The UNC Board of Governors convened a summit Tuesday to discuss the future of teaching in the state, as the world of education changes rapidly and the state faces a significant drop in those who want to teach.
The education summit, a public meeting of the UNC Board of Governors held on the SAS campus in Cary and spearheaded by Ann Goodnight, looked at trends in education, as well as methods for the state to reexamine how it prepares new teachers and treats teachers once they’re in classrooms. Chancellors and education deans across the UNC system attended as well as legislative leaders and State Board of Education members.
The focus Tuesday was on how to prepare and retain the state’s next generation of teachers, as the state contends with a decline of nearly 30 percent in the last four years in enrollments in the UNC system’s 15 education programs. (Click here to read more about the decline, and what it means for the state.)
“We can do better and we must do better,” UNC President Tom Ross said Tuesday in opening the day-long summit.
North Carolina’s teacher pay, even with raises passed by the legislature last year, remain below the national average, and programs that supported the professions like the N.C. Teaching Fellows scholarship program, have been eliminated by state leaders.
As part of the education summit, a subcommittee of the UNC Board of Governor released a seven-point plan Tuesday that had been in the works for a year and attempts to turn around the profession’s high turnover and declining enrollment rates at the UNC system’s education colleges. (Scroll down to read the entire plan.)
Among the recommendations are:
- Developing a UNC Teacher quality dashboard that monitors how education program graduates from 15 UNC system campuses perform in classrooms and districts
- Emphasizing a year for education majors to spend in classrooms as part of their undergraduate program and strengthen teacher-preparation programs
- Improving the selection process for principals
- Create a public-private college scholarship program for future teachers
- Seek to offer additional pay for public school teachers with advanced degrees
- Market and recruit students to come into the education field
- Expand N.C. New Teacher Support Program, which focuses on supporting new teachers and retaining those that work in high-need, high-poverty schools
Gov. Pat McCrory is slated to come speak to the group this afternoon, at 4 p.m.