Forum News

Education Matters Premieres

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The Public School Forum’s new weekly television program, Education Matters, premiered last Sunday, October 2nd on WRAL-TV.  The first episode focused on NC’s teacher pipeline, examining the declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs and increase in teacher turnover. Guests included the Deans of the Schools of Education from NC State and UNC-Wilmington and two teachers, one a beginning teacher and the other a 13-year veteran, sharing their perspectives on what we should be doing as a state to make teaching more attractive.
The next episode on Sunday October 9th will focus on school resources.  Across our state, public schools are being asked to do more with less. Eight years after a crippling recession forced significant cuts in state spending, including in public education, many key funding areas still remain below pre-recession levels. This week we explore with our guests, including two teachers who have felt the impact in their own pocket:
  • Jasmine Lauer, Teacher, Sanderson High School, Wake County
  • Rahnesia Best, Olive Chapel Elementary, Wake County
  • Kassandra Watson, Wake County PTA
  • Ashley Perkinson, NCPTA
Each episode of Education Matters aims to provide the public with real facts about the state of public education in North Carolina by examining a key topic in public education. In addition to the main topic, each show will cover major headlines in education and spotlight great leadership in our public schools. The show is hosted by Public School Forum President and Executive Director Keith Poston.

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Education Matters airs on Sundays at 11:30 AM on WRAL-TV through mid-November. The program will move to its permanent time slot, Saturdays at 7:30 PM, beginning November 26, 2016. Education Matters is viewable online at https://www.ncforum.org/education-matters/ 
and http://www.wral.com/ (search for Education Matters). 
On social media, you can engage with Education Matters on Twitter by following @NCEdmatters and the Public School Forum @theNCForum. We are using the hashtag #NCEDmatters.
On Facebook, you can like the Public School Forum page and the Education Matters show page to get info about the show and other Forum news and education news of interest on your timeline.

NC EPFP Begins for 2016-17 Cohort

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This week, the Public School Forum hosted its newest class of North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) Fellows for a three-day retreat in Raleigh. The Forum welcomed 52 new Fellows, including, for the second year, a significant number of Fellows from counties in Western North Carolina, supported through a US Department of Education GEAR UP grant awarded to Appalachian State University.
The fall retreat began Wednesday with a visit to the historic state capitol, where lawyer and North Carolina constitutional scholar Ann McColl led fellows, alumni, and guests through a session of her Constitutional Tales. Fellows stepped back into history, playing the roles of historical figures and reenacting the 1868 Constitutional Convention, sitting in the same seats where their characters sat almost 150 years ago.
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The retreat continued with speakers Gerry Hancock, a Raleigh-based attorney who has been instrumental in the landmark Leandro ruling guaranteeing every North Carolina child’s right to a sound, basic education; Dr. Jim Johnson, Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School; Dr. Dudley Flood, Former Specialist in School Desegregation and Race Relations for the NC Department of Public Instruction; and Liz Bell, Researcher and Reporter for EducationNC. Speakers introduced the new class of fellows to the history and context of education policy in North Carolina. 
This year’s EPFP class is led by Co-Coordinators Lauren Bock, the Forum’s Research Director; Joe Ableidinger, the Forum’s Senior Director of Policy & Programs; Jennifer Wilson-Kearse, Executive Director of NCACHE and Director of GEAR UP at Appalachian State; and James E. Ford, the Forum’s Program Director and 2014-15 North Carolina State Teacher of the Year.

In This Issue

Education Matters Premieres

NC EPFP Begins for 2016-17 Cohort

The Desegregation and Resegregation of Charlotte’s Schools

UNC-G Receives $2.3 Million Gift to Train Future Teachers

National Blue Ribbons Awarded to Eight NC Public Schools

$16.2 Million Teaching Incentive Fund Grant Awarded to Pitt County Schools

U.S Department of Education Awards $245 Million to Expand Charter Schools

Nevada Supreme Court Strikes Down School Choice Funding Method

Significant Education Cases on Supreme Court Docket

NC Creating Plan to Meet New Federal Education Requirements

Hope Street Group North Carolina Teacher Voice Network Survey

Wake County Public Schools Research Partnership Symposium

Journal for Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership

Public School Forum Programs

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Nominate an Outstanding Education Leader!

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The Public School Forum is seeking nominations for education leaders to be profiled on our new weekly TV show, Education Matters, on WRAL-TV.
Do you have a great leader in your local school? Nominate them today! We are seeking leaders who make a difference in their school each and every day.
To nominate an education leader, please fill out the form here.

State News

The Desegregation and Resegregation of Charlotte’s Schools

Recently, protesters and police clashed in the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, following the killing of Keith Lamont Scott, a forty-three-year-old father of seven, who had recently moved to the city with his wife and family. Scott was shot by officers who were searching for a man with an outstanding warrant. Scott was not that man. Officer accounts claim that Scott had a handgun and refused to comply when he got out of his car. Other witnesses say that Scott was actually holding a book, as he often read while waiting for the bus to return his son from elementary school.
The footage from Charlotte reflected a scene that has become all too familiar over the past several years: police cocooned in riot gear, their bodies encased in bulletproof vests and military-style helmets; protesters rendered opaque by the tear gas that surrounds them, scarves covering their mouths and noses to keep from inhaling the smoke.
These protests happened because of Keith Lamont Scott, but they also happened because Charlotte is a city that has long had deep racial tensions, and frustration has been building for some time. There are many places one might look to find the catalyst of this resentment, nationally and locally. But one of the first places to look is Charlotte’s public-school system.
In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” and thus unconstitutional. The decision mandated that schools across the country be integrated, though, in reality, little actual school desegregation took place following the ruling. It took years for momentum from the civil-rights movement to create enough political pressure for truly meaningful integration to take place in classrooms across the country.
To understand what happened next, it helps to turn to a book published last year and edited by Roslyn Arlin Mickelson, Stephen Samuel Smith, and Amy Hawn Nelson, “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: School Desegregation and Resegregation in Charlotte.” It uses essays by sociologists, political scientists, economists, and attorneys to illuminate how the city became the focal point of the national school-desegregation debate, with decisions that set a precedent for the rest of the country.
In 1964, a black couple, the Reverend Dr. Darius Swann and his wife, Vera Swann, attempted to enroll their son James in Seversville Elementary School, one of the few integrated schools in the city and one that was closer to their home than the one he attended. The Swanns’ request was denied, and James was told that he must attend an all-black school in a different neighborhood. The N.A.A.C.P. sued on behalf of the family and the case moved to the federal district court.
The ruling came down in 1969, and James McMillan, the judge presiding over the case, ruled in favor of the Swann family, ordering and then overseeing the implementation of a large-scale busing program, which would go on to make the school system for Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County a case study in integration. In 1971, the Supreme Court upheld the decision, and Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education concretized what Brown v. Board had put into motion more than a decade before. District after district modelled its integration plans on Charlotte, and the city was lauded as an example of what successful integration could look like. By 1980, the school district had reached an unprecedented level of integration. In 1984, the Charlotte Observer editorial board stated, “Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s proudest achievement of the past 20 years is not the city’s impressive new skyline or its strong, growing economy. Its proudest achievement is its fully integrated schools.”
The success of the integration program lasted for almost three decades, until William Capacchione, a white parent, sued the school district because he believed his daughter was not admitted into a local magnet school because of her race. Over the course of the trial, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board forcefully defended its desegregation plan. But in 1999 Federal District Court Judge Robert Potter—who as a private citizen had been active in the anti-busing movement of the nineteen-sixties—ordered the district to stop using race in pupil assignments. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, fearful of seeing three decades of desegregation work wiped away, appealed the decision. However, in 2001 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Capacchione and the other parents who joined him on the case, ending the mandatory-busing program.
Under the new “Family Choice Plan,” students were largely made to attend the schools in their neighborhood. But most neighborhoods in Charlotte are deeply segregated and racially homogenous communities, as a result of decades of housing segregation, and so schools that were once integrated and high-achieving soon became stratified by race and income. In 2005, as part of a separate, and far-reaching, case originally brought against the state of North Carolina for its failing school system, Judge Howard Manning issued a report on the state of schools in Charlotte. He concluded, “The most appropriate way for the Circuit to describe what is going on academically at CMS’s bottom ‘8’ high schools is academic genocide for the at-risk, low-income children.”
When Charlotte-Mecklenburg eliminated race as a factor in student assignment, it not only meant less diverse schools; it also created a feedback loop that made the problem worse. Families with the means—most often white families—started to move into whiter neighborhoods, where they knew their kids would go to whiter schools. As a result of the relationship between race and wealth, the social, political, and economic capital became ever more concentrated in a small number of very white neighborhoods.

UNC-G Receives $2.3 Million Gift to Train Future Teachers

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Tom Haggai presents Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. a check for $2.3 million for UNCG’s School of Education
UNCG’s School of Education received the largest gift in its history Monday – $2.3 million from the Tom Haggai and Associates (THA) Foundation.
This gift, combined with matching funds secured by UNCG, will be used to create a permanent endowment for the Haggai Academy and other programs in support of teacher preparation.
“Since its inception in 1891, UNCG has a proud tradition of producing premiere educators who impact the lives of their students across the state and around the world,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “We could not be more grateful for Dr. Tom Haggai and the Tom Haggai and Associates Foundation for their generosity to UNCG and its School of Education, ensuring its continued success for many years to come.”
Haggai Academy will provide financial and professional support to nontraditional students in UNCG’s School of Education, such as undergraduate students over the age of 24, graduate students seeking initial teacher licensure as they earn a master’s degree in teaching, lateral entry teachers and veterans. It will also include a leadership component for these students – called Haggai Scholars – focusing on ethics, service learning and professional development.
“As schools nationwide are suffering from a shortage of teachers, Haggai Academy promises to produce exceptionally prepared and motivated classroom teachers who will have a profound impact on the thousands of students who pass through their classrooms,” said UNCG School of Education Dean Randy Penfield.
To continue reading the complete article, click here.
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National Blue Ribbons Awarded to Eight NC Public Schools

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Eight North Carolina public schools were named 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. These schools are among 279 public and 50 private schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.
North Carolina public schools receiving this prestigious recognition are:
  • Pisgah Elementary, Buncombe County Schools;
  • The Early College at Guilford, Guilford County Schools;
  • Jay M. Robinson Middle, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools;
  • Wrightsville Beach Elementary, New Hanover County Schools;
  • Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Union County Schools;
  • Davis Drive Elementary, Wake County Schools;
  • Morrisville Elementary, Wake County Schools; and
  • Bald Creek Elementary, Yancey County Schools.
“National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices—professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems—making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation.”
State Superintendent June Atkinson congratulated educators and students at these schools for their receipt of this prestigious award. “In my travels across the state I see first hand how hard our principals, teachers and support staff work to ensure that students excel in the classroom and life. It’s rewarding when those efforts are recognized,” she said.
For the past 34 years, this coveted award has been bestowed to fewer than 8,500 of the nation’s most successful schools. Schools selected model excellence in leadership, teaching, curriculum, student achievement and parental involvement.
National Blue Ribbon Schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:
  • Exemplary High Performing Schools. Schools are among their state’s highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools. Schools are among their state’s highest-performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.
Education officials in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education nominate public schools that meet the rigorous criteria for consideration. Once all nominations are received, the U.S. Secretary of Education invites the nominated schools to submit applications for possible recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.
Representatives from each of these schools will be honored at a conference and awards ceremony to be held Nov. 7-8 in Washington, DC. They will receive a plaque and a flag signifying their selection as a National Blue Ribbon School.
Additional information regarding the National Blue Ribbon School program is available online.
Reprinted from:

$16.2 Million Teaching Incentive Fund Grant Awarded to Pitt County Schools

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Pitt County Schools has been selected as one of 13 districts from across the nation to receive a Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant from the US Department of Education.  The grant will invest over $16.2 million over the next five years in the district’s effort to develop strategies to support teacher recruitment, retention, and rewards.
The Pitt County Schools’ grant program, titled R3: Recruit, Retain, and Reward R3: Recruiting, Retaining, and Rewarding Educators through Multiple Career Pathways and Performance-Based Compensation, will expand its already existing innovative Teacher Leadership programs to create multiple pathways for teachers in most of the district’s 36 schools to remain in the classroom and receive increased pay and responsibility.  Additionally, the program will establish performance-based bonuses for teachers and administrators in the eligible schools.  
“The primary goal of the program is to keep excellent teachers in the classroom, rather than risk having them leave to go into administrative or instructional coaching positions,” said Thomas Feller, Professional Development Coordinator and Co-Director of the R3. “One of the things we’ve recognized in talking with teachers across the district is that many want to remain in the classroom working with kids, but feel that the only way they can contribute more to their school or receive more compensation is to leave the classroom for an administrative position.  This program will provide significant financial incentives and support for teachers who choose to remain in the classroom and serve in a teacher leadership position.”
The R3 program is designed to both retain effective, experienced teachers and decrease teacher turnover by supporting and retaining young teachers.  “R3 brings together four innovative programs with the aim to engage our teacher leaders and expand their influence beyond the four walls in which they teach. By engaging both our beginning and experienced teacher leaders and providing them with different pathways as a classroom teacher, the program empowers them with the ability to impact the learning of so many of our students” explains Seth Brown, Teacher Support Coordinator and co-Director of the R3.
The proposal was submitted in July with broad support from the school system, the Pitt County Educational Foundation, and state education leaders.  Implementation of the TIF grant will be overseen by the Division of Educator Effectiveness and Leadership within Pitt County Schools, led by Feller and Seth Brown.  Feller and Brown have both served as teachers, school administrators, and district administrators, collaborating the last three years on projects such as the Key BT program for beginning teachers and the Teacher Leadership Institute, two main components of the R3 Initiative.  
To continue reading the complete article, click here.
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National News

U.S Department of Education Awards $245 Million to Expand Charter Schools

The U.S. Department of Education has announced it is awarding $245 million to eight states and 15 charter school networks this year.
The Charter Schools Program gives millions annually to select state departments of education and charter management organizations (i.e. nonprofit networks of charter schools) to help them launch new charter schools.
Massachusetts is among the state recipients, which adds an interesting twist to a robust debate going on there over whether the state should lift a cap it currently has on how many charter schools can open. The decision is being put to voters this November.
In related news, the Education Department decided earlier this month to release—with restrictions—a $71 million grant it awarded to Ohio through the Charter School Program last year. Its decision to give such a large sum of money to Ohio drew a lot of criticism because of well-documented issues over many years of poor academic achievement and even fraud among many Ohio charter schools.
Although state lawmakers passed a bill overhauling the state’s charter school law to address some of the most egregious issues, some state policymakers felt the state needed to prove it could enact those reforms before being given the money. 
To continue reading the complete article, click here.
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Nevada Supreme Court Strikes Down School Choice Funding Method

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Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court on struck down the state’s education savings account law, ruling that while the premise of using taxpayer money for private education was constitutional, the method used to fund the ESA program was not.
The high court ordered a permanent injunction against the law — viewed as the most sweeping school choice legislation in the country — that was passed last year on a party-line vote by the Republican-controlled Legislature.
GOP legislators who had championed the law pledged to establish a separate funding account and called for Gov. Brian Sandoval to include the ESA program on the agenda for an anticipated special session next month. That session, which Sandoval is expected to convene between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13, already was set to consider financing for a stadium in Clark County and an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
But late Thursday the Republican governor signaled the issue of funding ESAs should be addressed by the 2017 Legislature when it convenes in February.
“Although the court found the current funding mechanism for Education Savings Accounts unconstitutional, there may be a path for a legislative solution,” Sandoval said. “However, such a solution is complex and must be well thought out to meet constitutional muster.
“I am still reviewing the full decision … and it would be premature to speculate on the proper method to administer and fund this important program,” he said. “I also believe it is important to consult with legislative leadership on this issue as we approach the 2017 legislative session.”
In its 33-page opinion, the court held that the Nevada Constitution does not limit the Legislature’s discretion to encourage other methods of education. Additionally, it said funds placed in education savings accounts belong to parents and are not “public funds,” therefore ESAs do not violate a prohibition against using public money for sectarian purposes.
But justices said lawmakers cannot divert money authorized specifically for public schools to be used for private educational programs such as tuition at parochial schools. The use of Distributive School Account funding for ESAs “undermines the constitutional mandates“ to fund public education, the court said.

Significant Education Cases on Supreme Court Docket

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its new term Oct. 3 still feeling the effects of the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia. With the nomination of Merrick B. Garland stuck in political limbo, the eight members of the court have adopted a cautious approach to their docket for the new term, many legal experts say.
But for K-12 education, the new term may be the most significant in years. For example, the justices have agreed to hear two cases involving students with disabilities and another that could be significant for government aid to religion, including private religious schools.
And the court could soon add to its docket a case that would plunge the justices into the national debate over the rights of transgender students.
“This is a very interesting time in the Supreme Court, to put it mildly,” said John G. Malcolm, the director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a right-leaning think tank in Washington. “The court appears to be reluctant to tackle too many contentious issues until it has a full complement of justices.”
The Feb. 13 death of Scalia led the court to deadlock on several decisions last term, including a major case on whether teachers’ unions could continue to collect service fees from nonmembers.
Until that case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which included several school districts as nominal parties, the Supreme Court had gone five years without taking up any cases with public school districts or administrators as parties.
That is changing in earnest in the new term.
To continue reading the complete article, click here.

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Opportunities

Beginning Teacher Leadership Network Accepting Applications for 2016-17

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The Public School Forum’s Beginning Teacher Leadership Network is accepting applications for the 2016-17 school year for Mecklenburg, Wake, and Union counties. Application links are available online at https://www.ncforum.org/beginning-teacher-leadership-network/.

The Beginning Teacher Leadership Network (BTLN) offers early-career teachers (1-3 years) the chance to continue their development as classroom instructors while learning how to advocate for the educational profession. Participants in BTLN meet regularly to improve their classroom practice, network with one another, and learn about state and local education policy. It offers beginning teachers the chance to grow in their pedagogical practice, as well as bolster their impact beyond the classroom. BTLN implements specific interventions to retain beginning teachers by fostering their leadership ability and leveraging the skills of veteran teachers. It is completely voluntary and intended as a supplement to the required professional development delivered by the local education agency. It takes a three-pronged approach to teacher-leadership by focusing on the areas of education policy and advocacy, cross-curricular collaboration, and professional development.

More questions? Check out THIS video about the BTLN or contact Forum Program Director James Ford at jford@ncforum.org.

NC Creating Plan to Meet New Federal Education Requirements

What will the new federal education law, Every Student Succeeds Act, mean for North Carolina students? State educators and policymakers are crafting North Carolina’s plan now for submission to the US Department of Education during its March submission calendar.
Academic indicators will continue to include proficiency on English language arts/reading and mathematics, progress of English language learners, graduation rates, and a to-be-decided other academic indicator for elementary and middle schools. In addition, the new law requires the inclusion of other measures of school quality or student success as long as those indicators are valid and reliable, comparable, available statewide, and meaningful indicators of student success.
Input is being collected online through the “Let’s Talk” application, which may be accessed from the Department’s website; in regional meetings with superintendents and school officials; as well as in six public comment sessions to be held from 5-7 p.m. on each of the following dates, except the session in Tarboro, which will be held from 4-6 p.m.:
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October 12 – Jacksonville
October 18 – Fayetteville
October 19 – Tarboro
October 24 – Waynesville
October 25 – Burlington

Hope Street Group North Carolina Teacher Voice Network Survey

Teachers are asked to take ten minutes to complete the Hope Street Group North Carolina Teacher Voice Network survey before October 18th. The survey can be accessed hereTopics relate to the North Carolina Working Conditions Survey and the 2016-2017 State Board of Education Strategic Plan. Results will be shared in February 2017, along with helpful recommendations based on your input that can be used at the school, district, or state level.  You can see the recommendations from previous surveys here and here

Wake County Public Schools Research Partnership Symposium

The Wake County Public School System will be hosting a day-long (9:00-4:00) symposium on November 1st to highlight WCPSS’s research partnerships with various universities across the Triangle and beyond. The symposium will be held at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.
The morning agenda will include a plenary session about partnership work broadly (with guests from Durham and Guilford Public Schools), as well as a discussion among district and university grants directors about navigating the grantmaking process. 
The afternoon agenda will include short sessions in which district staff and their university partners will highlight collaborations and share results. Such collaborations include the following, among other projects: 
  • An examination of the relationship between students’ civic engagement and achievement (partnership with Duke University)
  • The impact of a contemporary career academy on high school graduation and beyond (partnership with UNC Chapel Hill)
  • A look at “summer melt,” whereby students intend to enroll in college but fall off course during the summer (partnership with NC State)
Coffee and snacks will be available before we kick off at 9:00. Lunch is included. 
Please RSVP here.

Journal for Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is accepting articles and literary reviews to be featured in the second issue of the Journal for Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership (JoITL). The peer-reviewed publication features original work on K–12 educational topics from research to pedagogy to policy, and more.
Special consideration will be given to works that address:
  • STEM education and science literacy
  • Project and inquiry based learning
  • Teacher leadership and research experiences for educators
  • Data literacy and digital learning
Submissions will be accepted through Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.
For submission guidelines, visit kenanfellows.org/journals. Please send questions to the managing editor, Amneris Solano, 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.

©2016 Public School Forum of North Carolina. All Rights Reserved.

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