The Supreme Court of North Carolina has established that every child in the state has a constitutionally guaranteed right to a “sound, basic education,” as defined by the court in Leandro vs. State of North Carolina. The state has the responsibility to ensure that every school is providing children with a quality public education. To address this requirement, the North Carolina Trial Court recently appointed WestEd, a national, non-partisan non-profit education research and technical assistance agency, to serve as an independent consultant to develop an Action Plan to support the state to ensure constitution compliance. The Friday Institute is collaborating with WestEd and Learning Policy Institute, a national, non-profit research and policy group, to complete the Action Plan.
The Action Plan will address four main areas:
- Plans for ensuring effective teachers in all classrooms;
- Strategies for guaranteeing effective principals in all schools;
- Adequate resources to provide a sound, basic education for all children in all schools; and
- An assessment and accountability system that can monitor and demonstrate adequate progress in providing access to a sound, basic education for all children.
The project is being conducted in two phases:
- Phase 1 will include analyzing extensive data to assess the state’s strengths and needs in the four areas above and conducting interviews and meetings with educators and stakeholders to gather input and information to inform the work.
- Phase 2 will include the identification of evidence-based approaches to address the needs identified in Phase 1, the development of reports on best practices to address each of the Leandro tenet areas, and development of the comprehensive Action Plan.