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The Friday Report

March 2, 2018

Forum News

This Week on Education Matters: One-on-one with Lt. Governor Dan Forest

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North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (pictured above, right) discusses top education issues including school safety & arming teachers, digital learning, school choice and state of public education.

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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 1277 or check your local listing and other providers here.

Online at https://www.ncforum.org/.

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

State News

NC Education Chief Says More Cops – Not Armed Teachers – Will Make Schools Safer

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N.C. Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson reads a book to kindergarteners during his visit at East Garner Elementary School in Garner, N.C. on April 3, 2017. Photo Credit: Aaron Moody, The News & Observer.

North Carolina’s top school official says he’s against asking teachers to carry guns and that the state should instead provide more money to hire police officers to make schools safer following the recent Florida school massacre.

President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association have been among those who’ve been vocal in recent weeks about supporting the arming of teachers following the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left 17 people dead. With a new state committee formed to study how to make schools safer, state Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson issued a statement Monday saying it would be a burden to ask teachers to carry firearms.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from: 

Hui, K. “NC education chief says more cops – and not armed teachers – will make schools safer .” The News & Observer. 2/26/18.

School Safety Focus Unlikely to Include Gun Control Measures in NC

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A Committee on School Safety formed last week, charged with developing recommendations for how to improve safety in the state’s schools.

Photo Credit: WBTV.

In Florida, a state House panel endorsed raising the minimum age to buy rifles and creating a three-day waiting period for gun sales.

Ohio’s governor wants to limit large-capacity magazines and ban bump stocks.

And in Rhode Island, the governor signed a bill that could take guns away from people who pose a danger to themselves or others.

But in North Carolina, the prospect for tougher gun laws appears unlikely, even after last month’s shooting that killed 17 people at a Florida high school.

Lawmakers are reviewing ways to increase school safety. But those efforts are expected to stop short of gun restrictions.

“Folks want to try to drag the gun debate into it,” Republican House Speaker Tim Moore told a TV interviewer last week. “Look, that’s a discussion for another time.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Morrill, J. “Tougher gun laws for North Carolina? Probably ‘one of the last states.’” The Charlotte Observer. 3/1/18.

In This Issue

This Week on Education Matters: One-on-one with Lt. Governor Dan Forest

NC Education Chief Says More Cops – Not Armed Teachers – Will Make Schools Safer

School Safety Focus Unlikely to Include Gun Control Measures in NC

Rockingham County Armed Volunteer Officer Program Gets Support From State Lawmakers, Sheriffs

Attention NC Educators: North Carolina Wants to Hear From You

Mixed Messages on State Board Budget Discussion

‘Some Unpleasant Truths’ On Race, Poverty, and Opportunity Revealed in CMS Report

NC Public Schools Report Fewer Crimes and Suspensions in 2016-17; Dropout Rate Up Slightly

Report: NC Doesn’t Have Enough School Nurses or Counselors

In Most States, Poorest School Districts Get Less Funding

With Hundreds of Students, School Counselors Just Try to ‘Stay Afloat’

Florida Legislators Advance Bill Arming Teachers Over Objection of Parkland Parents

Kenan Fellows Program Teacher Leadership Journal Announces New Submission Guidelines

Synergy Conference 2018: Registration Now Open

TeacherSquared’s Teacher Educator Institute

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Accepting Applications for

Student STEM Enrichment Program

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.

Rockingham County Armed Volunteer Officer Program Gets Support From State Lawmakers, Sheriffs

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Sheriff Sam Page takes the podium at a Feb. 28 press conference on the proposed armed volunteer school resource officer program. Photo Credit: Justyn Melrose, RockinghamNow.

North Carolina legislators, other sheriffs from around the state, local police chiefs, the school superintendent, school board members and more joined Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page for a press conference this afternoon promoting the proposed armed volunteer school resource officer program.

“Enough is enough today in North Carolina,” Page said. “Taking no action toward school safety and not protecting our teachers and children is totally unacceptable.”

The proposed program would allow law enforcement agencies to recruit volunteer school resource officers to provide additional armed protection at schools. This concept is supported by a 2013 law enacted in North Carolina following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Melrose, J. “Rockingham County armed volunteer officer program gets support from state lawmakers, sheriffs. ” News & Record. 3/1/18.

Attention NC Educators: North Carolina Wants to Hear From You

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North Carolina wants to hear from 100% of its educators through the North Carolina Teacher Working Condition survey.

The North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey is a tool that gauges NC Educators’ perspectives about teaching and learning conditions while providing education stakeholders and policymakers insights on how to improve school and classroom practices. 

Take the survey March 1-31. Once you have your code you can access the survey. Learn more about the TWC survey at http://www.ncteachingconditions.org.  

Mixed Messages on State Board Budget Discussion

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Left to right, Superintendent Mark Johnson, State Board Chair Bill Cobey, and Vice Chair Buddy Collins preside over the March State Board of Education meeting. Photo Credit: Alex GranadosEducationNC

Superintendent Mark Johnson said he could not endorse the State Board’s list of supplemental budget priorities during the first day of the State Board of Education’s two-day March meeting. His complaint Wednesday was that he had never seen them before.

“I cannot sign off on support for this because this is the first time I’m seeing this,” he said.

The supplemental budget priorities are sent by the State Board and other state agencies to the governor’s office so he can put together an amended budget for the second year of the biennium that will be considered during the spring short session of the General Assembly. But Johnson said his staff had been told by State Board staff that his office should not be involved.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Granados, A. “Mixed messages on State Board budget discussion .” EducationNC. 3/1/18.

‘Some Unpleasant Truths’ On Race, Poverty, and Opportunity Revealed in CMS Report

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A new report on poverty in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools may look different from what people expect, thanks to a new way to tally hardship. Photo Credit: Davie Hinshaw, The Charlotte Observer.

White students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s low-poverty schools have the best shot by far at getting top-notch teachers and graduating ready for college, while black and Hispanic students in high-poverty schools are left behind.

The message might not shock people who follow public education in Charlotte. But the messenger might: Superintendent Clayton Wilcox pulled no punches about the links between race, income and unequal opportunity in a new report presented Friday morning.

Breaking the Link,” a 70-page tally of school demographics, teacher qualifications, test results, advanced classes and attendance data, is Wilcox’s bid to lay out “unpleasant truths” as he and the school board chart long-term solutions. He and his top staff say they hope it will jolt political, business, community and faith leaders into joining the district’s effort.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Doss Helms, A. “‘Some unpleasant truths’ on race, poverty and opportunity revealed in CMS report.” The Charlotte Observer. 2/24/18.

NC Public Schools Report Fewer Crimes and Suspensions in 2016-17; Dropout Rate Up Slightly

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Photo Credit: Element5 Digital, Unsplash.

North Carolina public schools reported fewer overall incidences of crime and violence during the 2016-17 school year from the previous year, continuing a long-term decline in numbers of offenses, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s 2016-17 Consolidated Data Report presented Wednesday the State Board of Education.

The report also shows a decline in numbers of both short- and long-term suspensions and expulsions. The number of students dropping out of high school grades was up slightly, resulting in a marginal increase in the state’s dropout rate, from 2.29 percent in 2015-16 to 2.31 percent in 2016-17.

Overall, the total number of reportable crimes across all grades decreased by 1.9 percent in 2016-17 from the previous year, with the rate per 1,000 students declining by 2.1 percent, from 6.62 percent to 6.48 percent In all, 9,834 offenses were reported last year, down from 10,020 in 2015-16 and from 10,630 in 2012-13.

To continue reading the complete press release, click here.

Excerpt from:

“NC Schools Report Fewer Crimes, Suspensions in 2016-17: Dropout Rate Up Slightly.” North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. 2/28/18.

Report: NC Doesn’t Have Enough School Nurses or Counselors

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Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels.

North Carolina doesn’t have enough school nurses or counselors, and that’s impacting child health across the state. The North Carolina Institute of Medicine and the advocacy group N.C. Child gave the state “D” grades for school health and mental health on its Child Health Report Card.

Dr. Adam Zolotor, president of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, said environmental stressors are taking a toll on young students.

“We’ve seen almost a doubling from 2011 to 2015 in high school students who have attempted suicide in the past year,” Zolotor said. “And we have also seen about a 50 percent increase in the number of students with major depression from 8 percent to 12 percent… And I think that is potentially relevant.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Martinez, R. “Report: NC Doesn’t Have Enough School Nurses Or Counselors .” WUNC. 2/26/18.

National News

In Most States, Poorest School Districts Get Less Funding

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President Donald Trump bows his head during an opening prayer at the start of a listening session with high school students and teachers in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Kaster, AP.

In more than half of the states in the U.S., the poorest school districts do not receive funding to address their students’ increased needs – just the latest data point to shine a spotlight on funding gaps that plague the country’s public education system.

School districts with the highest rates of poverty receive about $1,000 less per student in state and local funding than those with the lowest rates of poverty, according to a new report released Tuesday by The Education Trust.

While the funding gaps among states vary significantly, Illinois, Missouri, New York and Alabama rank among the worst. In Illinois, for example, the poorest districts received 22 percent less in state and local funding than the lowest-poverty districts.

With Hundreds of Students, School Counselors Just Try to ‘Stay Afloat’

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Image Credit: LA Johnson, NPR.

Yuridia Nava, a counselor at Riverside Polytechnic High School in Riverside, Calif., has been getting to work at 7 a.m. lately. It’s class registration time, so she wants to be available before school for parents and students to come in with questions as they plan for the next year of courses, SAT tests, and college preparation.

Poly — as her school is known — employs six counselors for its 2,700 students, so Nava and her colleagues each work with about 500 teens. That’s just above average. According to the most recent data, school counselors across the country manage caseloads of about 482 students each. In California, where Nava works, that average ratio is 760 students per counselor — the second highest in the nation. She says counselors there are just trying to “stay afloat” and get through each day. The American School Counselor Association recommends that counselors work with 250 students each, but just three states follow that advice.

Each time a school shooting occurs, the nation collectively asks: who is responsible for students’ safety? Is it teachers? Parents? Lawmakers?

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Lombardo, C. “With Hundreds Of Students, School Counselors Just Try To ‘Stay Afloat’.” NPR Ed. 2/26/18.

Florida Legislators Advance Bill Arming Teachers Over Objection of Parkland Parents

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Survivors of the Florida school shooting and hundreds of others descended upon the state capitol Wednesday to demand action on gun control and mental health issues. Photo Credit: Emily Michot, The Miami Herald.

Facing anguished relatives and classmates of shooting victims, two House and Senate committees advanced legislation Tuesday to create a new statewide program to put armed teachers in classrooms — over the vocal opposition of teachers, parents and many Parkland residents.

In the House, the Appropriations Committee voted along party lines to approve the measure to train teachers to carry guns in class under the direction of local law enforcement — if superintendents or the school board approve.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar bill, but required that both the sheriff and school district officials in a county agree to the program before it can be adopted.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Bousquet, S. “Florida legislators advance bill arming teachers over objection of Parkland parents.” Miami Herald. 2/27/18.

Opportunities

Kenan Fellows Program Teacher Leadership Journal Announces New Submission Guidelines

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The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is pleased to announce it has revised its submission guidelines for its Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership (JoITL), an online peer-reviewed publication featuring original work on research, professional learning, and leadership in K-12 education. We will now be accepting articles with up to 7,000 words. This expanded word limit will allow authors to discuss their work in greater depth and provide readers with a more thorough treatment of the subject matter.

We are also changing the publication schedule. Beginning this year, JoITL will publish annually in December. We will accept manuscripts year-round but authors will be required to submit articles by the beginning of September in order to have them considered for publication. 

Guidelines for submission can be found on our website at www.kenanfellows.org/journals

Synergy Conference 2018: 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.

Registration is now open for the annual Synergy Conference! You can register here 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.

For more information please visit https://ncafterschool.org/synergyconference2018/

TeacherSquared’s Teacher Educator Institute

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TeacherSquared will be hosting its third Teacher Educator Institute in New Orleans from May 7-9. Join teacher educators, the teachers of teachers, from across the country for this Institute focused on Using Data to Improve Novice Teacher Practice. This institute is for new or experienced teacher educators interested in collaborating with other teacher educators to deepen their ability to use data to help the novice teachers they train get better. This Institute will be a uniquely valuable professional development experience for teacher educators in a range of roles: from clinical professors and deans to coaches and directors, in both traditional and alternative teacher preparation programs.

Click here for more details and to register today! Take advantage of early bird pricing (through 3/9) with the discount code “FRIEND2018” for $200 off.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Accepting Applications for 

Student STEM Enrichment Program

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The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has opened its 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.

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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