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…]

School privatization agenda pushes forward as concerns over accountability grow


Vouchers. Charter schools. Virtual charter schools. These are some of the leading examples of school choice – a catchy phrase referring to what others call education reform or, more simply put, school privatization –and the movement has most definitely made inroads in North Carolina. Students can now use taxpayer dollars to attend private [Continue Reading…]

Lawmakers make modest education recommendations to 2015 General Assembly


A state legislative committee tasked with making recommendations to the General Assembly for how to improve public education in North Carolina issued a modest report on Tuesday, proposing more flexibility for local school districts in implementing third grade reading requirements and taking a hands-off approach, at least for now, in ensuring the viability [Continue Reading…]

Biggest recipient of taxpayer-funded school vouchers, Greensboro Islamic Academy, in financial trouble


State received 170 applications from students wishing to attend GIA this fall with vouchers A private religious school receiving by far the largest payout from the state’s new school voucher program was in financial trouble during the last school year, pleading for help from the public online to fund its $150,000 shortfall so the school [Continue Reading…]

NC Common Core review commission holds first meeting, elects supporter of standards as its co-chair

Andre Peek and Jeannie Metcalf co-chair the Academic Standards Review Commission.

A North Carolina commission tasked with reviewing and replacing the Common Core State Standards met for the first time on Monday to determine first steps and elect two co-chairs, one being McCrory-appointed IBM executive Andre Peek, who declared himself a supporter of Common Core after the meeting. “I am a supporter of Common Core, and [Continue Reading…]

Teachers reflect on pay increase, budget cuts as they begin a new school year


As teachers at Randleman Elementary School bid farewell to summer, readying their classrooms with supplies and materials that many bought with their own hard-earned cash, Principal Laurie Sypole cited one thing that she couldn’t find among the desks they tidied and the pay stubs they filed away. The missing puzzle piece? The lawmakers who were [Continue Reading…]

NC school vouchers ruled unconstitutional


In a stunning rebuke to state lawmakers’ efforts to bring school vouchers to North Carolina, state Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood today found the recently-enacted “Opportunity Scholarship Program” unconstitutional and permanently enjoined disbursement of state funds for that purpose. “The General Assembly fails the children of North Carolina when they are sent with [Continue Reading…]