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TEACHERS' MESSAGES 2013

MESSAGES 2013 :: MARCH 14, 2013

MARCH 14, 2013 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages

As you know, North Carolina teacher salaries are set by the General Assembly, but the State Board of Education and I make recommendations regarding this key element of the state's budget. Teacher salaries take approximately 63 percent of the total amount of money in the state public school fund. Principal and assistant principals take up 4 percent of the state public school fund, and central office staff take 1.4 percent. Instructional support, teacher assistants and other non-certified staff take up approximately 25 percent of the public school fund. Education is a people business, and, in fact, salaries and benefits make up nearly 94 percent of public school expenditures. Several years of frozen salaries, however, have hurt our ability to properly compensate teachers. This month, the State Board of Education heard a presentation by School Business Director Alexis Schauss to begin understanding more fully the impact of the salary freeze on public schools' competitiveness as employers. This presentation is online here. While the news is not positive, it is important to know the facts at hand if we have any hope of addressing the needs. This presentation was intended to begin conversation about ideas for dealing with salaries for teachers, and I felt that you needed to know that this discussion was underway.

Regards,
June Atkinson


In this Biweekly Teachers' Message:

  1. State Board Meeting Highlights
  2. Constructed Response Items from Fall 2012 Common Exams Online
  3. Next Generation Assessment Released Forms: EOGs
  4. Public Notice for Participation and Comments on the North Carolina Application for Grant Award Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as Amended in 2004 for Federal FY 2013
  5. #NCed Chat Allows Teachers to Collaborate Statewide
  6. National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest Rules Online


State Board Meeting Highlights

Among the items approved by State Board of Education members at their meeting last week were the General Assembly's Read to Achieve Program, the 2013 invitation to submit textbooks for evaluation and adoption in North Carolina, and changes to policy providing annual performance standards under the READY model. Members also gave final approval for 24 charters and heard presentations on teacher salary issues, educator effectiveness policies and Regional Leadership Academies. A summary of all Board action items is available online at http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/highlights/2013 .


Constructed Response Items from Fall 2012 Common Exams Online

The NCDPI has released the constructed response items and scoring rubrics that were used on the fall 2012 Common Exams. Districts can share these items with students, and also can use them to provide teachers with more experience in using rubrics to assess the student work. The released items are available at www.ncpublicschools.org/effectiveness-model/measures/released-items/ .


Next Generation Assessment Released Forms: EOGs

The paper-and-pencil version released forms are now available for End-of-Grade assessments. You can find the released forms for ELA/Reading Grades 3-8, Mathematics Grades 3-8, and Science Grades 5 and 8 online at www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/testing/releasedforms . An online released form will be available soon for grades 5 and 8 science (ELA/Reading and Mathematics are not available in online versions for 2012-13). If you have questions please contact your local testing coordinator or your Regional Accountability Coordinator (RAC).


Public Notice for Participation and Comments on the North Carolina Application for Grant Award Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as Amended in 2004 for Federal FY 2013

The NCDPI is making available its annual State Application for receiving grant award under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as amended in 2004. The proposed application will be available for public review March 7-May 5. Comments will be accepted March 21-April 21.

A copy of the State Application will be available on the NCDPI website at http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov under "For Your Information." Also, each LEA will receive a copy of the State Application for public review.

Interested citizens may submit comments via e-mail to IDEAGrant2013@dpi.nc.gov or by mail to: NCDPI, Exceptional Children Division, ATTN: Valerie Herndon/Ira Wolfe, 6356 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6356.


#NCed Chat Allows Teachers to Collaborate Statewide

#NCed Chat is a new bi-weekly Twitter chat for North Carolina educators. #NCed Chat will provide an opportunity for North Carolina educators to grow and develop their personal learning network (PLN) by connecting with other NC educators throughout the state. The chat will create a forum for North Carolina educators to come together once every other week in a public Twitter conversation around topics that pertain to their work and connect with other educators with similar interests. School and district level practitioners will moderate the chats.

The first chat is Tuesday, March 26, from 8 - 9 pm. The topic is the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning. Andrew Thomasson, a high school English teacher from Gaston County, will lead the discussion, co-moderating with Region 7 Professional Development Lead Heather Mullins of the NCDPI Educator Effectiveness Division.

For more information on how to participate, please visit https://smore.com/gg3f . If you have additional questions, please contact Lynne Johnson, Educator Effectiveness Division director, at Lynne.Johnson@dpi.nc.gov.


National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest Rules Online

Rules for the 2013 National School Bus Safety Week poster contest have been posted on the School Bus Safety Web site at www.ncbussafety.org/Poster. The contest is open to students in grades K-8. For 2012, Johnston County fourth grader Jennifer Sieredzki won third place nationally! The deadline for submission to the state (through your district transportation department) is May 24.