First things first. If you haven’t heard, this week our beloved mountain philosopher Superintendent Jeff McDaris announced his retirement at the end of the school year. So you will see on his weekly playlist the song, “Time for me to fly.” Tweet him some love @SuperTCS.
Shout out to our colleagues at the Hunt Institute, who are hosting and celebrating the 20th Holshouser Legislators Retreat on January 22-23. We honor your leadership to “ensure bipartisan collaboration in the name of quality education for all students in North Carolina.”
This week, we celebrated the eighth anniversary of the work of EdNC. We started with an audience of zero, and now EdNC has 50,000 impressions on social media a day, we send out 330,000 emails a week, and we had 1,241,530 users and 2,021,811 pageviews in 2022. ICYMI, here is our annual report. Over the next two years, we will be working to discern the direct, widespread, and systemic impact of our work so please let me know if our work goes on to make a difference in your schools or communities.
Today EdNC is announcing our process for an ongoing equity audit of our work. If other newsrooms are focused on how to embed best practices in DEI in your newsroom, please let us know.
Colin Campbell with the NC Tribune reports from the UNC Board of Governors meeting:
The UNC Board of Governors strongly criticized the universities’ teacher preparation programs over their failure to adhere to mandates that they train teachers in the “science of reading” approach.
Board Chairman Randy Ramsey opened Thursday’s meeting by pointing to a sobering statistic: A 2019 assessment found that 64% of fourth-graders in North Carolina scored “below proficient” on a reading assessment.
“Frankly this number should scare and appall everyone in this room,” he said, adding that while K-12 schools aren’t under the UNC System’s purview, “we do control what teachers in training learn in our facilities.”
A recent review of how educator preparation programs are following the legislature’s “science of reading” mandate found that nine of 15 UNC System campuses were rated “needs improvement” or “inadequate,” and only one was rated “strong.”
The Board of Governors passed a resolution on Thursday setting a July 1 deadline for the programs to make the fixes identified in the review process.
Board of Governors member Thom Goolsby, a former senator, called the situation “an embarrassment.”
“We spend billions of dollars in K-12 and in training our teachers here: the outrage of the people of North Carolina should be palatable and should be felt,” Goolsby said.
Here is more info on the NC Tribune. Follow Colin and sign up for his morning newsletter to support his work.
SHOUT OUT SCOTLAND COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM | U.S. Department of Education Awards Over $35 Million for Grants to Support Cradle-to-Career Solutions in High-Needs Communities
The Scotland County School System received $800,000 for Project Prevent, which provides grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) impacted by community violence. ... Read the rest