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The Friday Report

April 19, 2019

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Forum News

This Week on Education Matters: NC Teachers Marching Again

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On May 16th last year, nearly 20,000 North Carolina teachers descended on Raleigh for a march and rally outside the NC General Assembly asking for more support for public schools and respect for the teaching profession. Teachers are planning another rally on May 1 this year asking the General Assembly to fully fund public education. This week we’re joined by Mark Jewell, President of the NC Association of Educators that organized these marches to discuss what teachers hope to accomplish this year. Then we’ll be joined by two leading journalists to talk about the teacher march, education policy, the state budget and more.

Guests:

  • Mark Jewell, President, NC Association of Educators (pictured above)
  • Kelly Hinchcliffe, Education Reporter, WRAL News (pictured below, left)
  • Jeff Tiberii, Capitol Bureau Chief, WUNC Radio (pictured below, right)
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When and Where to Watch Education Matters

Saturday at 7:30 PM, WRAL-TV (Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sunday at 8:00 AM, FOX 50 (Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sunday at 6:30 AM and Wednesday at 9:30 AM, UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel (Statewide)

The North Carolina Channel can be found on Time Warner Cable/Spectrum Channel 1276 or check your local listings and other providers here.

Online at www.ncforum.org.

Education Matters is also available as a podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Overcast, and Google Play Music.

Legislative Update: The Teaching Fellows Edition!

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This week, we are focusing our updates on bills introduced this session that pertain to the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program. NCTF, which was originally created and led by the Public School Forum, is now run through the UNC system.

Compared to the original Teaching Fellows program which promoted teacher recruitment through mentorship, scholarship, and holistic training at 17 educator preparation programs across the state, the current program is more limited. Now, NCTF is housed at 5 institutions: UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, NC State, Elon University, and Meredith College, and is restricted to teachers entering the fields of STEM or Special Education. The bills discussed below propose various expansions to the current program. Other bills may yet be introduced before the filing deadline.

Senate Bill 383: NC Teaching Fellows Changes

Sponsor(s): Ballard; Tillman; Johnson (Primary) Britt; McInnis; Mohammed; Searcy

Status: Ref to Com on Rules and Operations of the Senate on 3/28/2019

House Bill 408: Expand Teaching Fellows Program

Sponsor(s): Gill; Clemmons; Hawkins; Brockman (Primary)Autry; Batch; Beasley; Belk; Carney; Clark; Dahle; Farmer-Butterfield; Fisher; Gailliard; Garrison; Graham; Harris; Harrison; Holley; Insko; John; Logan; Lucas; Martin; Montgomery; Pierce; Russell; R. Smith; Terry; von Haefen; Wray

Status: Ref to the Com on Education – Universities, if favorable, Appropriations, Education, if favorable, Appropriations, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House on 3/21/2019

House Bill 236: Add World Languages/Teaching Fellows Program

Sponsor(s): Insko; Lofton; Brockman; Hardister (Primary) Ager; Autry; Beasley; Belk; Butler; Farmer-Butterfield; Fisher; Garrison; Gill; Harrison; Hawkins; Holley; Hunt; Hunter; John; Lucas; Majeed; Meyer; Morey; Quick; Terry; Wray

Status: Ref to the Com on Education – Universities, if favorable, Appropriations, Education, if favorable, Appropriations, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House on 3/4/2019

Senate Bill 400: Modify Teaching Fellows/CC Requirement

Sponsor(s): Burgin (Primary) McInnis; Mohammed; Sanderson; Steinburg

Status: Ref to Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate on 4/1/2019

Summaries

Senate Bill 383 would expand the NC Teaching Fellow program to three additional institutions of higher education. The addition of three additional institutions would be a positive step towards recruiting additional students to the teaching profession, and could lead to much needed increases in racial diversity in the teacher pipeline if the selected educator preparation programs include historically black colleges and universities or other minority serving institutions. However, even with the inclusion of an additional three schools, the total number of institutions would still be less than half that of the original Teaching Fellows program.

House Bill 408, on the other hand, would expand the Teaching Fellows program to all institutions of the The University of North Carolina with approved education preparation programs and two private postsecondary institutions in the state that meet the standards for selection. This larger expansion could open the program up to a wider and more diverse range of teaching candidates.

Neither of these bills addresses the restriction to only STEM and Special Education licensure areas.

HB 236 aims to expand the program to beyond the areas of STEM and Special Education to include teachers of World Languages. The Department of Public Instruction defines World (Foreign) Language as the study of another language and states that it leads to “higher scores on standardized tests (reading, math, SAT), greater cognitive development in the areas of mental flexibility, creativity, divergent thinking and higher-order thinking skills, a broader English vocabulary, a better understanding of one’s own language and culture, and enhanced career opportunities.” This represents a positive step toward expansion of NCTF, but subject areas would still be very limited under this bill.

Senate Bill 400 proposes the most substantive changes to the current Teaching Fellows program of all bills listed here, and would expand the program to all institutions in the UNC system with approved EPP programs as well as community college partners. This bill would also expand eligibility for fellowships to teaching candidates who plan to pursue licensure in any subject area. The inclusion of community colleges as partners with EPP programs for students’ initial coursework in teacher education would likely create a more seamless transition for a number of teaching candidates across the state as they move from high school to the university system. By expanding the program in this way, a more diverse group of candidates- both in terms of race/ethnicity and geography- would have access to the benefits of financial and professional support, as well as the prestige of the program.

2019 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award Gala

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James (Jim) and Barbara Goodmon are the recipients of the 2019 Public School Forum of North Carolina Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award. The Forum established the award in 2000 to recognize leaders who have demonstrated innovative, creative, and effective leadership for public education in North Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Goodmon will be honored at a gala event on Thursday, May 30, at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Jim Goodmon, chairman and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company, and Barbara Goodmon, president of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, have spent decades finding innovative ways to meet their community’s needs—and public education has been at the top of their agenda. As actively engaged philanthropists and changemakers, the Goodmons have promoted effective and high-quality human services for disadvantaged people and communities and spearheaded efforts to ensure North Carolina’s citizens have access to first-class early childhood education and public schools across the state.

Complimentary NC Educator Tickets

Each year the Public School Forum reserves complimentary tickets for NC educators to join us for the Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award Gala. Complimentary tickets will be given on a first come, first served basis with priority given to Public School Forum program participants.

To request a ticket, fill out the form here. We will notify those selected on Thursday, May 16, 2019. Please note that filling out the request form does not guarantee you will receive a ticket. Please contact Irene Mone at 919-781-6833 ext. 102 or [email protected] with any questions.

Event Details:

Thursday, May 30, 2018

Raleigh Convention Center

6:00 p.m. Reception, 7:00 p.m. Dinner and Program

To purchase event tickets, click below.

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If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Marisa Bryant at [email protected].

Synergy 2019

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Thank you to everyone that registered for the upcoming Synergy Conference. We look forward to hosting you at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, North Carolina!

The Synergy Conference is the premiere afterschool and expanded learning conference in North Carolina. This year’s conference is themed “DOING THE M.O.S.T.: MAXIMIZING OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME” and will take place during Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week.

We are excited about the conference agenda which is full of engaging keynote speakers, workshops, networking opportunities, vendors and more. We look forward to seeing you in Greensboro next week!

To learn more about the conference, please visit:www. ncafterschool.org/synergyconference2019/.

State News

Many Kids Can’t Get into NC Pre-K. Now Some Lawmakers Want to Offer Online Preschool.

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Preschool students join hands during a pre-K program at Hillandale Elementary School in Durham in 2016. Photo Credit: Chris Seward, The News & Observer.

Some North Carolina lawmakers want to help address the long waiting list for pre-kindergarten seats by offering a state-funded online preschool program for low-income families.

The state House Education Committee backed legislation on Tuesday that would create a three-year virtual early learning pilot program targeted at preparing at-risk preschool children for kindergarten. Backers of the new program say it will help underserved young children who aren’t able to get into a traditional pre-K program.

But critics say the new program falls short of providing children a real preschool program.

‘It seems so often in the last few years that we’re doing things on the cheap.” Keith Poston, president of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, said in an interview Tuesday.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

To read more about this topic, see the following article: Study: NC boosts pre-K funding and enrollment, but needs to expand access WRAL

Excerpt from:
Hui, K. “Many kids can’t get into NC Pre-K. Now some lawmakers want to offer online preschool.” The News & Observer. 4/16/19.

Second-Grade Teacher in Moore County Schools Wins NC’s Top Honors

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Mariah Morris of West Pine Elementary School in Pinehurst, the 2019 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

Mariah Morris, a second-grade teacher at West Pine Elementary School in Pinehurst, was named the 2019 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year during an awards luncheon today in Cary. Morris was selected from a field of nine finalists representing the state’s eight education districts and charter schools.

Morris has been teaching for 13 years, the last three at West Pine Elementary School in Moore County, where she’s integrated STEM education into her own classroom instruction while helping lead district efforts to emphasize STEM learning across all grades.

To continue reading the complete press release, click here.

Excerpt from:
“Second-Grade Teacher in Moore County Schools Wins NC’s Top Honors.” NC Department of Public Instruction. 4/12/19.

Senators Are Acting on 3 Education Bills Affecting Testing, Reading and Teacher Shortages

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Senate leader Phil Berger announces legislation designed to get more children reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. Reading performance for 3rd-grade students has actually dropped since the Read To Achieve program was launched in 2012. Photo Credit: Travis Long, The News & Observer.

Senate leader Phil Berger acknowledged “some disappointments” in an effort to improve reading among elementary-school children, but asked senators to move ahead with that program in a modified form.

Proposed legislation overhauling the Read To Achieve program was among several bills backed Wednesday by the state Senate Education Committee with no opposition. Others deal with encouraging retired teachers to return and reducing the number of tests given to students.

The changes for retired teachers and Read To Achieve, the state’s program for trying to get students reading by the end of third grade, are both sponsored by Berger. He made a rare appearance at the Education Committee on Wednesday to lobby for his legislation.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Hui, K. “Senators are acting on 3 education bills affecting testing, reading and teacher shortages.” The Charlotte Observer. 4/17/19.

Some NC Schools Nix Closing for May 1 Teachers Rally, Saying That Students Need to Be in Class

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From left, Melodie Bryant from Shallotte, Carol Cosetti from Clayton and Sandra Thornton from Willow Spring cheer on the speakers during the Rally for Respect at Bicentennial Plaza in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Photo Credit: Ethan Hyman, The News & Observer.

Some North Carolina school districts are trying to stay open May 1 by encouraging teachers to send small groups to Raleigh for the planned mass protest instead of having large numbers of employees take the day off.

The state’s four largest school districts, including Wake County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, are canceling classes on May 1 because so many school employees have requested the day off. But some districts are asking their teachers to arrange for small delegations to go to Raleigh while classes remain in session on May 1.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Hui, K. “Some NC schools nix closing for May 1 teachers rally, saying that students need to be in class.” The News & Observer. 4/15/19.

Governor’s Leandro Commission Dissects Testing and Accountability

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Photo Credit: Liz Bell, EducationNC.

Student assessment has been the topic of many initiatives and conversations in education policy as of late. There are multiple bills introduced this legislative session that would tweak or eliminate testing requirements. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has put testing reduction as one of his department’s priorities this year, and the State Board of Education passed a policy at its last meeting that eliminates certain elementary tests on social studies and science.

This week, the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education looked at where the state is with testing and accountability, what a balanced assessment system could look like, and how data the state collects translates to supporting schools. The commission is addressing how the state can meet its constitutional mandate to provide equal educational opportunity to every child. Along with a report from outside consultant WestEd, the commission will give its final findings to the State Supreme Court as part of the decades-long Leandro lawsuit. The lawsuit started when several low-wealth counties sued the state, saying their students were not receiving the same quality of education as wealthier districts.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Bell, L. “Governor’s Leandro commission dissects testing and accountability.” EducationNC. 4/12/19.

Required Personal Finance Class for NC Students Could Mean Fewer US History Lessons

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Joe Barley-Maloney teaches a tenth-grade American History II class on Aug. 4, 2014 at Southeast Raleigh High School. Photo Credit: Travis Long, The News & Observer.

North Carolina high school students could be required to learn more about financial literacy, but it could come at the cost of learning less about U.S. history.

Legislation going through both the state House and Senate would create an economics and personal finance class that students would need to pass to graduate from high school. But in order to squeeze in that new graduation requirement, the state may need to eliminate one of two currently required U.S. history courses.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt
Hui, K. “Required personal finance class for NC students could mean fewer US history lessons.” The Charlotte Observer. 4/12/19.

‘We Will Never Forget.’ NC Lawmakers Pass Bill Requiring Schools to Teach the Holocaust

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a first visit to the Dachau concentration camp by a sitting chancellor, spoke to Holocaust survivors and emphasized the importance of learning from Germany’s past. Photo Credit: McClatchy, The New York Times.

North Carolina lawmakers recalled their sobering memories of touring concentration camps before the state House unanimously voted Tuesday to require public school students to be taught about the Holocaust.

House Bill 437 requires the State Board of Education to include instruction of the Holocaust and genocide into the English and social studies standards used in middle schools and high schools.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Hui, K. “‘We will never forget.’ NC lawmakers pass bill requiring schools to teach the Holocaust.” The News & Observer. 4/16/19.

National News

School District Secessions Gather Speed, a New Report Shows

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Leslie Williams grew up in the North Smithfield community where she currently lives with her children. Students in the community attend Bragg Middle School (pictured here) and Gardendale High School. Photo Credit: Tamika Moore, The Hechinger Report.

One night in 2017, Leslie Williams saw a post on Facebook about a meeting later that evening at Gardendale City Hall. Gardendale, a predominately white city in Alabama, had put forward a proposal to split from the Jefferson County School District, which enrolls a student body that is majority black and Latino. If Gardendale’s plan were successful, Williams — who’d graduated from Gardendale High School and always dreamed of sending her three kids there — would instead be forced to enroll them in lower-performing schools farther from her home.

She stood in front of the packed hearing room that night and decided to turn her back on the school board members up at the dais and speak directly to fellow parents. “The options they’ve given us are schools that are already overcrowded,” she said. “Like you, I just want my children to have the best.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Felton, E. “School district secessions gather speed, a new report shows.” The Hechinger Report. 4/17/19.

Here’s How 7 States Are Faring in the Battle Over School Funding

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Thousands of educators and advocates demonstrate at the Maryland State House in Annapolis March 11 to put education issues—high among them school funding and teacher pay—front and center for state lawmakers. Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Dolan, Education Week.

At the beginning of this year, the National Conference of State Legislatures predicted there was a chance that more than half of states could finally overhaul the antiquated—and, advocates say, often inequitable—formulas that have been dictating their K-12 funding for years.

The political and fiscal environment was ripe: Many states were flush with cash, teachers were demanding more money for schools in general along with salary increases, and there was widespread agreement among district administrators that funding formulas were both outdated and insufficient in fairly distributing school aid.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Burnette II, D. “Here’s How 7 States Are Faring in the Battle Over School Funding.” Education Week. 4/11/19.

Scoring States on Charter School Integration

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Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels.

The relationship between charter schools and school integration has been complicated from the start. In the late 1980s, inspired by a vision articulated by Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, policy leaders and educators in Minnesota began dreaming up ideas for a new kind of public school which would empower teachers, integrate students, and serve as educational laboratories. They began brainstorming laws and policies that would be needed to make this a reality. In an influential report, the Citizens League, a Minnesota community policy organization, outlined a vision for “chartered schools” that included “Building Additional Quality through Diversity” as one of two main tenets.

At the time, it was already clear that racial and socioeconomic integration in schools was one of the most effective educational interventions for raising the achievement of students of color and those from low-income backgrounds (and research in the decades following has only added to that evidence). The Citizens League’s report called for requirements to ensure that charter schools would have “an affirmative plan for promoting integration by ability level and race.” However, in 1991, when Minnesota passed the first charter school law in the country, school integration provisions were nowhere to be found. Today, a pending class action lawsuit accuses the state of allowing cities and towns to establish school policies that enable segregation and names charter schools as one of the drivers of racial isolation.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Potter, H. and Nunberg, M. “Scoring States on Charter School Integration.” The Century Foundation. 4/4/19.

Opportunities

Making Innovation a Priority in NC Schools

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Watson College is hosting its second “Making Innovation a Priority in NC Schools” conference at UNCW, May 13th. The goals of the conference are to: highlight innovative programs and practices across the state; build support for an infrastructure for innovation; and provide attendees with an opportunity to engage in innovative/design thinking.

For more information about the conference go to the conference website here. Registration is FREE. We ask all attendees to register by May 1st.

2019 Professional Educators of NC Conference

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PENC will be hosting it’s 2019 Conference, “Supercharged with STEAM” on May 4, 2019, in Raleigh at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel.

Attendees will earn 0.5 (digital learning) CEUs while they learn about STEAM Education. STEAM is showing success in schools all around the world to better teach academic and life skills in a standards-backed, reality-based, personally relevant exploratory learning environment. It is a framework for teaching that is based on natural ways of learning, customizable for ALL types of students and programs and is FUNctional!

Keynote speaker Jan Hargrave, author, an expert in the field of nonverbal communication will teach you how to improve your communication skills in order to become a more effective communicator. Her information could help you to “read” your family, your students, your associates, in fact, everyone around you. Bring your body, your curiosity, your sense of humor and learn what your body – and the body of others – is communicating to the world.

Visit www.pencweb.org/2019-conference for more details and to register!

Purchase orders may be used for school groups! Please contact Alex Cozort at [email protected] with any questions or for more information.

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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