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EdNC’s first fiscal year ended on June 30, 2015. Whew — we made it!

Thank you for your support. Thank you for being willing to engage in a bipartisan conversation about our students and what they need to succeed in the 21st century.  

As our annual report says, for us and for this state, it is all about the children.

Many thanks also to several new funders of EdNC, including The Winston-Salem Foundation through a donor-advised fund, The InSight Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, the John William Pope Foundation, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.  

Our diverse group of funders are breathing life into this important work.

The EdNC team

EdNC is pleased to welcome Todd Brantley to our staff as our chief operating officer. Todd is the most deeply ethical policy analyst, journalist, and photographer I know and bringing his expertise to the issue of education will mean great things for our students and our state. Don’t miss his first article.  

Nation Hahn will be consulting with us in 2015-16 to help us expand our reach, develop the conversation aspect of our work, implement a plan to reach stakeholders through events, and continue our deep dive around access to healthy food in our schools. Many of you know Nation through his work to build the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation, honoring the work and life of his beloved wife. Nation has been instrumental in helping us develop EdNC’s market acquisition strategy, tapping into the deep well of North Carolinians who care fiercely about education, and especially thinking through ways to make sure that we are reaching everyone on our political spectrum from far left to far right. While he works with us this year, Nation will be abstaining from the political work he is also known for, and he will be registering as an unaffiliated voter.

Congratulations to Alisa Herr, our chief technical officer, on the birth of her second son, Wesley. Alisa is on maternity leave until October. Check out what she received while she was in the hospital:

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My theory of leadership involves building teams of peer experts, and it flips the top-down approach you see in many organizations. Over the next year, you will see me supporting this team so that they are positioned to do their very best work.  

Expect great things. I do.

The EdNC content

Our staffing changes will lead to changes in content for our readers. Adam Rhew will continue his outstanding coverage of issues in Charlotte with his column, Meck Mondays. On Tuesdays, we have a new column on STEM, led by Alisa  and funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. On Wednesdays, Nation will be writing about access to food.  Ann McColl will continue her column, The Thursday Transcript, and Ferrel Guillory will continue his column, Friday with Ferrel. 

We are sad to lose Maddy Will, the writer of our column, From DC to NC, but we intend to continue that column in the fall. And we have a new column on data and maps, Consider It Mapped, by Emily Antoszyk of the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation — if you haven’t checked out her map, this one allows YOU to decide how you value achievement and growth and see how our school grades change.

This frees up Alex Granados, EdNC’s lead reporter, to focus on the news and investigative journalism — what is happening and is not happening across the state on education — and post his articles as the news happens. Todd and I will be conducting research and working on in-depth articles. Todd’s focus will be on the nexus of health care and education. I will be taking a look at educational innovation in our state, including among other things a look at charter schools as we head into their 20th anniversary in North Carolina next year.

We are kicking off an in-depth study of homeschools in North Carolina, led by EdNC contributor Kristen Blair. If you have questions about homeschools you want us to consider, please let us know.

We are excited about this mix of news, research, and stories.  

The EdNC conversation

EdNC’s platform is built to include everyone in a conversation about our schools. With a full-time staff of just three, we launched with a steady stream of content that has sparked laughter, tears, and debate. How? Community. Individuals from across North Carolina, well known and unknown, have submitted articles, columns, and data that have allowed us to push the debate forward.

None of our achievements would have been possible without you. The EdNC community has driven us, sustained us, and made us better every day.

We have not and we will not shy away from the hard debates, but we do believe that good things are happening in schools across the state. We have highlighted the everyday heroes of education who are going above and beyond to do what is right for every child. 

We promise to continue to work day and night to expand the conversation about education through new voices, new ideas, and telling the stories of those on the frontlines of building our future.

It is our privilege to do this work. Please continue to give us your feedback.

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Our Annual Report

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC and the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.