The North Carolina State Board of Education today adopted the “Vision of Public Education in North Carolina: A Great Public Education System for a Great State” to guide their work and encourage a shared commitment to assuring a strong, flexible and coherent education system that serves all students and that is geared toward the promotion of the public interest. The vision statement is available here. (pdf, 629kb)
“We have a responsibility for all children in the state, not just the nearly 1.5 million in public schools,” said State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison. “This vision does not represent a new direction; it is a collection of values that support our current work and a statement of where we want to be and where we need to be to have a great system of education that serves every child in North Carolina.”
The vision statement is the culmination of work that began at the State Board of Education planning session held in August 2011 in which Board members discussed the need to shift the conversation about public education in North Carolina. Following this meeting, State Board of Education Legislative Director Ann McColl met with superintendents and other members of the state’s Regional Educational Service Alliances (RESAs) and hundreds of other education, business and community leaders to gather input.
Also during this time, Edward “Ted” Fiske, former education editor for the New York Times, and Helen “Sunny” Ladd, Edgar Thompson Professor of Public Policy Studies and professor of economics at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, agreed to work with the State Board in developing a paper that would express a vision that was emerging through these sessions.
The development of the vision paper then became an important part of continuing conversations that followed. On April 3, about 100 superintendents met with Board members in Raleigh to share their challenges, ideals and aspirations for public schools. At the end of April, another group of education and other leaders met at the Friday Institute to continue the conversation about the purpose and importance of public education. Following this meeting, the Board also received feedback on the vision paper from the Governor’s Education Transformation Commission.
The summary formally adopted as a vision statement by the State Board of Education today, is an adaptation of the full 10-page paper written by Fiske and Ladd, which is available at https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=10399&AID=9117&MID=684 . Following this adoption, Harrison plans to visit with groups of education, business and community leaders across the state to share the vision documents and continue the conversation about building a great system of public education for every child in North Carolina.