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EdNC. Essential education news. Important stories. Your voice.

The EdNC Story of 2015-16


With your support, we launched EdNC a year and a half ago with a set of core beliefs:

  • it’s all about our students,
  • nothing is more important to the future of North Carolina than their education, and
  • too many stories go untold — stories of teachers, leaders, programs, and schools doing incredible work each and every day.

It is our privilege and responsibility at EdNC to tell those stories, elevate voices, and create impact.

We bring transparency to the debate about education, we highlight important trends shaping the future of education, and we tell the stories of our everyday heroes — the leaders, programs, and schools doing remarkable work day in and day out all across our state. And we have built the architecture for this state’s participation in a bipartisan conversation about what matters most — our students and their access to a high quality education.

We want the students across North Carolina to grow up wanting to call this state home as they become our leaders of tomorrow. We look forward to working with you to make a difference in 2016 and beyond for our students, educators, schools, and all of our communities across North Carolina.

On behalf of EdNC’s board of directors, our sincere and humble thanks.


This year the story of who EdNC is has become more clear. Our online platform is the go-to, trusted source of data, stories, information, analysis, and research about all things K-12.

EdNC is innovative, and we have the same standards of excellence for ourselves that we have for our schools.

We are the think tank of the future, conducting nonpartisan research and presenting it to stakeholders in a way they will consume, use, and share it.

“As a student and as a native resident of North Carolina it means a lot to be able to share stories that affect me personally and that affect my community. Through EdNC I am able to do just that. … There is a certain authenticity and power embedded within these personal and localized stories that just can’t be found anywhere else.”

—Eugenia Huang, Student & EdNC Contributor

Our platform has a new, modular front page and industry-leading, multimedia digital content design.

The EdNC data dashboard allows citizens, the media, funders, and policymakers to track and share demographics, market share, funding, and data on students and teachers with ease.

“This data dashboard is fantastic. I am very impressed. Great idea.”

—Stuart Egan, Teacher & EdNC Contributor

Our maps continue to set the bar for data visualization.

Our entire body of work is searchable and archived, creating a living history of the changes in education from our classrooms to Jones Street.


At EdNC, we evaluate and track our impact in a variety of ways, including the big reasons we do this work:

  • to provide citizens with information to be free and self governing,
  • the disinterested pursuit of the truth,
  • the monitoring of power,
  • giving voice to the voiceless, and
  • creating a forum for more voices to be heard.
Number of website sessions by location

Saturating the community with possibility

In May, John Farrelly, the superintendent of Edgecombe County Public Schools, spoke to the EdNC Board of Directors about hope, resiliency, grit, and tenacity. He knows first hand why students need these attributes. After losing his father unexpectedly at the age of 11, Farrelly dropped out of school and went to work to help provide and raise his siblings, making sure they had access to the educational opportunities he believes are so important. He says experiences like these “form who you want to be in life.” And so as superintendent, he says his job is to “saturate the community with possibility.”

This is why we do this work. We believe that all things are possible for North Carolinians if we have hope.

Driving momentum

Districts are considering Eric Jensen’s Teaching with Poverty in Mind because of our work to highlight how that model works to close the achievement gap in Hoke County and at Old Town Elementary.

Because of our research and reporting, trauma-sensitive learning models are being considered and implemented in more districts. We have worked to elevate the work of David Thompson and Buncombe CountyKatie Dight in Cabarrus County, and others who are doing this important work.

Our work on access to healthy food led to four presentations across the state to childhood nutrition directors and an invitation to host a symposium on food at UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall with the goal of working towards a more inclusive statewide food policy. We know hungry kids don’t learn well.

Creating your architecture of participation

More than 200 voices from across the educational and political landscape of North Carolina have been amplified by EdNC. These voices — educators, policymakers, researchers, parents, and teachers — are helping to shape the future of education in North Carolina now that they are at the table.

In our most widely read article — The real problem with teaching in North Carolina — teacher Nancy Snipes Mosley made recommendations based on her experience in the classroom. And policymakers listened.

“There ARE real solutions to the problem with teaching in North Carolina. Progress will require the active involvement of invested educators and concerned citizens throughout the state.”
— Nancy Snipes Mosley

Consistently, our most read articles are written by teachers and policymakers. You all are EdNC’s architecture of participation.

“It is not always easy for a teacher’s voice to be heard amidst the dull roar of educators running across state lines for a livable salary and the impassioned shouts of protest on the General Assembly lawn, but EducationNC has given myself and many others in the state a platform to share our experiences in the world of education.”

—Allison Stewart, Teacher & EdNC Contributor


You will see more independent news and analysis from our team in 2016-17 with a focus on covering the elections. We expect education to be an important issue for those running for office, and we want it to be easy for you to know where policymakers stand on the issues.

Transparency. Trends. Engagement.

Deep dives on issues and regions understand our state better. We will continue to underscore the issues that matter most:

What are the problems with our teacher pipeline and how do we fix them? How do we retain great superintendents, principals, and teachers?

Where are our children being educated — traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools, and homeschools — and what are the implications of the shifting market share for each sector?

How do we educate children in poverty well? Tammi Sutton, the executive director of KIPP:ENC, says, “Is it hard to educate kids in poverty? Yes. So what? Let’s do it.”

How do education issues play out differently for different groups of students?

How can we help citizens understand the state budget and education spending? How can we help all citizens to be comfortable interacting with policymakers?

“I never really told the public school system because I was afraid. Please make people understand sometimes situations happen that people have no control over. I am on the verge of giving up. I salute you and your partners on what you’re doing.”

—A homeless mom of three public school students, on EdNC’s work to close the achievement gap


Our mission

EdNC works to expand educational opportunities for all children in North Carolina, increase their academic attainment, and improve the performance of the state’s public schools.

How we do it

EdNC provides citizens and policymakers with nonpartisan data, research, news, information, and analysis about the major trends, issues, and challenges bearing on education. We gather and disseminate information employing the most efficient means of communication, primarily through the Internet.

In addition to the content distributed, EdNC fosters an active and connected community of those interested in education policy and practice throughout the state. The work of EdNC encourages informed citizen participation and strong leadership on behalf of the school children of North Carolina.

Our team

2016-17 Board of Directors

  • Gerry Hancock, Chair and Publisher
  • Ferrel Guillory, Vice Chair and Editorial Advisor
  • Andrew Holton, Treasurer
  • Debra Horton, Secretary
  • Newell Clark, Executive Committee
  • Ed Croom, Executive Committee
  • Mebane Rash, CEO and Editor-in-Chief
  • Edna Earle Blue
  • Tom Bradshaw
  • JB Buxton
  • James Ford
  • Mo Green
  • Sam Houston
  • Tom Lambeth
  • Chuck Neely
  • Bob Orr
  • Shirley Prince
  • English Sall
  • Keana Triplett, Teacher of the Year
  • Joy Vermillion Heinsohn
  • Brad Wilson
  • Larry Wooten

“You are a wonderful magnifier of good. Thank you for all the ways you are lifting up the good people and bright spots of work in this state.”

—Anita Brown-Graham, Director, Institute of Emerging Issues


Our sincerest thanks goes to the following list of donors for funding EdNC during the 2015-16 year.

  • Low Wealth Schools Consortium
  • Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • The Winston-Salem Foundation through a Donor Advised Fund
  • The InSight Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund
  • John William Pope Foundation
  • Park Foundation
  • SAS Institute
  • Duke Energy Foundation
  • Viacom
  • O2 Energies
  • Wells Fargo
  • Goodnight Educational Foundation
  • James Barrett
  • Lynda Blancato
  • Leigh Bordley
  • Frances Bradburn
  • Tom and Mary Mac Bradshaw
  • Judith and Earl Britt
  • Glenda and Bob Burgin
  • Hunter and JB Buxton
  • Damon Circosta
  • Catherine Clabby
  • Ned Cline
  • Sandra Conway
  • Marie DeRenne
  • David Dunaway
  • Noel Fox
  • Lisa Fox
  • Claire Goebel
  • Ferrel Guillory
  • Hope & Gerry Hancock
  • Richard Hart
  • Andrew Holton
  • Debra Horton
  • James B. Hunt, Jr.
  • Deborah Jones
  • Robert Kennedy
  • Amanda Martin
  • Day McLaughlin
  • Dr. Lory Morrow
  • Shirley Prince
  • Dennis and Betty Chafin Rash
  • Mebane Rash
  • The Lloyd and Margaret Rash Family Advised Fund
  • Nancy Rose
  • Sarah Shifflet
  • Rodney Shotwell
  • Jeannie Smith
  • Jeff Sossamon
  • Amy Strecker
  • Tony and Beth Swartz
  • John Tate III
  • Valerie Truesdale
  • Edwin Vaden
  • David Vandenbergh
  • Dianne and Steven Wrenn

EdNC provided professional services to Everett Gaskins Hancock LLP, First Vote NC, NC Community Development Initiative, and the University of North Carolina.

Thank you for your ongoing support of EdNC. We could not do our work without you. Please consider making a sustaining contribution so we can continue to grow our impact in 2016 and beyond.

Previous annual reports and audited financial statements.
EducationNC | PO Box 1636 | Raleigh, NC 27602 |

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.