The draft that Bryan presented had few differences from last year’s prospective bill. The draft included having pilot schools be put into a special state-run district, with a superintendent chosen by the State Board of Education who would have the power to negotiate operation contracts with private companies. In effect this bill allows for the Superintendent of the ASD to take control away from local school boards.
“The goal of this bill from my perspective is to continue to pilot the way that we can get kids who are not performing where we want them to be to performing at grade-level or above as quickly as possible,” said Rep. Bryan. “For all of us, it’s not quickly enough.”
Many public school educators and advocates believe that ASDs have so far been shown as inefficient and waste tax dollars that are better spent in public schools.
North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson maintains that NC should stick to proven turn-a-round models currently used by NCDPI.
The one issue not discussed today was the lack of adequate resources for low-performing schools, including expanding access to preschool programs, more flexible calendar years, and wrap around programs for low income children.
The calendar issue is one that Dr. Atkinson mentioned: …”students in low-performing schools can lose two to three months of reading development during traditional schools’ summer break. “We have to address these root causes or we’ll continue to have these conversations 10 years from now,” said Atkinson.