This installment of NCED Updates covers the Wake County’s Office of Equity Affairs again, as well as what the National Educators Association (NEA) was up to at their annual meeting. Also included are some of the education bills that have moved along at the legislature and a bit about the Istation K-3 reading assessment drama.
1. WCPSS Equity Affairs: We will “Leverage student voices” to advance “Equity Framework”
The Office of Equity Affairs’ (OEA) “Equity Framework” appears to be patterned directly after the “Anti-Bias Framework” created by Teaching Tolerance, an offshoot of the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center.
The framework began and seems to hinge on the training of all Wake County schools staff in five areas:
- Courageous Conversations
- Color Consciousness
- Identity Development (Includes “Sexuality and Gender Identity Development”)
- Culturally relevant teaching
- Examining privilege
Related: The millions of dollars WCPSS pumped into lowering minority suspension rates and the board’s creation of the “Office of Equity Affairs” is upended in a single paper.
2. WCPSS’s Office of Equity Affairs is now costing taxpayers over a million dollars a year.
3. New Hanover Deputy Supt. resigns, SBI called in over student abuse complaint
The Deputy Superintendent of New Hanover County Schools has resigned less than a week after the sheriff indicated an investigation into claims that the district was warned about a teacher sexually abusing students yet failed to act.
4. If you like your charter school, you might not get to keep it.
There are two possible paths here:
One, Cooper and his commission use Leandro to force the courts to put a cap on the creation of more charter schools and/or change their funding. If it’s the latter, this commission should be careful what it wishes for.
Or two, the first option backfires and the courts see charters as providing a much-needed alternative to traditional district schools and open the flood gates to expand them further.
5. Education Bills that have passed into law – so far.
SL 2019-51: (HB 57) Create Term for Public Schools & Codify NCVPS
SL 2019-11: (HB 263) Fill Vacancies/Modify 2018 Appointments
SL 2019-22: (HB 646) ID Approval/Flex Muni One-Stop
SL 2019-55: (HB 664) myFutureNC/Postsecondary Attainment Goal
SL 2019-38: (SB 448) Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military
SL 2019-60: (SB 227) TP3/Principal Fellows Consolidation
SL 2019-63: (SB 674) Surry Co./Mt. Airy/Elkin City/Bd. Ed Partisan
SL 2019-71: (SB 219) Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements
SL 2019-68: (SB 225) Repeal Tuition Surcharge
View each of the above by going to the General Assembly’s session laws list.
In addition to these bills, Cooper signed SB 219, which waters down the process/criteria for approving teacher licenses.
6. Istation Drama
Many people have asked me about this item. Anyone can go review the State Board of Education meeting agendas and see that a change for K-3 reading assessments was being considered as far back as 2017.
There was no outrage about the upcoming shift to Istation until recently. WRAL’s recent report explains why. (Emphasis added is mine.)
“The superintendent’s office previously told WRAL News that the committees did not reach a consensus and made “no recommendation” to him about which company to choose. Johnson’s office has repeatedly disputed claims by Amy Jablonksi, a former Department of Public Instruction staffer who led one of the committees and said she shared the recommendations with Johnson personally.
Jablonksi, who is running for state superintendent, has criticized Johnson for “going against the advice” of educators and experts.”
mClass has been a standard tool for a long time in NC and is a favorite of teachers. I can see why districts are upset by the shift, but it was hardly a surprise. I personally like mClass, but I would be open to something like Istation that had more fine-tuned analytics to inform immediate classroom instruction.
But the assessment tool is beside the point. Since 2012, reading scores at 3rd grade in NC have stagnated and dropped. What happened in 2012? Common Core happened. And what is mClass? An Amplify product. Amplify is the original name in Common Core testing. mClass and all of Amplify’s digital products are aligned to Common Core.
To borrow from James Carville a bit – It’s not just the test, it’s also the standards, stupid.
7. NEA’s Annual Meeting
One thing that this year’s annual NEA meeting solidified was that the NEA is not about education, teachers or students. NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcìa’s speech was a combo of social justice and politics peppered with an attack on President Trump.
Among the new business items adopted included the support for abortion, condemnation of ICE, support of a Black Lives Matter week of action in schools, and a $25 ‘community’ non-voting membership of which the proceeds go directly to the NEA’s political PAC.
Race-related items include ‘white fragility’ training, ‘courageous conversations’ and providing materials on the “white supremacy culture associated with “English only” movements. There was much more. Search for yourself.
School Choice advocates will be unsurprised to see that the NEA announced what their findings on the “negative impacts” of charter school will be in advance of any such report being written.
Key read on the NEA convention: How Delegates Voted at the NEA Convention
Click on the tweet below for a lot more on the NEA annual meeting or read the thread unrolled here.
Parting Shot & Suggested Reading
Another priceless moment from NC’s favorite childless education wonk.
- Using U.S., Qatari Funding, Duke University Teaches K-12 Teachers Biased Info About Islam
- The Radicalization Of Campus Anti-Semitism In North Carolina
[Related: Many Social Justice Roads Lead Back to One Non-Profit]
- Education Department Will Review Anti-Male Bias At University Of North Carolina
- Supreme Court Will Hear Key School Choice Case Challenging Ban on Religious Schools Participating in Montana Tax-Credit Scholarship Program
- Amy Coney Barrett Strikes a Blow against Campus Kangaroo Courts
- “State education is generally sub-optimal and often shockingly bad. Let’s make sure that’s all there is available.”
- School choice opponents want people to only listen – not think
- WCPSS parents pledge to fight on after District gives passing grade to MVP math
- Moore County loses 400 ACT tests
- Check out Sandra Stotsky’s latest book – The Roots of Low Achievement