Public Education for the Common Good
The State Board of Education met last September to look at our goals and set the course for the coming year. At this meeting, we determined that there was a need to shift the current conversation around public education and its role in our state and in our society. Following this meeting, we had conversations with hundreds of different people about the purpose of public education, why it exists and why it is important. What we found is that many North Carolinians believe public schools should reflect the core values of equity, quality, transparency, accountability and community.
Today, we are at a turning point in public education. Some opinion leaders ignore progress public schools have made so they can advocate for completely different models of education. Others see the progress that has been made and believe we must continually "remodel" our existing structure of public schools to meet ever-changing student needs.
I believe that one thing is certain. If we don't try to maintain a structure in which public schools are central, we are left with many different types of schools that are not held accountable to the same standards and that do not provide equal access or opportunities for all students. That model of an education system will not sustain progress. It will not meet the needs of all students. It will not serve as the foundation of our democracy. It will not be the engine to our economy. And it does not support the common good.
The fiscal circumstances we are in today are challenging. But this is no excuse to abandon our core values for education. That is why we need your help in creating and sharing a message that will help to keep our structure of public schooling viable and strong. It is perhaps more important now than any other time in our history that state and local leaders and policymakers return to and uphold these values and use them to make decisions in the best interest of all North Carolina students and families. That is why I hope you will use the resources on this website to continue this dialogue about our values for public education and how it sustains our state and our future.
Public Education Poll Results
Findings from the April 2012 public education poll.
April 2012 Presentation, "Poverty in North Carolina: Through the Lens of Hunger"
Presented by Dr. Maureen Berner, School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
April 2012 Presentation "Public Education and the Public Good"
Presented by Phil Boyle and Del Burns, Leading & Governing Associates, Inc.
Local Districts' Budget Impact Presentations
Local superintendents presented their views on budget issues at a special State Board of Education meeting, April 3, 2012.