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Stay The Course

Position: NCCBI recommends that the General Assembly and the State Board of Education “stay the course” on the following initiatives: ABC’s, Excellent Schools Act, Charter Schools, JobReady  (School-To-Work), and Standards and Accountability.

Explanation: In January, 1997 Education Week published a special edition entitled “Quality Counts.”   The report concluded to our detriment, that we were, in fact, too willing to change.  Their point being that we lacked patience and commitment to stay with an initiative long enough to accumulate sufficient data to determine what changes really did need to be made.

Therefore, NCCBI recommends that ALL policy makers exercise patience, while simultaneously expecting improvements from these initiatives, until adequate experience and data is obtained to effectively judge the necessary adjustments that might be necessary or desired.

As to the specific initiatives:

ABC’s: Improvements are obvious and encouraging, though much more will be required. Solid data from the 3-8 schools’ experiences should be the mantra for changes among this group. This data should, in turn, be the guide for the enhancement of the high schools.

Excellent Schools Act: Sustained funding of this commitment will be critical to achieving the National Standards, as well as the promises, inherent in the original legislation.

Charter Schools: A minimum of three years of operating experiences should be the baseline before any substantial adjustments are made to this experimental program.

JobReady: The opportunities inherent in this program include collaborations between the public schools, community colleges, the university system and the business community.  There are further strong linkages between the Standards and Accountability Commission’s recommendations, the ABC’s for the high schools, Tech Prep, the remediation requirements at the community colleges and higher education as well as the feedback from the business community as to the deficiencies of their entry level job applicants.

Standards and Accountability: Our students are a diverse population able, and in most instances, willing to respond to higher standards and expectations.   They respond to and require varying forms of assessments to reveal their abilities and competencies. The recommendations of the Standards and Accountability Commission, if implemented, would enhance our teaching and learning process tremendously. We urge the State Board of Education to move forward expeditiously and immediately to implement these recommendations.  We simultaneously urge the General Assembly to support this implementation.

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Early Childhood Education
Teacher Recruitment and Retention
Full Funding for Mandates
Information Technology
Opposition to Tax Credits
Parental and Community Involvement
Support for Community Colleges
Teacher/Administrator Preparation Programs and Facilities

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