• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

The Friday Report

November 10, 2017

Forum News

Education Matters: Voucher School Controversy

Trinity Christian School in Fayetteville has received more taxpayer dollars via the state’s private school voucher program than any other school in the state. It’s also home to an embezzlement scandal involving a teacher who runs the school’s elite basketball program while spending weekends in jail. This week on Education Matters, we take a closer look at the controversy and talk to the state agency that oversees the voucher program. To read more about this topic which the Forum reported on last week, click here

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

Guests Include:

  • Lindsay Wagner, Senior Writer, Public School Forum of NC (pictured above)
  • Kathryn Marker, Director of Grants Training and Outreach, North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (pictured below, first)
  • Rep. Billy Richardson (D-Cumberland) (pictured below, second)

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

When and Where to Watch Education Matters

Saturdays at 7:30 PM,

WRAL-TV (Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sundays at 8:00 AM,

FOX 50

(Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sundays at 6:30 AM and Wednesdays 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 local listing and other providers here.

Online at https://www.ncforum.org/

State News

Here to Stay? Despite Poor Scores, Critics, For-Profit Virtual Charter School Seeks Blessing from State Officials

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

Photo Credit: NC Policy Watch.

The head of a controversial virtual charter school wants North Carolina lawmakers to funnel more cash into the program and clear operations beyond the 2019 sunset of its four-year pilot program, despite lagging test scores and a host of concerns about similar programs nationwide.

“There are hundreds and thousands of kids and teachers that will benefit from our model,” Nathan Currie, superintendent at N.C. Connections Academy, told a committee of influential state lawmakers Tuesday, one day after making a similar pitch to a state charter school oversight panel.

Legislators took no action Tuesday, although the committee may take up the pilot program at an undetermined point in the future, Rep. Linda Johnson, a Cabarrus County Republican and the committee’s co-chair, said.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from: 

Ball, B. “Here to stay? Despite poor scores, critics, for-profit virtual charter school seeks blessing from state officials.” NC Policy Watch. 11/8/17.

The War Over the Innovative School District

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

ISD Superintendent Eric Hall presents to the State Board of Education on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Photo Credit: Alex Granados, EducationNC.

Last week, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the inclusion of Robeson County’s Southside Ashpole Elementary School to the Innovative School District (ISD) — a program that will ultimately collect five of the state’s lowest performing schools in one “district” where they will be operated by Charter or Education Management Organizations.

Robeson County School Board Chair Peggy Wilkins-Chavis, said Friday she would likely vote to close the school rather than let it join the ISD, but she would not make any predictions as to how the rest of the board would vote.

“The state just did us wrong,” she said.

To the extent the State Board members had objections to the inclusion of Southside Ashpole, they were more focused on the slow pace at which the ISD was taking off. Board member Olivia Oxendine said the other schools on the list from which Southside Ashpole was drawn need to be put on notice. Southside Ashpole was on a short list that included three other schools.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Granados, A. “The war over the Innovative School District.” EducationNC. 11/7/17.

In This Issue

Public School Forum Programs

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

Nominate a Leader for Children in Your Community

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

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.

NC Superintendent Slams ‘Disturbing’ Spending at State Education Agency

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson. Photo Credit: Kelly Hinchcliffe, WRAL.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson listened last week as State Board of Education members bemoaned the millions of dollars in recent budget cuts to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The cuts have harmed staff and students, one board member explained, and he urged Johnson to join them in reaching out to state lawmakers to say “enough is enough.” 

But Johnson declined. Instead, he said in his 11 months as superintendent he has found excessive spending at the state education agency and said he hopes an upcoming $1 million audit he has commissioned will root out any other potential waste at the agency.

“In my time as state superintendent, I have found a lot of things that I’ve found disturbing about this department,” Johnson said. “I will not go into the long list of them, but one little item that I can point out is our SurveyMonkey accounts.”

Johnson explained that the agency uses the online tool to send out surveys to principals, teachers and others to get feedback on important topics. Instead of the agency sharing one account, Johnson said he discovered it was paying for nine accounts. SurveyMonkey plans cost anywhere from $0 for a basic account to nearly $1,200 a year for a premier plan. DPI’s accounts varied in level.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hinchcliffe, K. “NC superintendent slams ‘disturbing’ spending at state education agency.” WRAL. 11/6/17.

CMS Suspension Numbers Show Disparity Between Black and White Students

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

Photo Credit: WBTV.

The suspension numbers so far this school year for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) District have been revealed.

CMS School Board has been working on ways to keep students in school as much as possible. The suspension numbers show a decrease in numbers but still a disparity between white and black students who get suspended.

CMS classes started in August. Since the first day of school 2,310 students have received out-of-school suspensions compared to this time last year of 2,627 students were suspended.

When you break down the suspensions by race, there were 209 white students suspended compared to 1,710 Black students suspended.

“For you to show me that trend is continuing is disheartening,” book author Osceola Thomas said. “But I think it’s a matter of implicit bias. I think the philosophy is black boys are bad, so they are deserving of punitive placements, out-of-school suspensions, expulsion, incarceration. White boys are mad so they need guidance counselors, therapy counselors or empathy.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Russell, D. “CMS suspension numbers show disparity between black and white students.” WBTV. 11/9/17.

HB13 Mandate Will Mean 30 More Teachers in Sampson County

  

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

Dr. Wendy Cabral, assistant superintendent of personnel services, makes a presentation about classroom sizes and legislation. Photo Credit: Sampson Independent.

With impending legislation limiting elementary class sizes, local school leaders believe the mandate may create challenges when it comes to needed teachers and facilities.

During a Tuesday work session, the Sampson County Schools (SCS) Board of Education and district officials discussed House Bill 13, which proposes a set number of students in K-3 classrooms. Dr. Wendy Cabral, assistant superintendent of personnel services, made a presentation about the bill.

According to current estimates, SCS would need 30 more teachers. She said that comes with issues involving funding and teacher positions, which could cost more than $1.5 million.

“Where are we going to find them? Where are we going to put them?” Cabral questioned.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Jordan, C. “HB13 mandate will mean 30 more teachers.” The Sampson Independent. 11/07/17.

As Student Medical Needs Mount, School Nurses in Short Supply

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

Photo Credit: WRAL.

North Carolina has 115 school systems, but, according to school system data, just five of those systems have a nurse dedicated to every school, which works out to one nurse for every 1,086 students.

With more and more children needing help with complex medical issues, that ratio can have consequences for school staff and students.

Roxanne is a kindergartener who has to manage her asthma while at school. Cynthia Coats is not Roxanne’s school nurse—she’s a clerical assistant in the office at Raleigh’s Brooks Elementary school—but she has to help deal with students’ medical needs.

Coats said she spends about half her day handling medical needs. This year, she had to give a student a shot. “I gave a shot for the first time last year,” Coats said. “I had a few tears when that happens, but it was good. Not things that I normally thought I would ever do.”

Four NC Counties Awarded $30M in Grants to Build New Schools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

 Photo Credit: WRAL.

Four North Carolina counties – Camden, Clay, Gates and Jones – have been awarded $30 million in grant money to build new schools, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson announced Monday.

In a statement, Johnson said the grants will help the economically distressed counties “begin to address the critical school infrastructure needs in less populated parts of our state through projects that will begin construction within 12 months. Students in outdated – and in some cases, unsafe – buildings will benefit soon from these new facilities.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

“Four NC counties awarded $30M in grants to build new schools.” WRAL. 11/7/17.

National News

Inside the $1 Million Fight to Hold South Carolina’s For Profit Virtual Charter Schools Accountable

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

Photo Credit: The 74 Million.

When South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster stepped onto the stage at Charter Schools USA’s annual summit in August, it was to thunderous applause. Alternately smoothing his tie and shielding his eyes from the floodlights, he told a couple of folksy jokes before pivoting to the message he’d come to deliver.

The Rust Belt’s economic losses are the South’s gains, McMaster said, noting how saddened he was by the boarded-up buildings he saw on his trip to Cleveland the year before to nominate Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention. He was sorry about the city’s decline, he said, but South Carolina is booming.

The state needed more charter schools, McMaster told the cheering audience, and he planned to push for laws to make it easier for them to open.

“And I assure you,” he added, “there’s a lot of politics involved often in getting things set up, and whatever politics I can bring to bear is on the side of the charter schools. Wherever we can set them up, we want more, because we know that they work.”

Teachers Spend Nearly $500 a Year on Supplies. Under the GOP Tax Bill, They Will No Longer Get a Tax Deduction

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

Oklahoma public school teacher Teresa Danks took to panhandling to help pay for school supplies after spending about $2,000 of her own money every year. The tax reform bill would eliminate a deduction that helps teachers who pay for their own school supplies. Photo Credit: Jonathan Roark.

It’s well known that teachers — even those who earn meager salaries — dig deep into their own pockets for supplies to do their jobs, with one study estimating they spend an average of nearly $500 a year on everything from pencils to batteries.

For now, teachers can get a small tax break — deducting up to $250 from their taxes — for what they spend on supplies. But under the GOP tax reform bill, that deduction would go away for teachers and other categories of workers, including certain state and local officials and performing artists.

The proposal to eliminate that deduction and others is part of an effort to simplify the tax code, and proponents say that with an overall cut in tax rates, those who benefit from the deductions may still see their tax bills fall. But it is difficult to gauge how the plan will affect middle- and working-class families.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Balingit, M. “Teachers spend nearly $500 a year on supplies. Under the GOP tax bill, they will no longer get a tax deduction.” The Washington Post. 11/2/17.

Opportunities

NCSSM Seeking Instructor of Computer Science

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) is seeking an Instructor of Computer Science to deliver content through our Interactive Video Conferencing to high school students across North Carolina partnering with NCSSM.  For more information and to apply, click here.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Application Open for Promoting Innovation in Science and Mathematics (PRISM) Award

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

The Promoting Innovation in Science and Mathematics or PRISM Award provides NC public school teachers the opportunity to receive up to $3000 in funding towards the purchase of STEM-related materials and up to $1500 for any necessary training for those materials.

The award was created in 2012 by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to support teachers in their efforts to provide quality hands-on, inquiry-based activities for their students.

“The PRISM Award enables teachers to provide new and inventive ways of teaching STEM in their classrooms,” said Dr. John Burris, president of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. “For a relatively modest investment students all over North Carolina can benefit from the wealth of material that may not otherwise be available to them.”

The Fund has provided 238 awards to 77 of North Carolina’s 115 school districts for a total of $750,000. One teacher, Matthew Kinnaird in Buncombe County, used the PRISM Award to build a radio telescope with his class to gather information for NASA.

Teachers may apply at https://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/science-education/promoting-innovation-science-and-mathematicsThe deadline to apply is December 5, 2017.

Call for Papers: Teacher Leadership Journal

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • LinkedIn

The Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership, an online scholarly publication of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership, announces a call for papers for its next issue to be published in early 2018.

The program is most interested in manuscripts that address educational leadership, specifically how teachers can grow their influence without leaving the classroom, the interdisciplinary nature of STEM, project- and inquiry-based learning, agricultural education, science literacy, and education policy and advocacy.

They welcome articles on research, case studies, analysis and literary reviews. They will also accept evidence-based essays and editorials that are not simply personal accounts or strictly opinions. Full manuscripts must be submitted through kenanfellows.org/journals by December 1, 2017.

Submissions will undergo a blind peer review. Please direct questions to Amneris Solano, managing editor, at asolano@ncsu.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.

©2017 Public School Forum of North Carolina. All Rights Reserved.

Public School Forum of North Carolina

919-781-6833

Follow us at @theNCForum

www.ncforum.org

Donate to the Forum!

Share This