Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

In an interesting political move, the General Assembly is expected to grant what may be referred to as ’emergency budget super powers’ to the Governor this week.  Although it may appear harmonious at first, rest assured, this is anything but.  No doubt, there is some very savvy political play set to unfold – the details of which, are being closely guarded.   As for the rest of us… Waiting and watching is the name of the game.

Check out the story below:

From WRAL: Legislative measure gives Perdue more budget power

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina lawmakers have rolled out a bill that would give Gov. Beverly Perdue more authority to reduce spending throughout state government to free up extra cash to help close an expected budget gap next year of more than $3.5 billion….



North Carolina 2009 NAEP Science Test Results

January 25, 2011


North Carolina is reporting on the results of the fourth graders and eighth grades who participated in the National Assessment of Educational Progress in Science. NC has participated four times in this national assessment with a sampling of fourth and eight graders across the state. The National average in fourth grade was 149 and NC fourth grade students scored 148. NC eighth grades did not do as well scoring 144, while the National average score was 148. Only 24 percent of NC eight graders were deemed proficient, while 30 percent of fourth graders scored at or above the proficient level. Approximately 9,900 fourth and eighth graders participated in the NAEP Science assessment. More information the NEAP can be found in this DPI Press Release

or by pasting this link in your browser’s address field: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/newsroom/news/2010-11/20110125-01


Two Excellent N&O Articles

Civitas: The smart way to reduce education budgets

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 | Written by Bob Luebke |

With the state forced to come to grips with a $3.7 billion budget deficit everyone knows cuts are coming to the K-12 education, the single biggest item in the state’s general fund budget.  The how and where of budget cuts is just as important as their size.  Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom is to weather the economic storm and apply across-the-board cuts.

This is a bad idea.  Doing so falsely assumes the economic downturn is a temporary hiccup and that all programs deserve to be treated equally.

What is needed now – more than ever – is to know how to remake and resize education spending but not impact student learning. It’s a challenging though not impossible task. Fortunately, Michael Petrilli and Marguerite Roza of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute provide policymakers with a blueprint of 15 ideas for how school districts can “smartly” reduce education budgets. The fifteen ideas include:

  • End last hired, first fired practices
  • Remove class size mandates
  • Eliminate mandatory salary schedules
  • Eliminate state mandates regarding work rules and terms of employment
  • Remove seat time requirements
  • Merge categorical programs and ease onerous reporting requirements
  • Create a rigorous teacher evaluation system
  • Pool health care benefits
  • Tackle the fiscal viability of teacher pensions
  • Move toward weighted student funding
  • Eliminate excess spending on small schools and small districts
  • Allocate spending for learning disabled students as a percent of population
  • Limit the length of time that students can be identified as English Language Learners
  • Offers waivers of non-productive state requirements
  • Create bankruptcy-like loan provisions

Granted not all these recommendations will be applicable and easy to implement. However, they represent a far better option for dealing with the current crises than slap-dash across the board budget cuts.  If you’re seriously interested in learning how our schools can navigate the current crisis, Petrilli and Roza’s suggestions should be considered a starting point for state and local discussions on the education budget.




News from the NC Senate:

Senator Phil Berger recently announced the appointment of Senator Jean Preston, Senator Jerry Tillman and Senator Dan Soucek to lead the Senate Education Committee.

Senator Jerry Tillman and Senator Tom Apodaca will lead Senate Education Appropriations.

Senator Berger continues to make key committee assignments in preparation for the opening of the 2011 Session of the NC General Assembly in the Senate.

Budget Puzzle: You Fix the Budget

From the New York Times:

If you were in charge of the nation’s finances, what would you do?  Some of your options have more short-term savings and some have more long-term savings. Work to close the budget gaps for both 2015 and 2030 and share it when you’re done.

From the New York Times:


When you’re done, be sure to read HOW READERS CHOSE TO FIX THE DEFICIT

Preview of December State Board of Education Meeting

Wednesday & Thursday, December 1, 2, 2010

The State Board of Education will meet on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 in committees.  They will begin with the Globally Competitive Students Committee, Healthy Responsible Students, 21st Century Professionals Committee, Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee, and finish with the Leadership for Innovation Committee. On Thursday, they will meet to take Action on issues. Access to the SBE Executive Summaries and related documents are on the SBE website at the following link: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/meetings/2010/12

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Globally Competitive Students Committee (10:00 AM)

Action and Discussion Agenda


  • GCS 1 Credit Recovery The State Board is asked to approve the proposed amended policy on Credit Recovery. Credit Recovery has become an increasingly difficult issue due to the expansion of courses and delivery methods. Credit recovery may be for full course recovery or partial recovery courses. Policy changes will be implemented for 2011-2012 school year. The policy has eight new defining and clarifying sections, including the new social studies credit requirement for students entering ninth grade in 2012-2013: 1) Definition of the term “credit recovery,” refers to a block of instruction less than the entire Standard Course of Study which means  credit recovery delivers a subset of the actual course to address student deficiencies, 2) Define “repeating a course for credit” will be used to refer to a high school course repeated via any delivery method when the Standard Course of study for the course is being taught for a second time, 3) Define “repeating a course of credit” will allow students to receive a grade and take the associated End of Course (EOC). Students who have already made a Level III of IV may use the score as 25 percent of the final grade or retake the test. If the student retakes the test then the higher of the two scores will be used in calculating the final grade, 4) LEAs shall give a pass/fail for each credit recovery course and this will not impact a student’s GPA, 5) Students who wish to modify their GPA may repeat the course for credit and not seek a credit recovery solution, 6) Local boards may not limit the number of credit recovery courses taken by a student prior to graduation, 7) The EOC test associated with credit recovery shall be administered upon completion of the credit recovery course and no later than 30 calendar days. There is also a “Credit Recovery” briefing paper and a “Frequently Asked Questions” document. The documents are included in the Executive Summary link at the beginning of the preview.
  • GCS 2 Senate Bill 66 Arts Education Task Force Recommendations The State Board  is requested to accept the report from the Arts Education Task Force that was appointed this year to address several issues. The issues considered were as follows; 1) Policies to implement arts education in public schools including an art requirement in grades k-5, 2) Availability of all four arts disciplines in grades 6-8, with students required to take one arts course in each school year, and 3) Availability of electives in the arts at the high school level. The Task Force met in November and has included a series of recommendations in its report to JLEOC beginning with those associated with the Basic Education Plan (BEP): 1) Implement K-12 Arts Education as defined in the Basic Education Program-Required K-5-All four arts in grades 6-8 with students required to take at least one each year and available as electives at the high school level, 2) Establish The Basic Education Plan with designated additional categorical funding allotments for arts education positions at elementary, middle and high school, establish procedures and timeline for phased-in implementation, establish equitable staffing allocation to assist small and low-wealth schools systems, 3) Ensure appropriately licensed arts educators deliver all arts education classes, LEA), 4) Use art teachers as resources and consultants with schools and across LEAs, and 5) Establish arts education accountability incentives for schools under the accountability component of the Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort (ACRE) for providing arts education and arts integration and the completion of concentrations in arts education. The next set of recommendations in the report is related to the high school graduation requirement: 1) Establish a high school graduation requirement in the arts beginning with entering freshmen during the 2013-2014 school year, 2) Require an arts unit for admission to the UNC system of colleges and universities, and 3) Restore the arts education requirement to the NC Scholars Program. The A+ School Program recommendations are as follows: 1) Expand the nationally recognized, research-based A+ Schools Program as a model for whole school reform with arts instruction central to student learning and integrated throughout the curriculum, and 2) Use A+ teachers as resources and consultants within schools and across LEAs. The Arts Integration recommendations are as follows: 1) Prioritize arts integration as a primary component of education reform, 2) Require arts integration as a component of teacher administrator preparation and licensure, 3) Use the NC Educator Evaluations System to assess teachers’ use of arts integration, and 4) Use art teachers as resources and consultants for arts integration within schools and across LEAs. The final recommendations are related to Arts Exposure and include: 1) Use state and local arts organizations, education programs, highly qualified teacher artists, and other resources to increase exposure to the arts for teachers and students both within and outside the classroom, and 2) Strengthen ties between school, parent, and school organizations, and community arts programs.  These recommendations, once approved, will be submitted to JLEOC by December 1, 2010.
  • GCS 3 K-12 Social Studies Essential Standards The State Board is requested to approve Version 2 of the Social Studies standards. They can be found at http://www.publicschools.org/acre/standards/phase2.

November Committee Meeting: Staff presented an overview of the latest Social Studies curriculum draft. The National Council of Social Studies states: Social Studies is the “integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence.” Over the past eighteen months staff and others have prepared this latest draft for the curriculum. A draft released earlier this year had major changes and was met with very negative responses from the community including the legislature. Literacy standards are embedded in the social studies program as well as character education, NAEP standards, and financial components. Extensive feedback was received before completion of this latest version. The instruction will begin in K-3 with establishing the foundation for Social Studies, 4th grade will be a study of North Carolina, 5th grade US History, 6th grade World Geography, History and Culture, Beginnings of society through the first Global Age, 7th grade Modern Civilization, Global Convergence through the present, 8th grade is NC and US History, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade will have two US History courses (Part 1 and 2), Civics and Economics, and World History. The plan is to require four History courses for graduation (presently there are only 3 courses required). The intent is to include new electives related to History: Psychology, Sociology, 21st Century Geography, The Cold War, Turning Points in American History, 20th Century Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, World Humanities Seminar, and American Humanities Seminar. As part of the accountability for the new curriculum they plan to use an essay test rather than the standard multiple choice. They are recommending a “documents-based” exam to test the student’s knowledge of early founding documents (Federalist Papers). They could have these exams ready as soon as 2012, and they would use teachers from other districts to grade the papers. This would address the concern about the multiple choice bubble tests that do not require critical thinking.

Action on First Reading

  • GCS 4 K-12 Social Studies Essential Standards: Associated Policy Amendments The State Board is asked to approve amended changes to the Social Studies policies based on the new essential standards to be approved by the State Board in December. Policies GCS-N-004 and GCS-M-001 are updated to show an increase in the Social Studies graduation requirement from three credits to four credits. Approval of the increase will change the graduation requirements from 21 to 22 units. The policy is changed for the graduation requirement in Social Studies begins with the entering ninth grade class in 2012-2013. The policy is available at the link listed at the beginning of this preview.


  • GCS 5 North Carolina’s Proposed New Accountability Model – Possible Bonus Indicators The State Board will discuss and provide additional information to DPI on the incentives component of the new accountability model.  At the October SBE meeting the SBE approved the following five indicators: 1) student performance (EOC/End of Grade-EOG), 2) post-secondary readiness, 3) student growth, 5-year cohort graduation rate, and 5) mathematics course rigor (Algebra II or Integrated Mathematics III). Staff will share ideas regarding the incentive component of the model and provide a preview of the new reporting system that builds upon earlier work presented to the SBE in what was called the Quadrants Report at the LEA Level.

Old Business

  • Update on Adult High School Programs

Healthy Responsible Students Committee (11:35 AM)


  • HRS1 State Board of Education Study on Issues Related to Sports Injuries at Middle School and High School Levels The State Board will review the study report required by the General Assembly on Sports Injuries. The final report is due to the 2011 General Assembly upon convening. The report was not included in the State Board link listed above, but will be provided to SBE members just prior to the December meeting.

Old Business

  • Update on NASBE Grants


21st Century Professionals Committee (1:00 PM)

Action and Discussion Agenda


  • TCP 1 Approval of Two Alternative Principal Leadership Academies The State Board is asked to approve the Sandhills Leadership Academy and the Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy. The Sandhills Leadership Academy includes the following districts: Anson, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Robeson and Scotland schools. The Piedmont Triad Academy includes the following districts: Alamance, Asheboro City, Guilford, and Winston-Salem Forsyth.  The RttT grant includes two principal leadership academies. The academies primary purpose will be to offer initial licensure to principals who will then serve in high-needs schools. Four requests for proposals were submitted for consideration and staff recommends approval of the two listed academies.


  • TCP 2 Approval if Re-Visioned Teacher Education Programs The State Board will discuss an updated list of teacher education programs for approval next month. A chart of the programs approved is included in the link listed at the beginning of this preview under TCP 2.
  • TCP 3 Proposed Qualifying Scores for Praxis II Physics (0265) and Regenerated Praxis II Exams in Elementary Education (0015) and Technology (0051) The State Board will discuss the qualifying scores being recommend for Physics, Elementary Education, and Technology Education. NC is recommending a Physics test cut score of 133 after completing an in-state study conducted by the DPI Licensure Section. ETS conducted a standard setting process and has set a cut score of 161 for Elementary Education and a cut score of 159 for Technology Education. The new tests are for those individuals seeking a NC license in the above areas.


Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting (1:45 PM)

Action and Discussion Agenda


  • TCS 1 Reappointment or Replacement of Compliance Commission Members, Appointment of a New Chairperson, and Amendments to Policy TCS-B-00 The State Board is requested to approve the recommendations for reappointments and for appointment of new members to the Compliance Commission as well amendments to policy TCS-B-00. David Jenkins, Martin County, reappointment, Cindy Goodman, Scotland County, reappointment, Heidi Von Dohlen, Buncombe County, reappointment, Wanda Bunch Business Representative, reappointment, replace Max Walser with Kelly Lynn Blain, Person County teacher, Ruberina McGee, teacher Graham County replacing Michael Hooks, Muriel Summers, Principal Wake County, replacing Kirk Denning, Pamela Jackson, EC Programs Harnett County, replacing Teresa Eason, Jefferey Peal, Associate Superintendent Alexander County, replacing David Burleson, and Stewart Hobbs Jr., Stokes Superintendent designated as Chairman. Policy changes include; 1) Removing authority for the Commission to deny appeals of schools that want a field testing exemption, for a specific school year, 2) Commission shall meet annually and notification of meetings for State Board is no longer required, and 3) Eliminate the absence rule, which notes three consecutive absences shall constitute resignation of commission member.
  • TCS 2 DHHS Transition Plan for Organizational Structure and Student Instructional Services at the Residential Schools The State Board is recommended to approve the final plan to submit to the various committees of the General Assembly in December. Effective June 30, 2011, DPI will have responsibility for the total services, staff, programming and facilities at the three NC residential schools. The plan envisions four staff members to serve as the central office for the three schools and to oversee all activities at the schools. The plan addresses a series of requirements set in Session Law 2010-31. The executive summary contains organizational charts and other documents detailing the plan to be considered by the State Board. Several options are presented for consideration and  for a final decision to complete the plan: Option 1) Establish a governing board for the three residential schools and determine if the board functions as an advisory board with the superintendent reporting to the board or if the board functions as a local board with the superintendent reporting to the local board for the three residential schools, and Option 2) Establish a small central office similar to an LEA wherein the Superintendent has three positions reporting to him/her. DPI is requesting a minimum of eight additional staff to carry out the responsibilities of managing these three schools. In an effort to improve student achievement each school will require a principal. The director has operational responsibilities and cannot assist with the academic aspects of the school. This is the position that was previously cut and will need to be reinstated to ensure the academic success of the students. Staff will review any changes that were shared with the State Board in November prior to seeking final approval.

Action on First Reading

  • TCS 3 Additional Schools Selected from Applications for the Reading Diagnostic Initiative The State Board is requested to approve Cohort I and Cohort III to participate in the Reading Diagnostic initiative. Cohort I was shared last month and includes 76 schools. After further review it was determined 67 additional schools (Cohort III) could be added to the list for approval. The Cohort I and III lists are included in the State Board documents under the TCS 3 section in the link listed in the Preview opening.


  • TCS 4 Race to the Top (RttT) – Incentives to Support Teacher Recruitment and Retention in the Lowest achieving Schools The State Board will discuss teacher recruitment and retention recommendations. In the RttT proposal, NC indicated they would provide every new teacher who choose to work in the lowest achieving schools, regardless of their entry into teaching, with a voucher that can be used for the following: 1) Forgiveness of student loans for each year of teaching, 2) Tuition for obtaining a Master’s degree in education, educational administration, or the content area in which they teach, and 3) Housing, or a combination of the three. The value of the voucher is equal to the cost of two semesters of coursework, two courses per semester at an in-state-degree granting program. This will be an Action item in January.
  • TCS 5 NCVPS Advisory Board: Membership Nominees The State Board will discuss the roster of individuals recommended for the NCVPS Advisory Board in 2011. Fifteen individuals are being nominated from the various districts and at-large slots. This will bring the total membership of the NCVPS Advisory Board to 27 members. This will be an Action item in January.

Update on Contracts

Contracts over $25,000 – 19 contracts

Contracts under $25,000 – 7 contracts


Leadership For Innovation Committee Meeting (3:10 PM)

New Business

  • NCVPS/LEO Director’s Report:
  • Update on Agri-Science/BioTechnology Commission Report
  • Update on Online Assessment and e-Textbooks

Thursday, December 2, 2010

State Board of Education Meeting, (9:00 AM) Dr. William Harrison, Chairman

Call to Order

Pledge of Allegiance:

Approval of Minutes


Special Recognition-2010 Irena Sendler Award “For Repairing the World”

  • Mr. Lee Holder, Social Studies Teacher, Lenoir County Schools

Special Recognition– Outgoing Local Board Advisor to the State Board of Education

  • Dr. George Litton


Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion

Ø  Career, college, Ready Set, Go/Race to the Top Update-Adam Levinson

  • ACRE Update-Ms. Angela Quick
  • District and School Transformation Update
  • CEDARS Update Mr. Adam Levinson


Special Reports to the State Board of Education

  • Global Schools Network Update- Mr. David Young, Chief Executive Officer, Visiting International Faculty International Education
  • Annual Report on the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) – Dr. Mary McDuffie, Executive Director

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports

Action and Discussion Agenda

Superintendent’s Report

  • Dr. June Atkinson.


Chairman’s Remarks

  • Dr. Bill Harrison, Chairman
  • Legislative Update





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