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.
“Leandro: The Case for a Sound Basic Education”
The below documentary, produced by North Carolina’s WRAL, dives into the facts of the Leandro case and its impact on students in North Carolina.
Related Leandro Reports
Leandro Recommendations Comparison and Action Plan Executive Summary
Summarizes findings and recommendations from the Comprehensive Action Plan Report, prepared by WestEd in collaboration with Learning Policy Institute and The William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.
Discusses investment strategies to reduce hunger among students, highlights innovative approaches available to schools and districts, and reviews policies to mitigate hunger for North Carolina students.
Outlines nine research-based practices that lead to conditions in schools that enable student success.
Investigates the current status of educational leadership in North Carolina, including preparation, recruitment, development, support, and retention, particularly for schools that need additional support.
Synthesizes research and best practices meant to support efforts to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse, sustainable, and quality teacher workforce.
Addresses one key lever of a comprehensive approach to strengthening the teacher workforce: developing and supporting in-service teachers to implement evidence-based and culturally responsive instructional practices.
Documents the current status of educator supply, demand, and quality in North Carolina for teachers and school leaders and makes recommendations for how to ensure that all children have access to well-prepared educators.
Reports on analyses of the relationship between teaching and learning conditions and both student and teacher outcomes.
Describes how North Carolina can establish an accountability system that meets the Leandro requirements while complying with federal law.
Synthesizes recent literature to describe the essential characteristics of a high-quality assessment system and provides the approach, findings, and conclusions of the researchers’ evaluation of North Carolina’s existing assessment system.
Provides dozens of findings about the challenges to obtaining a sound basic education experienced by students attending high-poverty schools in North Carolina.
Identifies factors that contribute to increased teacher turnover and suggests a potential opportunity to extend the reach of great teachers to students and peers across the state.
Examines equitable distribution of funding, alignment of funding to student needs, and adequacy of education funding in North Carolina.
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