State News

In Memoriam: Rodney Ellis

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The staff, board, and membership of the Public School Forum extend our deepest sympathies to the Ellis Family and our friends and colleagues at the North Carolina Association of Educators following the loss of Rodney Ellis, immediate past president of NCAE.
From Keith Poston, the Forum’s President and Executive Director: “Rodney Ellis was first and foremost a teacher, and it was that passion that propelled him to become a powerful voice for North Carolina’s teachers. He spoke eloquently about the calling he felt, particularly as an African-American, to help make public education work for all students, regardless of their color or station in life. You could not be around him without feeling it and wanting to work harder yourself.  A good man gone way too soon.”
State Superintendent June Atkinson released a statement on September 12 recounting Rodney’s advocacy for North Carolina’s public schools:
“For a number of years, I have enjoyed working with Rodney Ellis, past NCAE president. Rodney was always consistent in his expression of care for North Carolina’s children.
Rodney was a tireless advocate for public schools and North Carolina’s education family. North Carolina’s public school advocates are grateful for his leadership and we know that, without him, we will need to work even harder to make sure North Carolina puts public school children at the top of its agenda. Rodney was my friend and colleague, and I will miss him greatly. I offer my condolences and prayers for his wife, his children, and for his education family.”
For more on Rodney’s life, see the News & Observer’s article, Rodney Ellis, former leader of state teachers group, dies at 49.
Funeral arrangements and a full obituary can be found here, along with information on how to donate to the Rodney Ellis Memorial Fund.

Coming Soon! Education Matters Premieres October 2

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The Public School Forum’s new weekly television program, Education Matters, is set to premiere on Sunday, October 2nd on WRAL-TV, the NBC affiliate in the Raleigh-Durham/Fayetteville market. The program aims to provide the public with real facts about the state of public education in North Carolina. The weekly television show will explore everything from the history of public education to exploring the current issues and trends affecting every school and classroom in the state. It will be hosted by Public School Forum President and Executive Director Keith Poston.
Education Matters will premiere on Sundays at 11:30 AM on WRAL-TV. The program will move to its permanent time slot, Saturdays at 7:30 PM, beginning November 26, 2016. Education Matters will also be viewable online as well, with full episodes and additional content on the Public School Forum’s web site https://www.ncforum.org/ and on WRAL at http://www.wral.com/.

UNC Leaders Look at Funding Campuses Based on their Performance

As UNC system leaders get to work on new strategic goals for North Carolina’s public universities, they may be looking to other states that reward campuses – or punish them – based on performance.
Last Wednesday, the UNC Board of Governors began to look at how other states dole out state dollars to their universities. Traditionally, the UNC system has determined funding according to a complicated formula primarily driven by enrollment – how many students come in the door.
In the future, the funding approach could look different.
More and more public universities receive money based on their performance on a variety of measures such as graduation rates or other student success factors. Before 2010, four states had performance-based funding systems in place – Pennsylvania, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio. Since then, 29 other states are implementing or considering new funding formulas.
Performance funding had been tried by some schools in the 1990s but generally fizzled out after a few years, said Matthew Pellish, senior director of strategic research and education at the Washington-based Education Advisory Board. Pellish, who was brought to Chapel Hill to give the UNC board the latest data on performance funding, said the models sometimes achieve good results and sometimes don’t. It’s a long-term strategy that can take about seven years to bear fruit, he added.

In This Issue

In Memoriam: Rodney Ellis

Coming Soon! Education Matters Premieres October 2

UNC Leaders Look at Funding Campuses Based on their Performance

New Resource: Racial Equity Report Cards for NC School Districts

Why NC is not Measuring Teacher Pay Properly (and How We Should Do It)

NC Creating Plan to Meet New Federal Education Requirements

RFP Open for 21st Century Community Learning Centers 

World View Fall Programs

Journal for Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership

Public School Forum Programs

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Nominate an Outstanding Education Leader!

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The Public School Forum is seeking nominations for education leaders to be profiled on our new weekly TV show, Education Matters, premiering October 2nd on WRAL-TV.
Do you have a great leader in your local school? Nominate them today! We are seeking leaders who make a difference in their school each and every day.
To nominate an education leader, please fill out the form here.

New Resource: Racial Equity Report Cards for NC School Districts

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School is officially back in session, which for many signals an exciting time filled with new outfits, new teachers, and new schedules. Unfortunately, for students of color, a new school year can also be fraught with worry, as they enter an environment where they are more likely than their white peers to struggle academically, experience exclusionary school discipline, and be sent to court for minor misbehavior.
The racial disproportionalities and disparities that exist within our state’s education and juvenile justice systems are stark and troubling. They persist even as overall graduation rates go up and suspension rates go down. Yet, they all too often go unexamined and unaddressed. That is why the Youth Justice Project of the Southern Coalition of Social Justice has released Racial Equity Report Cards intended to help communities better identify the racial inequity that pervades their youth-serving institutions. Using publically available data, the Youth Justice Project has produced a Report Card for each of the state’s 115 school districts, as well as the state as a whole.
The policies and practices that push students out of school and into the court system are often referred to as the school-to-prison pipeline. This pipeline, also called the cradle-to-prison pipeline, disproportionately impacts youth of color, who are overrepresented at every entry point. The pipeline is a national crisis, but it is exceptionally damaging in North Carolina due to the fact that we are the only state that automatically sends all 16- and 17-year olds to the adult criminal system, with no opportunity to be held accountable in the more rehabilitative juvenile system.
The Report Cards concentrate on three potential entry points to the school-to-prison pipeline – academic achievement (or failure), school discipline, and court involvement – each of which play an important role in determining how successful a child will be.
To continue reading the complete article, click here.
Excerpt from:

Why NC is not Measuring Teacher Pay Properly (and How We Should Do It)

Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum understand that teachers are the most important classroom factor when it comes to improving student performance. Unfortunately, their policies over the past decade have failed to reflect this understanding. North Carolina’s average teacher pay ranking has fallen from 22nd in FY 03-04 to 41st in FY 15-16, and enrollment in teacher preparation programs is plummeting.

Competitive salary systems play a vital role in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest into the teaching profession. High-performing countries such as South Korea and Finland have made competitive salaries for teachers the foundation upon which their educational systems are built. Competitive salaries benefit other recruitment and retention strategies such as tightening admission standards to schools of education, offering paths for professional growth, and increasing the prestige of the profession. Attracting high-performing teachers into the profession is especially important given the important impact high-quality teachers have on students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
But what is meant by a competitive salary? Much of the recent debate over teacher salaries in North Carolina has focused on North Carolina’s average teacher salary ranking compared to other states. However, this is a flawed measure as relatively little competition for teachers occurs between states and state rankings fail to take into account differences in the labor markets across states.
To truly determine the salary required to attract and retain talented candidates to the teaching field, the important measurement is how compensation compares in relation to alternative careers with similar educational requirements. That is, the salaries of North Carolina teachers are best compared against the salaries of other professionals in North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree or higher. This metric avoids the weaknesses of traditional state rankings and is more aligned with the data a talented university student considers when deciding which profession to pursue.
To continue reading the complete article, click here.
Excerpt from: 

First All-Girls Charter School in NC Opens with High Hopes

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GLOW students created bright paper bows for a celebration at the end of their summer bridge camp.

Photo Credit: Jess Clark, WUNC.

At GLOW Academy, about 100 rising sixth graders were out to recess during a recent summer bridge camp. The motto on the back of their bright yellow T-shirts leaves no doubt that GLOW is focused on the long game.
“It says, ‘She will graduate, go to college and succeed in life’,” said Trinity Moore, a rising sixth grader. “I think it’s a good motto.” Trinity said she’s excited to go to GLOW, and she won’t miss having boys in class. “Nope not at all, no. Bye! See ya!” she said.
GLOW Academy is the state’s first all-girls charter school. It opened its doors in Wilmington this school year and is part of a national network of public schools whose focus is getting low-income and minority girls into college.
Research is mixed on whether single-gender schools are better for learning. But the Young Women’s Leadership Network that GLOW is a part of has a track record of high graduation and college access rates.
To continue reading the complete article, click here.
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UNC Report Calls Wilmington Schools “Hyper-Segregated”

A new report from the UNC Center for Civil Rights said more than half of New Hanover County schools are “racially imbalanced,” and called the district’s four magnet schools “hyper-segregated.”
The report was published this week by the center’s Inclusion Project, which documents segregation across North Carolina. In it, the authors argue a shift toward “neighborhood schools” has re-segregated the district and hurt student achievement at schools with higher minority populations.
“Between 2006 and 2010, the New Hanover Board of Education adopted a student assignment model that emphasizes proximity and ‘neighborhood schools’,” the report reads. “The Board’s reassignment decisions, which were prompted by capacity concerns and the construction of new schools in rural parts of the county, signaled an end to the district’s effort to maintain racial and socio-economic diversity in its schools in the face of significant residential segregation.”
The UNC Center for Civil Rights has been involved in the district since at least early this year, when a group of black and Latino parents reached out the center with concerns about racial gaps in the district’s Spanish-Immersion program. The parents’ children had been wait-listed for the program, which was then located at Forest Hills Global Elementary and was 73 percent white during the 2015-16 school year.
To continue reading the complete article, click here.
Excerpt from:

NC Highlight

FIRST North Carolina Wins National Award for Mentoring

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Photo Credit: FIRST North Carolina

On August 11, at the White House complex, US2020 recognized the 2016 STEM Mentoring Awards winners for their exceptional work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring.
The STEM Mentoring Symposium is a national field-building event that engages leaders from the public, private, and social sectors. Attendees discussed policies and practices to institutionalize STEM mentoring, brainstorm continued support for the President’s STEM Initiatives, including Computer Science for All, and explore exemplary program models and common challenges.
FIRST North Carolina is a 2016 winner of the Excellence in Volunteer Experience Award. Through the FIRST K-12 robotics-based programs, students are inspired to become the next generation of engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Working side-by-side with mentors from business and industry, students discover their potential talent for unlocking new ideas and bringing them to reality. FIRST North Carolina volunteers and mentors are individually volunteering an average of over 200 hours per year.
To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Forum News

NC Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) 2016-17 Cohort Largest in Program History

The North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) will kick off in October with 51 fellows, the largest class in program history. This year’s class brings together fellows from over 20 counties across the state, from Graham to Edgecombe.

This is the second year of North Carolina EPFP’s partnership with Appalachian State University under its federal GEAR UP grant. The grant enables fellows in 11 Western NC counties to participate in the program. Twenty participants this year come from these counties, while 31 reside in Eastern NC.

The Public School Forum has led the NC EPFP program since 1992. It is the only statewide program of its kind that focuses on leadership and professional development in the context of education policy. The program first began in North Carolina in 1979 and has attracted participants from public schools, higher education, nonprofit organizations, state agencies, and a diverse array of education organizations across the state.

Beginning Teacher Leadership Network Accepting Applications for 2016-17

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The Public School Forum’s Beginning Teacher Leadership Network is accepting applications for the 2016-17 school year for Mecklenburg, Wake, and Union counties. Application links are available online at https://www.ncforum.org/beginning-teacher-leadership-network/.

The Beginning Teacher Leadership Network (BTLN) offers early-career teachers (1-3 years) the chance to continue their development as classroom instructors while learning how to advocate for the educational profession. Participants in BTLN meet regularly to improve their classroom practice, network with one another, and learn about state and local education policy. It offers beginning teachers the chance to grow in their pedagogical practice, as well as bolster their impact beyond the classroom. BTLN implements specific interventions to retain beginning teachers by fostering their leadership ability and leveraging the skills of veteran teachers. It is completely voluntary and intended as a supplement to the required professional development delivered by the local education agency. It takes a three-pronged approach to teacher-leadership by focusing on the areas of education policy and advocacy, cross-curricular collaboration, and professional development.

More questions? Check out THIS video about the BTLN or contact Forum Program Director James Ford at jford@ncforum.org.

National News

A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Teacher Supply, Demand, and Shortages in the U.S.

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Widespread media reports of local teacher shortages have become a hot topic in education since the summer of 2015. After years of teacher layoffs, districts began hiring again as the economy recovered from the Great Recession. Many were surprised to find they had serious difficulty finding qualified teachers for their positions, especially in fields like mathematics, science, special education, and bilingual education/English language development. A number of states greatly expanded emergency permits to allow hiring of untrained teachers to meet these demands—which is the classic definition of shortage. To date, however, there has not yet been a detailed national analysis of the sources and extent of these shortages, and the prognosis for the future.
A new report out this week from the Learning Policy Institute details the outcomes of such a study, which analyzes evidence of teacher shortages, as well as national and regional trends in teacher supply and demand. Using several federal databases, the authors examine the current context and model projections of future trends under several different assumptions about factors influencing supply and demand, including new entrants, re-entrants, projected hires, and attrition rates. They also investigate policy strategies that might mitigate these effects based on research about effective approaches to recruitment and retention.
For more detail and to link to the report, click here.

Bill to Reauthorize Career & Technical Education Law Passed by U.S. House

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The House of Representatives voted to approve a reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act on Tuesday, after the House education committee unanimously backed the bill earlier this year.
The Perkins Act has not been reauthorized since 2006, but the proposed reauthorization, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, makes several notable changes to existing law. Among them are: 
  • There’s a new definition of which students can be classified as “concentrators” in career and technical education. The bill defines a concentrator as a secondary student who has “completed three or more career and technical education courses, or completed at least two courses in [a] single career and technical education program or program of study.”
  • States would be able to withhold a greater share of their federal CTE funding under Perkins for their own competitive grants or formulas.
  • A new grant program, overseen by the education secretary, would award money to programs that align CTE with states’ workforce needs. 
  • Schools are supposed to get less paperwork dumped on them when it comes to CTE.
To continue reading the complete article, click here.
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New Head Start Rules Aim to Balance Flexibility, Oversight

In the five decades since Head Start was formed as part of the War on Poverty, the federally funded preschool program has walked a line between local flexibility and government oversight. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services holds the purse strings for the $8.6 billion program, but local grantees have been encouraged to create programs that fit their communities’ needs.
With the Sept. 1 release of a long-awaited rewrite of the regulations that govern Head Start, federal officials say they have strengthened the program while maintaining the ability of individual programs to meet the needs of children and families. The revisions are the most sweeping changes to Head Start since 1975.
But one element that some Head Start programs used—running morning and afternoon sessions to serve more children—will be gone as a standard option.
By 2021, most center-based Head Start programs for 4-year-olds must serve children for 1,020 hours per school year, or the equivalent of approximately six hours a day for a 180-day school year. That’s a big change for those programs that were running on the current minimum of 3½ hours a day and 128 days per year.
Those Head Start programs that want to run a double session will have to ask federal officials for permission to do so.
“Research has shown us that children who spend more time in the classroom learn more and have better social skills than their peers,” said Sylvia Burrell, the HHS secretary, at a press conference unveiling the new plans. “Ultimately, they’re better prepared for kindergarten, and thanks to this change, more children will have that strong foundation.”
Federal officials had originally said they wanted to see Head Start preschool programs move to a six-hour-per-day, 180-day school year. And that portion of the proposed rules, officially called the Head Start Performance Standards, drew strong reservations from some Head Start officials. They said that they wanted to keep to the program available to more children through double sessions, that they didn’t have the staff or space to lengthen the school day and year, or that their local school districts are not in session for 180 days each year.
To continue reading the complete article, click here.
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Opportunities

NC Creating Plan to Meet New Federal Education Requirements

What will the new federal education law, Every Student Succeeds Act, mean for North Carolina students? State educators and policymakers are crafting North Carolina’s plan now for submission to the US Department of Education during its March submission calendar.
Academic indicators will continue to include proficiency on English language arts/reading and mathematics, progress of English language learners, graduation rates, and a to-be-decided other academic indicator for elementary and middle schools. In addition, the new law requires the inclusion of other measures of school quality or student success as long as those indicators are valid and reliable, comparable, available statewide, and meaningful indicators of student success.
Input is being collected online through the “Let’s Talk” application, which may be accessed from the Department’s website; in regional meetings with superintendents and school officials; as well as in six public comment sessions to be held from 4-6 p.m. on each of the following dates:
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October 6 – North Wilkesboro
October 12 – Jacksonville
October 18 – Fayetteville
October 19 – Tarboro
October 24 – Waynesville
October 25 – Burlington
Reprinted from:

RFP Open for 21st Century Community Learning Centers 

NCDPI Federal Program Monitoring and Support Division staff are pleased to announce the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) 2017-18 Request for Proposals (RFP).
The purpose of the 21st CCLC program is to offer expanded learning opportunities for students during non-school hours. The program must be designed to provide students with high-quality academic and other enrichment activities designed to complement the students’ regular academic program. The 21st CCLC program must also offer families of participating students educational development opportunities.
The Application Guidance and Application Worksheet is available to assist organizations with planning a proposal. If you have any questions, please contact Brandon Patterson with NCDPI’s Federal Program Monitoring and Support Division.

World View Fall Programs

World View at UNC-Chapel Hill offers exciting professional development opportunities in global education for K-12 teachers, school administrators, and community college educators. Our fall programs for K12 educators feature innovative strategies to drive global learning. Continuing Education Units earned can be applied toward the NC Global Educator Digital Badge process. Register for the fall global education symposium and online course today!
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Innovation and Technology to Drive Global Learning 
October 19-20, 2016
  • Fuel the drive with dynamic presenters, interdisciplinary sessions, curriculum development opportunities and a wide-range of exhibitors.
  • Be in the passenger seat as you experience lessons that demonstrate technology and innovation.
  • Support your road trip by collaborating with colleagues as you consider your own classroom.
  • Drive away with tools, strategies, resources and a professional network to drive global learning.
Location: The Friday Center for Continuing Education, Chapel Hill, NC
Cost: $175 per person. $600 for a team of four; $150 for each additional member
CEU: 1.5 CEUs offered

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October 6 – November 16, 2016
Join World View’s online course for an exploration of global topics such as the economy, the environment, diverse populations and the U.S.’s place in the world. Educators will gain hands-on experience with web-based resources for teaching about global issues in the classroom.
Location: Online!
Cost: $250 per person for World View Partners; $300 for Non-Partners
CEU: 4 CEUs offered

Journal for Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is accepting articles and literary reviews to be featured in the second issue of the Journal for Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership (JoITL). The peer-reviewed publication features original work on K–12 educational topics from research to pedagogy to policy, and more.
Special consideration will be given to works that address:
  • STEM education and science literacy
  • Project and inquiry based learning
  • Teacher leadership and research experiences for educators
  • Data literacy and digital learning
Submissions will be accepted through Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.
For submission guidelines, visit kenanfellows.org/journals. Please send questions to the managing editor, Amneris Solano, at asolano@ncsu.edu.

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.

©2016 Public School Forum of North Carolina. All Rights Reserved.

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Top Photo Credit: Chris Seward, News Observer

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