Public School Forum of NC releases top 10 education issues of 2017

Posted January 25

— The Public School Forum of North Carolina on Wednesday released it list of the top 10 state education issues of 2017.

The issues were announced during the organization's annual Eggs & Issues event in Raleigh, which featured an interview with Gov. Roy Cooper. The group's top 10 issues include:

1) Exercise strong education leadership for North Carolina’s children

  • Maintain a constant focus on excellent teaching and learning
  • Direct resources to the state’s most vulnerable students and struggling schools
  • Build on what has worked; fix what hasn’t

2) Fund North Carolina’s public schools fairly and adequately

  • Prioritize adequacy of funding
  • Address growing gaps between poor and wealthy school systems
  • Boost per-pupil spending toward the national average

3) Make teaching in North Carolina great again

  • Invest in teacher pay
  • Use differential pay to create more opportunities for teachers who want to stay in the classroom
  • Restore a teacher scholarship program

4) Improve access, equity and accountability in school choice

  • Prevent exclusivity, inequity and resegregation under the guise of choice
  • Hold all schools accountable for serving students well

5) Overhaul principal pay and invest in preparing the next generation of school leaders

  • Boost pay for principal and assistant principals
  • Provide incentives both for performance and for serving in high need/low performing schools
  • Continue to invest in critical principal preparation and pipeline programs

6) Maintain a strong focus on race in public education

  • Dedicate executive-level district leadership to racial equity efforts
  • Provide professional development dealing specifically with implicit racial bias and systemic racism

7) Improve grade-level reading through comprehensive investments in early childhood.

  • Invest in the state’s prove, evidence-based childhood programs and increase funding for child care subsidies
  • Advance birth-to-eight alignment through the state’s Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Act
  • Unite public and private stakeholders around the key metric of third-grade reading success, driven b comprehensive investments in early childhood

8) Enable the transition to personalized, digital-age learning models

  • Expand the School Connectivity Initiative to provide and support broadband access, internal networks and related services to all schools
  • Provide professional development for school and district leaders, instructional support staff, and technical staff
  • Establish standards, review processes, and collaborative procurement for digital learning resources

9) Create meaningful and streamlined assessments

  • Build on DPI’s study of interim assessments to provide meaningful information about student performance to teachers, parents and students
  • Align state testing requirements with federal ESSA regulations

10) Increase support for the state’s struggling schools

  • Improve allocation of vital resources to support interventions that will attract and retain excellent teachers and school leaders in high-need schools
  • Broaden the state’s accountability system to incorporate the multiple measures of student outcomes
  • Adopt school improvement strategies that strengthen the capacity of communities to serve all children

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