Steve Rao

Morrisville Rotary Meeting with State Superintendent June Atkinson

Yesterday, we were honored to have as our Speaker, NC State Superintendent, June Atkinson as our speaker, who provided an update on the state of North Carolina Public schools, and the challenges our school system faces, given the drastic cuts in teacher support, staff positions, and even digital textbooks and other resources.

On a positive note, this year, NC Public Schools graduation rate was at an all time high, at 80.4%, with our fourth graders, ranking top eight in the world in mathematics and top 11 in the world in reading.

The Race to the Top awards to North Carolina have also been a great success, with over 400 million awarded to NC schools, in the areas of technology, distance education, and professional development for teachers.

What is very troubling is the General Assembly cuts to staff positions and teacher positions, with over 4000 positions being eliminated.

At a time when we need to offer a globally competitive education to our children, our General Assembly is hurting our state, minimizing investments in what has traditonally been our wisest investment.

In addition, our economic development will be hurt, as companies will no longer want to invest in hobs and in North Carolina if our K-12 system is weakened.

Finally, Secretary Atkinson did address the Common Core standards, which are set standards, in the areas of math, science, reading, problem solving, that all school systems in our nation must adhere to.

These standards have been researched by experts, and the schools are doing a great job implementing these standards, across the board.    She is working to inform the Lt Governor, Dan Forest, that it would be detrimental to our education system and for our children, if we abandoned the Common Core Standards.    There is no policy reason for abandoning the Common Core standards at this time.

I enjoyed this session and am committed to bringing her back to Morisville for a Town Hall meeting with the parents, and provide an overview on the future direction of our K-12 system in North Carolina.

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