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The Friday Report

March 29, 2019

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Forum News

This Week on Education Matters: One-on-One with NC Governor Roy Cooper

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Two years ago, Roy Cooper was elected Governor of North Carolina as a champion for teachers and public schools. He’s just unveiled his proposed state budget to a more balanced General Assembly than the Republican supermajority of his first two years, but one where the GOP remains firmly in charge. Governor Cooper joins us this week for the full show to talk about his education priorities and what he hopes to accomplish over the next two years.

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.

NC House Moves Forward with Changes to A-F School Grades

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By: Forum Staff

It was a busy week at the NC General Assembly, with a number of education-related bills voted on in the House and dozens of new education proposals filed. Several proposals around the controversial A-F school grades passed the NC House, which we detail below:

House Bill 354 would change how the state determines a school’s A-F performance grade by calculating 50 percent of the grade with the school’s achievement score and 50 percent of the grade the school’s growth score. Achievement scores reflect student performance on tests at one point, while growth scores look at academic improvement over time. Currently the grades are calculated using an 80 percent achievement, 20 percent growth formula. Critics argue that this methodology fails to adequately reflect a school’s effort to educate students, and is more a measure of student poverty than of learning.

House Bill 362 codifies the 15-pt scale for A-F school grades that has been in use since the grading system’s inception. The initial plan for A-F school grades was to ultimately transition to a 10-pt scale — which is scheduled to take place beginning this fall. Unless new legislation is passed, the move to a 10-pt grading scale would likely mean that significantly more schools will be labeled with D and F grades, and fewer would receive As. Using 2017-18 data, this is how a shift from a 15-pt to 10-pt scale would look, courtesy of the Consider it Mapped tool:

Number of schools with a grade of “F” increases from 87 to 839

Number of schools with a grade of “D” increases from 455 to 755

Number of schools with a grade of “A” drops from 173 to 82

House Bill 266 takes a different tack and awards schools two separate A-F grades, one based on achievement and one based on growth. The achievement letter grade would be calculated using a 15-pt scale, while the growth letter grade would be determined using a 10-pt scale.

All three bills passed on the House floor this week and were sent to the Senate for its consideration. Senators will have to choose between the House’s proposal to revise a single grade’s formula to a 50/50 split or go for their idea to award separate achievement and growth grades. If the Senate elects the former, they can also choose to keep the 15-pt scale in place by way of HB 362. And, of course, the Senate could also decide to forego all options and keep the current school grading system or come up with a new plan of their own.

The House also passed two other education bills for Senate consideration. House Bill 79 would allow school districts to time their first days of school with the start of community colleges’ calendars, which would make it easier for dual enrollment students to obtain college credit. House Bill 295 would place a statewide ban on corporal punishment in public schools. Currently all school districts have done away with corporal punishment, but this law would make it harder for a local district to resurrect the policy on its own.

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

Bills to Cut K-12 Testing, Challenge Curriculum Materials Advance in House

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

North Carolina students would see less testing under legislation with bipartisan support in the House, and parents would get new ways to challenge curriculum materials under a bill that’s also moving in the House, albeit on a decidedly partisan split.

Half a dozen other education bills will be on the House floor as soon as Wednesday as the House ramps up its push for a slate of education reforms, most of which enjoy bipartisan support.

How the measures will fare in the Senate, though, remains to be seen.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Fain, T. “Bills to cut K-12 testing, challenge curriculum materials advance in House.’” WRAL. 3/26/19.

Thousands of NC Teachers Marched on Raleigh Last Year. They Want to Do it Again May 1.

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On Wednesday May 16, 2018, the opening day of the legislative session, educators and their supporters from across the state traveled to Raleigh to demand more funding for public education. Photo Credit: Julia Wall, News & Observer.

Public school teachers across North Carolina are being urged to take May 1 off from work to march in Raleigh in a repeat of last year’s historic protest.

Delegates at the N.C. Association of Educators’ annual convention voted Saturday to hold a “day of action” on May 1 to lobby lawmakers on issues such as raises for school employees; hiring more school counselors, social workers and nurses and expanding Medicaid. If the march is as big as last year’s it could result again in the majority of students having the day off from school.

Organizers hope to build on last year’s May 16 rally, where more than 19,000 teachers and their supporters marched, filled the legislative building and rallied for political change. The N.C. Association of Educators, the largest teachers group in the state, says the march helped break the Republican legislative supermajority in the fall elections.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Thousands of NC teachers marched on Raleigh last year. They want to do it again May 1.” News & Observer. 3/25/19.

NC Doesn’t Test Drinking Water in Schools for Lead

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

Five years after Flint, Mich., became a national cautionary tale because of high lead levels in its drinking water, North Carolina still doesn’t require tests for lead, even at schools.

Lawmakers and environmental and health advocates said Thursday that the time has come to start such tests.

A study of dozens of child care centers in the Triangle area found 1 in 7 had at least one faucet with lead levels higher than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Leslie, L. “NC doesn’t test drinking water in schools for lead.” WRAL. 3/21/19

Though Some Legislators Say Spanking Has its Place, House Votes to Ban Corporal Punishment in Schools

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North Carolina has no school districts that still use corporal punishment. Photo Credit: Tom Fox, The News & Observer.

After a heated debate about whether spanking and paddling is good for children, the state House voted Wednesday to ban the use of corporal punishment in North Carolina’s public schools.

Supporters of House Bill 295 said it’s not the place of the state’s public schools to use physical violence to discipline students, pointing to research from groups such as the American Psychological Association.

All 115 school districts in North Carolina have discontinued the use of corporal punishment, which once was used dozens of times each day across the state.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Though some legislators say spanking has its place, House votes to ban corporal punishment in schools.” The News & Observer. 3/27/19.

CMS Launches Social Media Campaign in Fight Against Guns in Schools

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools chief of staff Laura Francisco talks about 3 different screening models that include wands, metal detectors and gun powder dogs.Photo Credit: Stephanie Bunao and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, The Charlotte Observer.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools launched a social media campaign Thursday as part of its strategy to keep weapons out of schools.

The Guns Can’t campaign aims to involve students and the community in creating inspirational posters, to be shared on social platforms, that will boost awareness of the effort to keep schools gun-free.

“Guns Can’t is based on a simple idea — gun violence in schools stands in the way of students who can make the most of their talents, skills and abilities in safe schools,” chief communications officer Tracy Russ told reporters.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Henderson, B. “CMS launches social media campaign in fight agains guns in schools.” The Charlotte Observer. 3/21/19.

National News

Parkland, Newtown Suicides Reveal ‘Systemic’ Lack of Mental Health Supports

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Photo Credit: EducationDive.

Sydney Aiello, who graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, died by suicide last week. Aiello, 19, survived the Parkland, Florida, shooting that killed 14 students and three staff members, and she reportedly struggled with survivor’s guilt and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

About a week later, a second survivor and current Stoneman Douglas student, 16-year-old Calvin Desir, took his own life. And on Monday, Jeremy Richman, whose daughter was one of 20 children and six adults killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, died in an apparent suicide.

“It’s tragedy after tragedy and just compounds that sense of devastation,” said Amy Klinger, co-founder and director of programs for the Educator’s School Safety Network. “It really speaks to the need for supports and interventions and recovery, which is oftentimes not addressed.”

She added, “These are indicative of a much larger systemic problem.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Campisi, J.”Parkland, Newtown suicides revel ‘systematic’ lack of mental health supports.” EducationDive. 3/27/19

DeVos Defends Billions in Education-Spending Cuts to Skeptical House Democrats

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Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) on March 26 questioned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about her proposed education cuts. (House Appropriations Committee) Photo Credit: The Washington Post.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday defended her request to cut billions of dollars from the agency’s budget, as Democrats attacked her plan as outrageous and damaging to students who need the most help.

Democrats were also cold to DeVos’s plan to use the federal tax code to support private school scholarships, suggesting that the secretary’s priorities will face another tough year in Congress.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Meckler, L. “DeVos defends billion in education -spending cuts to skeptical House Democrats.” The Washington Post. 3/26/19

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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