Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee Summary


A Study of Structure and Organization of the State Board of Education, State Superintendent of Instruction, and Department of Public Instruction

January 27, 2009


The Appropriations Act of 2008 directed the Program Evaluation Division to study the State Board of Education, and the Department of Public Instruction. Dr. Linda Recio, representing Evergreen Solutions, presented the findings, of the study, to the Committee. The report included 23 Commendations and 43 Recommendations. The major findings are: 1) the diffused leadership of public education has created a dysfunctional and confusing system of governance; 2) the State Board of Education lacks appropriate information to facilitate decision making, oversight, accountability and policy making for public education. A dashboard is needed to monitor success; and 3) the Department of Public Instruction needs additional restructuring and improved operational efficiency.

The State Board of Education commendations include some of the following:  the SBE structure establishes stability and continuity in governance with an effective subcommittee structure and the highly visible profile of the State Board of Education Chairman. In addition, the Education Cabinet needs be revitalized to address issues and establish policies across the continuum of pre-K-20 education.

The Department of Public Instruction commendations include some of the following: the Performance Management Tool used by DPI will provide the State Board with information to effectively monitor goals and indicators. In addition, there is a concerted effort to better serve educators across the state. Also, the Department recognizes the need to better plan and coordinate professional development.

North Carolina is one of 11 states that have a governance model with a State Board of Education appointed by the Governor and an independently elected State Superintendent. However, North Carolina is the only state where the state constitution authorized the State Board to actually administer and supervise the public education system. This is a critical distinction, and therefore is the controlling element regarding State Board governance and the role of the State Superintendent.

The report includes recommendations to the State Board to resolve the current governance structure, leadership of public education, and management of DPI involving the chairman of the State Board, State Superintendent, and the Deputy State Superintendent that currently diffuses responsibility and hinders effectiveness and accountability. Other recommendations in the report include; Legislation should be enacted to define the expectations for attendance and other responsibilities of the State Board members. The State Board should also be redirected to be strategically focused by using the balanced score card and the dashboard. 

The report includes recommendations for the Department of Public Instruction and some of those are; further reorganization of DPI, the development of procedures to ensure collaboration, communications, and accountability throughout DPI as well as the expansion of communication channels with administrators in the field.

It is estimated the implementation of these recommendations would result in an annual budget savings of approximately $400,000 to the State Board and DPI.

The complete list of commendations and recommendations can be found in the report.

Link to the full report:

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