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The Friday Report

May 4, 2018

Forum News

New Innovative School District Spends Big on Public Relations, Applicant Reviews in First Year

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Photo Credit: Southside-Ashpole Elementary, Robeson County Schools.

By Lindsay Wagner

This fall, the state’s controversial new Innovative School District (ISD) will oversee the operations of just one 275-student elementary school in Robeson County. A review of taxpayer dollars spent getting the ISD up and running over in its first year of operation reflects efforts to overcome the negative public perception that’s played out ever since lawmakers enacted the reform model back in 2016.

Of the approximate $500,000 that will be spent in the first year, according to ISD staff, nearly $90,000 will be devoted to public relations services that include “reputation and issues management and crisis response counsel.” Those funds will also pay for the construction of a new website for the district, along with microsites for schools that the ISD takes over, according to records provided by the Innovative School District.

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To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from: 

Wagner, L. “New Innovative School District spends big on public relations, applicant reviews in first year.” Public School Forum of North Carolina. 5/3/18.

UNC-Wilmington Conference Explores Innovative Practices in North Carolina Schools

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UNC Wilmington’s Watson College of Education hosted a conference on Monday that explored innovative practices in North Carolina’s public schools—and how to make innovation a priority at a time when students must be prepared to succeed in a world and workplace that may not yet exist. The Public School Forum’s president and executive director Keith Poston served as conference presider and moderated the event.

Personalized learning, project-based learning, 1:1 technology and STEM initiatives were just a few of the myriad innovative practices shared with conference attendees throughout the day. 

Toward the conclusion of the conference, a panel of education leaders, a teacher, a lawmaker and an advocate reflected on how North Carolina could build an infrastructure to support innovation.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson said that having toured classrooms across North Carolina, he’s seen a lot of innovative practices—but much of that work hasn’t scaled up and only exists in pockets. Because innovative practices like deskless classrooms and 1:1 technology are new to so many families, it’s incumbent on education leaders to convince the public to embrace new ways of learning.

Duplin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Austin Obasohan said there are a few missing ingredients for what’s necessary to innovate in schools. School leaders and teachers need more flexibility, empowerment, and a change in how we measure success. It’s a sentiment that Sen. Michael Lee (R-New Hanover) agreed with, but he also encouraged education leaders to not only point out what’s not working, but offer alternative solutions that he can advocate for in the General Assembly.

The Forum’s Poston concluded the conference by highlighting the fact that many programs and practices discussed need flexibility to be innovative, the same kind touted in alternatives to district public schools like charter schools, private school voucher schools and similar initiatives recently introduced in North Carolina.

“Flexibility remains hardest to come by for our district public schools, where nearly 90 percent of our state’s children are educated,” Poston said. “It’s long past time to offer our public schools the same kind of flexibility we offer newer education initiatives that are hailed as the tickets to academic success.”

To read more about this conference, see the following article:

Watson College Hosts Statewide Conference on Innovation in Education

This Week on Education Matters – Mass Shootings in Schools: How Can We Protect Our Children?

This week Education Matters will be preempted on WRAL. FOX 50 and UNC-TV will re-air episode 56. The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has sparked a national debate about guns and how best to protect students. In this episode, we talk with a teacher, a school psychologist and students for their unique perspectives.

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Guests:

  • Lisa Godwin, NC Teacher of the Year 
  • Dr. Jim Deni, School Psychology Trainer & Professor, Appalachian State University 
  • Zainab Antepli, Student, Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill (pictured above, right)
  • Erin McIndoe, Student, Green Hope High School, Cary (pictured above, left)

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 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 iTunesSoundCloudStitcherPodBeanOvercast, and Google Play Music.

In This Issue

New Innovative School District Spends Big on Public Relations, Applicant Reviews in First Year

UNC-Wilmington Conference Explores Innovative Practices in North Carolina Schools

This Week on Education Matters – Mass Shootings in Schools: How Can We Protect Our Children?

2018 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award Gala

NC Lawmakers Want to Make Sure Cursive Is Taught and That Virtual Charter Schools Stay Open

NC School Board Hires Operator to Take Over Lagging School

State Board of Education Approves Audit Report, ISD Contract

NC Superintendent: Lawmakers Should Delay $5.1M Cut to Education Agency

At Town Hall, CMS Board Members Project Uncertainty Over Charters 

Lawmakers: More School Officers, More Training Would Boost School Security

School Leaders Across NC Brace for Mass Teacher Absences During Upcoming Protest

How Communities Across North Carolina Are Trying to Bridge ‘The Homework Gap’

Join the Conversation About Education and Economic Opportunity in Your Community

Unionized or Not, Teachers Struggle to Make Ends Meet, Poll Finds

There Are Wild Swings in School Desegregation Data. The Feds Can’t Explain Why.

Women in Educational Leadership Symposium

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.

2018 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award Gala

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Ann Goodnight has been named as the recipient of the 2018 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, effective leadership for public education in North Carolina. Mrs. Goodnight will be honored at a gala event on Monday, May 21, at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Complimentary NC Educator Tickets 

Each year the Public School Forum reserves complimentary tickets for NC educators to join us for the Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award Gala. Complimentary tickets will be given on a first come, first served basis with priority given to Public School Forum program participants.

To request a ticket, fill out the form here. Please note that filling out the request form does not guarantee you will receive a ticket. Please contact Irene Mone at 919-781-6833 ext. 102 or imone@ncforum.org with any questions.

Event Details:

Monday, May 21, 2018

Raleigh Convention Center

6:00 p.m. Reception, 7:00 p.m. Dinner and Program

Featured Speakers:

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More information about this year’s event, as well as previous award recipients, can be found at ncforum.org/events/jay-robinson-education-leadership-award.

Event tickets can be purchased here:

https://2018jayrobinsonawardgala.eventbrite.com.

If you are interested in discussing a sponsorship, contact Lizzy Mottern at lmottern@ncforum.org.

State News

NC Lawmakers Want to Make Sure Cursive Is Taught and That Virtual Charter Schools Stay Open

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Teacher Cindy Kusilek demonstrates the cursive J in her third-grade class at Franklin Academy Charter School on Feb. 22, 2013, in Wake Forest, N.C. Photo Credit: Robert Willett, The News & Observer.

State lawmakers who oversee North Carolina’s public schools think the two low-performing virtual charter schools should be allowed to remain open for four more years and that elementary schools must prove they’re teaching cursive handwriting and multiplication tables.

N.C. Connections Academy and the N.C. Virtual Academy are both in the third year of a four-year pilot program testing the concept of online charter schools. They’ll only be open until 2019 unless state lawmakers act. In a report adopted Tuesday, the legislature’s Education Oversight Committee recommended letting the two schools stay open through 2023 to give more time to see how they’re working.

To continue reading the complete press release, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “NC lawmakers want to make sure cursive is taught and that virtual charter schools stay open.” The News & Observer. 5/1/18.

NC School Board Hires Operator to Take Over Lagging School

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Southside-Ashpole Elementary School. Photo Credit: The Robesonian.

North Carolina officials on Thursday agreed to pay an outside organization $100,000 a year to take over a low-performing school – the first time the state has taken over a local public school and given it to a third party to operate.

The State Board of Education voted to approve a contract with Achievement for All Children Inc. The Forest City-based nonprofit corporation, created only a year ago, was chosen last month to take over Southside Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County even though consultants who evaluated the group’s takeover plan found it deficient in most measurement criteria. The group was required to submit more information, and the board’s approval included a requirement for extra oversight.

To continue reading the complete press release, click here.

Excerpt from:

Dalesio, E. “NC school board hires operator to take over lagging school.” Associated Press. 5/3/18.

State Board of Education Approves Audit Report, ISD Contract

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Superintendent Mark Johnson, left, and Board Chair Bill Cobey, listen to a presentation by ISD Superintendent Eric Hall. Photo Credit: Alex Granados, EducationNC.

The Board also approved Thursday an audit report conducted by Ernst & Young which could have far reaching implications for the organization of the Department of Public Instruction.

The report, which includes 18 recommendations as well as the potential to save DPI more than $1 million, was the focus of an extensive conversation at Tuesday’s work session. One of the recommendations was the creation of a transformation office at DPI to oversee implementation of the changes. The Board voted Thursday to create that office, and Board chair Bill Cobey announced he was creating a committee of the Board that will focus on transformation.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Granados, A. “State Board of Education approves audit report, ISD contract.” EducationNC. 5/3/18.

NC Superintendent: Lawmakers Should Delay $5.1M Cut to Education Agency

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

North Carolina’s superintendent of public schools is asking lawmakers to delay a planned $5.1 million cut to the state education agency’s operating budget for the 2018-19 school year, saying his agency needs the money to be more efficient and effective.

The State Board of Education may join the superintendent in that request. Board members are expected to vote on the matter Thursday.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hinchcliffe, K. “NC superintendent: Lawmakers should delay $5.1M cut to education agency.” WRAL. 5/1/18.

At Town Hall, CMS Board Members Project Uncertainty Over Charters 

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At a town hall, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board members discuss HB514 and the town of Matthews. 

Photo Credit: Michael Falero, WFAE.

CMS leaders took questions last night from parents and community members about a bill that would allow the towns of Matthews and Mint Hill to create their own charter schools. CMS board members told about 100 people gathered at Providence High School that the bill presented a lot of uncertainties.

“This is a whole, brand new, unknown way to create a new kind of charter that is just fraught with uncertainty and we just really feel it needs a lot of vetting and careful thought and checking in with you guys the constituents,” said at-large board member Elyse Dashew.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Falero, M. “At Town Hall, CMS Board Members Project Uncertainty Over Charters.” WFAE. 5/3/18.

Lawmakers: More School Officers, More Training Would Boost School Security

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

A House panel called Wednesday for more school resource officers and additional planning and training to beef up security at North Carolina schools. The recommendations are expected to go to the full House Select Committee on School Safety next week, and some or all could go before the full legislature later this month.

One proposal calls for an extra $1.8 million in the state budget to provide school districts grants to hire SROs for elementary and middle schools, while a second would require all SROs to undergo standardized training and annual continuing education. Districts also would be required to report every year how many SROs they employ and how the positions are funded.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Leslie, L. “Lawmakers: More school officers, more training would boost school security.” WRAL. 5/2/18.

School Leaders Across NC Brace for Mass Teacher Absences During Upcoming Protest

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Lee County school teacher Sandi Shover is one of many educators to speak out about budget cuts to education and how it affects teachers. Photo Credit: Chuck Liddy, The News & Observer.

As Durham considers closing schools because of massive teacher absences, other districts across North Carolina are trying to gauge the scope of a May 16 march in Raleigh that could leave schools scrambling for subs.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools expects to have a preliminary tally Friday of how many teachers are taking leave that day, said school board Chairwoman Mary McCray. Meanwhile, district leaders are trying to line up all available substitute teachers and drawing up plans to send top administrators in to teach classes.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Doss Helms, A. and Hui, K. “School leaders across N.C. brace for mass teacher absences during upcoming protest.” The News & Observer. 5/2/18.

How Communities Across North Carolina Are Trying to Bridge ‘The Homework Gap’

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Eastern Carolina Broadband has mounted transmitter equipment on this grain elevator in Lenoir County’s Deep Run community, which can provide a wireless signal for internet service in a five-mile radius. The new technology has been hailed as a “game changer” for rural broadband. Photo Credit: Colin Campbell, The Insider.

When Donnie Shumate moved to Hyde County several years ago, his wife had to quit her work-from-home job with Amazon because the internet speed was too slow for telecommuting.

Shumate is the county’s information technology manager, and he hasn’t been able to persuade internet providers to serve Hyde, which is one of the state’s most rural counties.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Campbell, C. “How communities across North Carolina are trying to bridge ‘the homework gap.'” The News & Observer. 4/30/18.

Join the Conversation About Education and Economic Opportunity in Your Community

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Image Credit: EducationNC.

The myFutureNC Commission—comprised of state leaders in education, business, philanthropy, government, and faith‐based and nonprofit communities—is reimagining the ways our communities, our regions, and our state support an individual’s attainment journey, from pre-Kindergarten through postsecondary and into the workforce.

To help them in this task, the myFutureNC Listening Tour is collecting ideas and feedback from people all over the state. We want to hear from everyone: educators, parents, service providers, faith leaders, employees, employers, government representatives, and students.

Please join our team at one of our Listening Sessions this spring and summer to share your thoughts and ideas about strengthening educational and economic opportunities for your community. Drop in at any time: We will share information on our work at 2:30 pm, meet in small groups for discussion at 3:00 pm and host community conversations with local education thought leaders at 4:15 pm.

To learn more & RSVP for a Tour stop, click here.

National News

Unionized or Not, Teachers Struggle to Make Ends Meet, Poll Finds

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Image Credit: Lilli Carré, NPR.

More than 9 in 10 teachers say they joined the profession for idealistic reasons — “I wanted to do good” — but most are struggling to some extent economically.

Those findings come from a nationally representative survey by NPR and Ipsos of more than 500 teachers across the country. The poll was conducted in April amid widespread walkouts in several states, including Colorado, Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia, and currently Arizona.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Kamenetz, A. “Unionized Or Not, Teachers Struggle To Make Ends Meet, NPR/Ipsos Poll Finds.” NPR Ed. 5/2/18.

There Are Wild Swings in School Desegregation Data. The Feds Can’t Explain Why.

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Photo Credit: JJ Thompson, Unsplash.

Federal oversight of school desegregation goes back to the civil rights era—it predates the existence of the U.S. Department of Education itself. And cases involving the issue remain controversial to this day.

But the volume of such cases—at least as reported by school districts—appears to have fluctuated dramatically in recent years: The number of districts reporting they were party to such orders or plans nearly doubled from the 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection to the 2015-16 collection that was released by the Education Department last month.

To continue reading the complete article and watch the videos, click here.

Excerpt from:

Ujifusa, A. and Harwin, A. “There Are Wild Swings in School Desegregation Data. The Feds Can’t Explain Why.” Education Week. 5/2/18.

Opportunities

Women in Educational Leadership Symposium

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Registration is open for the third annual Women in Educational Leadership Symposium (WIELS). The purpose of WIELS is to bring women together to share, learn, and grow in leadership. This conference aims to provide personalized learning and mentoring opportunities for those who aspire to become, or currently serve as educational leaders.

The symposium will be held October 5 through October 6, 2018 at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. This year’s conference theme is Advancing the Leader Within: Building Capacity.

Registration for the conference is online at https://wiels.appstate.edu/about-us/registration. Additional information can be found at https://wiels.appstate.edu/.

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.

Public School Forum of North Carolina

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