for the school. Plus there are lucrative facility leasing arrangements, often with landlords intertwined with charter operators.

NC Innovative School Districts. This concept, where charter operators take over local schools, has largely been a total failure in neighboring Tennessee. Lawmakers say it will go differently here in North Carolina, where low-performing schools will, in theory, be catapulted toward high performance by a charter school operator, likely one that operates for profit.

Online virtual charter schools. We’re in the middle of a four-year pilot program through which we’ve diverted nearly $35 million in taxpayer dollars to two for-profit companies that delivered classes online. Over that time these schools have seen staggering student withdrawal rates as high as 31 percent – only to have the legislature tweak the law to allow them to hide those numbers – and their students’ academic gains have been poor, with each school failing to meet growth and earning overall “D” school performance grades.

The trend evokes a clear set of priorities that should concern all taxpayers. Why? Because North Carolina is moving away from adequately funding our system of public schools and toward private operators who are profiteering off public schools instead, funneling taxpayer dollars to programs that are shielded from accountability and transparency measures that taxpayer-funded programs should require.

Looking to the years ahead, even more public dollars stand to be diverted to private, unaccountable, for-profit education. It’s clear we are turning away from our state’s mission – and constitutional obligation – of providing high quality public schools accessible to all. Without a course correction, our children – and our state’s economy – will suffer.

Reprinted from:

Poston, K. “As public schools do without, public dollars rise for private schools.” The News & Observer. 9/7/17.

New Principal Pay Plan Could Result in Steep Salary Reductions for Veteran Principals

By Lindsay Wagner

State Board of Education members expressed shock this week upon learning just how seriously the General Assembly’s newly enacted principal pay plan could hurt school leaders, particularly those who have devoted decades of service to the state’s public schools.

“I don’t think it was anybody’s intent for principals to lose pay as a result of [this plan],” said the State Board of Education’s vice chairman A.L. “Buddy” Collins. “I have three different principals who are very veteran principals with over 30 years who believe they are being adversely affected to the point that they may need to retire—which is certainly not what we want.”

North Carolina’s principals, whose salaries ranked 50th in the nation in 2016, watched this year as lawmakers changed how they are compensated, moving away from a salary schedule based on years of service and earned credentials to a so-called performance-based plan that relies on students’ growth measures (calculated off standardized test scores) and the size of the school to calculate pay.

But the plan’s design has produced scenarios that result in some veteran principals conceivably earning as much as 30 percent less than what they earned on the old pay schedules—prompting some to consider early retirements.

“I just want to point out this one principal who wrote to me,” said vice chair Collins. “He’s got 35 years of experience, 58 years old…and he’s expecting to have his salary reduced by 30 percent next year. And I’ve got two others with greater [amounts] of experience with a similar result.”

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Under North Carolina’s new principal pay plan, this school leader could see a reduction in her annual salary by nearly $20,000 next year. (Credit: Department of Public Instruction, Financial and Business Services Division)

For the current 2017-18 school year, principals who find themselves earning less than what they would have under the old plan can rely on a “hold harmless” provision lawmakers enacted for this year only that prevents them from a reduction in salary.

But next year that provision expires, and unless the General Assembly takes action to extend this hold harmless provision, either local school districts must come up with extra funds to pay those veteran principals, watch them prematurely retire—or watch those school leaders’ salaries take a nosedive.

Early to mid career principals generally do well with the new plan—at least to start. But in this week’s presentation to the State Board, the Department of Public Instruction’s school business director, Alexis Schauss, outlined a few scenarios in which high performing early career principals can anticipate a very volatile pay schedule going forward, where fluctuations in salary could vary year to year by as much as $10,000 or more, depending on their students’ test scores.

The new plan appears to create a disincentive for school leaders to take on the challenge of heading up low-performing schools, said Amanda Bell, a Rockingham school board member and advisor to the State Board.

“It is going to be almost impossible for us to find principals who would even want to take on that challenge,” said Bell. “Because eventually they’re gonna lose salary, based on this model.”

Board member Tricia Willoughby repeatedly questioned who designed the principal pay plan.

“When I get the phone call from our local superintendent about this, or from some of my friends who are principals, I want to know specifically who designed this [principal pay plan] and who I can tell them to call,” said Willoughby. “I want to know who designed it, and we may not get that answer today, but I’d like an email in the next day or two [explaining] to whom I refer these questions.”

Ultimately, said vice chair Collins, it’s up to the State Board of Education to explain to the General Assembly that its new principal pay plan includes unintended consequences that include steep losses in pay for veteran principals and a complex bonus system that may disincentivize talented principals from taking up the helm at struggling schools that need them. But Board members would need expert help from DPI’s financial staff in order to convey these issues to the General Assembly.

“I’m a little concerned that the Superintendent indicated that perhaps our financial staff didn’t have the time to do this,” said Collins, expressing his fear that State Superintendent for Public Instruction Mark Johnson, with whom the State Board has had a contentious relationship since his election last year, did not see this issue as a priority.

“If this needs to be a motion, I can make a motion,” said Collins, pressing Johnson on whether or not he intends to marshall resources toward this issue.

“I do believe, as head of the agency, you should make a motion if that is what you want to direct staff to do,” responded Superintendent Johnson to Collins’ remark.

“I move that we direct the Department of Public Instruction and our State Superintendent to provide the necessary information to the General Assembly to correct any unintended consequences of legislation regarding principal pay,” said Collins, which quickly garnered approval by the Board.

Board member Eric Davis said he was grateful to the General Assembly for attempting to fix the principal pay schedule because it was not where it needed to be.

But, Davis added, “these issues are complex and they’re not easy to solve,” he said. “The General Assembly really needs a partner called DPI, who understands the implications of various legislative proposals and can prepare expert advice on the outcomes that might result.”

In This Issue

Public School Forum Programs

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Nominate a Leader for Children in Your Community

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Do you know a leader in your community supporting our schools and making a difference in the lives of children both in and out of school? The Public School Forum is seeking nominations for individuals to be highlighted on our weekly statewide TV show, Education Matters.  Click here for an example of a recent spotlight.

Nominees could be principals, superintendents, teachers, teacher assistants, guidance counselors, parents, students, business leaders, community volunteers, afterschool providers, and the list goes on!

To nominate someone, please fill out the form here.

State News

Which Low-Performing NC Schools Could Be Taken Over By A Charter School Operator?

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Eastway Elementary School in Durham could be taken over by a charter school operator.

Photo Credit: Scott Lewis, The News & Observer.

North Carolina is moving closer to turning over two low-performing elementary schools to a charter school operator in 2018 after identifying Thursday which 48 schools are under consideration for the program.

The schools eligible for state takeover are in 21 districts from across the state and locally include five schools in Durham and one in Johnston County. Eric Hall, superintendent of the new Innovative School District, will spend the next month determining which ones will be recommended to be part of the controversial new effort to boost achievement at low-performing schools.

By December, the State Board of Education will vote on which two schools to take over and which companies will be in charge of operating them in place of their school districts. All the schools under consideration are among the lowest 5 percent of schools based on school performance.

The Innovative School District, originally called the Achievement School District, is a program created by state lawmakers to eventually turn over five elementary schools to a charter school operator. The goal is to have two schools chosen for the 2018-19 school year with three more schools joining in 2019.

The new district has come under fire from critics, including many Democratic state lawmakers and the N.C. Association of Educators, who have questioned turning public schools over to education management organizations and charter management organizations.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

The list of 48 schools under consideration for the Innovative School District can be found at 

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/ncisd/public-release/

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Which low-performing NC schools could be taken over by a charter school operator?” The News & Observer. 9/7/17.

School Grades Improve, Graduation Rate at Record High, but Challenges Remain as State Releases Accountability Data

In the fourth year of the state’s A-F grading system, the percentage of A or B schools (35.8 percent) continued to climb and the percentage of D and F schools (22.6 percent) fell compared to the 2015-16 school year, according to school accountability data released Thursday to the State Board of Education. In addition, the state’s four-year high school cohort graduation rate continued its upward trend, moving to 86.5 percent from the 85.9 percent figure from the 2015-16 school year. North Carolina’s public schools have set a record graduation rate for a 12th consecutive year.

School Performance Grades are based 80 percent on the school’s achievement score and 20 percent on students’ academic growth. The only exception to this is if a school meets expected growth but inclusion of the school’s growth reduces the school’s performance score and grade.

A majority (56.5 percent) of the state’s high schools earned a grade of B or better. On the growth metric, elementary schools were more likely to meet growth than middle or high schools; 80.3 percent of elementary schools met or exceeded growth. Elementary and middle schools’ performance grades are based on test scores alone, while high school grades are based on test results, graduation rates, and indicators of students’ readiness for college or a career.

Growth data for the 2,531 schools rated showed little change from the previous year, with the percentage of schools meeting or exceeding growth targets changing from 73.6 percent in 2015-16 to 73.7 percent in 2016-17. The proportion of schools not meeting growth dropped slightly as well. Growth is measured by a statistical model that compares each student’s predicted test score, based on past performance, against his or her actual result.

School grades continue to correlate strongly with the poverty levels of schools. Among all schools in 2016-17 that received a D or F, 92.9 percent had enrollments with at least 50 percent of students from low-income families. Conversely, among schools that received at least a B, 72.5 percent had enrollments with less than 50 percent of students from low-income families.

Low-performing schools are identified annually as those that receive a School Performance Grade of D or F and do not exceed growth. Low-performing districts are districts where the majority of schools received a School Performance Grade and have been identified as low performing. For 2016-17, 505 schools were identified as low performing and 11 districts were low performing, both up from 489 schools and 10 districts in 2015-16. The number of recurring low-performing schools increased from 415 in 2015-16 to 468 in 2016-17.

​To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

North Carolina Department of Instruction. “School Grades Improve, Graduation Rate at Record High,  but Challenges Remain as State Releases Accountability Data.” 9/7/17.

New NC Education Plan Remains Focused on Standardized Tests

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This sign sits on the desk of third grade teacher Sara Ancira on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Naperville, Illinois. 

Photo Credit: Chuck Berman, The News & Observer.

Despite pledges to try to cut back on high-stakes standardized testing, North Carolina schools will continue to largely be evaluated based on how well their students perform on state exams.

State education leaders have talked for nearly two years about taking advantage of the flexibility in the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to reduce the focus placed on using tests to hold schools accountable for how they educate their students. Critics of the new plan that the State Board of Education voted on Thursday say it wastes the opportunity North Carolina had to reduce the emphasis on testing.

“What we’re getting is more of the same, the same thing we’ve been doing for decades,” Bobbie Cavnar, the outgoing teacher adviser to the board, said last month. “We’re doubling down on test scores. This is our chance to be innovative.”

People are pointing fingers as to why things aren’t changing.

Bill Cobey, chairman of the state board, said their hands were tied by state lawmakers, who overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto to pass into law a bill that requires what the state should include in the ESSA plan. State lawmakers wanted to keep their controversial A-F school grading system, so they modified it to make it comply with Every Student Succeeds.

The A-F grading system gives schools a letter grade largely based on how many of their students pass state exams. Supporters say the grades make it easier for families to see how schools are faring, while critics say it stigmatizes high-poverty schools that are more likely to have lower test scores.

“The accountability has been written into statute, so we’re going to have to continue with testing,” Cobey said. “That doesn’t mean we can’t modify it over time. We’ve been trying to make modifications over the last several years.”

State Superintendent Mark Johnson had campaigned on a “too much testing” theme in 2016, saying the state could take advantage of the flexibility given in ESSA to scale things back. In an interview Friday, Johnson downplayed the significance of the new plan, saying it’s a living document that can be changed over time.

“A lot of the ESSA plan is just a way to report data to the federal government,” Johnson said in an interview Friday. “The intended audience is the bureaucrats at the Department of Education.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “New NC education plan remains focused on standardized tests.” The News & Observer. 9/5/17.

Some Wake Elementary Students May Have to Change Schools to Reduce Class Sizes

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Engineering specialist Stephanie Wright works with second graders Cohen Hoffman, left, and Dylan Kampfer at Sycamore Creek Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C., on Aug. 24, 2017. Ms. Wright used to have a classroom but because of a new state class size requirement, she now visits classrooms with a cart. Photo Credit: Ethan Hyman, The News & Observer.

More than two dozen Wake County elementary schools may need to reassign students, evict transfer students and prevent newly arriving families from attending to meet next year’s new state-mandated class-size limits.

Principals at the majority of Wake’s 113 elementary schools say they can meet state rules for smaller class sizes in kindergarten through third grade by taking steps next year such as converting art and music spaces to regular classrooms and increasing class sizes for older children. But principals at 27 elementary schools say they just don’t have the space to make it work and need outside help that could include removing some of their students.

“The reason that we’re doing this is the budget passed by the legislature removes all of the flexibility that we had in elementary school to do it differently,” school board member Bill Fletcher said at Tuesday’s meeting.

State lawmakers lowered school district class sizes for K-3 in 2018 to an average of roughly 17 students, compared with 21 children in the 2016-17 school year. Wake will have to create space for the equivalent of 559 classrooms and 9,500 students.

To prepare for the smaller class sizes, Wake surveyed principals on what they’re planning to do in 2018. Options that principals anticipate using include:

  • Convert some classrooms used for limited English proficient and academically gifted students – 70 schools;
  • Combine students from two grade levels in the same class – 64 schools;
  • Convert both art and music classrooms and have those teachers carry their supplies on a cart – 48 schools;
  • Have fourth- and fifth-grade classes of more than 29 students – 43 schools.

“We’re focusing on teaching and learning and what’s best for kids and making it work,” said Kristen Faircloth, principal of Sycamore Creek Elementary School in Raleigh and a member of the district’s class size committee.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

For more news across the state on the class size issue, please see the following articles:
Elementary classes doubling into one room to meet new class size requirements
Wayne County Public Schools calls out General Assembly

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Some Wake elementary students may have to change schools to reduce class sizes.” The News & Observer. 9/5/17.

New UNC System Board Proposes Surprise, Radical Changes

In a stunning and contentious session, a faction of the UNC Board of Governors moved Thursday for substantive changes in the university system, including lowering tuition and fees at the campuses, reorganizing the staff of UNC President Margaret Spellings and moving the UNC system headquarters out of Chapel Hill.

The proposals came rapid fire in a flurry of resolutions and caught several board members off guard. Some said they hadn’t heard anything about the proposals before they walked into the room.

Billed as a session to heal divisions, the meeting instead illustrated clear factions and a new reality for the UNC system’s 28-member governing board, which was downsized this year by the legislature. A majority of the smaller board, with many new members, apparently plans to take an activist role in overseeing the 17-campus system that educates 230,000 students.

The meeting followed a scathing letter to Spellings and Board Chairman Lou Bissette that was reported by The News & Observer on Thursday. The Aug. 22 letter, signed by 15 members, took Spellings and Bissette to task for a lack of communication to the members before they sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper about security and plans for Silent Sam, the Confederate statue on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Some board members said they had never seen and wouldn’t have signed the letter written by new member Tom Fetzer.

The two-hour discussion revealed a chasm among members on the overwhelmingly Republican board. Some said the proposals came out of left field and could undermine Spellings’ authority as president. Most of the members who hired Spellings, the former education secretary of Republican George W. Bush, are no longer on the board. Several were not re-elected by the Republican majority legislature earlier this year.

On Thursday, four resolutions passed, including a unanimous vote that commits the board to “endeavor to reduce tuition and fees at all our member institutions while preserving and enhancing the quality of education provided therein.” Though some had concerns that a forced tuition reduction could hurt academics, members agreed that affordability is a top priority.

Other resolutions created special committees to: review the size and scope of the UNC General Administration staff; reorganize the board’s meetings; and study the feasibility of moving the system staff to Raleigh or Research Triangle Park – to combat perceived bias of the system toward the flagship campus in Chapel Hill. Those proposals had split votes.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Stancill, J. “New UNC system board proposes surprise, radical changes.” The News & Observer. 9/7/17.

Forum News

Education Matters Encore Episode

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Education Matters will be pre-empted this weekend on WRAL. In addition to the established airings on WRAL and the North Carolina Channel, Education Matters will begin airing on FOX 50 this Sunday morning at 8:00 AM. A new episode focused on the class size debate will return on September 16.​
Encore episodes of Education Matters will air at the following times. The North Carolina Channel and FOX 50 will feature our most recent show featuring a one-on-one conversation with UNC President Margaret Spellings.
  • Saturday 7:30 PM on WRAL-TV
  • Sunday 8:00 AM on FOX 50
  • Sunday 6:30 AM and Wednesday 9:30 AM on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel (TWC/Spectrum Channel 1276) or check local listing and other providers here.

To watch online, visit https://www.ncforum.org/

National News

U.S. Senate Panel Rejects Trump Teacher-Funding Cut, School Choice Proposals

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Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite, AP.

Lawmakers overseeing education spending dealt a big blow to the Trump administration’s K-12 budget asks in a spending bill approved by a bipartisan vote Wednesday.

The legislation would leave intact the main federal programs aimed at teacher training and after-school funding. And it would seek to bar the U.S. Department of Education from moving forward with two school choice initiatives it pitched in its request for fiscal year 2018, which begins October 1.

The bill, which was approved unanimously by the Senate budget subcommittee that oversees health, education and labor spending, would provide $2.05 billion for Title II, the federal program that’s used to hire and train educators. Both the House spending committee and the Trump administration have proposed scrapping the program, so it remains in jeopardy despite the Senate’s support.

The measure rejects another high-profile cut pitched by the Trump administration, $1.2 billion for the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, which helps school districts cover the cost of afterschool and summer-learning programs. The House also refused to sign off on the Trump administration’s pitch to eliminate the program. Instead, it voted to provide $1 billion for 21st Century, meaning the program would almost certainly see some funding in the 2018-19 school year.

The panel also dealt a blow to the administration’s school choice ambitions. And the bill seeks to stop the Education Department from moving forward on a pair of school choice programs it proposed in its budget request.

The administration had sought a $1 billion boost for the nearly $15 billion Title I program, the largest federal K-12 program, which is aimed at covering the cost of educating disadvantaged students. The Trump administration had wanted to use that increase to help districts create or expand public school choice programs. And it had hoped to use the Education Innovation and Research program to nurture private school choice.

The Senate bill essentially rejects both of those pitches. It instead would provide a $25 million boost for Title I, and $95 million for the research program, a slight cut from the current level of $100 million.

But importantly, the legislation wouldn’t give U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team the authority to use that money for school choice. In fact, the committee said in language accompanying the bill that the secretary of Education Betsy DeVos must get permission from Congress to create a school choice initiative with the funds.

A House appropriations panel also rejected the school choice initiatives in a budget bill approved earlier this year. Taken together, that’s a major setback for DeVos’ number one priority.

But the Senate bill does include a $25 million increase for charter school grants, which would bring them to $367 million. That’s not as high as the $167 million boost the administration asked for, or even as high as the $28 million the House is seeking.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Klein, A. “Senate Panel Rejects Trump Teacher-Funding Cut, School Choice Proposals.” Education Week. 9/6/17.

 Some of the Nation’s Largest School Systems Shutting Down for Hurricane Irma

Three massive school systems in Florida announced Tuesday they plan to close Thursday and Friday to allow people to prepare for Hurricane Irma.

School officials in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties said they would cancel classes as the storm barreled towards the United States. The three school districts together educate more than 820,000 students.

School officials made the decision to close as their counterparts in Texas continue to assess damage from Hurricane Harvey, which caused the worst natural disaster in the state’s recorded history. The Houston Independent School District, with 218,000 students, announced it would open Sept. 11, two weeks behind schedule.

The closures mean four of the nation’s 10 largest school districts will be shuttered because of hurricanes. The district rankings come from 2014 enrollment data reported by the National Center for Education Statistics.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Balingit, M. “Some of the nation’s largest school systems shutting down for Hurricane Irma.” The Washington Post. 9/5/17.

Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Questions

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Kayla Delzer, a teacher in Mapleton, N.D., has created a flexible classroom where her third graders sit where they please and learn to post on Instagram. Tech companies are courting teachers like Ms. Delzer to help improve and promote their education tools. Photo Credit: Dan Koeck, The New York Times.

One of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States teaches third grade here at Mapleton Elementary, a public school with about 100 students in the sparsely populated plains west of Fargo.

Her name is Kayla Delzer. Her third graders adore her. She teaches them to post daily on the class Twitter and Instagram accounts she set up. She remodeled her classroom based on Starbucks. And she uses apps like Seesaw, a student portfolio platform where teachers and parents may view and comment on a child’s schoolwork.

Ms. Delzer also has a second calling. She is a schoolteacher with her own brand, Top Dog Teaching. Education start-ups like Seesaw give her their premium classroom technology as well as swag like T-shirts or freebies for the teachers who attend her workshops. She agrees to use their products in her classroom and give the companies feedback. And she recommends their wares to thousands of teachers who follow her on social media.

“I will embed it in my brand every day,” Ms. Delzer said of Seesaw. “I get to make it better.” Ms. Delzer is a member of a growing tribe of teacher influencers, many of whom promote classroom technology. They attract notice through their blogs, social media accounts and conference talks. And they are cultivated not only by start-ups like Seesaw, but by giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft, to influence which tools are used to teach American schoolchildren.

Their ranks are growing as public schools increasingly adopt all manner of laptops, tablets, math teaching sites, quiz apps and parent-teacher messaging apps. The corporate courtship of these teachers brings with it profound new conflict-of-interest issues for the nation’s public schools.

Moreover, there is little rigorous research showing whether or not the new technologies significantly improve student outcomes.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from: 

Singer, N. “Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Issues.” The New York Times. 9/2/17.

Forum Opportunities

Beginning Teacher Leadership Network Accepting Applications

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The Public School Forum’s Beginning Teacher Leadership Network (BTLN) is currently recruiting teachers in Cabarrus, Carteret, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Union, and Wake counties for the 2017-18 cohort. Applications are open through September 8, 2017.

North Carolina traditional and charter public school teachers in their first three years of experience are eligible to participate. Participants may remain in the network for three years, regardless of when they enter the program. The core program will consist of monthly sessions, one during each traditional teaching month, during after-school hours. Forums will consist of education policy briefings, teacher collaboration sessions, and interactive professional development.

By bringing together educational practice and policy, BTLN hopes to produce and retain teachers that are “empowered to lead and informed to change” in a new era of teaching. BTLN provides unparalleled access to information and key decision makers in education, while simultaneously giving beginning teachers high-level professional development.

To apply for the 2017-18 Beginning Teacher Leadership Network, click here.

Opportunities

RACE: Are We So Different?

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science’s RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit continues at the museum through October 22, 2017.

This exhibition looks at race through the lens of science, history, and personal experiences to promote a better understanding of human variation. Interactive exhibit components, historical artifacts, iconic objects, compelling photographs, multimedia presentations, and attractive graphic displays offer visitors to RACE an eye-opening look at its important subject matter. RACE tells the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view offering an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States.

Admission is free but tickets are required. For tickets, as well as additional details on the exhibit, visit http://naturalsciences.org/exhibits/featured-exhibitions/race.

In addition to the exhibit, a series of Speaker Events which includes Diversity in STEM topics were jointly planned in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science and sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. All of the exhibit events were free of charge and the Speaker and Conversation series were streamed live and recorded for continued access and playback. You may access the series of recordings at the following link:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7dONoqMaCHZ1hXtBTm1wLxEGwNA2W4ju.

Women in Educational Leadership Symposium

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Registration is open for the second annual Women in Educational Leadership Symposium (WIELS). The purpose of WIELS is to bring women together to share, learn, and grow in leadership. Women who are interested in learning from others and those who are willing to share skills and expertise are urged to attend. This conference aims to provide personalized learning and mentoring opportunities for those who aspire to become, or currently serve as educational leaders.

The symposium will be held September 22 through September 24, 2017 at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. This year’s conference theme is Advancing the Leader Within: Building Capacity.

Registration for the conference is online at https://wiels.appstate.edu/about-us/registration. Additional information can be found at https://wiels.appstate.edu/.

Call for Summer 2018 NCSSM Accelerator Course Proposals

The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) is looking for course proposals for their 2018 Summer Accelerator programs. NCSSM’s Accelerator programs, for rising 7th-12th graders, offer talented students innovative courses and opportunities to explore complex subjects, collaborate with peers from around the globe, and gain hands-on experience to kickstart college readiness and career interests. 

Courses will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • alignment to NCSSM mission and learning competencies
  • uniqueness
  • market demand
  • cost-effectiveness (past courses costs minus salaries have ranged from $0 to $2300)
  • alignment to other NCSSM Online concentrations *Does not apply to Early Accelerator proposals.
  • scheduling and availability

NCSSM is open to courses from all disciplines, however the following areas will receive priority consideration from the evaluation committee: biomedical, engineering, fabrication, and coding.

Course proposals will be due by 5pm on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017Additional information regarding course structure, locations, qualifications, schedules, and more can be found online here.

The submission form for proposals can be found online here.

The Friday Report is published weekly by the Public School Forum of NC and is distributed to Forum members, policymakers, donors, media, and Forum subscribers. Archived editions can be found at www.ncforum.org.

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