A daily round-up of education news and views for the Carolinas.
10th June 2021

A daily round-up of education news and views for principals, superintendents, teachers and administrators in North and South Carolina.

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New NC teacher bill analyzed
The Charlotte Observer features a comment on Senate Bill 582, which would allow those with a college degree to teach high school classes without a teaching license. It states that "Bringing accountants in to teach math and pharmaceutical researchers to teach science on a part-time basis won't solve the teacher shortage, but it is an imaginative response that involves little cost. It's a change that could be good for schoolchildren and their part-time instructors."
State takeovers have limited effect on struggling schools, study claims
A new national study, written by Beth E. Schueler of the University of Virginia and Joshua Bleiburg of Brown University, casts doubt on the notion that states are better positioned to run schools than locally-elected officials, finding little evidence that districts see test scores rise as a result of being taken over. The new study focuses on the 35 school districts from across the country that were taken over by states between 2011 and 2016. These takeovers often happened in small cities and the vast majority of affected students were Black or Hispanic and from low-income families. Schueler and Leiburg used national test score data to compare districts that were taken over to seemingly similar districts in the same state that retained local control. In the first few years of the takeover, the schools generally saw dips in English test scores. By year four, there was no effect one way or the other. In math, there were no clear effects at all. Some places, including Camden, New Jersey and Lawrence, Massachusetts, did see improvements in the wake of takeover; others, such as East St. Louis, Illinois and Chester Upland, Pennsylvania, saw their academic records get worse, relative to other schools in the states. One reason results might have diverged so much is that there’s no single playbook for what happens after a state takes control from an elected school board. It’s also possible that state takeovers don’t typically improve student achievement simply because they often don’t lead to meaningful changes in  per-student spending, class sizes, or the number of charter schools.
Guilford County Schools ID system to be expanded
A system which sees Guilford County Schools students swipe their school identification cards upon entering buildings is to be expanded later in the year, Superintendent Sharon Contreras has said. This follows a recent attack on a student in a classroom at Southern High School, an incident which led to questions about school security.
Chatham County Schools board meeting takes place
Two new principals have been approved by the Chatham County Board of Education at a closed session meeting earlier this week.
Jasper County school system concerns raised
A reader's letter in Bluffton Today expresses concern about the "high turnover rate of employees born, raised and educated in the Jasper County school system" and "high turnover rate of dedicated employees who are not native to Jasper County." It asks "What are the school board elected officials doing to protect the Jasper County School District and its employees? While we know the superintendent runs the schools, who is governing the superintendent?"
SC school therapist costs putting parents off
A report on the costs of South Carolina's school therapist program notes that Greenville County added mental health counselors to its schools under a partnership with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.
The role of SROs in preventing school violence
The Greensboro News & Record comments on a recent ambush of a 14-year-old student in a Southern Guilford High School classroom, noting that "If a student inside the school is complicit and other Southern Guilford students were involved — which seems to be the case — it's hard to know what other precautions might have been taken." The article notes that "not everyone is cut out to be a police officer or sheriff's deputy and not every officer is cut out to be an SRO (school resource officer)."

Sumter School District $2m budget increase approved
Sumter School District’s $2m budget increase was approved by Sumter County Council earlier this week at its regularly scheduled meeting.
Indecent liberties charge for ex teacher
Tyrus Cromartie, a former teacher at a Winston-Salem charter school has pleaded guilty to two counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. The former Quality Education Academy math teacher allegedly tried to get two underage students to have sex with him.

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