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

The Friday Report

November 17, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from the Public School Forum!

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

The Friday Report will be back on December 1st after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Forum News

Without Action, Class Size Mandate Threatens Pre-K in Some School Districts

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

Children attend Pre-K at Warren County’s Mariam Boyd Elementary School in Warrenton. Photo Credit: Warren County Schools.

By Lindsay Wagner

Without the necessary time and money to build more elementary school classrooms to satisfy the General Assembly’s requirement to lower class sizes next year in kindergarten through third grades, Warren County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Ray Spain says he’s looking at eliminating most or all of his Pre-Kindergarten classes district wide.

“It’s going to be disastrous.”

Spain says he’s forced to consider this scenario because there’s simply not enough space in Warren County’s elementary schools to give the older children more teachers and smaller classes while also giving low-income 4-year-olds an early learning environment that, a large body of research says, is critical for their success in kindergarten and beyond.

For districts struggling to comply with the new class size law, which lawmakers created to produce better academic outcomes for students in grades K-3, creating more space in elementary schools is going to take more time—and money—than what the General Assembly has given everyone to work with. And even temporary solutions, like trailers, will take significant resources to procure—resources that state lawmakers didn’t provide, districts leaders have said.

The General Assembly enacted the new class size limits in 2016 but didn’t appropriate enough funds for districts to hire more teachers for the increased number of smaller classes. By fall of 2018, North Carolina schools must offer classes in grades kindergarten through three that are considerably smaller than what they are now, and the combined need for funding and space is forcing many locales to consider cutting back not only on Pre-K, but also the arts, music and physical education.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from: 

Wagner, L. “Without action, class size mandate threatens Pre-K in some school districts.” Public School Forum of North Carolina. 11/13/17.

Education Matters Podcast Now Available

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

Our weekly television show Education Matters is now available as a podcast featuring an audio version of each week’s complete show. Every episode is now on iTunesSoundCloudStitcherPodBean, Overcast and Google Play Music. Subscribe now, catch up on shows you may have missed and get all new episodes delivered directly to you via your favorite streaming platform.

Education Matters

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

Education Matters will be pre-empted this weekend on WRAL. Fox50 and the North Carolina Channel will air encore episodes of the show. New show next week – November 25th.

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  listing and other providers here.

Online at https://www.ncforum.org/

State News

State Board Asks NC Supreme Court to Hear Lawsuit Against Superintendent

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

Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson and State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey. 

Photo Credit: Kelly Hinchcliffe, WRAL.

The State Board of Education filed a petition Wednesday, asking the North Carolina Supreme Court to hear its lawsuit against State Superintendent Mark Johnson. The petition is the latest in a nearly year-long battle between the board and superintendent over control of the state’s public school system.

In a statement Wednesday, state board attorney Drew Erteschik said the case “will determine who supervises and administers the state’s $10 billion public school system for the benefit of our 1.5 million school children. With stakes this high and constitutional issues this significant, this is clearly a case that ought to be heard by our state’s highest court.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from: 

Hinchcliffe, K. “State board asks NC Supreme Court to hear lawsuit against superintendent.” WRAL. 11/15/17.

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.

Cooper Appoints the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education

Photo Credit: @RoyCooperNC, Twitter.

Governor Cooper today announced his appointments to the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education. The Commission, which Governor Cooper created through an Executive Order, will focus on the critical importance of North Carolina meeting its duties under the state constitution as underscored by the landmark rulings in Leandro v. North Carolina and Hoke County Board of Education v. North Carolina.

“All North Carolina children have a constitutional right to a quality public education that prepares them for the jobs and opportunities of the future,” Governor Cooper said. “This commission of experts will help identify how to improve our state’s public schools so that all students in this state receive the education they need to thrive.”

To continue reading the complete press release, click here.

Excerpt from:

Governor Cooper’s Office. “State: Cooper appoints the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education.” The Stanly News & Press.11/15/17.

Robeson County Says No to ISD

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

“I hear no plan,” Eric, superintendent of the ISD, told the school board. “I hear about blame, power and control.” 

Photo Credit: The Robesonian.

The Board of Education of the Public Schools of Robeson County unanimously approved a joint resolution Thursday with the Robeson County Board of Commissioners opposing the takeover of Southside-Ashpole Elementary School by the state’s Innovative School District.

The resolution asked for time to hatch a plan locally to improve the school, where just 18.4 percent, or fewer than one in five, are working at grade level. The resolution states that “local control” that is “accountable to the public” is preferable to being included in a state school district.

However, the resolution stopped short of closing Southside-Ashpole, which is the only option the North Carolina General Assembly gives the school system.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Bigelow, S. “County says no to ISD.” The Robesonian.11/9/17.

NC Teaching Fellows Commission Selects Partner Institutions

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

Photo Credit: Element5 Digital, Unsplash.

Five North Carolina schools have been selected as partner institutions for a new initiative aimed at supporting students preparing for a teaching career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math or special education. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina State University, Elon University and Meredith College will serve as hosts for the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program, beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Find Out Which 21 Wake County Schools Could Have Enrollment Caps Next Year

  

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

From left at foreground table, Wendell Elementary School first graders Tierra Thompson, Cameron Pounds and Silas Lucas measure paper with paper clips in homeroom teacher Jenny Richards’ class on May 15, 2015.

Photo Credit: News & Observer file photo.

Twenty-one Wake County schools might not accept newly arriving families next year as North Carolina’s largest school system continues to deal with new state-mandated class sizes.

Wake school administrators recommended Wednesday placing enrollment caps on 15 elementary schools for the 2018-19 school year due to the state lowering the number of students who can be in kindergarten through third-grade classes next year. Enrollment caps are also recommended for four high schools and two middle schools next school year.

“This exercise is just re-emphasizing the challenge that the class-size mandate is creating for our families and with their satisfaction with their public school system,” school board member Bill Fletcher, chairman of the facilities committee, said Wednesday.

“It should be stated that charter schools don’t have that mandate. They can organize at any level that they want to.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:
Hui,  K. “Find out which 21 Wake County schools could have enrollment caps next year.” The News & Observer. 11/15/17.

Expert Urges Caution as North Carolina Lawmakers Consider School Funding Overhaul

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

Photo Credit: NC Policy Watch.

An expert in school funding models told North Carolina lawmakers Wednesday they should tread lightly to avoid “unintended consequences” as they consider a major face-lift for K-12 funding.

Michael Griffith, a school finance strategist with the Education Commission of the States—an interstate compact for K-12 policymaking—said legislators should also court public feedback.

“The more you can bring the public into the process, the better it’s going to be,” Griffith said. “And the easier it’s going to be for them to accept the formula.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Ball, B. “Expert urges caution as North Carolina lawmakers consider school funding overhaul.” NC Policy Watch. 11/15/17.

Students Who Receive Reduced-Priced School Lunches Owe DPS $4,800. Want to Help?

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

 A server at a Durham elementary school dishes up a hot meal. Photo Credit: Durham Public Schools.

A Durham woman has turned to social media to pay off a balance of nearly $5,000 that Durham Public Schools students owe on their reduced-priced lunches.

Rebekah Miel started the GoFundMe account on Tuesday, and it had raised $1,410 by 7 p.m.

“Food insecurity for children is a significant problem in Durham, and in some cases school lunches are the only meals these students get,” Miel said.

She said the goal is to help pay down the students’ balances before the holidays so families don’t have to worry about being able to pay for school meals.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Childress, G. ” Students who receive reduced-priced school lunches owe DPS $4,800. Want to help?” The Herald Sun. 11/14/17.

This Struggling Charter School Saw Big Gains on Test Scores; Here’s How 

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

Cory Melvin a fourth grader at Hope Charter Leadership Academy raises his hand to answer a question during science class on Thursday, November 9, 2017 in Raleigh. Photo Credit: Robert Willett, The News & Observer.

High-stakes standardized tests used to be a source of dread at Hope Charter Leadership Academy, but the high-poverty charter school near downtown Raleigh decided to take a different approach: Embrace the exams.

Mock tests, after-school tutorials, school competitions, parties, motivational videos and data-tracking to gauge performance has become the norm for Hope, which draws most of its 122 elementary school students from Southeast Raleigh.

The result, one year later, is that Hope saw major test gains that raised its state school performance letter grade from F to C.

Hope is now outperforming some similar nearby Raleigh elementary schools and other high-poverty schools around North Carolina.

To continue reading the complete article click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “This struggling charter school saw big gains on test scores. Here’s how.” The News & Observer. 11/10/17.

National News

New Senate Tax Plan Doubles Teachers’ Deduction for Buying Classroom Supplies

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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speak to reporters as work gets underway on the Senate’s version of the GOP tax reform bill on Nov. 9 in Washington. Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite, AP.

A revised Senate tax reform proposal released Tuesday would double the deduction teachers can take for buying supplies for their classrooms.

The bill’s changes would allow teachers to deduct $500 from their taxable income for purchases they make out of pocket for their classrooms, from pencils to software. Current law allows individual teachers to take a $250 deduction for those purchases. The new $500 deduction would take effect for income earned in 2018.

The deduction is “above the line” on tax forms, meaning that teachers don’t need to itemize their federal tax returns in order to claim it.

The House GOP tax bill, meanwhile, would scrap the deduction. The House approved its tax bill by a vote of 227-205 on Thursday.

States Will Soon Be Free to Transform Standardized Testing, But Most Won’t

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

A student takes a quiz at a high school in Ossining, N.Y. Photo Credit: Jackie Mader, The Hechinger Report.

Even states that only grudgingly rely on multiple-choice tests may sit out an “innovative assessment” pilot.

Tendy styles tend to flare and fade, only to reappear decades later, back in vogue with a new generation. Education innovation can follow a similar pattern.

In the early 1990s, Kentucky districts were among those grading student portfolios and assessing performance tasks, instead of standardized tests, and they found themselves on the cutting edge of educational assessment. More than 25 years later, some of the country’s most forward-thinking schools are embracing these strategies once again.

And while the No Child Left Behind education law made it hard to use anything but multiple-choice-based standardized tests, its replacement, the Every Student Succeeds Act, opens the door for a course correction – or at least it unlocks that door.

The reason some schools today are developing performance-based assessments, where students are graded on their ability to apply things they learn in class in scenarios that reflect the real world, is because advocates argue they uniquely evaluate skills students need to succeed in their future careers.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

García Mathewson, T. “States will soon be free to transform standardized testing, but most won’t.” The Hechinger Report. 11/15/17.

‘There Is No Oversight’: Private-School Vouchers Can Leave Parents on Their Own

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

Erica Florea and daughter, Jessica, 14, at home in Jupiter, Fla. The family had a difficult experience with private school choice. Photo Credit: Josh Ritchie, Education Week.

Erica Florea was fed up. The Jupiter, Fla., mother had feuded for months with her daughter’s middle school over her special education needs. Florea believed Jessica, who has dwarfism and epilepsy, also had autism.

But the school system, Florea said, had missed the diagnosis and was not providing the supports she insisted her daughter needed. So, before school resumed in the fall of 2015, she took a friend’s advice and applied for one of Florida’s publicly funded voucher programs to help pay tuition expenses for Jessica to attend a private school.

With a taxpayer-funded McKay Scholarship worth nearly $6,000, Florea pulled Jessica out of a public school system that faces some of the most stringent accountability in the country and entered into a largely unregulated private school sector with wide latitude over who it admits, who it kicks out, and few requirements for informing the public on how it serves students who are attending its schools with the help of taxpayer funds. This despite the fact that the state’s private schools collected nearly $832 million last year for tuition expenses, paid for by public money and tax-credits for businesses.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Prothero, A. “‘There Is No Oversight’: Private-School Vouchers Can Leave Parents on Their Own.” Education Week. 11/14/17.

Opportunities

Biogen Foundation Spark Video Contest

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

The Biogen Foundation is inviting middle and high school students in Massachusetts and North Carolina to create 30-second to 3-minute videos on the topic of genetic mutations. Please make sure the video is accurate and creative. Work with a teacher at your school to submit your video soon, because the first 200 eligible videos submitted will win $500 for your school (up to two submissions per school)! Grand Prize winners will receive $10,000 for their schools and three GoPro video cameras for the students who created and starred in the winning videos!

Submissions are open until December 8th. ALL NC schools are eligible to enter. Teachers MUST be the ones to submit the videos; students and parents are not allowed to submit videos. See spark.biogenfoundation.com for more information about the contest and to submit your video today!

Questions? Contact the Biogen Foundation here.

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