Sound Basic Education for All: An Action Plan for North Carolina
In 1997, the Supreme Court of North Carolina (the Court) affirmed that the state must provide every student with an equitable, sound, and basic education. Yet, 20‑plus years later, the state has not yet met this obligation.
In 2018, WestEd was chosen to lead an investigation into the major needs of North Carolina’s public education system. After numerous studies, WestEd created a multi-year action plan for ensuring North Carolina is able to serve all students and meet its constitutional obligations in the following areas:
- Staffing each classroom with a competent, well-trained teacher
- Staffing each school with a competent, well-trained principal
- Identifying the resources necessary to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to obtain a sound, basic education
The state will use the recommendations to create the following outcomes:
- A system of teacher development and recruitment that ensures each classroom a high-quality teacher who is supported with early and ongoing professional learning and provided competitive pay;
- A system of principal development and recruitment that ensures each school a high-quality principal who is supported with early and ongoing professional learning and provided competitive pay;
- A finance system that provides adequate, equitable, and predictable funding to school districts and adequate resources to address the needs of all schools and students, especially “at-risk students” as defined by the Leandro decisions;
- An assessment and accountability system that assesses multiple measures of student performance against the Leandro standard and provides accountability consistent with the Leandro standard;
- An assistance and turnaround function that provides necessary support to low-performing schools and districts;
- A system of early education that provides access to high-quality pre-kindergarten and other early childhood learning opportunities to ensure all students at risk of educational failure enter kindergarten on track for school success; and
- An alignment of high school to postsecondary and career expectations, as well as the provision of early postsecondary and workforce learning opportunities, to ensure student readiness to all students in the State.
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