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The Friday Report

January 19, 2018

Forum News

This Week on Education Matters:

Is a Class Size Fix Coming?

Last week, hundreds of parents, teachers and students descended on Raleigh calling on the General Assembly to address the K-3 class size mandate they say is creating chaos in schools across the state. Now that legislators have adjourned again without taking action, what will happen next?

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Guests Include:

  • Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Franklin, Wake)
  • Sen. Rick Horner (R-Johnston, Nash, Wilson)
  • Dr. Aaron Fleming, Superintendent, Harnett County Schools

When and Where to Watch Education Matters

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

Sundays at 8:00 AM, FOX 50

(Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

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

The North Carolina Channel can be found on Time Warner Cable/Spectrum Channel 1277 or check your local listing and other providers here.

Education Matters is also available as a podcast on iTunesSoundCloudStitcherPodBeanOvercast and 

Google Play Music.

Online at https://www.ncforum.org/

Public School Forum to Release Top 10 Education Issues for 2018 Next Week

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The Public School Forum will host its sold-out 4th Annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast next Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh. This special event began in 2015 to showcase the Forum’s release of its annual Top Ten Education Issues, a unique take on the state’s most pressing issues in education.

The event will feature a presentation of the Top Ten Issues, followed by a panel discussion about key issues in education in North Carolina. The panel will be moderated by Keith Poston, President & Executive Director of the Public School Forum of NC, and will air as a special episode of Education Matters. 

Panelists include:

  • Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union)
  • Sen. Valerie Foushee (D-Chatham, Orange)
  • Lisa Godwin, 2017 NC Teacher of the Year
  • Sepideh Saidi, President & CEO, SEPI Engineering & Construction, Inc.

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Event Details

Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Time: 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM

Location: Marbles Kids Museum

201 East Hargett Street, Raleigh, NC  

This event is now SOLD OUT.

Felony Conviction Doesn’t Prevent Vandevender From Coaching Trinity Christian

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Trinity Christian coach Heath Vandevender watches his team play Cape Fear Christian on Feb. 18 during the quarterfinal round of the NCISAA Class 1-A  playoffs. Photo Credit: Andrew Craft, The Fayetteville Observer. 

Basketball is the marquee sport at Trinity Christian, a faith-based Fayetteville private school with an enrollment of about 375 students in grades K-12.

Among the Crusaders’ alumni is former N.C. State guard Dennis Smith Jr., a rookie for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Duke commitment Joey Baker, one of the top-ranked recruits in the class of 2019, is the star player this season.

Trinity Christian’s success on the court is the reason the Crusaders were invited to play Greensboro Day on Saturday in the N.C. Scholastic Classic at the Greensboro Coliseum Fieldhouse.

But in February 2017, Trinity Christian was in the news for a different reason. Longtime coach Heath Vandevender was charged with failing to pay $388,422.68 in North Carolina withholding tax. Vandevender was the payroll manager for Truth Outreach Center Inc., which operates Trinity Christian School as one of Trinity Christian Church’s ministries, from 2008 through 2015.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Sirera, J. “Felony conviction doesn’t prevent Vandevender from coaching Trinity Christian.” News &  Record. 1/18/18.

New Study Shows Big Gap in Education Spending Among North Carolina Counties

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A new study from the Public School Forum of North Carolina shows a large and growing gap in public school funding between the wealthiest and poorest counties. Photo Credit: Lisa Philip, WUNC. 

A new study from the Public School Forum of North Carolina confirms a large and growing gap in public school funding between the wealthiest and the poorest counties. The study found that in 2015-2016, the 10 highest spending counties spent $2,364 more per student than the 10 lowest-spending counties, and the gap has increased every year since 2011.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Lindsay Wagner, co-author of the report and senior researcher at the Public School Forum.

To continue reading the complete article and listen to the interview, click here.

Download the 2018 Local School Finance Study.

Excerpt from:

Magnus, A. and Stasio, F. “New Study Shows Big Gap In Education Spending Among North Carolina Counties.” WUNC. 1/16/18.

In This Issue

Public School Forum Programs

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Nominate a Leader for Children in Your Community

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

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

To nominate someone, please fill out the form here.

State News

Legislature to Take Up Class Size Issue in March

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

Expect the state legislature to be in session this March and for it to take up school system concerns with class size restrictions that could otherwise trigger major changes for Wake County students, Sen. John Alexander, R-Wake, said Thursday.

Alexander said he’s been getting hundreds of emails on the issue “for a while” and that there’s general agreement among state Senate leadership that, “Yes, we do need to come back in March on this.” Whether a change would include more funding or another delay to K-3 class size restrictions set to kick in for the 2018-19 school year remains to be seen.

Attempts Thursday to confirm plans for the legislature to be in session in March were not immediately successful. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s press office declined to say one way or the other. State Sen. Tamara Barringer, a fellow Wake Republican who met recently with Alexander and Wake County school officials on the class size issue, said she wasn’t “in a position to comment” on the timing but that she was “certainly hopeful that we will craft a solution to this crisis.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Fain, T. “‘Alexander: Legislature to take up class size issue in March.” WRAL. 1/18/18.

North Carolina Slips in National Ranking on Public Education

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Third-graders scurry around the room during gym class at Mills Park Elementary in Cary on Nov. 22, 2016. 

Photo Credit: Chris Seward, The News & Observer. 

Issues with school funding and student achievement dropped North Carolina to 40th in the country in a new report card on public education, continuing a downward trend in the rankings for the Tar Heel state.

North Carolina received a C- grade and a score of 70.6 out of a possible 100 in the 2018 Quality Counts report released this week by Education Week. That’s below the national grade of C and score of 74.5. North Carolina’s score put it 40th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “‘North Carolina slips in national ranking on public education.” The News & Observer.  1/18/18.

Charter Schools Are Taking Money Away from NC School Districts, Study Says

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Teacher’s aide Elizabeth Young asks a question of her students during an English lesson at the Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham on Dec. 20, 2016. A new study says charter schools are costing Durham Public Schools between $500 and $700 per student. Photo Credit: Chuck Liddy, The News & Observer. 

Charter schools in North Carolina are taking money away from traditional public schools and reducing what services those school districts can provide to their students, according to a new research paper co-authored by a Duke University professor.

The paper, released in December, found that charter schools had “significant negative fiscal” effects on Durham Public Schools, the Orange County school system and four other North Carolina districts studied in the report. In the case of Durham, the study found that charter schools are creating a fiscal burden for the district between $500 and $700 per student.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “‘Charter schools are taking money away from NC school districts, study says.” The News & Observer. 1/12/18.

New Website Launched to Promote 

Statewide School Bond

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A new website launched this week to encourage the passage of the Public School Building Bond Act (HB 866/SB 542), to get a school construction bond on the statewide ballot in November 2018. If approved by voters, the bond will provide $1.9 billion for public school facility grants to all 100 counties. The website, www.ncschoolbond.com, was developed to educate the public and build grassroots support for the effort. A statewide bond is urgently needed to help address the staggering shortfall in funding for construction and renovations at public school facilities throughout North Carolina. Outstanding needs are estimated to exceed $8.1 billion.

To visit the website, click here.

Are Black Students More Likely to Be Suspended in Your Child’s NC School District?

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Protesters talk about the state of Wake County school discipline at an event outside East Wake High School in Wendell in this 2014 file photo. Photo Credit: The News & Observer file photo.

As Americans mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day, new report cards have been released showing the state of racial equity in North Carolina’s public schools.

The Youth Justice Project of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice says the project reveals significant racial gaps in how students from different groups are treated. The Racial Equity Report Cards use public data on academic achievement, school discipline and juvenile court involvement to provide a picture of all 115 North Carolina school districts and the state.

Black students are more likely to be suspended than their white classmates, according to the report cards. During the 2015-16 school year, black students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system were 10 times more likely to be suspended than white students, 8.7 times more likely in Durham and 7.8 times more likely in Wake County.

To continue reading the complete article, click here

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Are black students more likely to be suspended in your child’s NC school district?” The News & Observer. 1/15/18.

NC Teaching Fellows Program Back in ‘Full Force;’

Now It’s Looking for Applicants

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

The N.C. Teaching Fellows Program is back … and is looking for some qualified applicants who are interested in dedicating their careers to teaching North Carolina’s children.

The program is a competitive, merit-based forgivable loans for service program that provides up to $8,250 a year for up to four years to highly-qualified students committed to teaching special education or a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) field in a North Carolina public school, according to the website. The loans can be used at five partner schools – N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte, Meredith College and Elon University.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Lindenfeld Hall, S.. “N.C. Teaching Fellows Program back in ‘full force;’ now it’s looking for applicants.” WRAL. 1/12/18.

Durham Superintendent Warns Parents Against Charter Schools, Resegregation

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New Superintendent Pascal Mubenga warned Tuesday night that Durham Public Schools will resegregate itself if it continues to lose students to charter schools. Photo Credit: Casey Toth, The Herald Sun.

As much as he wanted to avoid talking about charter schools, Superintendent Pascal Mubenga couldn’t get around discussing their impact on Durham Public Schools during his town hall meeting Tuesday night at Hillside High School.

Durham’s charter school enrollment, about 4,800 students four years ago, has climbed to nearly 6,400 students.

Mubenga said that “because I’m the superintendent of DPS and not charter schools,” he didn’t want to spend too much time talking about charters, but felt compelled to do so because of the impact they have on DPS.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from: 

Childress, G. “Durham superintendent warns parents against charter schools, resegregation.” The Herald Sun. 1/17/18.

On Snow Days, Some Kids Go Hungry.

Here’s How You Can Help.

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Melissa Plum, a social worker at Lynn Road Elementary School in Raleigh, packs book bags with food on Dec. 17, 2015. Plum delivered the bags to students who are part of the Backpack Buddies program. Photo Credit: The News & Observer.

If students are especially eager to get back to school after a snow day, it might not be because they’re hungry to learn. They might actually be hungry.

In the seven-county region of Wake, Durham, Orange, Johnston, Chatham, Nash and Edgecombe, 118,080 kindergarten through 12th-grade students – 45 percent of the combined area’s student population – applied for free or reduced-price meals during the 2016-17 school year. For some, the school cafeteria is the most reliable source of food in their lives.

School cancellations, especially when they stretch into several days, can force families to choose between paying utility or pharmacy bills and having enough food.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from: 

Quillin, M. and Baird, P. “On snow days, some kids go hungry. Here’s how you can help.” The News & Observer. 1/17/18.

National News

America’s Schools Are ‘Profoundly Unequal,’ Says U.S. Civil Rights Commission

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Image Credit: LA Johnson, NPR.

“The federal government must take bold action to address inequitable funding in our nation’s public schools.”

So begins a list of recommendations released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bipartisan agency created by Congress in 1957 to investigate civil rights complaints. Thursday’s report comes after a lengthy investigation into how America’s schools are funded and why so many that serve poor and minority students aren’t getting the resources they say they need.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Turner, C. “America’s Schools Are ‘Profoundly Unequal,’ Says U.S. Civil Rights Commission.” NPR Ed. 1/11/18.

35 Years After Release of ‘A Nation at Risk,’ Reagan Institute to Hold Education Summit Surveying a Generation of Change

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Photo Credit: The 74 Million.

In April, “A Nation at Risk” turns 35, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is using the anniversary as a chance to discuss the state of American education in light of one of the school reform movement’s seminal reports.

The institute is planning an inaugural bipartisan Summit on Education in Washington, D.C., on April 11 and 12 to discuss what’s been learned (and what hasn’t) since the report’s release, from the role of states in education to the Every Student Succeeds Act.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Fay, L. “35 Years After Release of ‘A Nation at Risk,’ Reagan Institute to Hold Education Summit Surveying a Generation of Change.” The 74 Million. 1/17/18.

Opportunities

Synergy Conference 2018: 

Early Registration Now Open

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Building Tomorrow’s Workforce Today Through Expanded Learning
When: April 25 – 27, 2018

Where: The Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, NC

Each year, the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) holds a conference to convene community, state, and national stakeholders in the afterschool and expanded learning environment. The Synergy Conference convenes hundreds of out-of-school time providers to share insight on research-based practices, effective programs, and public policies that impact students and their overall success in school and life.

Early Registration is now open for the annual Synergy Conference! You can register here before February 14th for the discounted rate of $200. Regular registration will begin on February 15th at the rate of $225.

The Synergy Conference has a hotel block at the Hilton Greenville at the discounted rate of $139/night, which includes breakfast. You can make hotel reservations hereHotel reservations must be made by March 26th to get the discounted rate. Please make your hotel reservations as soon as possible as space is limited.

If you would like to present a workshop, please download and review the Workshop Request for Proposals, and then submit a proposal here.

If you would like to serve as a vendor, please download and review the Vendor Request for Proposals, and then submit a proposal here.

The deadline to submit proposals has been extended to 5pm on Wednesday, January 24th. Selected workshop and vendor proposals will be notified by January 31st. For more information please visit  https://ncafterschool.org/synergyconference2018/

The Friday Institute: Free High Quality

Online Courses for Educators

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Improve your practice with The Friday Institute’s free high-quality online courses for educators. Courses are self-directed, peer-supported and project-based. Topics include Problem Solving in the Digital Age, Teaching Statistics Through Inferential Reasoning, Learning Differences, Teaching Foundational Reading Skills, Teaching Mathematics with Technology and Fraction Foundations. Courses start February 5th. Sign up today and learn more at go.ncsu.edu/mooced.

NCSSM Seeking a Director of Step Up to STEM

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The North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM) is seeking a visionary with a strong commitment to the power of educational opportunities to be the Director of our evolving program for underrepresented students in STEM at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM). To learn more about the Step Up to STEM program, click here.

Specific Expectations:

  1. Attend four meetings between now and June with a small committee to learn about the school and our infrastructure and strategic goals and to plan the one week residential program for 50 students for the Summer of 2018.
  2. Use experience and networking to meet strategic goals and provide for a quality experience for participants.
  3. Shape our proposal for future programming for grant applications that we will write and submit in the Spring and Summer of 2018 to implement in 2019.
  4. Be present for welcome session on one Sunday in July and attend various sessions that week as the Director, including a closing ceremony. Exact dates TBD.

You will have full administrative support. We will advertise, recruit, hire, train, implement programming, monitor through surveys and observation, administer funding and budgets, and supervise.

Minimum Qualifications:

Master’s degree in related field or equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience working with youth populations that identify as African American, Hispanic American, and Native American.

We will provide a $3,000 honorarium for this appointment to be paid in two equal parts in May and September. To apply,  please send a cover letter, resume / CV and references to jen.hill@ncssm.eduAccepting applications through February 1st. 

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Accepting Applications for 

Student STEM Enrichment Program

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The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has opened it’s application for the 2018 Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) grant awards. SSEP supports diverse programs with a common goal: to enable primary and secondary students to participate in creative, hands-on STEM activities for K-12 students and pursue inquiry-based exploration in BWF’s home state of North Carolina. These awards provide up to $60,000 per year for three years. The application deadline is April 18, 2018.

For more information or to access the application, visit http://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/science-education/student-science-enrichment-program.

Grow Your Career Skills with the Kenan Fellows Program

 

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The 2018-19 Fellowship application is now open. The Fellowship begins with a summer internship in a higher education lab or industry setting and is supported by 80 hours of professional development that focuses on building leadership capacity and proven instructional strategies. The 2018-19 application period ends January 22, 2018.

Each Fellow is awarded at least a $5,000 stipend, and must develop and implement relevant educational materials and/or programs based on their internship experience. To apply click here.

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

©2018 Public School Forum of North Carolina. All Rights Reserved.

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