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The Friday Report

September 14, 2018

Forum News

This Week on Education Matters: Is NC Providing Access to Quality Public Education?

In 1997, the NC Supreme Court held unanimously in the landmark Leandro case that North Carolina public school students are entitled under the state constitution to the “opportunity to receive a sound basic education” and therefore the state’s responsibility to provide it. In November 2017, more than 20 years after the initial ruling, Governor Roy Cooper formed the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education in the latest and perhaps most ambitious effort to date to ensure that the state meets its constitutional obligation when it comes to public education. 

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Guests:

  • Brad Wilson, Chair, Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education (pictured above right)
  • Melody Chalmers, Principal, E.E. Smith High School, Fayetteville (pictured above left) 
  • Melanie Dubis, Partner, Parker Poe (pictured below, right)
  • Debra Dowless, Assistant Superintendent, Hoke County Schools (pictured below, left)

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When and Where to Watch Education Matters

Saturday at 7:30 PMWRAL-TV (Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sunday at 8:00 AM, FOX 50

(Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sunday at 6:30 AM and Wednesday at 9:30 AM, UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel (Statewide)

The North Carolina Channel can be found on Time Warner Cable/Spectrum Channel 1276 or check your local listings and other providers here.

Online at https://www.ncforum.org/.

Education Matters is also available as a podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Overcast, and Google Play Music.

Advocate: State Teacher Pay Still Below Average

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A lobbyist and advocate for public education said if North Carolina teacher salaries are not competitive, local schools will lose their “rockstar” teachers to other states that pay better.

Rachel Beaulieu (pictured left), senior policy adviser for the Public School Forum of North Carolina, addressed about 60 people at Thursday (9/6/18) morning’s Eggs & Education Forum held at the Wilson Country Club. The event was part of the 2018 Public Policy Series hosted by the Wilson Chamber of Commerce and the Wilson Education Partnership and sponsored by The Action Group.

Beaulieu said teacher salaries in North Carolina have risen but still lag about $10,000 below the national average.

“This year, the General Assembly invested close to $12 million more in teacher salary increase,” Beaulieu said. “We have had a long way to go over the years where nationally we had not been ranked very well at all and there was a big drive for North Carolina to be No. 1 in the Southeast in teacher salaries.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Wilson, D.”Advocate: State teacher pay still below average.” The Wilson Times. 9/7/18.

Color of Education: An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones 

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This fall, the Public School Forum of North Carolina, in partnership with Duke Policy Bridge and the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, will host the first in a series of annual summits and convenings focused on race, equity and education in North Carolina under the banner “Color of Education.” The kick-off event will feature award-winning New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones. 

Color of Education: An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones

When: Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:00 PM

 

Where: Duke University at Penn Pavilion

This event is now SOLD OUT.

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To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, click here.

In This Issue

This Week on Education Matters: Is NC Providing Access to Quality Public Education?

Advocate: State Teacher Pay Still Below Average

Color of Education: An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones 

Virtual Charter Schools in NC Are Still Low Performing. Are They Improving, or Failing?

Mark Johnson – NC School Board Rift Directly Affects Students, Chair Says

Possible State Takeover of Fairview Elementary Draws Comments at School Board Meeting

This Raleigh School Unfairly Got an F. It Merits an A for Effort.

Save the Children Rushes in to Bring NC Children Respite from Hurricane Florence

NC School Districts Prepare, Brace for Hurricane Florence

House Select Committee on School Safety Meets in Boone

NC Governor Roy Cooper Proclaims September 2018 Attendance Awareness Month

‘I Work 3 Jobs and Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America

Does Teacher Diversity Matter in Student Learning?

The Keys to Student Success Include Starting Early and Following Through

Women in Educational Leadership Symposium

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers

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 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/educationmatters.

State News

Virtual Charter Schools in NC Are Still Low Performing. Are They Improving, or Failing?

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Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels.

North Carolina’s two online charter schools have been open since 2015, but both schools have been unable to shed their state status as low performing.

Statewide test results released this week show that N.C. Connections Academy and N.C. Virtual Academy received D grades for their academic performance for the 2017-18 school year. It’s the third year in a row that both public schools have gotten a D and also failed to meet academic growth expectations on state tests, putting them on the state’s list of “continually low-performing schools.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, T. “Virtual charter schools in NC are still low performing. Are they improving, or failing?” The News & Observer. 9/7/18.

Mark Johnson – NC School Board Rift Directly Affects Students, Chair Says

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Former CMS board chair Eric Davis is the new chairman of the state Board of Education. He faces an array of challenges. Photo Credit: John D. Simmons, The Charlotte Observer.

As the new chairman of the state school board, Charlotte’s Eric Davis has his hands full. Not only does he face large and persistent student achievement gaps between the haves and have-nots, but he will lead a board mired in a power struggle with state schools superintendent Mark Johnson. Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten on Monday talked with Davis, a former chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board, about his vision for the job. Here’s an edited version of that conversation.

Q. What are your top priorities as chairman?

A. Four things. These most recent performance results (released last week) highlight how much work we have to do around equity and creating equal opportunity, equal access, and closing the gap on the results. It highlights for me that our students’ needs are continuing to grow at an exponential rate. And that over the last few years, the continued decrease in support for our public school system in the state has finally caught up with us.

To continue reading the complete interview, click here.

Excerpt from:

The Observer Editorial Board. “Mark Johnson-NC school board rift directly affects students, chair says.” The Charlotte Observer. 9/10/18.

Possible State Takeover of Fairview Elementary Draws Comments at School Board Meeting

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Photo Credit: BH Media.

Three area leaders spoke out on a possible state takeover of Fairview Elementary school at Thursday’s Guilford County Board of Education meeting.

Guilford County Association of Educators president Todd Warren and Southside Neighborhood Association president Tony Collins both called for Fairview to stay part of Guilford County Schools. Warren said his organization plans to start a petition to show community support for keeping Fairview part of the district.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Pounds, J. “Possible state takeover of Fairview Elementary draws comments at school board meeting .” News & Record. 9/13/18.

This Raleigh School Unfairly Got an F. It Merits an A for Effort.

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Bugg Elementary Principal Becky Foote is building a faculty eager to take up the challenges of teaching at a school that serves many children from low-income families. Photo Credit: Ned Barnett, The News & Observer.

What you may notice first about Bugg Elementary School in Southeast Raleigh is that the name has two “Gs.” That’s because the school that opened in 1964 is named for a doctor who served the community, Dr. Charles R. Bugg.

What you may notice next is another line of repeating letters — three “Fs.” Those are the grades slapped on the school since the state began grading public schools three years ago with grades A through F. The grades are based 80 percent on standardized test scores and 20 percent on student improvement.

Principal Becky Foote is a veteran educator in her third year at Bugg. She is building a dedicated faculty and a culture of progress at the school where nearly 80 percent of the students have a low family income that qualifies them for a free or reduced-cost lunch. She tries to ignore the letter grade. She doesn’t think it’s a true measure of the school, which serves about 400 students from pre-K through 5th grade.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Barnett, N. “This Raleigh school unfairly got an F. It merits an A for effort.” The News & Observer. 9/7/18.

Save the Children Rushes in to Bring NC Children Respite from Hurricane Florence

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Beny Diaz, left, holds a toy stethoscope up to her belly for her 2-year-old son, Anthony Diaz, to listen to his unborn brother. Older sister, Malerie Hernandez, 6, center, joins the two on the floor in the activity room set up by Save the Children at Garner High School on Thursday evening, Sept. 13, 2018. Photo Credit: Juli Leonard, The News & Observer.

The winds were beginning to gust outside Garner High School on Thursday as Hurricane Florence moved closer to landfall, but inside the school it was filled with the sound of children laughing and playing.

Beach balls were tossed around, hula hoops whirled around hips and soccer balls were kicked across the room as more than two dozen young children played inside the emergency shelter at Garner High. It was all part of the effort by Save The Children, a humanitarian organization, to help storm evacuees still be children during this stressful time.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, T. “Save the Children rushes in to bring NC children respite from Hurricane Florence.” The News & Observer. 9/13/18.

NC School Districts Prepare, Brace for Hurricane Florence

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 Photo Credit: Granville County Public Schools.

We reached out to the public information officers in the 115 districts across North Carolina. This article will be updated over the course of the next days and weeks with stories and photos from our school districts as they are impacted by Hurricane Florence.

In Granville County, a team effort is underway to protect area schools. Career technical education students work alongside staff to place sand bags on a flood-prone area of a local high school. 

In the western part of the state, Transylvania County Schools are preparing for the potential loss of power across their district. To remain in contact with students and families who may lose internet access, the school system created a new text message alert line through Remind — a smartphone application typically used for classes and extracurricular activities. According to Kevin Smith, the schools-community relations coordinator for the district, this system could prove critical in staying connected with some of the district’s families.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Sorrells, A. “NC school districts prepare, brace for Hurricane Florence.” EducationNC. 9/12/18.

House Select Committee on School Safety Meets in Boone

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Members of the local Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense America group address the House Select Committee on School Safety on Sept. 7. Photographed are: Alison Gates, Kathy Parham, Lesilie Cook, Stephanie Hankins, Maggie Hawkinson, and Jeana Klein. Photo Credit: Kayla Lasure, Watauga Democrat.

As school safety has been on the forefront of many minds in the last year, Watauga citizens were able to address the House Select Committee on School Safety on the topic on Sept. 7.

A total of 14 people spoke to the committee on their thoughts on school safety at the event held at Watauga High School. At the end, each committee representative was given two minutes to reply to any statements that were made.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Lasure, K. “House Select Committee on School Safety meets in Boone.” Watauga Democrat. 9/12/18.

NC Governor Roy Cooper Proclaims September 2018 Attendance Awareness Month

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Photo Credit: JJ Thompson, Unsplash.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed September 2018 to be Attendance Awareness Month.

In the proclamation, Governor Cooper reminds us that regular school attendance is essential for grade-level reading, academic achievement, and graduation, by giving young students the reading skills they need to achieve, decreasing the likelihood of being retained, and supporting the development of social-emotional skills needed to persist in school.

Missing school just two or three days a month is considered chronic absence and can negatively affect student outcomes. Students from low-income communities are more likely to face systemic barriers to getting to school and more likely to be impacted academically by absences.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

“NC Governor Roy Cooper Proclaims September 2018 Attendance Awareness Month.” NC Early Childhood Foundation. 9/6/18.

National News

‘I Work 3 Jobs and Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America

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Photo Credit: TIME.

Hope Brown can make $60 donating plasma from her blood cells twice in one week, and a little more if she sells some of her clothes at a consignment store. It’s usually just enough to cover an electric bill or a car payment. This financial juggling is now a part of her everyday life—something she never expected almost two decades ago when she earned a master’s degree in secondary education and became a high school history teacher. Brown often works from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. at her school in Versailles, Ky., then goes to a second job manning the metal detectors and wrangling rowdy guests at Lexington’s Rupp Arena. With her husband, she also runs a historical tour company for extra money.

“I truly love teaching,” says the 52-year-old. “But we are not paid for the work that we do.”

That has become the rallying cry of many of America’s public-school teachers, who have staged walkouts and marches on six state capitols this year. From Arizona to Oklahoma, in states blue, red and purple, teachers have risen up to demand increases in salaries, benefits and funding for public education. Their outrage has struck a chord, reviving a national debate over the role and value of teachers and the future of public education.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Reilly, K. “‘I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America.” TIME. 9/13/18.

Does Teacher Diversity Matter in Student Learning?

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Zara Gibbon helps a new sixth grader at Animo Westside Charter Middle School in Los Angeles. A majority of teachers in American schools are white women. Photo Credit: Reed Saxon, Associated Press.

As students have returned to school, they have been greeted by teachers who, more likely than not, are white women. That means many students will be continuing to see teachers who are a different gender than they are, and a different skin color.

Does it matter? Yes, according to a significant body of research: Students tend to benefit from having teachers who look like them, especially nonwhite students.

The homogeneity of teachers is probably one of the contributors, the research suggests, to the stubborn gender and race gaps in student achievement: Overall, girls outperform boys, and white students outperform those who are black and Hispanic.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Cain Miller, C. “Does Teacher Diversity Matter in Student Learning?” The New York Times. 9/10/18.

The Keys to Student Success Include Starting Early and Following Through

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Preschool teacher Leesandra Arreaga plays with children at the Charles B. Tisdale Early Learning Center in Bridgeport, Conn. The state has shown a notable increase in its preschool enrollment, based on data compiled by the Education Week Research Center. Photo Credit: Christopher Capozziello, Education Week.

A good start and a strong finish: State education leaders build a large part of their education policy around ensuring children are equipped for both as they move through the K-12 system and beyond. But how does that play out when 50 state education systems are stacked up against each other—and what kind of picture emerges for the nation as a whole when that mosaic comes together?

Quality Counts 2018 offers some examples and takeaways through the data collected in its Chance-for-Success Index, which looks at both ends of the learning spectrum and what it means for a person’s lifelong trajectory.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Samuels, C. “The Keys to Student Success Include Starting Early and Following Through.” Education Week. 9/5/18.

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/.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers

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The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Science and Math Teachers (CASMT) application is now available online. The Career Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers is a five-year award available to outstanding science and/or mathematics teachers in the North Carolina public primary and secondary schools. The purpose of this award is to recognize teachers who have demonstrated solid knowledge of science and/or mathematics content and have outstanding performance records in educating children. The deadline for submission is September 24th, 2018For more information or to access the application, visit https://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/science-education/career-awards-science-and-mathematics-teachers.

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.

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