Monday, April 18, 2011

Will NCCAT Be Forced to Close?

Last week I blogged about how North Carolina thanks teachers by giving them the opportunity to receive instruction and professional support at NCCAT. Soon after I received word from NCCAT's new chairman, Elaine Franklin, that the NC House is considering eliminating funding for NCCAT. Since its inception in 1985, NCCAT has been a line item in North Carolina’s budget; 90% of its operating costs are from state funds.

Franklin wrote, “Teaching is an extremely challenging profession and too often teachers are expected to just ‘deal with’ every new thing that comes along. At NCCAT we are committed to providing the kinds of support teachers need, all the way from induction to retirement.”

As readers of my blog, you know that I am passionate about literacy. I believe that NCCAT's mission, "to keep high-quality teachers in the classroom, advancing teaching beyond that of a simple job to an art form and a profession" contributes to the goal of training the next generation to be literate, competent citizens.

Show your support for NCCAT and North Carolina teachers by writing to your legislators and the members of the Ed. Appropriations committee. At the bottom of this post I have provided a link to find your representative as well as the email addresses for all of the Education Appropriations committee. Here is the letter I plan to send which quotes Dr. Franklin extensively. She has given us permission to use these quotes; feel free to add your own experiences, copy this letter, and link to my previous blog in your correspondence.

Dear Representatives:

North Carolina stands alone as the state that pays tribute to its educators through the only professional development center like it in the world--NCCAT.

NCCAT’s director, Dr. Elaine Franklin, writes,

“Abundant research tells us that teacher quality is the single most important factor in improving student achievement. Students with strong teachers in consecutive years can soar academically, regardless of other external factors beyond the control of the school. NCCAT’s instructional programming is carefully designed to give North Carolina’s teachers the support and resources they need to be highly effective and to increase student success.

“Additionally, studies show that students who have an experienced teacher in the classroom are more likely to achieve at high levels. Retention of dedicated, high-quality teachers ensures each student has an experienced teacher in the classroom. The retention rate of teachers who have participated in NCCAT’s Beginning Teachers Program is 82%, as compared to 64.6% statewide and 67% nationally.

"Retaining these great teachers not only ensures experienced teachers for our students, it also saves our state money in recruitment and induction costs.

“The proposed budget will result in new challenges for classroom teachers that will make their jobs even more difficult; this is all happening at the same time that we are shifting to the new Common Core Standards. Grappling with all of this requires high-quality professional development of the type that NCCAT can provide."

I hope that you will agree that NCCAT is needed now more than ever to provide public school teachers with the tools and strategies they need to teach children the skills needed as we go forward into the 21st century.

We stand on a precipice. Please vote to maintain funding for NCCAT. We do not want to lose this unique treasure that serves North Carolina teachers and its students.

Click here and follow the instructions to find your state legislator and his or her e-mail address.

Here are the members of the Ed. Appropriations Committee. Click on their name for their e-mail address:
Rep. Blackwell, chairman
Rep. Hilton, chairman
Brian Holloway, chairman
Gaston Pridgen, vice chairman
Norman Sanderson, vice chairman
Marilyn Avila, member
Larry Bell, member
John Blust , member
Larry Brown, member
Rick Glazier, member
Maggie Jeffus, member
Marvin Lucas, member
Marian McLawhorn, member
Mickey Michaux, member
Earline Parmon, member
Paul Stam, member

1 comment:

Linda Phillips said...

Okay, I just sent off emails to the five top dogs. You go, girl!

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