Education cabinet takes on data, workforce

Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday signed an order establishing the North Carolina Longitudinal Data System Governing Board (NCLDS). The order, signed during Cooper’s cabinet meeting, outlines how the new council will be structured and what its responsibilities will be.

NCLDS is a “systems system” that connects data between departments (e.g., for young children, K-12, higher education, and the workforce) to track how students are doing since entering the early childhood system through their participation in the workplace. force. Ideally, as a better integrated and focused data system, NCLDS could help support evidence-based policy making.

Jeff Coltrane, Cooper’s senior education adviser, gave an overview of the NCLDS during the meeting. He summed up for cabinet members their prior approval of four key steps for the system in 2021, including the creation of a governing board.

Another step was hiring an executive director to oversee the system. According to Coltrane, the State Data Analysis Center (GDAC) is currently interviewing candidates and hopes to hire someone in the next month or two.

Cooper said he was very excited to make progress with the NCLDS to “help us better connect students to better paid jobs.”

State Superintendent of Public Education Catherine Truit, a member of the Cabinet of Ministers of Education, said that because of the “logistics” such efforts in the past had no problems with implementation.

“I would just urge us all to realize this so that we don’t stop, as has happened in the past,” she said.

Read the road map for NCLDS here.

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UNC common numbering

UNC President Peter Hans gave the Cabinet an overview of plans to create a common numbering system – a way to give courses a common number to show equivalence in all UNC schools offering the course, including undergraduate courses that are most often transferred between the UNC System and the public College of North Carolina.

He said the initiative is important because of the large number of transfer students who lose credits when moving to the UNC school system. According to his presentation, the loss of credits in the transfer may lead to termination or additional time before the student receives the diploma.

In developing the common numbering system, UNC staff reviewed the courses most often transferred between North Carolina public colleges and UNC schools, focusing on general education courses. They have identified 156 courses that will have “direct equivalence” in all UNC schools.

This means that if a student takes one of these courses at one UNC school and then moves on to another, that student can be sure that credit for the course will be transferred, provided that both schools offer the same course.

“We believe this will be a major step towards transferring students of all kinds,” Hans said.

See a presentation on the general numbering system here.

Public College Updates, Workforce News

Thomas Steet, president of the state’s public colleges system, gave an overview of the degrees of adjunct arts and academics in teacher training, which, according to Steet, are now available in 55 of the state’s 58 community colleges.

“We have an urgent need for teachers in North Carolina, and we need to use every opportunity we can to attract and retain them in the system,” Cooper said during the presentation.

Following Stitt’s presentation, the Cabinet of Ministers heard a presentation entitled “First in Talent: A Strategic Plan for Economic Development”, which has three objectives:

  • Prepare the North Carolina workforce for career and entrepreneurial success.
  • Prepare North Carolina businesses for success by growing and attracting talented staff.
  • Prepare communities across North Carolina to be more competitive in growing and attracting a talented workforce and business.

The plan has four strategies to achieve these goals, including expanding access to early childhood education, leading the “nation in work-based learning”, raising the level of quality certificates (as stated in the State Achievement Goal) and increasing labor force participation through improved labor systems to better support people with barriers to employment ”.

Read the updated staffing information here and the Strategic Economic Development Plan here.

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During a cabinet reshuffle, Truit discussed her recently announced 2022 Year of the Workforce initiative and said there are things the K-12 public school system needs to do to achieve its strategic economic development goals.

“We can’t achieve these goals in the frame … unless the K-12 starts doing things a little differently,” she said. “When we look at our data, we’re not doing what everyone here hopes we’re doing right now.”

The state’s system aims for four years of college education for students, Truit said, and those who can’t achieve that are diverting “to something else that isn’t necessarily specific”.

Truit said the state “should look at the K-12 education system, starting with our model of testing and reporting”.

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