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McCrory begins to outline education reform plans

Posted June 19, 2013
Updated June 20, 2013

— After laying out his plans to reform Medicaid, transportation funding and job-recruitment efforts, Gov. Pat McCrory turned his attention Wednesday to education reform.

McCrory met with his Education Cabinet – Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey, University of North Carolina President Tom Ross, North Carolina Community College System President Scott Ralls and Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos – along with Eric Guckian, his education policy adviser.

The governor said his goal is to abandon the system that separates students by age and have a unified system that carries everyone from birth through higher education.

"(We want) to see where we can improve education, where it'll have an impact, but more than anything where we can work together as a team as opposed to working as individual silos that are often competing with each other instead of working with each other," he said.

Guckian said he hopes the group can work together to develop two or three bold ideas by next May, when state lawmakers convene for their 2014 legislative session.

The ideas should be centered on five goals: more opportunities for graduates, meaningful careers for educators, student literacy measurements, educational options for families and a cost-effective system for taxpayers.

Education Cabinet Education Cabinet to work on broad reform goals

"From birth to the third grade is absolutely critical, and I think that would be something that I would think warrants our investment," Guckian said.

McCrory said he also wants to find an innovative way to improve teacher pay. "We've got to find ways to reward the best and the brightest," he said.

Atkinson said she sees a disconnect between the message and the funding, noting state spending on education has been slashed in recent years.

"If we don't continue that investment, then we will be seeing hard times for public education," she said.

McCrory acknowledged that education funding has been "pretty tough," but he said it was his goal to hold the line on the state budget this year as North Carolina continues to recover from the recession.

8 Comments

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  • Plenty Coups Jun 24, 2:04 p.m.

    "McCrory and the Republicans continue to find excuses on why they can't get positive and competitive changes for education in this state."

    Next year they'll have another excuse as to why they can't fund it. It's not really a priority but lip service works well for those who want to support him.

  • rushbot Jun 20, 11:50 a.m.

    step 1...form countless republican madrassas using nc tax payer reciepts under the guise of the charter school program...

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Jun 20, 9:11 a.m.

    McCrory ...You have my vote!

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Jun 20, 9:11 a.m.

    I agree with Governor McCrory.
    The reigning superintendent needs to understand that the disconnect is from her reign as TESTING QUEEN.

    The reigning superintendent needs to understand that the RTTT money has been spent on testing and teacher evaluation and 99% of the teachers and parents in this state are sick and tired of this testing mania!

  • tracmister Jun 20, 7:53 a.m.

    While our state holds the line on educational budgets, other states continue to improve theirs. Opportunities will continue to decline for North Carolina student. McCrory and the Republicans continue to find excuses on why they can't get positive and competitive changes for education in this state.

  • sisu Jun 19, 7:58 p.m.

    Because the truth is, Jason19, this brand of Republicans want schools to fail. In fact, they will engineer it to make it so.

  • jason19 Jun 19, 7:33 p.m.

    I have to say that I am terrified whenever I hear about McCrory's next "transformation" or "reorganization." He has been a complete and utter disappointment. I voted for him because I thought he would be in the middle, not trying to really uproot everything, but I admit that I was wrong. Education, and all its employees, is about to be gutted in North Carolina because of McCrory and the Republican legislature. PS: Stop with the "silo" mantra. It's old and not even true. We *need* community colleges and universities to target adults because -- gasp -- that's who they are for. Colleges and universities should NOT be lumped together or with K-12 schools. They are completely different beasts, and the fact that McCrory preaches this junk shows his ignorance of the very state he is supposed to lead.

  • sisu Jun 19, 6:00 p.m.

    McCrory acknowledged that education funding has been "pretty tough," but he said it was his goal to hold the line on the state budget this year as North Carolina continues to recover from the recession.

    Yeah, except that NC won't recover from the recession if the legislature keeps focusing on cutting wages for workers, benefits for the unemployed, pitting the public against state workers, and raising taxes on those who don't make a living wage... all while lining pockets of big money. I've seen lots of deals going by in this session for big money.

    Landfills to store Virginia's garbage? Leak-resistant garbage trucks? Legislation against any local laws exceeding state environmental standards? Cutting master's pay? Taking local governments' local power away?

    The way this legislature is working we will NOT get out of the recession. More likely we will spiral into a depression.

    At least we'll still have possum drops. I wonder if they'll use the new state possum... the Virginia Possum.