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Many make predictions at the beginning of a new year. The following are my thoughts on what 2016 may mean for public education in North Carolina.

  1. The General Assembly will give teachers the largest salary increase in a decade. Rationale: This is an election year and teachers deserve a raise so that education can be more competitive with other professions.IMG_9030 Allison
  2. A new state testing pilot will be expanded so that teachers, students, and parents can receive immediate feedback after assessments test-taking time is reduced. Rationale: The preliminary results of DPI’s testing pilot show very positive feedback from teachers.DSC_0078
  3. Enrollment in university teacher preparation programs will decrease for the sixth year in a row. Rationale: Young people and adults starting a second career will not be attracted to jobs in this field until salaries have improved and teachers have the resources and support that they need to do their jobs.
  4. The high school graduation rate will reach another all-time high of over 86 percent while the State Board of Education will continue to maintain higher standards for meeting graduation requirements.
  5. Investments in early reading instruction will begin to pay off and more students will be able to read well by the third grade. Rationale: Investments in summer reading camps for 1st and 2nd graders will have a positive impact.immersion 8
  6. Quality preschool programs will continue to be an issue even though research clearly shows that early learning programs bring great financial benefits individuals and to society as a whole.
Dr. June Atkinson

June Atkinson is the state superintendent of public instruction for North Carolina. Read her full profile here >>