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The Friday Report

March 15, 2019

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Forum News

Another Fayetteville Voucher School at Heart of Athletics Scandal

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

Fayetteville’s Village Christian Academy, a private school newly participating in the state’s taxpayer-funded Opportunity Scholarships Program, found itself embroiled in scandal this month when the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association determined the private school’s football program to be in violation of its rule prohibiting the recruitment of student athletes and offering them “impermissible benefits.”

The NCISAA’s investigation into Village Christian was first reported by HighSchoolOT.com.

Families of two football players for the private school, which received $126,000 in taxpayer-funded school voucher funds for the first time this academic year, claim that their sons were recruited and offered free tuition at Village Christian, where they enrolled their sons, Isaiah Henderson and Geo Cannon, to attend school and play football last fall after leaving Raleigh’s Athens Drive High School at the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year.

In a video published online, the football team’s head coach, Emerson Martin, explained to the parents of football player Isaiah Henderson how some coach stipends would be pooled together in order to have some of the player’s tuition payments covered.

Despite these alleged promises, the two families claim they were ultimately asked to make tuition payments to the school, with the bill coming due after its state championship football win in November 2018. When the families couldn’t pay, the students were not allowed to continue attending classes.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

“Another Fayetteville Voucher School at Heart of Athletics Scandal.” Public School Forum of NC. 3/15/19.

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.

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.

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

Education Matters

Education Matters is pre-empted this weekend on WRAL-TV due to sports programming. We’ll be airing an encore of our recent episode focused on the rich history of North Carolina’s historically segregated black schools on FOX 50 and UNC-TV’s NC Channel on Sunday. To read about last week’s episode with NC Superintendent Mark Johnson, click here.

Next week we’ll be back with new brand new episodes. On March 23rd we welcome National School Psychologist of the Year from Wake County Schools Leigh Kokenes and we continue our State Superintendent candidate interviews with UNC-Greensboro School of Education Professor Jen Mangrum. Be sure to tune in March 30th when our guest will be NC Governor Roy Cooper for the full show.

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When and Where to Watch Education Matters

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.

New Public School Forum/NC CAP Effort Targets Support for Rural Afterschool Programs

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Leaders from ten afterschool and summer programs that serve across rural North Carolina gathered in Kinston this week to gain new skills and resources that will better equip them to improve literacy rates of youth in their communities.

“Did you know that children from middle-income homes have an average of 13 books per child, while there is only one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods,” said Amy Franks of Book Harvest, a North Carolina nonprofit that aims to boost literacy rates by providing books and literacy support to families and their children from birth throughout childhood.

“That’s really eye opening in terms of what we face every day, and it really explains a lot,” said Sonya Howell, director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plain, Lenoir County Unit, which provides young people from across the county a place to gather after school and during the summer where they can get academic help, engage in healthy lifestyle activities and eat nourishing food, and have the opportunity to develop positive relationships with strong role models and adult mentors.

In Kinston, Howell said, crime rates are high and income is low, and for the children they serve, that equates to a lot of need. “We offer one-on-one tutoring to many students who are not making a C average or better in school,” said Howell. “These statistics that Amy shared gave me a better understanding of why my kids are behind where they should be.”

To address these challenges, Howell joined other rural afterschool program providers from eastern and central North Carolina in Kinston this week to learn more about Book Harvest’s literacy toolkits and other resources that they offer to help providers engage in new ways with children and families after school and inspire a lifelong love for reading in the children they serve. The training was made possible thanks to the support of the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs’ newest initiative, the POWER UP Program.

The POWER UP Program supports afterschool providers by assisting them with capacity building, resource development, and technical support throughout the next two years by way of monthly regional convenings and virtual sessions. NC CAP launched the program in January with national support from the Mott Foundation and the National Afterschool Alliance.

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Across rural North Carolina, critically important afterschool programs face many challenges as they serve youth who require additional support before and after school as well as during the summer months, when academic learning losses are at their peak. Research shows that high quality afterschool and expanded learning programs improve academic performance, school-day attendance, nurture youth development, decrease juvenile crime and hinder other high-risk behaviors, while meeting the needs of working families.

The greatest barriers that afterschool programs face include adequate funding, transportation and strong partnerships with schools and the community. The POWER UP Program was designed to tackle these challenges head-on.

“With our Roadmap of Need, we’ve done a great job of highlighting the importance of expanded learning programs and identifying the areas where need exists for increased investment, especially for our rural populations,” said Sheronda Fleming, director of the NC Center for Afterschool Programs. “With the POWER UP Program, we’re finally able to transition from research to action, and do much more to help these programs build capacity and overcome these challenges that we’ve been talking about for so long.”

Howell said she can already tell the POWER UP Program will be invaluable for her as she continues to strengthen her program’s offerings.

“At the Boys and Girls Club here in Lenoir County, we take care of the whole child — mind, body and soul. What I loved about today’s training was that I learned how to take a learning activity and make it fun, so a child won’t even realize they are learning,” said Howell. “Keeping kids engaged is the most important thing to keep them on their way to learning, and I’m excited to take the new tools I’ve gained today and put them into action.”

State News

Automatically License Teachers from Out-of-State? Not So Fast, NC School Board Says.

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Photo Credit: News & Observer File Photo.

Despite the need for more out-of-state teachers, some North Carolina education leaders say they don’t want to just let anyone in the classroom — even if they’re licensed in another state.

The State Board of Education on Wednesday rejected a recommendation from an advisory committee to automatically grant North Carolina teaching licenses to fully licensed teachers from other states. Board members expressed concern that the proposal could result in teachers being hired from states with lower standards than North Carolina.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Automatically license teachers from out-of-state? Not so fast, NC school board says.” The News & Observer. 3/13/19.

NC Ranks 29th in Nation for Teacher Pay, 2nd in Southeast

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Jennifer Jasinski, a teacher at Gray’s Creek Middle School, is WRAL’s Teacher of the Week for April 13, 2016. Photo Credit: WRAL.

North Carolina is ranked 29th in the nation for teacher pay and second in the Southeast, according to estimates released Tuesday by the National Education Association. North Carolina’s average teacher salary is $53,975 for 2018-19, according to the NEA, but that number is subject to change once the fiscal year ends.

The preliminary estimates from last year ranked North Carolina 37th in average teacher pay in the U.S. and 6th in the Southeast. But after adjustments, the final NEA rankings for last year placed North Carolina at 34th with an average teacher salary of $51,231 – 18 positions behind the national average of $60,462.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hinchcliffe, K. “NC ranks 29th in nation for teacher pay, 2nd in Southeast.’” WRAL. 3/12/19.

Arizona Charter Operator Made Millions on the Schools He Runs. He Now Wants to Be in NC.

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The American Leadership Academy in Gilbert, Arizona is an impressive campus with several buildings, a football field and track. Photo Credit:Tom Tingle, The Republic.

A charter school operator who made millions of dollars building, selling and leasing properties to the schools he runs moved a step closer Monday toward setting up shop in North Carolina.

The N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board voted Monday to recommend giving a full interview to Wake Preparatory Academy, a proposed K-12 charter school that wants to open in 2020 in northern Wake County. Wake Prep would be managed by a company whose owner also owns the company that would build and lease back the facility to the charter school.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Arizona charter operator made millions on the schools he runs. He now wants to be in NC.” The News & Observer. 3/11/19.

Statewide School Construction Bond Clears House

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

House lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a proposal to put a $1.9 billion school construction bond on the 2020 ballot.

A preliminary 109-6 vote on Wednesday was followed by a 99-6 final vote Thursday with almost no debate, and the measure now heads to the Senate.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Burns, M. “Statewide school construction bond clears House.” WRAL. 3/13/19.

Opening ‘a Can of Worms’? NC Committee Backs Letting Some Schools Start the Year Earlier.

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Photo Credit: Gratisography, Pexels.

Despite concerns raised by tourism supporters, state lawmakers moved a step closer Tuesday toward giving North Carolina’s public schools more flexibility on when they can start their school year.

The House Education Committee backed a bill Tuesday that would allow any school district to start earlier in August to match the calendar used by its local community college. The committee backed another bill that would let school districts in 22 counties pilot starting the school year earlier in August to see how it would affect the tourism industry

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “‘Opening ‘a can of worms’? NC committee backs letting some schools start the year earlier.” The News & Observer. 3/12/19.

A Virtual Charter School ‘Divorce’ Leaves 2,400 Students Caught in the Middle

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Clark Eselgroth does schoolwork after participating in an advanced dance program at the International Ballet Academy in Cary when most others his age are in classrooms or science labs. Eselgroth was a student at N.C. Connections Academy in 2017. Photo Credit: Travis Long, The News & Observer.

More than 2,400 students are caught in the middle of a fight between one of North Carolina’s two virtual charter schools and the for-profit education company that receives millions of dollars a year to manage the school.

N.C. Connections Academy wants state permission to no longer be managed by Pearson Online and Blended Learning, part of the international company Pearson that publishes textbooks and sells a wide range of education products. The fight between the two sides has gotten bitter, with a lawsuit being filed.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “A virtual charter school ‘divorce’ leaves 2,400 students caught in the middle.” The Charlotte Observer. 3/13/19.

NC Has No Regulations Governing Substitute Teachers

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Laura Kilcrease works as a substitute teacher at Abbotts Creek Elementary School in Raleigh on March 1, 2019. Photo Cedit: Kelly Hinchcliffe, WRAL.

After being a stay-at-home mom for 13 years, Laura Kilcrease wanted a change. She decided to apply to be a substitute teacher in the Wake County Public School System. The job had a lot of perks. She could work when she wanted, make extra money for her family, and be on a similar schedule as her three children.

She submitted an application and included her college transcript to show she had a bachelor’s degree in psychology. What Kilcrease didn’t know is that a college degree is not required to be a substitute teacher in Wake County schools. The school system does not even require a high school diploma.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hinchcliffe K. “NC has no regulations governing substitute teachers.” WRAL. 3/12/19.

Four NC Superintendents Receive Leadership Honor

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Laura Kilcrease works as a substitute teacher at Abbotts Creek Elementary School in Raleigh on March 1, 2019. Photo Cedit: Kelly Hinchcliffe, WRAL.

The North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association (NCSSA) and the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD) has announced the selection of the following as the recipients of the Dr. Samuel Houston Jr. Leadership Award …

  • Dr. John Bryant, Associate Superintendent of the Henderson County Schools
  • Dr. Tosha Diggs, Director of Secondary Education, Craven County Schools
  • Dr. Jane Fields, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, Cumberland County Schools
  • Mr. Jason Johnson, Executive Director of Schools, Orange County Schools

This annual award is presented to graduates of the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association and the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development’s Aspiring Superintendent Program, a program which is designed to empower transformational education leaders for North Carolina’s public schools.

The award is named in honor of Dr. Samuel Houston who is President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center.

To continue reading the complete press release, click here.

Excerpt from:

“Four NC superintendents receive leadership honor.” NC STEM Center. 3/14/19.

National News

Trump Seeks 10 Percent Cut to Education Department Aid, $5 Billion for Tax-Credit Scholarships

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A hole in an exterior wall of Farwell Middle School in Detroit in 2010. Mice were entering through the hole. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Sauger, The Washington Post.

President Donald Trump is seeking a 10 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Education’s budget in his fiscal 2020 budget proposal, which would cut the department’s spending by $7.1 billion down to $64 billion starting in October.

Funding for teacher development under Title II, totaling $2.1 billion, would be eliminated, as would $1.2 billion in Title IV funding for academic supports and enrichment and $1.1 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers that support after-school programs. In total, funding for 29 programs would be eliminated in the federal budget.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Ujifusa, A. “Trump Seeks 10 Percent Cut to Education Department Aid, $5 Billion for Tax-Credit Scholarships.” Education Week. 3/11/19.

Opportunities

NC Science & Engineering Fair

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The 32nd NC Science & Engineering Fair (NCSEF) will be held at NC State University’s Talley Student Union on Saturday, March 30, 2019. General Volunteers are needed on Friday, March 29 (3pm – 7pm) and all-day Saturday, March 30. Click here, General Volunteer Registration, to assist with our 400 plus Grades 3-12 STEM student researchers from across NC with their project set-up, room and hallway monitors, awards preparation, awards ceremonies, and other needed tasks. The volunteer shifts are about 2-3 hours in length.

The NCSEF is a 510(c)3 non-profit and is the NC affiliate to the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair. NCSEF’s top 12 Senior Research Projects (Grades 9-12) will advance to the 2018 ISEF competition in Pittsburgh with over 1,700 high school competitors from over 70 countries.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email our Volunteer Coordinator, Keith Beamon, at [email protected].

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.

Schools That Lead’s NC Networked Improvement Communities

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Schools That Lead, in partnership with the NC General Assembly and the NC Department of Public Instruction, is excited to announce it will launch its second cohort of North Carolina Networked Improvement Communities for public schools seeking to improve learning outcomes for their students.

In this network, principals and teachers learn to use improvement science to articulate their theories and assumptions, select change ideas and measure impact over time as they work to solve a common problem, seen here by school level.

  1. High schools: Increasing on-time graduation rates;
  2. Middle schools: Reducing 9th grade retentions; and
  3. Elementary schools: Reducing the number of students who have below grade level academic performance, and/or chronic absences and/or behavioral issues.

The total three-year membership fee is $6,000 per school, payable to Schools That Lead in $2,000 increments each year of the three-year program, or by other mutually agreeable terms. Schools should also budget for the costs of travel and substitute teachers for the professional learning sessions.

To apply click, here.

DEADLINE AND SELECTION

  • Applications are due April 15, 2019 by 12:00 p.m. and are to be completed by the school principal.
  • Schools will be selected by lottery (if necessary) and notified of selection by May 1, 2019.
  • The first convening of selected schools will be held in the Raleigh/Durham area in September 2019.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Accepting Applications for Student STEM Enrichment Program

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The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has opened its application for the 2019 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 16, 2019.

For more information or to access the application, visit

https://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/science-education/student-science-enrichment-program.

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 is now open for the annual SYNERGY CONFERENCE! 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.

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.

Keynote Speaker Spotlight

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Byron V. Garrett will be this year’s lunch and award ceremony keynote speaker. One of the most compelling voices of our time, Byron V. Garrett is Chairman of the National Family Engagement Alliance (NFEA); a nonprofit dedicated to transforming education through meaningful family engagement. Byron is the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of The Valdecio Collection, a lifestyle brand consisting of clothing, watches and fragrances. The former Director of Educational Leadership & Policy for Microsoft, Byron is a consulting author for Scholastic and released the Byron V. Garrett Social Emotional Learning Collection in 2017 to foster social and emotional learning in today’s classrooms.

To learn more, please visit: ncafterschool.org/synergyconference2019/

FAST NC Fundraising Drive to Aid Public Schools

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Florence Aid to Students and Teachers of North Carolina – FAST NC – is an effort led by a bipartisan group of current and former North Carolina education leaders to help the state’s public schools as students and educators struggle to return to normal following Hurricane Florence and its impact.

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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