Charter School Council Formed
Special Report - August 5, 2011
This week, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved a new Advisory Council charged with recommending charter school policies and new charter school approvals to the Board in light of the General Assembly lifting the cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the state. During its August 4th meeting, the SBE approved the creation of the North Carolina Public Charter School Advisory Council. The Council will consist of eight people appointed by the Governor, three by the Speaker of the House, three by the Senate President Pro Tempore, and one by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The SBE charged the Council with recommending “policies for adoption by the State Board of Education regarding all aspects of charter school operation, including timelines, standards, and criteria for acceptance and approval of applications, monitoring of charter schools, and grounds for revocation of charters.”
Also during the meeting, the SBE received a report on North Carolina public school achievement standards. In 2011, the state’s high school graduation rate ticked up to a record high 77.7 percent, three points higher than the 2010 rate. However, fewer schools across the state met or exceeded their expected academic growth levels. In contrast to 88 percent of schools meeting or exceeding expected growth during the 2009-2010 school year, only 81 percent met or exceeded their academic growth standard in 2010-2011. The percent of North Carolina schools qualifying as low-performing did drop slightly from 0.6 percent to 0.5 percent. While fewer schools were categorized in 2010 as schools of distinction or schools or progress, the number of schools qualifying as schools or excellence or honor schools of excellence, the highest academic standards categories, increased. The percentage of schools receiving no recognition nearly doubled from 2010 to 2011.
The number of North Carolina schools meeting federal education standards plummeted by more than half, from 58 percent meeting the target in 2010 to fewer than 28 percent in 2011. No Child Left Behind requires all the students in various subgroups at a particular school to meet annual performance targets in order for the school to be considered to have met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The targets, which consist of test scores, graduation rates, and attendance rates, increased for the 2010-2011 school year, a fact education leaders hold out as one reason for the drop in AYP success.
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