Expanding Educational Opportunity in North Carolina

The Public School Forum’s Study Group XVI

2016

Action Plan and Recommendations

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“Our efforts to date to confront the vast gaps in educational outcomes separating different groups of young Americans have yet to include a serious and sustained commitment to ending the appalling inequities—in school funding, in early education, in teacher quality, in resources for teachers and students and in governance—that contribute so mightily to these gaps. For all of our initiatives and good intentions, our nation has been unable to ensure that each and every American child can attend a quality public school. Instead, both political parties, and all levels of government, have advanced reforms that, while well intentioned, have not risen to the level necessary to address the depth and breadth of the daunting challenges of equity and excellence facing American public education at the beginning of the 21st century.” 

– U.S. Department of Education (2013). For Each and Every Child—A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence. Washington, DC: Author.

Letter from the Study Group XVI Co-Chairs

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Too many students suffer traumatic events in childhood.  For the lucky ones, family and social supports help them to successfully navigate those difficult life struggles.  But for many—particularly those who suffer the plight of poverty—the supports may not be enough.  For these children, schools have critical roles to play, to recognize the potential of each student while addressing his or her unique, individual challenges.

The Public School Forum has a long history of tackling the thorniest problems facing public education in North Carolina.  The current work embodied in Study Group XVI asks the toughest question of the past 50 years: “What would it take to give every child in North Carolina the opportunity to receive a sound basic education”?  Part of that question was spoken to in earlier study group reports, as well as by the Leandro court decision.  But we know that the challenges of poverty, racial isolation, and trauma are huge hurdles that require broad, systemic action. The meetings of our three study group committees, and their resulting Action Plans and Recommendations, contained in this publication, aim to pave the way for just such a set of profound commitments.

This document brings renewed attention to issues that must be attacked with deep passion and unrelenting resolve.  During the past half-century, North Carolinians have repeatedly demonstrated our collective strengths in science, medicine, business, agriculture, and higher education. We can certainly create public schools that prepare all students to succeed.

We have witnessed academic success in challenged schools in our State.  How many examples must we see before we are convinced that dramatic improvement is possible in every school? When will we be ready to make the investments required to effect that change on a broad scale?  It will be an ambitious undertaking, but Study Group XVI’s premise has been to ask both “what may happen if we do what is needed?” and “what will surely happen if we do not?” Answering these questions has shed light on the stakes and given committee members an incredible sense of urgency.

North Carolina’s children are truly our future, individually and collectively.  Let’s focus our resources and attention on creating learning spaces that will enrich their learning and enhance all our citizens’ lives.

Dudley Flood and Michael Priddy

Executive Summary

In October 2015, the Public School Forum embarked on its sixteenth biennial “study group,” continuing the organization’s practice of bringing together leaders from education, business, government, and academia to distill collective knowledge on major, timely education issues. Together, participants in Forum study groups have marshaled strong thought leadership and discussion of promising and innovative practices in service of the development of practical, implementable solutions to profound educational challenges. This year has been no exception.

Ten years ago, Study Group XI offered a response to the state supreme court’s seminal ruling in Leandro v. State, which defined the state’s constitutional obligation to provide every North Carolina child with an “opportunity to obtain a sound basic education.” The resulting publication, Responding to the Leandro Ruling, grounded the lofty constitutional guarantee in the realities of the day. The state was in the midst of a struggle to attract and retain the best and the brightest to teaching and school leadership, and labored under a school funding system that arguably gave these education professionals too few resources to do their jobs.

Fast forward to today: North Carolina faces even more acute teacher and school leader shortages, and school funding has been depleted by the economic downturn and years of dwindling investment in public education. Although these crises loom large, with Study Group XVI we decided to step back from the factors cited in Leandro to develop an even broader perspective on the case’s core question: What would it take to give every child in North Carolina the opportunity to receive a sound basic education?

Our approach began, as every discussion of education policy should, with students. We thought about the many layers of crisis that students may confront in their lives and carry with them into our classrooms. Some are deeply personal—tragic events or recurring traumas: the death of a loved one; an abusive parent; hunger or homelessness. For some students, these problems are compounded by structural racism—policies, practices, and other systemic norms that perpetuate racial inequity. In addition, while some students are well-served by schools that achieve herculean results amidst the most challenging circumstances, too many languish year after year in struggling schools.

Considering these factors together—the personal, the cultural, and the systemic—led us to conceive of an archetypal disadvantaged student. This student, described in the narrative below, has served as our touchstone as we have considered the topic of educational opportunity and how North Carolina can provide it, equitably, to all students, even those who are most challenging to teach or most at risk of failure.

Antonio’s Story

Antonio is an energetic, imaginative and rambunctious eight year-old African-American boy from rural Eastern North Carolina.  He is naturally inquisitive and loves learning new things. Like most little boys, he struggles at times to stay composed and on task. His need for physical activity and incessant questioning could easily be misinterpreted as acting out. Such is often the case. Not even halfway through the 3rd grade, Antonio has already been suspended twice, both times for disruptive behavior. The first incident was the result of a heated argument with another student that got Antonio worked up to the point he emotionally shut down. He folded his arms, ignored several commands from his teacher, and would not speak to any of the faculty as tears streamed down his face. The second was a result of “playing too roughly” with fellow students during recess. The suspension came after he had been warned several times by his teacher. This overly punitive response is not surprising, as there are racial gaps in discipline throughout the district and state.

These sorts of incidents are not uncommon at Antonio’s elementary school. His school district has been labeled one of the state’s “low-performing”– with most of its schools earning D or F “school performance grades,” which are based in large part on student scores on end-of-grade tests. Antonio’s school happens to be included in that number. It received an F grade and failed to meet expected growth during 2015-16. Suspensions are high, while achievement remains low. It is a high-poverty school, overwhelmingly non-white, full of mostly young and inexperienced teachers that struggle to manage the workload and population. It is increasingly hard to keep teachers, as they frequently opt for larger districts offering higher pay and more resources or leave the profession altogether.

Despite the tensions that exist there, school is a safe place for Antonio–a pillar of stability where he knows he will see his friends and be around many caring adults. He is one of four children being raised by a loving and hard-working single mother. His father, though around, is not a reliable fixture in his life. Like so many of his peers, his housing situation is rarely permanent or even long-lasting. His family moves around frequently, often landing them in the midst of extreme poverty and community violence. Though he idolizes his older siblings, they often expose him to inappropriate behavior. His mother cannot always be present as she works two jobs — one in second shift. Consequently, even at his young age he has witnessed sexual activity, drug use and fighting. He is not alone, as this is the case with many of his peers. No one at his school knows the details of Antonio’s life outside of school or understands the connections to his in-school behavior.

Antonio and so many other students all over North Carolina represent the most vulnerable students in our state: students of color who have experienced trauma and attend low-performing schools. As you review this publication, we urge you to pause often and ask yourself, “What would it take to provide a child like Antonio with the opportunity to receive a sound basic education?”

We lift this narrative not to perpetuate a stereotype or attempt to pathologize certain communities. We hope to humanize the very real challenges students face in a way to which the data don’t always do justice. It becomes far too easy to slip into a deficit mentality that focuses on everything the student does not possess. We invite the reader to instead focus on what all students could accomplish with the same educational opportunity. We submit that every student is endowed with the capacity to thrive given the necessary resources and supports. The ability to maximize their full potential is a matter of educational justice. While acknowledging the disadvantages faced by students such as Antonio, it becomes equally important to recognize the inherent advantages experienced by others. Students fortunate enough to not have experienced traumatic events are consequently in a better position to excel academically with their emotional needs met. In contrast with students of color, white students in North Carolina Public Schools are generally afforded a level of relative privilege at every point of the educational experience from discipline to enrollment in advanced courses. Lastly, it cannot be denied that attending a school that “meets” or “exceeds growth” provides children with an advantage in regard to the quality of their learning.

The primary driver of our work in Study Group XVI has been a sense that if we design schools and education policies and programs for Antonio and others like him, all students will be well served. Creating trauma-sensitive schools and addressing the needs of those students most impacted by abuse or household dysfunction will make schools safer and more learner-centric environments, benefitting everyone. Increasing racial equity doesn’t just improve the educational experiences of minority students. It helps all students and educators work together more compassionately, and it moves everyone in the school and the community toward our strongest ideals of fairness and justice. And finally, turning around struggling schools holds promise not just for students in those schools, but also for students underserved in higher-performing schools.

To focus our efforts, we divided the Study Group into three committees, each examining one of the three “levers” we have identified to expand educational opportunity. In doing so, we did not intend to suggest that other topics, such as the Leandro factors, are not important. In fact, many of these topics are interwoven into our discussion of our three chosen levers, and some—including teacher and school leader recruitment and retention, and school finance—have been the explicit focus of several other recent Forum study groups. (See past Public School Forum Studies at https://www.ncforum.org/forum-biannual-studies/.)

Each committee met several times over a five-month period, from December 2015 through April 2016, reviewing the literature on their topic and meeting with subject-matter experts and practitioners to better understand the current state of the field on the topic, and to generate practical recommendations.

Study Group XVI: Expanding Educational Opportunity in North Carolina

Committees and Summary Recommendations

Committee on Trauma & Learning. Research has documented the high prevalence of traumatic experiences in childhood, particularly among students living in poverty. This Committee studied the prevalence and impact of these experiences on student learning, and learned from state and national experts about strategies for addressing these impacts within educational settings. The Committee recommends the following:

    • Maximize the impact of opportunities under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to support practices that recognize the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on learning.
    • Design “on-ramps” for educators to increase awareness of ACEs, their impact on learning, and appropriate interventions.
    • Implement and evaluate pilot programs, and share data and related resources produced through those programs.
    • Create statewide policy to guide schools’ work addressing the impacts of ACEs on learning.

Committee on Racial Equity. With North Carolina’s increasingly diverse student population, intentionally and systemically promoting racial equity will be essential if the state hopes to dismantle historical racial and structural inequities to better serve its most vulnerable students. This Committee subdivided its work into seven domains: resegregation; discipline disparities; the opportunity gap; overrepresentation of students of color in special education; access to rigorous courses and programs; diversity in teaching; and culturally responsive pedagogy. The Committee’s recommendations include the following:

    • Prevent resegregation by using socioeconomic integration models to diversify schools and citywide student assignment policies to curb residential segregation.
    • Implement Restorative Justice and Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) as alternative and preventative measures of discipline.
    • Develop Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and Response to Intervention (RTI) processes that take cultural differences into account when assessing students with disabilities.
    • Address racial disparities in access to academically gifted programs and honors, AP, and other rigorous courses, by adopting universal screening processes and auditing course enrollments.
    • Develop a fellowship program that incentivizes people of color to become teachers and offers them support to stay in the profession long-term.
    • Create teacher preparation pathways for communities of color that begin recruiting prospective teachers in high school, and that expand lateral entry opportunities for professionals from minority groups who show interest and promise as potential educators.
    • Develop a set of standards for culturally relevant teaching to assist teachers in understanding what competencies are needed to effectively instruct students of color.
    • Provide implicit racial bias training for teachers and administrators to help break habits of prejudice and lead to more balanced treatment of students of color.

Committee on Supporting Low-Performing Schools. The issues discussed above affect students in all schools, but concentrated disadvantage has led to the categorization of certain schools as “low-performing.” The work of this Committee focused on interventions that show particular promise to support the rapid educational improvement of high numbers of students by targeting supports to these schools. The Committee recommends the following:

    • Increase investment in high-quality early childhood education programs and interventions specifically serving grades K-3 in low-performing schools and districts.
    • Adopt area-wide school improvement strategies that connect multiple schools in a defined geographic area with community assets and external partners, and that provide flexibility to schools in the chosen area to innovate in key areas of school operations.
    • Improve allocation of vital resources to support interventions that will attract and retain excellent teachers and school leaders in high-need schools, including 11-month teacher contracts; extended contracts with incentives for proven turnaround principals; teacher scholarships; and opportunities for teachers to advance in their careers without leaving the classroom.
    • Establish strong partnerships between teacher preparation programs and high-need schools and districts.
    • Require low-performing schools to implement turnaround interventions based on empirical evidence or strong theories.
    • Broaden the state’s accountability system to incorporate multiple measures of student outcomes.

The report that follows introduces our perspective on the topic of educational opportunity, including a new approach to the impact of poverty on learning. It then describes the Study Group’s process and theory of action. And finally, we offer an “Action Plan and Recommendations” for each of the three Study Group Committees. Each Action Plan moves beyond statements of principle or broad policy prescriptions to suggest specific steps that school systems and partner organizations can take, immediately, to help expand educational opportunity in North Carolina. The Public School Forum of North Carolina has created a new Center for Educational Opportunity to help carry the work forward alongside other partner institutions, through state and local policy proposals and new, innovative programs.

Introduction

In 2005, the Public School Forum published the results of its eleventh biennial study group, offering detailed strategies to provide every child in the state with an equal opportunity to obtain a sound basic education, as guaranteed under the North Carolina Constitution.1Public School Forum (2005). Responding to the Leandro Ruling. Raleigh, NC: Author. The publication served as a response to the state supreme court’s seminal ruling in Leandro v. State, which explained that, at a minimum, the state constitution required a competent, certified, well-trained teacher in every classroom; a well-trained, competent principal leading every school; and adequate resources to support an effective instructional program.2Leandro v. State, 488 S.E.2d 249 (N.C. 1997). The study group attempted to ground our lofty constitutional guarantee in the realities of the day, discussing an ongoing statewide struggle to attract and retain great teachers and school leaders, and a school funding system that arguably failed to provide enough resources for these education professionals to do their jobs.

In July 2015, at the beginning of a hearing in the ongoing Leandro case, Judge Howard Manning read a portion of the 2005 Forum study group report and lamented that ten years after the report’s release, much remains unchanged. Now, as then, research decisively demonstrates the paramount importance of excellent teaching and strong school leadership in improving student outcomes. Yet it is still the case today, as in 2005, that, “the students who most need the state’s very best teachers are least likely to have them.”3Public School Forum.Responding to the Leandro Ruling. Even significant investments of time, energy, and funding, including the state’s efforts under its federal Race to the Top grant, have left too many failing schools, too many classrooms without an excellent teacher, and too many students reading below grade level or failing to meet college and career readiness standards.

Against this backdrop of frustration, in October 2015, the Forum convened Study Group XVI to revisit the question: What would it take to provide every child in North Carolina with the opportunity to receive a sound basic education?  

The 2015 passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, with its inclusion of the “whole-child perspective,” brought the impact of poverty on learning to the center of the national education policy discussion, and set the stage for a new era of understanding how poverty impacts student learning. Within this expanded context, Study Group XVI aim to develop new strategies to help educators act as agents in addressing the manifestations of poverty and disadvantage on student learning. For us, poverty is not an “excuse,” but part of an honest assessment of the challenges our schools face. Addressing poverty will be an integral component of the design of solutions, at the classroom and systems level, to address those challenges and finally make good on our constitution’s promise to provide a sound basic education to every child.

A New Approach to the Impact of Poverty on Learning

It has been 50 years since the publication of the field-shaping report, Equality of Educational Opportunity (popularly referred to as “the Coleman Report” after lead author James S. Coleman). The Coleman Report, mandated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, was commissioned to shine a light on unequal educational opportunity across the country, and to expose differences between schools attended by black and white students, particularly in the South. Instead, its enduring legacy has been its finding that schools and resources matter little independent of student family background and social factors.

Many educators and thought leaders seized on the Coleman Report’s core finding to absolve schools of responsibility for student performance and persistent achievement gaps.  Only after decades of careful research and the evolution of more nuanced methodologies did the education research community coalesce around measures of the impact of teaching and school leadership on student achievement.4Goldhaber, D. (2016). “In Schools, Teacher Quality Matters Most.” Education Next, 16(2); Hanushek, E. A. (2016). “What Matters for Student Achievement.” Education Next, 16(2). This research provided powerful pushback to the Coleman Report-era assertion that schools didn’t matter. However, it never called into question the importance of family, frequently noting that teachers and school leaders are the most important school-based factors impacting student performance.

“The three factors identified in Leandro—excellent teaching, strong school leadership, and adequate resources—are no less important today.”

The hard work of dedicated educators over the past decade has reinforced the idea that schools matter; that they have significant roles to play in addressing the impact of poverty on student learning. In short, studies of student performance at high-need schools suggest that the three factors identified in Leandro are no less important today than they were when the court originally defined the standard. We understand, perhaps even more acutely today, the truth of the 2005 study group report’s statement that the Leandro factors can help high-need students excel “regardless of parental income levels or other factors frequently cited as reasons for failure.”5Ibid. In short, poverty is not an excuse for low student performance, and policies and programs aimed at putting excellent teachers and school leaders in charge of student learning, and supporting their work, are as significant as ever.

Nevertheless, leading scholars have powerfully refocused attention in recent years on the role of poverty as a barrier to teaching and learning.6Ladd, H., Noguera, P., Reville, P., & Starr, J. (2016, May 11). “Student Poverty Isn’t an Excuse; It’s a Barrier.” Education Week. This crucial distinction recasts poverty-linked factors, such as hunger, chronic illness, and childhood trauma, as central to understanding the challenges students living in poverty carry with them into classrooms. Great teachers and school leaders don’t throw up their hands and say that poor students can’t learn. Instead, they focus on understanding each student’s experience outside of school, and use it to construct an educational approach that gives that child a chance to overcome seemingly long odds.

The same metrics used to demonstrate that schools matter spawned the era of test score-based accountability. If data shows that schools matter, the logic went, then it should be able to show which schools matter, and how much. Some education policies that typify the accountability era go all-in on test score data, neglecting the impact of poverty on student achievement. Policies such as North Carolina’s current A-F school performance grades, based largely on student achievement scores, fail to capture the impact of teachers’ efforts or other school-based factors on student performance. Instead, they produce methods of judging schools that look eerily similar to what would exist if states assigned grades to schools based on the socioeconomic status of students.7Ableidinger, J. (2015). A is for Affluent. Raleigh, NC: Public School Forum of North Carolina.
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Only in recent years has a more nuanced view of the impact of poverty on learning emerged.8See Ladd, Noguera, Reville & Starr (2016) and Weiss, E. (2016, Feb. 25). “A Broader, Bolder Education Policy Framework.” EdNC, both describing the efforts of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, a “national campaign that advances evidence-based strategies to mitigate the impacts of poverty-related disadvantages on teaching and learning.” This view holds that while schools cannot by themselves eliminate poverty, there is much they can do to meet the special challenges that disadvantaged students bring with them when they come to school. It acknowledges that teachers and school leaders matter, and that the right mix of school-based factors can blunt the impact of poverty and help large numbers of high-need students succeed. This view also relies on far more than test score data to analyze the contributions of school-based factors to student outcomes.

The Equity and Excellence Commission, a federal advisory committee chartered by Congress, articulated a five-part framework to reduce disparities in educational opportunity that give rise to the achievement gap. The issues covered by the framework illustrate the new approach to poverty in the context of the last several decades of efforts to reform and improve public schools:

  • Equitable school finance;
  • Effective teachers and principals, and the supports they need to be effective;
  • High-quality early childhood education with an academic focus;
  • Mitigating poverty’s effects with broad access to a range of in-school support services;
  • Accountability and governance reforms that attach consequences to performance.9U.S. Department of Education (2013). For Each and Every Child—A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence. Washington, DC: Author.

The Commission’s report calls on federal education leaders to formulate a more comprehensive education agenda that recognizes and responds to the deep and troubling impacts of poverty on students and their ability to learn. It is a call that was answered in part through the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in late 2015.

ESSA marks several significant shifts in the federal role in education. Three hold particular importance for the study group’s work. First, the law includes a strong focus on developing the “whole child,” recognizing the potential impact of factors including race, poverty, and childhood trauma on the learning process. Second, ESSA devolves authority over key aspects of education policy to states and districts, including freedom to develop locally-tailored strategies for supporting low-performing schools. This shift has opened the door for many of the strategies we identify in our Action Plans and Recommendations to impact discussions about how North Carolina will approach struggling schools under the new policy regime. And finally, the law requires states and districts to use strategies supported by evidence. This aligns with a crucial precept of our study group’s work: that all solutions be supported by sound research bases or, in the case of innovative new programs and policy proposals, by promising and well-grounded theoretical foundations.

Within the new federal framework, Study Group XVI aims to help North Carolina act boldly to develop a state plan that embodies the same whole-child spirit as the law itself, and to adopt evidence-based approaches that encompass the complex and multi-faceted vision of the Equity and Excellence Commission report to more effectively provide each child the opportunity to receive a sound basic education.

Study Group XVI: Rethinking Educational Opportunity in North Carolina

Study Group XVI continues the Public School Forum’s practice of bringing together stakeholders and subject matter experts to distill collective knowledge on major, timely education issues. Throughout the Forum’s history, its biennial study groups have tackled such key issues as teacher recruitment and retention, digital learning, accountability and assessments, school finance, international competitiveness, and how expanded learning and afterschool opportunities can drive academic achievement. Study groups supported the development of key education policies and programs, including the NC Teacher Enhancement Act of 1986 (which created the NC Teaching Fellows Program); the NC School Improvement & Accountability Act of 1989; Low-Wealth and Small-County Supplemental Funding; the NC School Technology Fund; and the High-Priority Schools Act.

Working sessions of study group committees are informed by sound research, best practices, and cutting-edge, “outside-the-box” thinking. Study group participants benefit from the inclusion of appropriate state and national content experts, and use their input to marshal the best educational thought and practice in service of the development of practical, implementable solutions to profound educational challenges.

This year’s study group is no exception, revisiting the topic of educational opportunity through the participation of more than 300 leaders in business, education, and government in a series of working group meetings from October 2015 through April 2016. They represented diverse backgrounds and perspectives, including teachers, principals, superintendents, legislators, members of local school boards, employees of the Department of Public Instruction and local districts, business leaders, researchers, and other educational professionals and advocates.

Much like the federal Equity and Excellence Commission, we approached our challenge by taking a broad view of the evidence on what can move the needle on student achievement, particularly for students living in poverty. One observation we returned to repeatedly was that the factors mentioned in the Leandro case remain of paramount importance. Schools cannot hope to serve as agents in the dismantling of intergenerational poverty without excellent teachers and school leaders supported by adequate resources to do their work well. But as the Commission’s report framed so well in its interrelated five-part framework, this is not the entire picture. It is the synergy between these factors and others that make it possible to envision a comprehensive approach to giving every North Carolina student the opportunity to receive a sound basic education.

The evidence gathered in preparation for Study Group XVI reaffirmed the importance of these factors. To build on this evidence and construct a plan of action, we subdivided our efforts into three committees. Much had been written and proposed in relation to the Leandro factors, including in our 2005 study group report. This left the other areas spotlighted by the Equity and Excellence Commission comparatively under-studied and in need of thoughtful analysis. We focused our committees’ attention on these areas.

Committee on Trauma & Learning. Research has documented the high prevalence of traumatic experiences in childhood, particularly among students living in poverty. This committee studied the prevalence and impact of these experiences on student learning, and learned from state and national experts about strategies for addressing these impacts within educational settings.

Committee on Racial Equity. With North Carolina’s increasingly diverse student population, intentionally and systemically promoting racial equity will be essential if the state hopes to dismantle historical racial and structural inequities to better serve its most vulnerable students. This committee subdivided its work into seven domains: resegregation; discipline disparities; the opportunity gap; overrepresentation of students of color in special education; access to rigorous courses and programs; diversity in teaching; and culturally responsive pedagogy.

Committee on Supporting Low-Performing Schools. The issues discussed above affect students in all schools, but concentrated disadvantage has led to the categorization of certain schools as “low-performing.” The work of this committee focused on interventions that show particular promise to support the rapid educational improvement of high numbers of students by targeting supports to these schools.

Action Plans and Recommendations

We are pleased to share each Committee’s Action Plan and Recommendations. Each includes a brief summary of activity from October 2015 through April 2016, followed by the committee’s recommendations—specific programs and policy proposals aligned with the committee’s findings. Each constitutes an “Action Plan” for North Carolina, because the suggestions go beyond statements of principle or broad policy prescriptions to specific steps that school systems and partner organizations can take, immediately, to help expand educational opportunity. The Public School Forum is creating the new North Carolina Center for Educational Opportunity to help carry the work forward, along with partner institutions, through new, innovative programs and proposed state and local policies.    

Acknowledgements

Public School Forum Board of Directors

Barbara K. Allen, Education Consultant

Lynda Anderson, Retired Education Policy Advisor

Gene Arnold, Former Legislator/Business Executive

Bruce Beasley, The Beasley Group

Ann Bennett-Phillips, Capital Development Services

Tom Bradshaw, Tom Bradshaw & Associates

Miles Devaney, Biogen Idec

Katie Dorsett, Former Legislator

Bob Eaves, Jr., Business Owner/Investor

Dudley Flood, Education Consultant

Gerry Hancock, Everett, Gaskins, Hancock LLP

Sam Houston, NC Science, Mathematics & Tech. Ed. Center

Tom Lambeth, Z. Smith Reynolds Fd. Senior Fellow

Matty Lazo-Chadderton, Lazo-Chadderton, LLC

Valeria Lee, Education Consultant

Alfred Mays, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Tom Oxholm, Wake Stone Corporation

Keith Poston, Public School Forum of NC

Michael Priddy, 21st Century Leadership, LLC

Chris Rey, Mayor of Spring Lake

Bynum Satterwhite, Raymond James

Richard Schwartz, Schwartz & Shaw, PLLC

Malbert Smith, MetaMetrics

Doug Sprecher, First Citizens Bank

Will Sutton, BB&T Leadership Institute

Pamela Townsend, WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff in the USA

Richard Urquhart, III, Investors Management Corporation

Willis Whichard, Tillman, Hinkle & Whichard, PLLC

Tom Williams, Strategic Educational Alliances, Inc.

Douglas Yongue, Former Legislator & Forum Emeritus Member

Marco Zarate, NC Society of Hispanic Professionals

Public School Forum Membership

Bill Anderson, UNC Charlotte College of Education

Margaret Arbuckle, NC Public Education Forum

June Atkinson, NC Department of Public Instruction

Ronnie Beale, NCACC/Macon County Board of Commissioners

Aaron Beaulieu, Durham Public Schools

Rep. Hugh Blackwell, NC General Assembly

Charles Brown, Scotland County

Evelyn Bulluck, NCSBA, Nash/Rocky Mount Public Schools Bd. of Ed

Sean Bulson, UNC General Administration

J.B. Buxton, The Education Innovations Group

Bobbie Cavnar, South Point High School

Mitchell “Kyle” Carver, Buncombe County Schools

Melody Chalmers, E.E. Smith High School

Alisa Chapman, UNC General Administration

William “Bill” Cobey, State Board of Education

Jeni Corn, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State

Ed Croom, Education Consultant

Senator David L. Curtis, NC General Assembly

Van Dempsey III, UNC Wilmington Watson College of Education

John Dornan, Education Consultant

Ed Dunlap, NCSBA

Lewis Ebert, NC Chamber

Lou Fabrizio, NC Department of Public Instruction

Jayne Fleener, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State

Nation Hahn, EdNC

Grant Hayes, East Carolina University College of Education

John Hayes, NC World Trade Association, Cape Fear

Deena Hayes-Greene, Racial Equity Initiative

Patricia “Patti” Head, Community Volunteer

Jim & Carolyn Hunt, Former NC Governor and First Lady

Mark Jewell, NC Association of Educators

Rep. Linda Johnson, NC General Assembly

Katherine Joyce, NCASA

Kelly Langston, NCPTA

Shanta Lightfoot, Wake County Teaching Fellow Graduate

Jim Martin, Former NC Governor

Kaye McGarry, Education Consultant

Rep. Graig Meyer, NC General Assembly

Jo Ann Norris, Education Consultant

Virginia Parker, Bank of America

André Peek, NCBCE/IBM

Shirley Prince, NC Principals & Assistant Principals’ Association

Karl Rectanus, TechExecutives

Travis Reeves, NCASCD/Surry County Schools

Sen. Gladys Robinson, NC General Assembly

Katie Rosanbalm, Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

Peggy Smith, Campbell University

Sen. Jerry Tillman, NC General Assembly

Carol Vandenbergh, PENC

Sandra Wilcox Conway, Consultant

Hope Williams, NC Independent Colleges & Universities

Freddie Williamson, Hoke County Schools

James “Jimmie” Williamson, NC Community Colleges

Public School Forum Staff

Keith Poston, President & Executive Director

Joe Ableidinger, Senior Director of Policy & Programs

Lauren Hales Bock, Research Director

James Ford, Program Director

Shelly Owens, Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Rhonda Van Dijk, Finance Manager

Study Group XVI Co-Chairs

Michael Priddy and Dudley Flood

Committee on Trauma & Learning

Nation Hahn and Katie Rosanbalm, Co-Chairs

Mike Anderson, NC Center for Safer Schools

Marcus Bass, Democracy North Carolina

Jennifer Bennett, Vance County Schools

Brenda Berg, BEST NC

Tom Bradshaw, Tom Bradshaw & Associates

Morgan Camu, Education Consultant

Alisha Carr, Druid Hills Academy

Candice Davies, Integrity Movement and Communication

Katie Dight, Cabarrus Health Alliance

Jo Ann Duncan, Cary High School

Dudley Flood, Education Consultant

Katie Hagan, Maureen Joy Charter School

Kendall Hageman, NC School of Science and Mathematics

Nation Hahn, EducationNC

John Brian Heath, Perry W. Harrison Elementary School

Lisa Hibler, Kenan Fellows Program

Lisa Stockton Howell, Social Worker

William P. Jackson, Village of Wisdom

Mark Jewell, NC Association of Educators

Ernest Johnson, NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Mary Kolek, League of Women Voters

Jessica Mays, Claremont Elementary School

Anne Murtha, NC Department of Public Instruction

Ann Nichols, NC Division of Public Health

Alecia Page, Institute for Emerging Issues

Heather Pane Seifert, Center for Child & Family Health

Ashley Perkinson, North Carolina PTA

Kate Pett, Asheville City Schools Foundation

Mike Priddy, 21st Century Leadership, LLC

Katie Rosanbalm, Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

Elise Sharpe, The New Teacher Project (TNTP)

Allison Stewart, Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School

Jess Todd-Marrone, The Exploris School

Cathy Evans Truitt, International Center for Leadership in Education

Carol Vandenbergh, Professional Educators of North Carolina (PENC)

Angela VanGorder, Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA)

Amy Waters, Lutheran Services – School Impact Program

Linwood Webster, BIG S.T.E.P.S. U.P.

Christina Welch, NC School Counselor Association

Vivian Willard, Wake County Public School System

Tracy Zimmerman, NC Early Childhood Foundation

Committee on Racial Equity

Deena Hayes-Greene and Alfred Mays, Co-Chairs

Margaret Arbuckle, Guilford Education Alliance (ret.)

Marcus Bass, NC Association of Educators

Tom Bradshaw, Tom Bradshaw & Associates

Brie Butler, Broadview Middle School

Brandy Bynum, Rural Forward NC

Morgan Camu, Education Consultant

Alisha Carr, Druid Hills Academy

Jonathan Charney, Achieve3000

Sandra Conway, Education Consultant

Anne Cooper, Wake County Public School System (former teacher)

Jeni Corn, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation

Dorothy Counts-Scoggins, Education Advocate

Mark Dickerson, Asheville City Schools

Sharon Dole, Western Carolina University

Jo Ann Duncan, Cary High School

Julie Edmunds, SERVE Center at UNC-Greensboro

Mark Edwards, Mooresville Graded School District

Matthew Ellinwood, NC Justice Center

Lou Fabrizio, NC Department of Public Instruction

Dudley Flood, Education Consultant

Summer Gainey Stanley, UNC Pembroke; Scotland County Board of Education

Atrayus Goode, Movement of Youth

Katie Hagan, Maureen Joy Charter School

Kendall Hageman, NC School of Science and Mathematics

Mamie Hall, Research Triangle High School

Stephen Hancock, UNC Charlotte

Deena Hayes-Greene, Racial Equity Institute

Lisa Stockton Howell, Social Worker

William P. Jackson, Village of Wisdom

Ernest Johnson, NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Katherine Joyce, NC Association of School Administrators

Lionel Kato, North Pitt High School

Christine Kushner, Wake County Board of Education

Tracey Helton Lewis, Surry County Schools

Alfred Mays, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Demond McKenzie, NC New Schools

Parker Morse, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Neil Pedersen, Central Carolina RESA

William Prettyman, Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience

Mike Priddy, 21st Century Leadership, LLC

Debra Rook, Hope Street Group Fellow

Terrance Ruth, ReCity

Avril Smart, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation

Justin Smith, High Point Central High School

Dawn Tafari, Winston-Salem State University

Candace Thompson, UNC-Wilmington

Cathy Evans Truitt, International Center for Leadership in Education

Valda Valbrun, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

Angela VanGorder, Northeast Leadership Academy

Linwood Webster, BIG S.T.E.P.S. U.P.

Harriet Worley, NC Department of Justice

 

 

Committee on Low-Performing Schools

Jayne Fleener and Rep. Graig Meyer, Co-Chairs

Rodney Allred, Johnston County Early College Academy

Gene Arnold, Former Legislator/Business Executive

Pat Ashley, NC Department of Public Instruction (ret.)

Billy Ball, NC Policy Watch

Nancy Barbour, NC Department of Public Instruction

Bruce Beasley III, The Beasley Group

Jennifer Bennett, Vance County Schools

Natalie Beyer, Board of Education, Durham Public Schools

Ellie Bold, Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

Robin Boltz, NC School of Science and Mathematics

Kenneth Bowen, Office Depot, Inc. and Bowen & Associates, LLC

Tom Bradshaw, Tom Bradshaw & Associates

Margaret Bradsher, Person County Board of Education

Evelyn Bulluck, Board of Education, Nash-Rocky Mount Public School

Sean Bulson, UNC General Administration

Michele Burgess, Vance County Public School Foundation

Brie Butler, Broadview Middle School

JB Buxton, Education Innovations Group

Morgan Camu, Education Consultant

Edward Caropreso, UNC Wilmington

Nicky Charles, East Durham Children’s Initiative

Christina Christopoulos, Duke University

Summer Clayton, The Exploris School

Anne Cooper, Wake County Public School System (former teacher)

Kerry Crutchfield, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Tim Drake, NC State University

Mike Drye, Hawk Ridge Elementary School

Jo Ann Duncan, Cary High School

Robert Eaves, Business Owner/Investor

Catherine Edmonds, Northeast Leadership Academy

Julie Edmunds, SERVE Center at UNCG

Matt Ellinwood, NC Justice Center

Ted Fiske, Education correspondent, editor, and lecturer

Eric Fitts, Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering

Jayne Fleener, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State

Dudley Flood, Education Consultant

Adrienne Fox, NC Central School of Law

Joshua Gaskill, Pamlico County Schools

Amy Germuth, EvalWorks, LLC

Rick Glazier, NC Justice Center

Katie Hagan, Maureen Joy Charter School

Gerry Hancock, Everett Gaskins Hancock LLP

Shannon Hardy, The Exploris School

Amy Hawn Nelson, UNC Charlotte

Ernest Johnson, NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Katherine Joyce, NC Association of School Administrators

Mary Kolek, League of Women Voters

Julie Kowal, BEST NC

Helen “Sunny” Ladd, Duke University, Sanford School of Public Policy

Greg Malhoit, NC Central School of Law (ret.)

Ann McColl, Everett Gaskins Hancock LLP

Cindy McCormic, Cumberland County Schools

Page McCullough, Rural School and Community Trust

Kaye Bernard McGarry, Northeastern University

Rep. Graig Meyer, NC General Assembly

Bruce Mildwurf, NC School Boards Association

Alex Modestu, BEST NC

Parker Morse, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

Anne Murtha, NC Department of Public Instruction

Sammie Campbell Parrish, Roanoke River Valley Education Consortium (RRVEC)

Vaishali Patel, The Exploris School

Neil Pedersen, Central Carolina RESA

William Prettyman, Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience

Mike Priddy, 21st Century Leadership, LLC

Shirley Prince, NC Principals and Assistant Principals Association

Dov Rosenberg, Durham Public Schools

Terrance Ruth, ReCity

Alexis Schauss, NC Department of Public Instruction

Richard Schwartz, Schwartz & Shaw, PLLC

Angela Scioli, Leesville Road High School

Bryan Setser, Matchbook Learning

Peggy Smith, Campbell University

Troy Smith, Duke University

Amy Swain, Durham Public Schools

Melissa Thibault, NC School of Science and Mathematics

Magan Thigpen , The Hill Center

LaTricia Townsend, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State

Keana Triplett, 2015 NC Teacher of the Year

Cathy Evans Truitt, International Center for Leadership in Education

Angela VanGorder, Northeast Leadership Academy, NC State

Lindsay Wagner, A.J. Fletcher Foundation

Edna Wallace, NC New Schools

Thomas West, NC Independent Colleges & Universities

Alicia Whitley, Wake County Public School System

Tom Williams, Strategic Educational Alliances, Inc.

Chevella Wilson, North Carolina A&T State University

Louise Speight Woods, OneMeck

Harriet Worley, NC Department of Justice

Tracy Zimmerman, NC Early Childhood Foundation

 

 

References   [ + ]

1. Public School Forum (2005). Responding to the Leandro Ruling. Raleigh, NC: Author.
2. Leandro v. State, 488 S.E.2d 249 (N.C. 1997).
3. Public School Forum.Responding to the Leandro Ruling.
4. Goldhaber, D. (2016). “In Schools, Teacher Quality Matters Most.” Education Next, 16(2); Hanushek, E. A. (2016). “What Matters for Student Achievement.” Education Next, 16(2).
5. Ibid.
6. Ladd, H., Noguera, P., Reville, P., & Starr, J. (2016, May 11). “Student Poverty Isn’t an Excuse; It’s a Barrier.” Education Week.
7. Ableidinger, J. (2015). A is for Affluent. Raleigh, NC: Public School Forum of North Carolina.
8. See Ladd, Noguera, Reville & Starr (2016) and Weiss, E. (2016, Feb. 25). “A Broader, Bolder Education Policy Framework.” EdNC, both describing the efforts of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, a “national campaign that advances evidence-based strategies to mitigate the impacts of poverty-related disadvantages on teaching and learning.”
9. U.S. Department of Education (2013). For Each and Every Child—A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence. Washington, DC: Author.
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