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The Friday Report

March 22, 2019

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Forum News

This Week on Education Matters: Newsmakers

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This week on Education Matters we welcome two educators who are making news. First up is Leigh Kokenes. She’s a School Psychologist in the Wake County Public Schools System and was recently named the National School Psychologist of the Year. We’ll talk to Leigh about role of a school psychologist and what our students and schools need. Then we’ll continue our series of State Superintendent candidate interviews by welcoming Dr. Jen Mangrum. She’s a professor in teacher education at UNC-Greensboro who last year ran a high profile campaign for the State Senate against Senate President Phil Berger and is now running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Guests:

  • Leigh Kokenes, Wake County Public Schools, National School Psychologist of the Year (pictured above)
  • Dr. Jen Mangrum, Associate Professor in Teacher Education, UNC-Greensboro (pictured below)
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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.

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].

State News

House Education Committee Tackles School Performance Grades

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Rep. Jeffrey Elmore and Linda Johnson chair the House K-12 education committee.Photo Credit: Alex Granados, EducationNC Photo.

The House K-12 committee tackled the ever-present issue of what to do with the state’s school performance grades today.

A suite of bills in the committee focused on the formula that makes up the grades, the grade scale used, and the definition of low-performing schools which stems from the grades. All of the bills in committee today received a favorable vote from the lawmakers and will go now to the House rules committee.

“These bills are all solutions to a problem that we know exists,” said Rep. Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus, a chair of the committee.

House Bill 354 would change the makeup of the school performance grades. Currently, they are comprised of a formula that includes 80 percent academic achievement and 20 percent academic growth. The bill would change that formula to a 50-50 split.

House Bill 266, on the other hand, would modify the school performance grades so that each school gets a grade for both academic achievement and academic growth.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Granados, A. “House education committee tackles school performance grades.” EducationNC. 3/19/19.

School Board Weighs Pay Cuts

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Photo Credit: Element5 Digital, Unsplash.

Teachers in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools may be seeing less money in their paychecks for the rest of the school year.

The finance committee of the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools met Thursday afternoon and approved a recommendation that would slash 35 percent of supplement pay from certified staff, including teachers and administrators, from now till the end of the fiscal year. The measure will have to be approved by the full school board before it takes effect. That meeting is scheduled for April 1, but a special called meeting may take place before then to take the measure under consideration.

The move is necessary in order to avoid the reduction in force proposed last fall to balance this year’s school budget. At that time, the school board was considering a reduction in force of 13 full-time positions, including five positions from the technology department, two media specialists, three guidance counselors and three social workers in order to save $1.4 million. But that plan was met with widespread opposition from the community.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Harper, A. “School board weighs pay cuts.’” Rocky Mount Telegram. 3/20/19.

House Members Roll Out Competing Plan On School Construction

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

A trio of House members who voted last week for a school bond plan backed by Speaker Tim Moore announced a competing proposal Tuesday to avoid borrowing money for school construction and rely instead on the regular state budget, much like Senate Republicans have proposed.

Sponsors said the plan would raise some $6.5 billion over 10 years, split between K-12 schools, community colleges, state agencies, universities and a rural broadband initiative.

“We do not have to mortgage our children’s future while building them the schools they need today,” Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union, said in a news release announcing the plan.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Fain, T. “House members roll out competing plan on school construction.” WRAL. 3/19/19.

Senate Bill 247 Sponsors Talk About Accountability and Transparency for Charters

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Sen. Dan Blue addresses the press to talk about Senate Bill 247. Photo Credit: Rupen Fofaria, EducationNC.

Following his filing last week of a bill aimed at studying and, at least temporarily, capping the number of public charter schools, Senate minority leader Dan Blue, D-Wake, formally introduced his legislation and spoke about accountability and transparency yesterday.

Blue was joined by his co-sponsor on the bill, Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake, and school board members from Wake and Durham Counties.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Fofaria, R. “Senate Bill 247 sponsors talk about accountability and transparency for charters.” EducationNC. 3/21/19

NC State Gets $12 million from NC to Help Elementary School Students Read Better

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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.

State education leaders are turning to N.C. State University for help improving the reading skills of young children by providing more than $12 million to a program that works with elementary schools in high-needs school districts.

N.C. State’s College of Education announced Monday that its Wolfpack WORKS literacy initiative had received a three-year, $12.3 million grant from the state Department of Public Instruction. The money will allow N.C. State to expand the work that it began last year to train beginning K-2 teachers in 16 North Carolina school districts.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “NC State gets $12 million from NC to help elementary school students read better.” The News & Observer. 3/18/19.

Bill Would Ban Paddling in NC Schools

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

North Carolina could become the 32nd state to ban corporal punishment in public schools under a bipartisan bill that passed the House K-12 Education Committee unanimously Tuesday afternoon.

House Bill 295 would remove corporal punishment – paddling, hitting and so on – from the state law setting out permissible forms of discipline in public and public charter schools. It would not apply to private schools.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Leslie, L. “Bill would ban paddling in NC schools.” WRAL. 3/19/19.

How Can Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools Improve Racial Equity? Some Say They Could Listen

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Mary Carey, founder Bootstraps literacy organization and Chapel Hill mother of two boys, one, black, one white, speaks at Campaign for Racial Equity. Photo Credit: Mark Schultz, The News & Observer.

The local NAACP says the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is losing ground on racial equity and not including the community enough in recent decision making.

“Right now, our school district feels a little bit like it’s in crisis,” said Wanda Hunter, co-chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP’s education committee.

“There’s controversy swirling; our chair of our school board just resigned,” she said. “And when we look at all of this, our feeling is that it could have all been avoided if the district were working in a more systematic way to engage key stakeholders the community, especially communities of color, in conversations about program changes before they happen.”

According to the most recent Racial Equity Report Card from the Youth Justice Project, white students in grades 3 through 8 in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro district were 2.9 times more likely to be “college and career ready,” meaning on track based on standardized testing, than black students in the 2017-18 school year.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Polk, S. “How can Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools improve racial equity? Some say they could listen.”The News & Observer. 3/15/19.

UNCC Takes Teacher Training to a New Level: Opening its Own Elementary School

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UNC Charlotte’s Cato College of Education trains the teachers, principals and counselors of the future. In August, UNCC will extend its reach by opening its own public elementary school, Niner University Elementary. Photo Credit: Diedra Laird, The Charlotte Observer.

UNC Charlotte’s Cato College of Education trains the teachers, principals and counselors of the future. In August, UNCC will extend its reach by opening its own public elementary school.

Niner University Elementary will become North Carolina’s sixth “lab school,” and the first in Charlotte, under a 2016 legislative initiative aimed at teaming UNC system universities with students at low-performing public schools.

To continue reading the complete press release, click here.

Excerpt from:

Henderson, B. “UNCC takes teacher training to a new level: Opening its own elementary school.” The Charlotte Observer. 3/14/19.

National News

Simple Tweaks Could Offer a Chance for Stronger, More Diverse Teachers

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Photo Credit: Brookings.

When I think back to my days in elementary school, I still remember reading “How to Eat Fried Worms” in second grade, dissecting a cow’s eye in third grade, and mastering long division in fifth. These lessons do not just make elementary school interesting (OK, I never found long division interesting), they set my classmates and me up for success. Because of these early lessons, we were better able to tackle more sophisticated novels, understand the functioning of other organs, and grasp higher-level mathematics.

Although most educators understand the value of layering and building on core competencies, for some reason these same principles seem overlooked in how we train our future cadre of school teachers. Elementary teachers need a foundation of core knowledge they can draw upon to teach their students. Unfortunately, though, teacher prep programs do little to ensure aspiring elementary teachers learn the core content they need to thrive in their careers.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Putman, H.”Simple tweaks could offer a chance for stronger, more diverse teachers.” Bookings. 3/14/19

School Districts Are Banning Teachers From Using DonorsChoose

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Photo Credit: Education Week.

For over a decade, teachers across the country have used the classroom crowdfunding site DonorsChoose to buy instructional materials, take their students on field trips, and stock up on basics like pencils and tissues.

But as teacher-led crowdfunding grows ever more popular, school leaders are starting to voice concerns. Administrators say they have no way of knowing whether the instructional materials and technology flowing into their schools through individual teacher requests are aligned to district standards. They also worry the decentralized process will make it hard to monitor how money is distributed among schools.

As a result, some districts—including, most recently, Metro Nashville Public Schools—have banned their teachers from using DonorsChoose and other sites over the past few years.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Schwartz, Sarah. “School Districts are banning teachers from using Donorchoose.” Education Week. 3/14/19

New Teachers Often Get the Students Who Are Furthest Behind — and That’s a Problem for Both

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Photo Credit: Chalkbeat.

Being a new teacher is notoriously difficult — and schools often make it even tougher.

New research out of Los Angeles finds that teachers in their first few years end up in classrooms with more struggling students and in schools with fewer experienced colleagues, making their introduction to teaching all the more challenging.

The differences between the environments of new teachers and their more experienced teachers are generally small, but they appear to matter for both students and teachers. The tougher assignments hurt new teachers’ performance and their career trajectories — and mean that students who are the furthest behind are being taught by the least experienced educators.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Barnum, M. “New teachers often get the students who are furthest behind – and that’s a problem for both.” Chalkbeat. 3/20/19

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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Download the Forum’s 2019 Top Ten Education Issues

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