Expanding Educational Opportunity


Every two years, Public School Forum of North Carolina brings together a ‘study group’ to examine and recommend solutions to NC’s pressing challenges in public schools. More than 300 leaders from education, government, business and academia contributed to this year’s publication called Study Group XVI. Committees within the study group focused on three issues: trauma & learning; racial equity; and low-performing schools.

Addressing poverty, given its huge impact on student learning, is integral to Study Group XVI’s action plan for public schools. The unfortunate reality is: students living in poverty are far more likely to attend a low-performing school.

In 2015-16, 489 (20% of) schools in NC were low-performing, meaning the School Performance Grade was a D or F mainly based on student end of grade test scores. Within the third committee on low-performing schools, the action plan includes prioritizing early childhood education programs, creating partnerships between teacher preparation programs and high-needs districts, and requiring school turn around initiatives to be based on evidence.

While schools cannot by themselves eliminate poverty, there is much they can do to meet the special challenges that disadvantaged students bring with them when they come to school. It acknowledges that teachers and school leaders matter, and that the right mix of school-based factors can blunt the impact of poverty and help large numbers of high-need students succeed.

—Public School Forum's Study Group XVI

Expanding Educational Opportunity in North Carolina
October 2016
Authored by: Public School Forum of North Carolina