Summary: November Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee

November 9, 2010

Co-Chairs Representative Yongue and Senator Foriest opened the meeting.

National Board Certification Program for Principals:

Joan Auchter, Chief Program Officer presented on the National Board Standards for Accomplished Principals. She reviewed the nine standards developed to become a National Board Principal. The standards are: Leadership for Results, Vision and Mission. Teaching and Learning, Knowledge of Students and Adults, Culture, Strategic Management, Advocacy, Ethics, and Reflection and Growth. More information can be found at the NBPTS website: NBPTS is working with the Southern Regional Education Board to pilot the test. Currently, 19 states and 660 principals are in the field test pool. North Carolina has 59 principals from 37 counties involved (more than any other state). The purpose of the field test is to get feedback on the assessment and to establish scoring materials and a passing standard. Principals involved in the test are submitting all work electronically. When asked about how many principals may be successful in getting their certification, Ms. Auchter noted, that 4 out of 10 teachers gain National Board certification, but it’s too early to know the success rate for principals until the field tests are completed.

Kris Nordstrom fiscal analyst presented on the fiscal impact of implementing this certification program at the state level. Certain assumptions are necessary. First certification is only for principals (not assistant principals). Next the model developed assumes 1.5 percent of all state-funded principals will earn certification, and once certified they would receive a 12 percent salary increase. For purposes of this cost estimate principals would assume the cost for the application fees.  The estimated cost is $320,000 per year in state funds to support the salary increase. After ten years the cost would require $3.6 million in state funds based on the assumptions in the model.

Committee Discussion: There were questions about the NC counties where principals were participating in the field test, salary increases for principals who have a PhD, and how does the PhD program differ from NBPTS certification.  Could institutions of higher education provide some of these standards as part of the principal’s education program? Can undergraduate degree programs be combined with certification? Can we quantify savings at the school with a certified principal directing the school program? What possible savings (reduced costs) can be gained for improved education at the school? Will a certified principal improve the graduation rate? Who will monitor the data? Several members are concerned about adding a program to the state education budget and the costs associated with the new program.

Race to the Top:

Bill Harrison presented an overview of the slightly less than $400 million 4-year grant that North Carolina was awarded this year. He advised members the funds are only for four years and they would not be coming back to the state to request those dollars be put into the education budget at the end of the grant. The purpose of the grant is “Building Capacity.” He mentioned reading a recent Education Week article, where it was reported 75 percent of US students in 4th grade were proficient in meeting state reading and math standards, when looking at the same results for these students on international standards the results are not as high. The Common Standards will help get most of the States on the same page for Reading and Math. Finally, he told members competent caring teacher and principals are critical to the success of the NC RttT plan.

Dr. June Atkinson spoke on the RttT grant as well. She noted NC is one of 11 states to receive that grant and the grant funding will be a “Game Changer” for NC.  It will provide NC with the funding to move faster and further in their reform efforts. The two key goals of the grant are 1) Increase the Graduation Rate from 74.2 percent statewide to 85 percent and 2) Strong student Achievement. All 115 LEAs and 44 charter schools have just submitted their scope of work plans to access their portion of the RttT grant funding. Not all of the charter schools were eligible to submit plans because the grant is tied to the Title I program and not all charter schools have a Title I program. Dr. Atkinson also noted that there are 111 low-performing schools in the state who will be assisted with the RttT grant funding. The RttT grant is like a contract and if NC wants to make changes to the contract they will be required to get approval from US Educcation. Department (USED).

Mr. Adam Levinson the director of the grant presented some key facts on the grant. The LEA funding portion is $165 million with $35 million being set aside for the Technology “Cloud” program. The remainder of the funding $199 million will be used by DPI to implement 15 additional strategies listed in the table below as well as funding from administration for the grant:


Coordinator Initiative Objectives Budget
Peter Asmar

Philip Price

Technology Infrastructures and Resources 1) Establish Technology “cloud.”

2) Digital tools and resources to support RttT.

3) Prepare educators to use online resources and tools.

$34,639,376 from LEA resources
Martez Hill Evaluation and Policy Analyses 1)  Ongoing evaluations to improve RttT initiatives.

2)  Summative analyses for future program, policy, and funding decisions.

3)  Conduct analyses of NC policies to consider removal of policy barriers and development of policy reforms.

Angela Quick Transition to new Standards and Assessments 1)  Gain stakeholder support for transition.

2)  Ensure teachers understand the new standards and assessments.

3)  Ensure Stakeholders understand and use summative assessments effectively.

Instructional Improvement and Professional development Budgets
Adam Levinson State Data Use 1)  Make NC data accessible to stakeholders.


2)  Ensure stakeholders are able to make use of the data.

3)  Data used to support decision-making and continuous improvement processes.

Professional Development Budget





Angela Quick Instructional Improvement System 1)  Increase the use of instructional improvement systems.

2)   Develop statewide instructional improvement system to support curriculum-embedded assessments, diagnostic assessments, curriculum monitoring, and summative assessments.

3)  Provide technology infrastructure to support instruction.

4)  Prepare teachers to make effective use of the instructional improvement.

5)  Improve student achievement outcomes.

Lynne Johnson/  Rebecca Garland Teacher and Principal Evaluation processes 1)  Fully implement the NC teacher and principal evaluation processes. $5,320,100
Pat Ashely Performance incentives for lowest achieving schools 1) Opportunities to earn incentives based on student performance.

2)  Transition to classroom-level incentives by 2012-2013.

Lynne Johnson/ Rebecca Garland Teacher effectiveness and evaluation planning 1)  Develop a state-level transparent system for integrating student achievement growth data into evaluations for all teachers and principals. $700,840
Lynne Johnson/

Bill Harrison

Regional Leadership Academies 1)  Increase the number of principals qualified to lead transformational change in low-performing schools and in rural and urban areas. $18,608,809
Lynne Johnson Expand Teacher recruitment and licensure programs 1)  Increase the number of Teach for America teachers in low-performing schools.

2)  NC Teacher Corps recruit college graduates to teach in low-performing schools.

3)  Induction support program for new teachers including, a 3-year support for teachers in low-achieving schools.

Lynne Johnson Strategic staffing initiatives 1)  Support development, implementation, and evaluation programs to strengthen staffing in low-performing schools. $250,000
Bryan Setser NC Virtual Public School Expansion 1)  Expand availability of virtual courses in Math and Science for low-performing schools and other schools where curriculum may be limited. $6,456,023
Lynne Johnson Research on effective of teachers and principals 1)  Use data and lessons to make decisions about program improvements, expansion and closures. N/A
Lynne Johnson Professional Development 1)  Create, train, and support teachers and principals as professional development leaders to establish professional development capacity.

2)  Develop resources to support effective professional activities.

3)  Align professional development with reform initiative in RttT plan.

4)  Expand online professional development infrastructures.

5)  Evaluate professional development activities to determine impact on teaching practices and student achievement.

Pat Ashley District and School Transformation System 1)    Improve performance of all low-performing schools to move all schools above 60 percent level. $41,980,147
June Atkinson Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics thematic schools and network 1)    Develop four coordinated STEM schools each focused on a major area relevant for NC economic development.

2)    Use anchor schools as centers for professional development, curriculum development, technology use, and innovation to impact networks of STEM schools throughout NC lowest-achieving schools.


*Please note in preparing this overview the external partners who may receive contracts or who have contracts pending for the grant funds were not listed to simplify the table. If you would like a list of the partners please submit a request for the information.


The plan is to raise statewide achievement standards. The SBE provided updated student achievement targets at their November meeting last week. Each LEA and charter school will set their own targets based on their present student achievement levels. NC is anticipating release of the federal funding by early December. Staff noted the entire sum will be sent once the State plan is approved by USED. The LEAs will then have full access to their funding. All of the money could be used immediately or through the next four years.

Committee Discussion: Members raised concerns about the assessment inconsistency footnote. As tests/assessments change to match the new Common Core Standards curriculum, how can you correlate data on student test scores against older test data. Another member addressed the issue of using the Common Core standards. Overall, there appeared to be concerns about how the one-time $400 million funding would be spent, and who would monitor, and oversee the use of funds to ensure the goals were being achieved.


The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee is scheduled to meet December 7th.



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