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The Friday Report

June 14, 2019

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This Week on Education Matters: North Carolina Rock Star Teachers

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The State of North Carolina is fortunate to be home to thousands of exceptional public school teachers. In fact, North Carolina leads the nation in the percentage of Nationally Board Certified teachers, the gold standard for professional excellence in teaching. This week on the show, you’re going to meet three rock star teachers including the new 2019 NC Teacher of the Year, Mariah Morris from Moore County and the 2018 NC Teacher of the Year and Western Region Teacher of the Year, Freebird McKinney and Julie Paige Pittman. We’ll introduce you to Mariah Morris and talk teacher leadership with Freebird and Julie.

Guests:

· Mariah Morris, 2019 NC Teacher of the Year (Top)

· Freebird McKinney, 2018 NC Teacher of the Year (Bottom right)

· Julie Paige Pittman, 2018 Western Region Teacher of the Year (Bottom left)

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When and Where to Watch Education Matters

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

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.

Watch online at www.ncforum.org.

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

Legislative Update

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Senate Bill 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment

Sponsor(s): Smith; Tillman; Chaudhuri (Primary) Ballard; Foushee; Lowe; Marcus; Waddell

Status: Passed 3rd reading in the House, Sent to Senate

Summary: Senate Bill 500 makes some modifications to a bill that passed with bipartisan support in last year’s session, which requires schools to place students scoring at a level 5 on state math exams into advanced math courses.

If passed, SB 500 would require that local school boards of education offer advanced learning opportunities in mathematics for grades three through five and advanced courses in mathematics in all grades six and higher for students who score highly on the end-of-grade or end-of-course test for mathematics. This bill would also stipulate that parents or guardians of students placed in advanced courses be notified that their child’s placement in the course was based on their achievement on end-of grade testing. Moreover, the bill states that no student placed in an advanced course be removed unless a parent or guardian provide written consent after receiving adequate notification from the school of the reasoning for their students advanced placement

Supporters of the bill have argued that it can help to reduce inequities in advanced course enrollment among high and lower income students. However, some school district leaders have expressed concerns over lack of funding and guidance to meet the requirements. A proposal to address these concerns by allowing a one-year delay in the implementation of the requirement was removed in a later version, after an amendment by Rep. Elmore.

Senate Bill 392: Superint. May Approve Charter Facility Bonds.

Sponsor(s): Ballard; Brown; Newton (Primary) Edwards

Status: Passed the Senate, Re-ref to the Com on Education – K-12, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House on 5/30/2019

Summary: SB 392 would give the Superintendent of Public Instruction the power to approve the issuance of one or more private activity bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility. Private activity bonds are tax-exempt bonds issued by or on behalf of local or state government to help finance special projects that would otherwise be considered private activities. The bill would require that the Superintendent conduct a public hearing prior to the issuance of these bonds.

Potential concerns around this proposed legislation are that the Superintendent would have the ability to bypass local commissioners who may be better informed and equipped to assess the need and impact of opening new charter schools in their communities. Others have expressed worry that the Superintendent may not have sufficient knowledge to know if a charter school is financially sound enough to pay off their bonds.

Senate Bill 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements.

Sponsor(s): McInnis; Tillman; Johnson (Primary); Edwards; Perry

Status: Failed Concurrence in Senate.

Summary: Senate Bill 219, which we covered in our legislative update on April 26, 2019 and June 7, 2019, was voted down by the Senate on Thursday after being passed by the House. The bill would allow school districts to issue three-year, nonrenewable “limited teaching licenses” to allow teachers more time to meet the requirements of the Continuing Professional License.

Key members of the Senate argued that the House version of the bill made too many changes to the initial Senate version, including allowing all districts and charter schools to issue the extended license instead of only smaller, rural districts who were the focus of the original bill. The House also added text from HB 521, to allow for the creation of transitional licenses for teachers from out of state.

After SB 219 failed to pass the Senate, a conference committee was appointed and will work towards a compromise on the bill. Some teachers whose contracts are up this year could lose their jobs if the bill is not passed quickly. A number of school and district leaders have urged the General Assembly to pass the bill as soon as possible to avoid the loss of good teachers who could lose their jobs simply because they have not passed all required licensure exams.

Meet Our New Fellow Carlos Jamieson

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The Public School Forum is proud to host one of the Southern Education Leadership Institute (SELI) Fellows this summer, Carlos Jamieson, a doctoral student at Howard University. Carlos is working with our Policy Team and Color of Education initiative.

To learn more about Carlos and other SELI Fellows click here.

NC CAP on Capitol Hill

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This week, the NC Center for Afterschool Programs was on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. as a part of the Afterschool For All Challenge with hundreds of afterschool and summer learning supporters from across the nation. While on The Hill, NC CAP presented Congressman David E. Price (D-04) with the Lifetime Afterschool Champion Award for his continued support and commitment to ensuring that youth statewide and nationwide have access to programs as a member of the House Afterschool Caucus.

Pictured Left to Right

Kristen Mellette (Straight Progress Community Development Corporation)

Dr. Sheronda W. Fleming ( NC CAP)

Congressman David E. Price

Jonathan Helms (Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County)

State News

As NC House and Senate Disagree Over Licensing Issue, Teacher Jobs Are in Limbo

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Luke Reinke, assistant professor of mathematics education at UNC Charlotte breaks down test questions that teachers are struggling with on accreditation exams in North Carolina.
Photo Credit: David T. Foster III, The News & Observer.

Teachers across North Carolina face losing their jobs in less than three weeks as state lawmakers try to work out a deal over whether to give educators more time to pass their licensure exams.

The state Senate voted Thursday not to back a bill passed by the House on Wednesday that would give teachers additional time to meet licensure requirements. Now a committee made up members of both bodies will try to work out a compromise before the June 30 deadline passes for some teachers who need a legislative extension to avoid losing their jobs.

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Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “As NC House and Senate disagree over licensing issue, teacher jobs are in limbo.” The News & Observer. 6/13/19

Early College Students, Administrators Concerned of Funding Cuts in Proposed State Budget

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Pender Early College High School. Photo Credit: Andrew James, WWAY.

School administrators and students are sending a message to state lawmakers. They’re sounding the alarm over the proposed state budget that would take away supportive funds for Early College High Schools.

The Senate version of the budget would phase out funding for cooperative innovative high schools across the state within three years. That’s based on the beginning of the school and the approval of the budget. Some school are already feeling a pinch from pulled back funding according to staff at Pender Early College High School.

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Excerpt from:

James, A. “Early college students, administrators concerned of funding cuts in proposed state budget.” WWAY. 6/6/19.

NC Lawmakers Drop 1-year Delay in Placing Bright Students in Advanced Math Classes

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In North Carolina public schools, low-income children who score at the top level on end-of-grade math tests aren’t getting an equal chance at gifted classes, a News & Observer/Charlotte Observer investigation reveals. In this video, we explain how. Photo Credit: Patrick Gleason, Sohail Al-Jamea, Rachel Wise, Travis Long, The News & Observer.

North Carolina legislators have dropped a proposal to give most schools a one-year delay from having to place high-scoring students in advanced math courses.

Last June, state lawmakers overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation to require schools to place in advanced math classes any students who scored a Level 5 — the highest level on state math exams. On Wednesday, the state House unanimously passed revisions to the law but did not include changes that would have exempted many schools from the placement requirements.

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Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “NC lawmakers drop 1-year delay in placing bright students in advanced math classes.” The News & Observer. 6/12/19.

Want Students to Improve in School? NC Report Says Focus on Early Childhood Learning.

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Prominent North Carolina CEOs gathered for a press conference to discuss the importance of increasing participation in NC Pre-K to 75 percent of eligible children, at Millbrook Elementary School in Raleigh on Thursday, Jan. 17.
Photo Credit: Casey Toth, The News & Observer.

If North Carolina wants to raise student achievement in its high-poverty school systems then it needs to focus on early childhood learning to get children off to the good start they need, according to a new state report.

The report from the Program Evaluation Division found that it’s uncommon for high-poverty school districts to perform well and that the few that are successful share common characteristics such as pre-kindergarten programs. Legislative staffers told state lawmakers on Monday that the state can help with that goal of improving early childhood learning.

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Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Want students to improve in school? NC report says focus on early childhood learning.” The News & Observer. 6/10/19.

Won’t ‘Cave In’ to ‘Anti-Charter Folks’: NC Board Stands By 2 New Wake Charter Schools

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Charter schools are one option in the growing “school choice” movement. Funded by taxpayer money, these schools are growing nationally, though some states have yet to pass related laws. Find out what sets them apart.
Photo Credit: Nicole Cvetnic, The News & Observer.

A state advisory board is standing behind two proposed charter schools despite concerns raised by Wake County school leaders and some PTA groups that the area is oversaturated with charters.

The N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board voted a second time Monday to recommend approval for North Raleigh Charter Academy and Wake Preparatory Academy to open in 2020. The State Board of Education had sent both charters back to the advisory board for further review because of the last-minute concerns raised by Wake schools.

Advisory board members said Monday that Wake should have submitted its concerns to the state soon after its feedback was requested in October instead of waiting until June right before the state board vote. They also said that the state board should respect their position because they’ve recommended only 30 percent of the charter applications since 2011.

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Excerpt from:

Hui, K. ‘Won’t ‘cave in’ to ‘anti-charter folks’: NC board stands by 2 new Wake charter schools.” The News & Observer. 6/10/19

National News

With Growing Calls for More Mental Health Services, States Tackle School Counselor Caseloads

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Photo Credit: Education Drive .

“Bare bones” and “random acts of guidance” is how Kathy Pelzer described counseling services in the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) in California when she was hired in 2014. “It was all about just reacting to the issues,” said Pelzer, whose caseload at Capistrano Valley High School was over 2,300 students.

Then the district hired 30 counselors — one for each elementary and middle school and two at each high school.

CUSD also hired a team of district-level counselors to focus on college and career readiness, a transformation that allows Pelzer and other counselors to implement a comprehensive program that includes delivering classroom lessons, holding sessions for small groups of students, and being part of “teaching and learning” at the school.

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Excerpt from:

Jacobson, L. “With growing calls for more mental health services, states tackle school counselor caseloads.” Education Drive. 6/6/19

Digital Surveillance and School Safety: 5 Things Administrators Need to Know

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Photo Credit: Education Week.

Under intense pressure to prevent the next school shooting, K-12 leaders are deploying massive digital surveillance systems that vacuum up digital data and scan for possible warning signs.

But as Education Week recently reported, there are serious questions about whether such systems are effective. They also raise huge concerns about privacy and civil liberties, often thrusting school administrators into a vast ethical gray area. And when new digital surveillance technologies are implemented, they create a tremendous amount of new work—as well as potentially new liabilities—for schools already stretched thin by other demands.

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Excerpt from:

Herold, B. “Digital surveillance and school safety: 5 Things administrators need to know.” Education Week. 6/12/19.

Opportunities

Applications Open for 2019-20 NC Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)

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The Public School Forum is accepting applications for the 2019-20 cohort of the North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).

The North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program is the only statewide program of its kind that focuses on leadership and professional development in the context of education policy. Fellows come from public schools, higher education, community colleges, and a diverse array of education organizations across North Carolina. Each class includes a cohort of fellows who focus on education policy issues and the wide range of factors that influence education in North Carolina. Fellows will increase their awareness of how public policy is made, learn whom the key players are in the formation of this policy, and become more confident and involved in the policy-making process.

Application information for both EPFP Central and EPFP West can be found online at https://www.ncforum.org/education-policy-fellowship-program/

Applications are due by June 30, 2019. Contact Lauren Bock, Director of Policy & Programs, at [email protected] with questions.

The Governor’s Educator Discovery Award

This program provides a stipend of up to $1,000 for preK-12 traditional public and public charter school teachers to pursue a professional development experience of their choosing.

To apply, submit a proposal detailing your teaching experience and how your professional development experience will enhance your ability to create a work-based learning activity for your students.

Apply for the Governor’s Educator Discovery Award by July 8!

Call for Papers: Online Teacher Leadership Journal

The Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership, an online scholarly publication of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership, announces a call for papers for its next issue to be published in December 2019.

We are most interested in manuscripts that address educational leadership specifically how teachers can grow their influence without leaving the classroom, the interdisciplinary nature of STEM, project- and inquiry-based learning, science literacy, and education policy and advocacy.

We welcome articles on research, case studies, analysis, and literary reviews. We will also accept evidence-based essays and editorials that are not simply personal accounts or strictly opinions.

Full manuscripts must be submitted through our website kenanfellows.org/journals by Aug. 30, 2019.

Submissions will undergo a blind peer review. Please, direct questions to Amneris Solano, managing editor, at [email protected].

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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The Public School Forum of North Carolina, Duke Policy Bridge at the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, are proud to announce that award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates will headline “Color of Education 2019” the second annual summit focused on race, equity and education in North Carolina.

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