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The Friday Report

January 25, 2019

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Forum News

Public School Forum Releases Top 10 Education Issues for 2019: Let’s Make NC Public Schools Our No. 1 Priority

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The creation of a system of taxpayer-funded public schools accessible to all is one of America’s greatest achievements. Public education evolved in this country to not only serve the needs of individuals, but the public overall because our leaders understood having a well-educated citizenry was important to the protection of our democracy.

In North Carolina, public schools are ingrained into the fabric of our state’s identity. The Public School Forum of North Carolina believes— and the evidence shows — that this is a very good thing. Public education is one of the few institutions left where we all still come together regardless of color, religion and wealth. Does anyone question that we need that now more than ever?

As we prepared our list of the Top Ten Education Issues for 2019, we examined many of the same issues we have highlighted in recent years: improve teacher recruitment and retention, close gaps and shortfalls in school funding, address racial equity in our schools and implement transparency and accountability in the state’s private school voucher program. There are also important new ones, including a need to focus on the unique education challenges of rural North Carolina. Those demand attention.

But looking at the sum of these issues, what came into focus was a troubling and significant erosion of our state’s historic commitment to public schools. That’s why we believe the No. 1 issue for 2019 should be to “Renew North Carolina’s Commitment to Public Schools for the Public Good.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

To download the 2019 Top Ten Education Issues, click
here.

To read the press release, click here.

To view photos from Eggs & Issues 2019, click here.

To read more about the 2019 Top Ten Education Issues, see the following articles:

NC lawmakers should stop trying to ‘discredit’ and ‘devalue’ public schools, group says The N&O

Public School Forum releases top education priorities at annual breakfast EducationNC

Racial inequity, rural issues among group’s top concerns for North Carolina schools WRAL

Public school advocates call for renewed public school emphasis, support for rural districts NC Policy Watch

Public School Forum of NC releases top 10 education issues of 2019 CBS 17

Excerpt from: Poston, K. “Let’s make NC public schools our No. 1 priority.” The News & Observer. 1/23/19.

This Week on Education Matters: Top 10 Education Issues for 2019

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The Public School Forum of NC unveiled its Top 10 Education Issues for 2019 this week. A student/educator panel discusses the topics before a live audience in Raleigh at the 2019 Eggs & Issues Breakfast.

Guests:

  • Beth Embree, 2018-19 NC School Counselor of the Year, Catawba County Schools (pictured above, far left)
  • Alexa Jimenez, 2018 Latinx 20 Under 20, Heritage High School, Wake Forest (pictured above, right of center)
  • Freebird McKinney, 2018 Burroughs Wellcome Fund NC Teacher of the Year, Alamance-Burlington School System (pictured above, left of center)
  • Tabari Wallace, 2018 Wells Fargo NC Principal of the Year, Craven County Schools (pictured above, far right)

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.

What Does My Public School Mean to Me?

We asked students, teachers, leaders, and even a few NC celebrities: What does your NC public school mean to you? Check out their responses below:

State News

NC’s Teacher Diversity Gap: ‘Where Are the Black and Brown Teachers?’ In NC, 80 Percent of Public School Teachers Are White

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Dawn Hicks Tafari, an assistant professor of education at Winston-Salem State University, teaches a course called “Advancing the Academic Success of Black Males” on Oct. 30, 2018. Photo Credit: Kelly Hinchcliffe, WRAL.

Wake County teacher Carl Tyson sat dumbfounded next to his former student, Trey Stevens. After all these years, why did Trey come back to his class to say he was a favorite teacher? Of all of the teachers, why was he so special?

“I’m trying to figure out the defining moment,” Tyson said, clearly honored but confused.

Trey, now a sophomore at Fuquay-Varina High School, explained it was Mr. Tyson’s PE class at Holly Grove Middle School and his reading club, “Boys, Books and Bow Ties,” that left an impression. He is also one of the only black male teachers Trey has had in school.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hinchcliffe, K. and Tillett, L. “NC’s teacher diversity gap: ‘Where are the black and brown teachers?’ In North Carolina, 80 percent of public school teachers are white.” WRAL. 1/24/19.

Are NC Schools Biased Against Black Students? New Report Points to Suspension Rates.

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Racial equity report cards of North Carolina school districts show black students are more likely to be suspended and sent to the court system than white peers. Southern Coalition of Social Justice says data shows racial inequity exists. Photo Credit: News and Observer file photo.

A civil-rights group is calling on North Carolinians to look at racial inequity in school discipline and student achievement at the same time they honor the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend.

The Youth Justice Project of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice on Friday released “racial equity report cards” for the state and for individual school districts showing that black students are more likely to be suspended and referred to the court system than white classmates. The group says the data, when coupled with how black students are on average lagging academically, is a “call-to-action” to address racial inequity in North Carolina.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Are NC schools biased against black students? New report points to suspension rates.” The News & Observer. 1/18/19.

Erwin Is First Stop as Officials Talk School Bond

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Officials participate in a roundtable forum discussing a proposed school buildings bond. (From left to right) Harnett County Superintendent Aaron Fleming, State Superintendent Mark Johnson, House Speaker Tim Moore, Rep. David Lewis. Photo Credit: Rupen Fofaria, EducationNC.

Erwin Elementary was built in 1923, and it shows every bit of its age. With state officials scheduled to visit for a roundtable forum to discuss the need for new schools throughout the state, the staff at Erwin worked diligently to clean the old building. That was the update Erwin Mayor Patsy Carson heard when she called the school to check on preparations.

“Stop cleaning!” she exclaimed. “Let them see it like it is.”

Despite the cleaning, the message — that Erwin needs help building new schools — landed squarely. Both Rep. Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus, and Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union, felt nostalgia for their elementary school days upon seeing the timeworn buildings.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Fofaria, R. “Erwin is first stop as officials talk school bond.” EducationNC. 1/18/19.

Bad Math: Software Error Tweaks Grades in NC School

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Photo Credit: Ben Mullins, Unsplash.

A software error caused public school students around North Carolina to receive incorrect end-of-term grades this school year, state education officials said.

The Department of Public Instruction said it has been advising districts about the problem with PowerSchool software since December, after many schools sent home first-quarter report cards. The error could have affected as many as 109 school districts and 59 charter schools in the state, but it’s not clear exactly how many students were impacted.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

“Bad math: Software error tweaks grades in NC schools.” WRAL. 1/18/19.

School Lunches’ Fed Funding Uncertain after March

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Students eat lunch in the Camden Middle School cafeteria, Friday. Photo Credit: The Daily Advance.

Federal funding for child nutrition programs in the public schools continues to be an area of uncertainty as the partial shutdown of the federal government begins its second month.

At a school board committee meeting Tuesday, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools Finance Director Andrew Cox said the N.C. Department of Public Instruction recently advised school finance directors that regarding the shutdown, continued federal funding for school nutrition programs is DPI’s “only area of concern” right now.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Ponder, R. “School lunches’ fed funding uncertain after March.” The Daily Advance. 1/23/19.

National News

Shutdown Day 32: School Districts Step Up to Help Students and Families

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Kelsey Ashwood, an employee at The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, helps Cynthia Prewitt get apples during a pop-up food market for federal workers earlier this week, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla. Photo Credit: Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP.

With federal workers feeling squeezed from not receiving a paycheck during the longest shutdown of the federal government in history, school districts are stepping up to help families make ends meet.

Across the country—from Tulsa, Okla., to Atlanta—districts are offering jobs to idled federal employees, raising money to help struggling families, and expanding school meal programs so students with furloughed parents can have free breakfast and lunch at school.

Districts are doing so amid concerns that the National School Lunch Program, which feeds more than 30 million students annually, could run out of money in March if the United States Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, is not funded or if the shutdown does not end soon.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Superville, D. “Shutdown Day 32: School Districts Step Up to Help Students and Families.” Education Week. 1/23/19.

Is There a Path to Desegregated Schools?

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Image Credit: Daryn Ray, Education Week.

Editor’s Note: Staff Writer Denisa Superville covers districts, leadership, and management. This analysis is part of a special report exploring pressing trends in education. Read the full report: 10 Big Ideas in Education.

It’s been nearly 65 years since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka decision, and yet American schools remain deeply segregated.

In fact, researchers at the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, say the nation’s K-12 public schools have become doubly segregated for large numbers of black and brown students, many of whom attend schools where the majority of their peers are also brown, black, and poor.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Superville, D. “Is There a Path to Desegregated Schools?” Education Week. 1/8/19.

Opportunities

The Friday Institute: Free High Quality Online Course 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 Teaching Statistics Through Inferential Reasoning, Coaching Digital Learning, Teaching Foundational Reading Skills, Teaching Mathematics with Technology and more. Courses start February 5. Sign up today and learn more at go.ncsu.edu/mooced.

Synergy Conference 2019

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The Synergy Conference 2019 for afterschool professionals will convene April 24-25, 2019 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. This year’s conference is themed “DOING THE M.O.S.T.: MAXIMIZING OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME”. The conference timeline can be viewed here.

Early Registration and the Request for Proposals (RFPs) for workshop presenters and vendors are now open. We are excited to announce that Mentoring has been added as a new workshop strand. Workshop strands include Arts & Literacy, Closing Gaps, College & Career Readiness, Mentoring, Organizational Capacity, Public/Private Partnerships, S.T.E.M., and Youth Development.

You can register here by February 10th for the discounted rate of $200. Regular registration will begin on February 11th at the regular rate of $225. To learn more or submit proposals, please visit: ncafterschool.org/synergyconference2019/

Call for 2019-20 Kenan Fellowship Applications

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Applications for 2019-20 Kenan fellowships will be accepted through Jan. 21, 2019. These fellowships address the critical need to develop and empower high-quality teachers who can drive innovations that make learning more authentic and engaging for students.

The fellowship begins with a summer internship in a higher education laboratory or local industry setting and is supported by 80 hours of professional development that focuses on instructional leadership, elevating teacher voice, strengthening ties between the school and the local community, peer coaching and mentoring, and growing professional learning networks that extend beyond the school and local district.

Fellowship projects have a unique set of criteria that in some cases is restricted by district, grade level, and subject. Projects vary from scientific research to work experiences in the agriculture, energy and high-tech manufacturing industries. 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. Fellows remain in the classroom while completing the year-long fellowship.

Applicants must submit an essay detailing their desire to have influence beyond the classroom and two letters of recommendation. Final candidates are invited for an in-person interview to be conducted in their local area. Fellowships are based on funding and awarded each spring.

Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] should you have questions.

FAST NC Fundraising Drive to Aid Public Schools

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A historic storm has devastated parts of North Carolina. In response, a historic, bipartisan coalition of current and former state education leaders presented their effort to aid schools to the State Board of Education, promoting Florence Aid to Students and Teachers (FAST NC) as a drive to help North Carolina’s public schools as students and educators struggle to return to normal.

Hurricane Florence caused at least 1.2 million, or about 80 percent, of North Carolina’s public school students to miss some school. Many school buildings are damaged, and several school districts are still closed due to displacement, flooding and storm-related disruptions. Now, FAST NC has brought together an illustrious steering committee for the effort to help schools recover.

To learn more about FAST NC and how to donate, 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.

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Download the Forum’s 2018 Education Primer

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