Education: Bill Fletcher December Newsletter

Wake County, NC – Thoughts for December 2016 from Bill Fletcher, Member of the Wake County Board of Education.

The Election is Finally Over!

I’m sure we all have breathed a sigh of relief that the ads have ended, the signs have come down, and whether our personal candidate won or not, we continue to enjoy living in one of the greatest places on earth! Thanks to all of you who voted for me. I truly appreciate your support and pledge that I will welcome your calls and emails as I continue to help lead our school district.

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How will the Next School Board Election be Conducted?

Back in July the Fourth Circuit Federal Court ruled the Legislature’s redesign of our school board elections to be unconstitutional.  The entire plan – district maps, non-staggered terms, even-year election cycle – were ruled unconstitutional. Currently there is NO PLAN for the next school board election. Our community needs to let our legislators know that staggered terms on the municipal schedule is preferred.

National Research from RealtyTrac

National Research from RealtyTrac suggests that 65% of families cannot afford to live near a high quality school.  Many times housing prices reflect public school quality. Their specific formula doesn’t really work in North Carolina. Still there are wide variances in student performance in schools in the same district. Community leaders are quick to point to two strategies: implement plans that allow families of different income levels to live in closer proximity, and improve educational outcomes at all schools. We’re working hard to make all Wake schools great. REALTORS have picked up the affordable or mixed use housing goal. Working together we can make our community stronger!

What do the 4Cs look like in a 6th Grade Classroom?

Sixth graders at Davis Drive Middle were studying the “Land Beneath My Feet.” The prompt for some deep-dive research, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration was to study the geology and social issues in Bangladesh and develop strategies to help the people of Dhaka better prepare themselves for the next earthquake.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU2z8izO3Jc

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The Right Way to do Professional Development

What is the right way to provide teachers with the ongoing professional development they need in order to excel in the classroom?  Years ago the auto industry implemented Quality Circles; employees needed time to participate.  Company A asked employees to stay late and participate on their own time.  Company B gave employees unpaid time within the work day.  Company C paid employees to invest in quality during the work day.  To the amazement of outside observers, productivity, quality and profit increased most at Company C.  What would it take for our schools to embed this PD model?

Factoid #27: Wake to “restart” 10 Elementary Schools. 

With State Board of Ed approval, 10 Wake schools will take advantage of new flexibility to better meet the needs of the students they serve.  Schools will have greater flexibility for school start and end times, length of the school day and year, school calendar, budgeting and hiring.  The restart model gives principals, teachers, and parents the room to develop creative, data-driven solutions to the issues raised by the data at each school.  I say “take off the handcuffs and let our school leaders lead!”

Parent chats (except on holidays)

1st Thursday – 1 PM
Cary Chamber, 315 N Academy St., Cary

3rd Monday – 11 AM
Caribou Coffee shop, 109 SW Maynard Rd., Cary

Bill Fletcher school infoBFletcher@wcpss.net || Voice Mail: 919-694-8843 || Mobile: 919-880-5301


Story by Bill Fletcher, Member Wake County Board of Education. Photos by Daniel Morrison and Lead Beyond.