House education budget boosts teacher pay and school vouchers, falls short on classroom needs


House lawmakers unveiled a draft biennial budget Monday that includes pay raises for all teachers and a patchwork of funding initiatives aimed at improving leadership and instruction — but what’s not in the budget is what some say will prove to be the biggest challenge ahead for North Carolina’s classrooms. “The proposed [Continue Reading…]

State Board of Education considers proposals to reduce high-stakes testing in NC


The impetus for state education leaders to reexamine how North Carolina’s students are assessed on their academic progress rests with the understanding that students take too many tests and educators don’t learn enough about their students’ learning until it’s too late. Students sit for end-of-grade exams, walk out the door for the summer [Continue Reading…]

Lawmakers move bill that would make it a felony offense for a student to assault a teacher


Students who assault teachers could soon face felony charges in North Carolina, according to a bill that was green-lighted by a Senate committee on Wednesday—despite concerns raised that under the proposed law, even minor infractions could result in a lifetime of lost opportunities for some of the state’s youth. “We’re having more serious [Continue Reading…]

Punting on Personal Education Plans?


Lawmakers propose to rid public schools of tool aimed at helping at-risk students In 2001, North Carolina began requiring public schools to administer to some students Personal Education Plans (PEPs) as a way to ensure that children who were identified as at-risk of failing school would receive additional academic support. Some teachers [Continue Reading…]

K12, Inc., backer of future NC virtual charter school, runs questionable operation in California


Study, former teacher recount troubling management practices and poor student outcomes Former California Virtual Academy (CAVA) employee Jan Cox Golovich left her job as an online high school teacher a year ago, when she decided the students she was teaching were being cheated out of an education. “CAVA lets students fail. They let [Continue Reading…]

The A-F school grades endgame: Improving public schools or paving the way for charters?


When North Carolina launched its new A-F school grading system in early February, the cacophony of cries that came with it centered on the stigma and inequity inherent in labeling schools with letter grades. High poverty schools whose students are at a disadvantage when it comes to standardized tests received D’s and F’s; wealthier schools [Continue Reading…]

Local school districts submit plans to the General Assembly for differentiated teacher pay pilot


Seventy five of North Carolina’s 115 school districts have submitted teacher compensation proposals to the General Assembly with the hope of participating in a pilot program that would reward highly effective teachers with bonuses. The pilot, “Differentiated Pay for Highly Effective Teachers,” comes at a time when the state is facing what [Continue Reading…]