At their meeting on Jan. 19, the UNC Board of Governors voted to support a resolution — passed by the planning committee — calling for teacher preparation programs in the UNC System to improve literacy instruction.
The BOG also discussed launching "working groups" to review faculty career opportunities, ratings of UNC System educator preparation programs and progression on Project Kitty Hawk.
- The Board restated the findings of the head planning committee's meeting yesterday that 68 percent of fourth-grade students in North Carolina do not read at the expected grade level. Notably, 83 percent of low-income and minority fourth-grade students in the state are not proficient at reading.
- Students who can't read by the end of the third grade are much less likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college, Chairperson Randall Ramsey said.
- Science of Reading — a set of concepts that encourage effective literature instruction — has been included in all UNC programs for teaching and elementary special education since 2021. However, Ramsey said many of the programs need improvement.
- “We need to treat this issue as we would any other educational crisis and address it now. It's past time for us to lead our state into a broader and more literate future for every single child,” Ramsey said.
- On Wednesday, the Committee on Educational Planning, Policies and Programs passed a resolution that called for teacher preparation programs within the System to address the issue and create solutions. The BOG voted to adopt the resolution.
- In the coming months, the Board will launch new groups to review expanding faculty career opportunities, teaching evaluation practices, award and recognition programs and post-tenure review policies.
- The Committee on Educational Planning, Policies and Programs also heard a presentation on Wednesday regarding the results of the evaluation of literacy coursework at UNC System educator preference preparation programs.
- “The committee had a robust and passionate discussion about how we must do better, how to move forward from here and steps this board can take to ensure that we do so,” Board Member Kirk J. Bradley said.
- Only one UNC system educator preparation program was rated excellent, five were rated good and nine needed improvement or were deemed inadequate.
- “One college of education out of 15 being ‘strong’ is not enough. ‘Good’ is not good enough. And ‘needs improvement’ and ‘inadequate’ are unacceptable for the crown jewel of this great state,” Vice Chairperson Wendy Floyd Murphy said.
- A motion was passed for the reappointment of Ray Carey and Courtney Crowder and the appointment of UNC-Charlotte Chancellor Sharon Gaber to Project Kitty Hawk.
- Project Kitty Hawk is a non-profit startup that will partner with the UNC System to aid adult degree-seekers.
- There is a briefing on Project Kitty Hawk scheduled for February that will contain a required report to the General Assembly on the project’s progress.
- Other vacancies were filled for the UNC School of the Arts Board of Trustees, East Carolina University Health Board of Directors, Fayetteville State University Board of Trustees and North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority Board of Directors.
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